Page 1

THE HARRIERS HERALD No. 284, October 2016 Editor: Sue Francis

Contents, features, reports, results   

  

Thursday night schedules for October and November Christmas meal – Update Race results - Two Arms on Two Legs Half: Simon tries a new race, and is not impressed; Cotswold Classic 10: Darren does well in another brewery-sponsored race; Isle of Wight Fell Race series: Philomena enjoys her first experience of fell racing; Highclere 10K: Colin does well in local multiterrain race; Compton Charity Cycle: Sue, Mo and George complete local challenge; BHF Blenheim Half: Darren smashes target in his first half marathon Handicap Race – A win for Terry on improvised route Webmaster’s article – Mo features: Compton 20 entry link; running after the age of 60; forthcoming races of interest Thanks to Simon, Philomena, Darren and Mo for this month’s articles and photos

Thursday night schedule for October Thurs Thurs Thurs Thurs

6th 13th 20th 27th

Mo to lead Philomena to lead Pete O to lead Handicap Race

Thursday night schedule for November Thurs Thurs Thurs Thurs

3rd 10th 17th 24th

Martin to lead Colin to lead Handicap Race Richard D to lead

Compton Harriers Christmas Meal 2016 Darren has kindly allowed himself to be persuaded to investigate Christmas meal options. He has suggested one of his favourite pubs, The Fox at Peasemore, where we had a good Christmas meal about 3 years ago, but will also look at other options. Some pubs are now starting to publish their Christmas menus – we picked one up from Ilsley Swan last Thursday. More details to follow as plans evolve.

Daphne Allen Compton Harriers who knew Daphne (Jan’s Mum, Dick’s mum-in-law) will be sad to hear that she passed away on Sunday following a short illness. Daphne was a long-time supporter of Compton Harriers’ events and helped at the Compton Downland Challenge every year, manning the registration desk. We will miss her friendly face and cheerful chatter at future events.

Race Reports and Results Two Arms on Two Legs Half Marathon, 11th September Simon If ever there was a demonstration of how not to organise a race, this was it. From start to finish this event can be summed up in one word: Omnishambles. I saw this race – organised, though I use the word very loosely indeed, by the Canal and Rivers Trust (CRT) – advertised a couple of months ago when I went for a trot up the Aylesbury Arm of the Grand Union Canal. HH October 2016


It looked promising on the website: a half marathon from Aylesbury to Wendover via Marsworth on both ‘Arms’ of the canal, with mile and kilometre markers, regular drinks stations, secure baggage storage, free transport from the finish back to the start, etc etc. So I entered on-line (the only method of entering) and almost immediately began to regret it… Within two weeks the first of many changes (some of which weren’t actually communicated to entrants) started, with the announcement the finish was to be 500m short of the original location. No mention whether it would still be a half marathon distance, so I emailed the CRT and … received no reply. So I emailed a named person who did reply and said the course had been re-measured but he couldn’t find my original email. I wrote back and told him I’d sent it to a different email address which probably wasn’t monitored and he might want to check it as there were probably quite a few emails on the account which nobody had read. Hmm, good start. Then a ‘photographic consent form’ was sent out which was, in effect, a very badly written and legally unenforceable edit of a photographer’s ‘Model release form’ – something I have never, in 34 years of running, been required to sign. I declined to give my consent, told the CRT as much, but again received no reply. The catalogue of errors is long – very long – so here, for your delight and delectation, are just a few: - Each Mile and Kilometre was originally stated as being marked. The day before the event an email was sent saying there would be “2 mile signs and 1, 3, 5 etc km signs”. In practice, what few signs there were there at best highly indicative: there were a total of four mile and two km signs and they were so inaccurate I apparently ‘ran’ at 21-minute-mile pace between 6 miles and 10Km. - ‘Frequent’ drinks stations. Hmmm. Three in total over the entire 13.1 miles. - Secure baggage storage. Bags had to be left in a room at the start, with no official in sight. It was even better at the finish. “No number, no bag” the entry information read: in reality, the bags were dumped in the middle of the field with no-one keeping an eye on them. Anybody could have helped themselves. - Anything else? Oh, yes – plenty: The timing chips were supposed to be fixed to shoelaces using … sandwich bag ties; baggage labels were late arriving, and then turned out to be just slips of paper which couldn’t be attached to bags without tearing; the ‘Wave’ start system (50 runners every 30 seconds) turned into “around 50 runners every couple of minutes”; and the Runners Information Pack was updated the afternoon before the event saying that the Wendover Arm towpath “might be busy because the Halton Village Fete is on”. Oh, and after all that – and having stated an entry limit of 1000, though only 283 actually finished – they ran out of medals. Ah yes, the medals. Nice enough – fairly heavy, 3” diameter with highly detailed enamel work depicting the junction of the Aylesbury Arm with the Grand Union at Marsworth. Just a shame that no-one checked the design, because the lock-gate on the medal is the wrong way round. Ho hum… The whole event was probably best summed up by the extremely irate finisher who, having been ferried back and forth from Wendover to Aylesbury then back to Wendover and back to Aylesbury again in search of his missing bag, nearly punched the ‘organiser’ in the middle of the presentations and had to be restrained by another official. I’m just surprised there wasn’t a queue. So would I do this again? No, absolutely not. Would I recommend it? See previous answer. And I’m actually very relieved that no other Harriers took up my recommendation and entered. What should have been a good, even excellent, event was an absolute shambles. I’m still trying to figure out how it ever got a licence from UKA. I finished in 2:13:58, 187th out of 283. First Man was David Hudson in 1:17:17 and first lady was Mairead O’Rourke in 1:29:27, though given that someone by the name of Aylesbury Fish is shown as finishing in 168th place I’m not even sure just how accurate the results are. I did have my suspicions that the ‘re-measured’ course wasn’t accurate so I checked it on when I got home. It was 13.21 miles. Like I wrote at the beginning of this report: Omnishambles…

HH October 2016


Cotswold Classic 10 miles, 18th September Darren The event is organised by the Witney Road Runners. It is based out of Kings School, Yatt Road, Witney. With the facilities of the school at its disposal this made for a good venue. Very well organised event with full proper timing chips, and pretty near instant results. A BBQ was in full swing throughout, so no shortage on the food front if you wished to partake. The course itself is entirely a road course, but by no means flat, in fact it consists of many gradients, particularly one which is named ‘Hillazilla’. The course was very well marshalled, but needed to be as it was all on open roads. A very pretty course as you meander your way through several Cotswold villages. The field was very heavy on club runners from across a wide area, few fun or charity runners. So a tough old field. I was not in best form having just flown in from Menorca the day before the race, limited training time, and having a particularly bad running fall whilst abroad had made my left hip quite literally black and blue. So the excuses were in place. The sun came out and it was a very enjoyable race. I finished in 1:13:03, placing me 75th out of 310 overall, 24th in the MV40 category, 66th male. The event is sponsored by the Wychwood Brewery and free beer was on offer for all runners once you cross the line, a real motivating factor! Below is a finishing picture with running friends.

Highclere MT 10K, 25th September Colin completed this undulating multi-terrain race through the grounds of Highclere Castle, finishing in 55:50, 128th in a field of 282 finishers.

Compton 25M Charity Cycle, 1st October Mo and I finished this challenging multi-terrain route in just over 3 hours, in 29th and 30th place out of 39 cyclists. This was our slowest ever time for the route, but conditions were a bit tricky this year. We started in cold rain, which persisted for the first 8 miles before gradually easing off. But some of the tracks were treacherously slippery and we decided it was better to ride sensibly and to be safe than sorry. Nevertheless, the fastest cyclist completed the route in a fast clocking of 1:47. We completed the last few miles in warm sunshine, steaming inside our waterproofs. Fortunately, the sun stayed out for the post-cycle barbecue and the 5-mile family ride, which George and his wife completed with their young children.

HH October 2016


Isle of Wight Fell Running Series, 24th & 25th September Philomena Many of our Club members have done this series before and I have only ever heard good things about it and this year I finally convinced myself that I could manage the early morning start and entered all three races. Sue, Mo, Lucy, Martin and I went this year, and Martin and Lucy kindly offered to give me a lift. The series is run over two days with a 3-mile and a 7-mile race on the Saturday and then a half marathon on the Sunday. In between the two races there is plenty of time for lunch and a dip in the sea to cool the legs before the second race. I didn’t go for a dip myself but it was fun watching everyone else! I had been warned that there are several substantial hills in each of the races but I was still shocked by how steep they are! I’d call them ‘hands on knees’ type of hills! This is evident in Mo’s photos! There is a hill where, even holding on for dear life with both hands to the railing provided, I just about managed to stay upright and move upward instead of backward! However, the routes were so beautiful and the atmosphere so friendly that the hills were just a minor inconvenience! After the second race on Saturday I was not sure I would be able to run on the Sunday but, after a delicious meal and good night’s sleep, I felt I could give it a go. In the second and third races there are stretches where it is actually possible to run and get into a rhythm, which meant that there was time to look around at the beautiful scenery. The weather was lovely so that helped ease the pain of going up the hills. Then to top it all Sue and Lucy each came home with a huge haul of age category prizes! Well done Sue and Lucy! Thanks Mo for the photos. The whole experience was very enjoyable and I would highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t done the series yet. There is no pressure to do all three races so one can do as much as one likes. It is also very cheap to enter at £18 for all three races!

For Mo’s full set of photos see: HH October 2016


BHF Blenheim Palace Half Marathon, 2nd October Darren I was convinced some months ago by a friend that doing a half marathon would be a good idea, so this one’s been booked up sometime. The Half Marathon is one of three events that the British Heart Foundation arrange at the palace on the same day; a 10k also takes place and then a family fun run, they are all nicely staggered with the half marathon first. On the morning the BHF ‘village’ had been established right next to the palace, with changing, toilets, t-shirts, etc all pretty well organised, and a lot of staff about. The morning was very cold but clear and beautiful, so a much needed coffee was purchased before much movement could be expected. As the sun got stronger it warmed up quite nicely. A big event with many hundreds of participants, the bulk wearing the supplied BHF shirts, although a scattering of other charities as well. Whilst there were plenty of club runners present, few chose to wear club colours, as it doesn’t seem quite appropriate in a charity organised event. So I also went for the BHF shirt. So at 10:30 we were promptly away into my first ever half marathon. The route took us out into the grounds doing a couple of laps during our progress, for a period it took us outside onto very quiet public roads and on through the village of Combe, many of the residents were out waving. Around much of the course volunteers and members of the public lined the route which greatly helped keep the motivation up. The course, whilst all on roads, is quite hilly with very little actual flat. As is my way I tend to go out fairly hard and was passing lots of people, but miles 6-10 had me wondering if it may have been too hard as I started to lose a few places. However, I was feeling fine so just kept going at my own pace in the hope it would come back to me, and sure enough it did, as in the last 3 miles I was mainly overtaking again. Fantastic uphill run in across the lake and over the bridge to finish right by the palace with several layers of public cheering on! Well-earned medal and supplies at the end. A really cracking event through the ‘Capability Brown’ designed grounds, one to definitely tick off your list if you haven’t done it. Well done BHF. At time of writing the full list of finishers has not appeared on the website so I do not know my position, but my official time was 1:39:05. As I was aiming for under 1:45 I am very pleased with this for a first effort at this distance. Now a couple of days off the gym / running to rest my tired old legs, before getting back to it, as Oxford Half approaches!

HH October 2016


Handicap Race Sue After a last-minute route-change due to ongoing roadworks chaos in Compton High Street, 12 runners took part in the sixth Handicap Race of 2016, with new Handicappers Kirsty and Ben joining 10 regulars. The route used was very similar in length to our usual summer route but was tougher (involving a meandering ascent through the woods, descent down Tom’s Lane, and loop around Shepherds Mount), so everyone was slower than their predicted times. On an evening when Newbury got flooded by torrential rain, we were very lucky to get away with running under big black clouds, with thunder and lightning not far away, but only the occasional spot of rain. There were some close finishes, as Terry secured victory over Kirsty and Richard D took 3rd place. Ben ran well to set the evening’s fastest time, having followed Martin, until Martin pulled a muscle in the woods. Well done Terry, and thanks to Jan for timekeeping. The next race is scheduled for 27th October and should be around the winter Village Lap route (street-lit roads and pavements, 3.09K). Finish Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10= 10= 12

Position on handicap 1 New Runner 2 3 4 New Runner 6 7 10 8 9 5


Start time

Terry Kirsty Richard D Philomena Sue Ben Lucy Colin Martin Mo Helen John

3:35 2:31 2:31 2:50 4:30 5:00 2:56 2:09 4:55 0:29 0:29 0:00

Finish time

Actual time

14:11 14:18 14:22 14:27 14:37 14:46 14:57 15:03 16:42 17:19 17:19 18:58

10:36 11:47 11:51 11:37 10:07 9:46 12:01 12:54 11:47 16:50 16:50 18:58

Handicap Beaten? +0:11 New Runner +0:22 +0:27 +0:37 New Runner +0:57 +1:03 +2:42 +1:19 +2:27 +0:56

Handicap Championship 2016 After six races, the top four positions remain unchanged, with Sue leading ahead of Colin. With the roadworks now completed, hopefully we fit in three more races to complete the Championship in December. Pos.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15= 15= 15=


Sue Colin Aaron Mo Richard D George John Philomena Jonathan Lucy Martin Terry Helen Richard T Kirsty Susanne Ben

HH October 2016

Race 1 10 12 8 9 7 5 6 -

Race 2 10 8 12 8 6 9 5 -

Race 3 8 10 12 10 6 7 5 -


Race 4 10 7 8 12 6 9 -

Race points Race Race 5 6 8 (8) 6 (5) 9 5 (4) 12 10 10 7 7 9 4 6 1 2 1 12 3 3 2 1 1 1

Race 7 -

Race 8 -

Race 9 -

Total of best 5 46 43 41 40 29 28 25 22 18 15 14 13 6 2 1 1 1

Website update… Mo Further to last month's announcement of the date for the 2017 Compton 20 and progress made by our Chairman in the agreement with Sport Systems Ltd., our website has now been updated to provide a live link to the online entry page. Links to race information and postal entry forms have also been updated. Links of interest this month: Following a very enjoyable and successful weekend at the IOW Fell Races, this month's link just has to be Keep on running at 60: I hope you enjoyed the drinking runner's handbook from last month; this month I came across some interesting comments from various running sources on running and its association with age ... especially after you reach the age of 60 years. As several of our longer established members fall into this category, and several more are approaching it, I thought you might like to read about the pros and cons of running at the age of 60+ as described by runners from that age group. Running has many benefits and just because you reach the '60' milestone, that isn't going to change. As we are advised by all the health professionals, exercise is essential for a healthy heart and keeping those extra pounds at bay, although, speaking from experience, that does become more and more challenging with age. In addition, there is the 'feel good' factor to take into account after a particularly good session ... and it does of course provide the ideal excuse for the odd 'pie and a pint’ afterwards. Unfortunately, with the loss of bone and muscle mass as we get older, there are a few negatives such as additional stress on ageing muscles and joints which in turn increases the risk of injury. However, this isn't a reason to stop running, but it does mean that you need to prepare your body to meet the additional challenges! With this in mind, you should try to find time to carry out the following exercises in order to reduce injury risk and continue with the enjoyment of running and its ensuing benefits.  Strength exercises: a couple of sessions a week performing squats, lunges, glute bridges and press-ups will improve the ability of your bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles to support your body and stay healthy. These exercises can dramatically cut your risk of running injuries.  Warm up before you run: simple dynamic exercises such as leg swings and lunges. Then stretch out your hip flexors and quads as you cool down afterwards.  Maintain good running style: avoid over-striding, run upright and stay well hydrated.  Enter regular Parkruns: the free timed 5K runs held nationwide on Saturday mornings are ideal for keeping you active ... or better still run with a club that caters for all ... e.g. Compton Harriers!

Events of Interest – see Website Training & Events Calendar for more details: Sun, 09 Oct: 9:30 Oxford ½ Mthn • Henley ½ Mthn & 10k • 10:00 Muddy Mayhem 5k Obstacle Fun Run 10:00 Ridgeway Run (9.7 miles) • 11:00 Rare 5k, 10k, 1.5k-fun-run Sat, 15 Oct: 10:00 Autumn 100 - Goring Sun, 16 Oct: 9:30 Autumn 100 - Goring • 10:00 New Forest Stinger 10Mile & 5Mile 10:00 Step up 4 Good • Frieth Hilly 10k & 5k 10:30 Swindon ½ Mthn, 5 Mile MT & 2k fun run • 12:30pm Windsor 20,15,10 & 5k Sat, 22 Oct: 10:30 Burnham Beeches 10k & 5k Sun, 23 Oct: 09:00 Abingdon Marathon • 10:00 Water-of-life 10k & ½ Mthn •10:30 Rotary Blenheim 10K & 5K Sun, 30 Oct: 8:30 River Thames ½ Mthn • 10:30 The Stickler (Dorset 3 Peaks) - 10.1miles 10:30 Witchway Revenge ½ Mthn, 10K & 5K Trail Sat, 05 Nov: 10:00 Muddy Mo 10Mile & 10k HH October 2016


Sun, 06 Nov: & 7M Sat, 12 Nov: Sun, 13 Nov: Sat, 19 Nov: Sun, 20 Nov: Sun, 27 Nov: Sun, 04 Dec: Sun, 11 Dec: Sun, 18 Dec: Sat, 07Jan17: Sun, 08 Jan: Sun, 19 Mar: Sat, 08 Apr: Sun, 23 Apr:

OXON XC Round 1 - Newbury • 9:30 Meon Valley Mthn & ½ Mthn • Marlow Striders ½Mthn 9:30 Tough-10-Chilterns (10k) 10:00 Grand-union-canal ½ Mthn 9:00 Windsor & Eton ½ Mthn BBO XC Champs - Reading • 10:00 Chilly 10k • Rugged Radnage 10k • 11:00 Swindon 10k 11:30 Herbert's Hole Challenge 10k 10:30 Avebury 8 (miles) • Eynsham 10k 10:00 Mapledurham Ten (10k & 10miles) 10:30 Andy Reading 10km • 11:00 Tadley 5.2M X-country 10:00 Hooky Christmas Canter ~7miles Berks County XC Champs • 10:30 Gibbet Hangover 10 & 5 miles 10:30 Woodcote 10k Reading Half Marathon 2017 10:00 Compton 20 mile Challenge Virgin Money London Marathon 2017

... remember, if you want to search for more events, just follow our page link for other sources: Finder:

HH October 2016



Compton Harriers monthly newsletter October 2016