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THE HARRIERS HERALD No. 271, September 2015 Editor: Sue Francis

Contents, features, reports, results     

Thursday night schedules for September and October Race results & reports: Great Wilderness Challenge 25 – Jonathan enjoys a tough race in Scotland; Harwell Half – Jonathan and Ryan tackle a tough local race Webmaster’s article – Mo features: links to find new training routes; essential pre-run preparation; list of local and interesting races Thanks to Jonathan and Mo for this month’s articles Copy date for next Harriers Herald – 30th September

Thursday night schedule for September Thurs Thurs Thurs Thurs

3rd 10th 17th 24th

Aaron to lead Nick and Colin to lead run with Team Kennet Jonathan to lead Handicap Race

Thursday night schedule for October Thurs Thurs Thurs Thurs Thurs

1st 8th 15th 22nd 29th

Pete O to lead Sus to lead Lucy to lead Tom to lead Handicap Race

Race Results and Reports Great Wilderness Challenge 25, 15thAugust Jonathan A friend from Edinburgh suggested that I enter the Great Wilderness Challenge 25-mile race, which is held in North West Scotland, to raise money for the local charities. The race meeting is held at Poolewe, but the start is at Corrie Haile (A832) which is near the Dundonnel Hotel. So, up for the challenge, I said “yes”. On the drive on the way to Poolewe there was a storm and it was raining up to Gailoch, which did not bode well for the next day. I met my friends at the Smiddy Hut, which is few 100 meters away from the Dundonnel Hotel. They had prepared an evening race meal consisting of two types of potatoes, lots of vegetables and sausages with homemade gravy. Tucking into this and catching up with each others news, we also discussed the next day’s weather, and my friends assured me that there would be sun with rainy spells. The next day we set off at 7:45am to the village hall to register and collect our race numbers. The weather was indeed sunny and almost calm, apart from the midges, which were in frantic state eating into our skins. There were many people milling around also collecting their numbers. There are four races to take part in: 25 Mile run, 25 Mile walk (following the same route), 13 mile run and a 6 mile run. The walk followed the same as the run, but they had started a lot earlier. This would prove useful as the runners and walkers cheered each other, as we passed each other. Chatting to other runners it was clear that many people had done this many times before and therefore knew what lay ahead. There was free tea and coffee at the start and I had a coffee with a few free chocolate biscuits. We checked that we had the required items, which were waterproof jacket and trousers, map of the race, food, compass and a first aid kit. I changed rucksack, with my friend lending me his spare one as it was a better race model than the one I possessed. The race starts 15 miles down the road from Poolewe village hall, so we were all marched on to the coach that would take us to the start. This was a scenic drive around the coast with the sun shimmering on the sea. We also

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passed a port in which, many years ago while on a sailing holiday, we had tried to dock with a Yacht, but due to stormy weather had to give up and sail on through the night. At the start, the coach stopped and checked everybody off. This was fifteen minutes earlier than the start and so we had to walk around in a haze of midges before they officially started the race. The race organisers draped a tape across the track that led up the first hill, of which there were going to be many. Then, at the allotted time, they started up the bagpipes and released the tape. I was at the back and so started off to overtake people on the way up the hill. This continued for about 1.5 miles until the ascent got steeper and with others I started to walk. When I reached the top of the hill there was a checkpoint with drinks. I had a drink and admired the view from the top. Mountains and the sea dominated the view, of which I had many memories having been up all the mountains in the area. The race continued along the side of the mountain and then eventually leads down a very steep descent. It was here that I started to talk one of the other competitors and he had done this ten times. So I chose to follow him across a very boggy field and then a river, which we ran across with the water up to our knees at the deepest part. Just before this there was checkpoint with drinks and also marshals in midge headgear, which made them looked like Martians. After a few more miles we had to cross another river up to our shins. Running along this river led to a valley which proceeded upwards to a col, where the weather was bellowing a gale and raining, so I stopped at the checkpoint to put my cagoule on and have another drink. The next few miles was a plateau which was pleasant to run along and good as I was at this stage overtaking quite a few walkers. As I started to descend down towards Dubh Loch and Carnmore the rain stopped and the sun came out with a gorgeous view down the valley, where many pictures were taken. The run down valley was at a fast pace and I caught a few of the other runners. At the very bottom of the valley was another checkpoint, which marked the halfway point. Here there was cake, biscuits, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, wine, and whisky was offered. Scoffing ginger cake and drinking hot chocolate and I headed off across the causeway that split Dubh Loch up into two. The next few miles I found hard, as it was slightly uphill and it was starting to rain again. At this point my friend caught me up, we had a chat and he overtook me. The track then went through a pine forest which gave off a pleasant smell, and also a welcome downhill section and protection from the inclement weather. Coming out of the forest there was another checkpoint at which I had half a mars bar and some orange juice. I was now feeling more energised and started running faster than I had been. The last section ran along a tarmacked road for 2-3 miles and the along the river going through Poolewe. At the finish there was a pipe band playing and the time said 5:05 (my friend had taken 4:55, which I was slightly upset about as I would like to have finished below 5 hours). This therefore means I will have to attempt the race next year, any other takers ( In the village hall there were free sandwiches, cake, crisps, fruit and five different types of soups. There was also a shower which altogether helped to revive us. I would certainly recommend the race as the views were awesome, but it is tough, although I am not sure about the mileage as my GPS watch said 22 miles. Also if you wish to post sponsor

At the start of the race, by the sea Loch HH September 2015








Halfway in the race, with Ginger cake and hot chocolate


Harwell Half, 31st August On a very wet Bank Holiday Monday, Jonathan and Ryan completed this new local multi-terrain race, which starts and finishes at Chilton, taking in the Ridgeway, Lands End, Ginge, and East Hendred. Jonathan was 32nd in 1:44:59 and Ryan (who had completed a 100-mile bike ride the previous day) was 45th in 1:47:11. The race was won by Paul Fernandez (Abingdon AC) in 1:17:30, and there were 181 finishers.

Handicap Race Sue After a wet afternoon, we had a decent evening for August’s Handicap Race. Eight runners took part, and positions changed very little during the race, although the field closed in and all finished within 35 seconds. Helen passed Mo in the final straight to secure victory in only her second attempt at the Handicap Race, as she knocked 18 seconds off her previous performance. Dick passed Colin to take 3rd place, but Colin managed to hold off Aaron. Lucy put in a final effort to just stay ahead of Sue, while Martin set the evening’s fastest time. Well done Helen, and thanks to Jan and Tom for timing. The next Handicap Race is scheduled for Thursday 24th September, and will be the last one around the summer route this year. Finish Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Position on handicap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8


Start time

Helen Mo Dick Colin Aaron Lucy Sue Martin

Finish time

Actual time

15:42 15:47 15:52 15:57 15:58 16:03 16:04 16:17

14:13 15:24 10:43 11:34 9:35 10:53 9:31 9:22

1:29 0:23 5:09 4:23 6:23 5:10 6:33 6:55

Handicap Beaten? -0:18 -0:13 -0:08 -0:03 -0:02 +0:03 +0:04 +0:17

Handicap Championship 2015 With Nitish now located in Pirbright, and unsure if he will make it to any further Handicap Races, he is hoping he already has a big enough points score to take the Championship title this year! Well, he is still safe at present, although Aaron has now narrowed Nitish’s lead to 11 points, while Martin and Dick share 3rd position. Pos.

Name Race 1

1 2 3= 3= 5 6 7 8= 8= 8= 11 12 13 14= 14=

Nitish Aaron Martin Dick George Colin Mo Jonathan Sue Lucy Helen Richard D Pete O Kevin Richard T

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10 12 5 6 9 8 7 -

Race 2 12 10 9 5 8 7 4 3 6 -

Race 3 12 8 10 5 4 7 (3) 6 9 -

Race 4 10 9 7 12 5 8 6 4 1 -


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

7 4 9 8 10 5 6 12 -

Race 7

Race 8

Race 9




Total of best 5 52 41 35 35 34 32 28 27 27 27 13 12 6 1 1

Website update… Mo Just a couple of changes to mention since last month's update: I have made it easier to access the training calendar and the club night training routes pages by adding direct links on the home page. Links of interest this month If you are looking for a training route that has already been mapped out for you, then of course there is the link on the Harriers website that will take you to a selection of local routes. However, there is a very useful route finder available at ... just type in your postcode and you're there! My tips for this month: Essential pre-run preparations:  Hydrate: little and often a couple of hours in advance is far more effective than downing a large    

bottle of water just before setting out. Drinking too much at once can cause a stitch. Dynamic stretch: Doing a quick warm up or dynamic stretching exercises before you set out helps to reduce the strain on your muscles. (Stretching after your run will also reduce soreness). A rest day between runs will give your body time to recover and heal in order to produce improved endurance, speed and strength on your next run. Fuel: Ensure your body has a good ratio of carbs to protein as well as fat to sugar before and after your run. Plan your route and, to keep up motivation, aim to beat your previous time or run further.

Events of Interest – see Website Training & Events Calendar for more details: Sun, 6 Sept: 08:30 Newbury Triathlon • 09:30 Maidenhead ½ Marathon • 11:00 Earth Trust 10k Sat, 12 Sept: Mountain Bike Ridgeway Challenge Sun, 13 Sept: 45th Chiltern Marathon • 10:30 Pangbourne 10k • Swallowfield 10k, Duathlon & 3k 11:00 Rutherford Appleton 10k & 5k Sat, 19 Sept: Hereford Festival of Sport Sun, 20 Sept: Hereford Festival of Sport • 10:30 Marlborough 'Temple Trail' ½ Mthn Sat, 26 Sept: IOW Fell Series 2015 Sun, 27 Sept: IOW Fell Series 2015 • 10:30 Pewsey vale trail ½ Mthn • 10:30 Highclere Castle 10k Sun, 4 Oct: 09:00 Reading O2O 10K • 10:30 Clarendon Mthn & ½Mthn • Blenheim Palace ½ & 10k 11:00 Hanney 5 Sun, 11 Oct: 09:30 Henley ½ Mthn & 10k • 10:00am Oxford ½ Mthn • Ridgeway Run 15k (Trail) Sun, 18 Oct: 09:00 Abingdon Marathon • 10:00 Frieth Hilly 10k • 10:00 Tadley Runners 10 Mile 10:30 Fairoaks 5mile & 10mile Sat, 24 Oct: 09:00 Beachy Head Marathon & 10k Sun, 25 Oct: 10:00 The Stickler 10.1miles (MT) • Water of Life ½ & 10K (Bisham Abbey) Sat, 31 Oct: 09:30 Burnham Beeches 10k & 5k Sat, 7 Nov: 10:30 Thames Meander Half & Full Marathon Sun, 22 Nov: 10:00 9Bar Chilly 10K (Castle Combe) Sun, 29 Nov: 10:00 Mapledurham Ten - 10k & 10 Miles Sun, 6 Dec: 11:00 Tadley Runners Xmas XC 5.2 Sun, 20 Dec: 10:00 Muddy Welly 10K & 5k Trail Mon, 28 Dec: 10:00 Gut Buster 2015 - 10k & 10 Miles

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Compton Harriers monthly newsletter - Sept 2015