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THE HARRIERS HERALD No. 300, February 2018 Editor: Sue Francis

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

Thursday night schedules for February and March Membership renewal reminder Ridgeway Relay – desperately seeking a Harriers Team Captain! Race results and reports – Wintercross Ultra 50K; Oxford Mail x-country Race 3; Woodcote 10K; Rough ‘n Tumble; Abingdon 10K; Farnborough Half Marathon Handicap Race – Mike starts the series with a win, as Matt sets fastest time Webmaster’s article – Mo features: Treadmill training; benefits of plan training; and a list of forthcoming races Thanks to Terry, Mo and Darren for this month’s contributions

Thursday night schedule for February Thurs Thurs Thurs Thurs

1st 8th 15th 22nd

Richard D to lead Philomena lead Handicap Race Vince to lead

Thursday night schedule for March Note: on highlighted evenings, there are events on at Downs School which will affect parking; alternative meeting place for run start would be preferable Thurs 1st Lucy to lead Thurs 8th Aaron lead th Thurs 15 Jonathan to lead Thurs 22nd Sue to lead Thurs 29th Handicap Race

CH membership reminder Thanks to those who have already renewed their membership for 2018. A reminder for those who have yet to do so: membership renewals are now due! The updated form (in Word and PDF) can be downloaded directly from our website (Please 'Refresh' or 'Reload' web page to ensure latest updated forms are displayed). You can also check out our Club Rules and Code of Conduct etc, to which you are agreeing when signing the Membership Form. Please give or post your completed form to our Membership Secretary, Jonathan. Payment should preferably be either by bank transfer or cheque (details on membership form) as it makes it easier to trace who has paid. If paying by bank transfer, please ensure you reference your payment with your name, and also send an email to Jonathan, Pete Humphreys (Treasurer) and Sue (Secretary) to confirm you have paid.

Ridgeway Relay 2018 No one has yet volunteered to take over the role of Team Captain / Organiser for Compton Harriers’ Ridgeway Relay team for 2018. Compton Harriers have now received our invitation to take part in the Relay, which is on Sunday 17th June. The Ridgeway Relay began in 1991, and Compton Harriers have taken part every year since 1993, when we finished 2nd. In 1994 the Harriers team won the Relay and set a record (for the ‘old’ course), and finished 2nd again in 1995. The event then got bigger, with many more larger clubs taking part. In recent years, we have consistently finished about 15th out of 40-ish teams, an excellent record for such a small club. This is always a really enjoyable team day out. It would be a great shame if we didn’t enter this year because we had no one to organise our team. Please let Richard D know if you would like to take this on. He is happy to provide advice and guidance. See for more information.

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Race Results and Reports Wintercross Ultra 50K, Meonstoke, Hants, 28th December Terry A nice race with amazing scenery and a very friendly welcoming atmosphere, a four legged 'cross' shaped route with out and back legs which have you coming back through the central check-point and race HQ each time as you head out for the next section, rather like a smaller scale of the Autumn 100, there are options for 50k - 3 legs (31.5 miles) or 4 legs (45 miles)...3 legs was plenty! Aid stations and checkpoints were well manned and stocked with goodies galore, even pigs in blankets at 20k! and hot soup at the finish. The early morning walk to race HQ from the carpark, with the need for a head torch, was a first for me and the 7:30am race start was rather chilly to say the least, but after a few miles I defrosted and settled in. The snow and icy conditions made for tough going as some of the tracks were very chewed up, lumpy and frozen solid rendering them un-runnable in places especially downhill. Short sections of lanes and private driveways were a welcome 'flat' break underfoot but super skiddy on ice patches which led to a few comedy 'bambi on ice' moments, me grabbing the nearest runner for support only to be grabbed by somebody else and nearly all ending up in a for artistic merit! I have run slightly further before at Marlborough 33 a few years back but the hills and cold, not to mention the lack of preparation this time, made this experience far tougher for me. I cramped at around 18 miles (was expecting this) plodded along between the bouts that stopped me completely and finished on legs I must have borrowed from the Tin Man. All in all, an enjoyable but pretty tough event I have to say, the medal however is the biggest I've ever seen and very festive. (Photo with pound coin for scale!) 6:14:50 finish time, 15th in age group, 59th of 128 finishers.

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Oxfordshire x-country League Race 3, Adderbury, 7th January Sue The first race of 2018 was held at Bo Peep Caravan Park, Adderbury. It was run on a testing course, which had a bit of everything: a sticky ploughed field, grass tracks between neat hedges, a nicely-mown camping field, a muddy track alongside a stream, and a lot of small hills. There were some tricky sections where we were running into a strong wind and the full sun, making it difficult to see through watering eyes! As this event also incorporated the Oxfordshire County cross-country champs, there were more runners than usual. The ladies race was won by league-leader Issy Fry of Newbury (25:15). But Compton Harriers Jess (also running for Newbury, her first claim club) had an excellent race as she pushed Issy all the way to the end, finishing 2nd in 25:16. I had a good battle with Team Kennet’s Helen Preedy: I was 38th in 29:17, with Helen one position and 4 seconds ahead. Unfortunately, there was no third runner to complete the team. The men’s race was won by Jonathan Cornish (White Horse Harriers) in 31:12. Team Kennet’s first finisher was Callum O’Neill, who finished an excellent 8th (32:56). This was Vince’s first x-country league race, and he ran very well to finish 131st (40:23). Ben (155th, 41:45) was closely followed by Darren (158th, 41:59), and Colin completed the team in 277th (53:35). Team Kennet men’s team finished a much-improved 2nd in Division 3. See: for all of Mo’s photos

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Woodcote 10K, 14th January Conditions were good for the Woodcote 10K. Martin was 29th (42:46) and Lucy 220th (53:13). The race winners were Chris Lucas (RRR, 35:53), and Amber Gascoigne (unattached, 38:47), and there were 447 finishers.

Photos by Barry Cornelius (

Rough ‘n Tumble 10M, 14th January Darren So, the first time I have done this race, but I’d heard good things from other club members and, as a few of us were doing it, seemed like it was going to be a jolly good CH day out. The event is held in the vale of Pewsey, Wiltshire. I left in plenty of time and, following the sat nav, found the location with no issues, plenty of stewards and good parking. The car park field is not located at the start and is a 5 - 10 minute walk away from it and the various tents and facilities. I collected my race number; the timing chip is attached to this. They already had a BBQ going together with vast numbers of cakes, for which the race is famed. So, I go to my usual moan: toilets. But I have no moan to make, a line of quality portaloos greeted me. I think they probably got a bit busy later on but only to be expected. So good stuff Rough ‘n Tumble. The whole event was very well organised and very well marshalled, it’s a great credit to the organisers. In fact, I would say the health and safety talk at the start was the most amusing and entertaining I had heard, with one exception: Compton Harriers name was not called out, much to my disappointment as I was poised for a big Dazza shout out. Anyway, to the race. Ryan and Mike had shuffled their way toward the sharp end of the pack, whilst I, Sue F and Sus took up more mid positions, with Colin a little further back and, to be quite frank, I had no idea where Jonathan had positioned himself. Off we went, I found that initially through the village it was quite crowded, and I got quite baulked but it soon opened up once we left the village. I found myself running near Sue F; having passed her I could literally hear her behind me until we hit the first hill. Hill, I thought? Ryan told me this was a flat course. Surely he wouldn’t have misled me? And hills there were! Lots of them! Underfoot wasn’t too bad, not too wet at all, and my brand new Inov8 shoes had no issues. I got locked into some cracking little battles along the way. Strangely enough, having spoken to them before the start, I had a race-long battle with three guys from Swindon Striders. So back to those hills: I came at speed down this embankment suddenly having to turn very hard left and virtually unable to stop, I was faced with an almost hands-and-knees-hill, with a sign saying ‘This is not a hill’. As I emerged over the top of this I was faced with the view of a short downhill section followed by what can only be described as K2. Now with signs saying ‘This is the hill’. The air around me at that point probably turned blue with bad language. Anyway, with the Swindon Striders, pretty much on hands and knees up we went. There was a great view at HH February 2018


the top and along the escarpment. As I moved into the later stages of the race I became bothered by a chap from Highworth RC breathing down my neck, eventually I managed to break him and he dropped off. I made a bit of a push to get back on terms with Swindon Striders, got one of them in the last field, and ran in with the other two, supported by the very vocal calls of Ryan and Mike. A brilliant race, one to tick off if you haven’t done it. Well organised and great fun. Some of us met up afterwards at the George & Dragon at Upton, for a well-deserved meal and beer! So how did we get on? Out of 514 finishers we came: Ryan 16th 1:15:58 Mike 18th 1:16:30 Darren 65th 1:25:08 Sue F 90th 1:29:56 Sus E 158th 1:37:02 Jonathan 245th 1:45:10 Colin 342nd 1:55:50 Photos courtesy of Mo and Darren see for all photos

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Abingdon 10K, 21st January On a bitterly cold and windy day, where runners were faced with sleet and snow showers, Mike completed this MCC Promotions race in 40:39, an excellent 12th place out of 201 competitors.

Farnborough Winter Half, 21st January The weather was horrible for the Farnborough Half, but this didn’t deter Vince and Charlotte who both set great PBs, proving their marathon training is going really well! Vince clocked 1:30:20 for 136th place, while Charlotte broke 2 hours for the first time (1:58:00, 931st). The race winners were Max Costley (Southampton) in 1:12:12 and Philippa Williams (unattached) in 1:18:39, and there were 1499 finishers.

Handicap Race The first race of the 2018 Handicap series took place on a cool drizzly evening, when Compton’s streets seemed to be darker than usual. Terry brought along his daughter’s boyfriend, Matt, who we’d heard was a rather useful runner. So, I made sure he started last! Mike really went for it, determined to set a PB. He achieved this, and also won the race with a 15-second victory. Matt ran hard, chasing Mike, and was rewarded with the evening’s fastest time. Behind them, Vince and Darren also had a great battle. Vince just broke 12 minutes for the first time, and Darren also set a PB. Mo ran his fastest time since last spring, to finish 3rd on handicap. Well done also to Dick, who has resumed more regular running and ran the course on his own, before helping Jan to time-keep for the race. Finish Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

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


Start time

Finish time

Actual time

Mike Matt Vince Darren Aaron Lucy Sue Kirsty Ben Colin Mo Dick

6:47 18:27 7:14 18:42 6:57 18:56 6:54 19:00 6:12 19:02 4:02 19:04 6:26 19:09 5:40 19:12 7:14 19:23 3:30 19:57 0:21 20:57 Self-timed run before race

11:40 11:28 11:59 12:06 12:50 15:02 12:43 13:32 12:09 16:27 20:36 16:32

Handicap Beaten? -0:33 New Runner -0:04 0:00 +0:02 +0:04 +0:09 +0:12 +0:23 +0:57 -0:03 New Runner

Handicap Championship After the first race, Mike has the lead, ahead of Vince and Mo. Pos.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12


Mike Vince Mo Darren Aaron Lucy Sue Kirsty Ben Colin Matt Dick

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

Race 2 -

Race 3 -


Race 4 -

Race points Race Race 5 6 -

Race 7 -

Race 8 -

Race 9 -

Total of best 5 12 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 1

Website update… Mo Have you tried the 'treadmill' experience outlined in last month's link? I managed a session on a very wet day as it seemed an ideal opportunity to follow my own suggestion. Not only was it very wet when I wanted to go out, but it was cold as well so, with a treadmill sitting idly in the garage, I thought it was time to clear a space and have a go! As I'm not a regular treadmill runner, I did find it rather awkward to build up a rhythm at first, but I persevered and gradually managed to turn my somewhat annoying 'jumping' style into a smoother more natural run! If you haven't tried out a treadmill recently then, as the article states, you may find it ideal for your speed workouts ... especially if it's cold and wet outside! The link again is

This month's article: The Plank (a simple exercise to strengthen muscles & tone your core) In order to boost metabolism, your heart rate has to be raised to a certain level, but when you’re only working one muscle at a time, it’s almost impossible to increase your heart rate significantly to maximize calorie burn. To slim down and tone up fast, you need to do exercises that stimulate as many muscles as possible at the same time. The plank is a simple exercise that doesn’t require any equipment or even a trip to the gym ... you can do it in the comfort of your own home! Planks can boost metabolism, burn more calories and also help you to become more flexible. The front-facing plank engages the following upper and lower body areas: abdominals, lower back, chest, shoulders and neck (trapezius muscles), biceps, triceps, glutes, thighs, and calves. Side planking is particularly effective for training your obliques (sides of abdomen), which really helps stabilize your spine, whilst the reverse plank places the focus on your glutes, hamstrings, abs, and lower back. However, in addition to the more familiar front plank, there are also additional benefits of doing the reverse plank, such as improvement in posture, arm strength and balance. You only need to hold the plank position for 20 - 30 seconds at a time maximum. However, when performing a reverse plank, you might at first find it difficult to keep your hips raised, so try modifying your position by lowering onto your elbows and forearms instead of your hands.

Try starting a routine slowly, with 2 or 3 reps of 30-second planks in the forward position (with approximately 45 seconds rest between reps), followed by the same in the reverse position. You will experience the 'burn' straight away! As you get stronger, you can increase the time and reps to best suit your fitness level. How to do Reverse Plank: o Sit down on the floor with hips flexed and knees and legs extended straight in front of you. o Place hands behind hips, slightly wider than shoulders, with palms flat and fingers spread. o Lean back 45-degrees, keep hands behind hips, almost in line with shoulders. o Support your body weight with your hands and heels as you lift your hips. o Bring up your torso, legs, and thighs until you have created a straight-line plank position. o Squeeze your abdomen and focus on pulling it in as you push upwards. o Hold this position for 30 seconds.

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Links of interest this month: (General list at: If you want to stay injury-free then you may be interested in this blog I found on .... On the same subject, another interesting article will guide in the right direction for 2018 ...

Events Calendar Summary – see Website for full details:








( Sat, 03: Sun, 04: Sun, 11: Sat, 17: Sun, 18: Sun, 25: Sat, 03: Sun, 04: Sat, 10: Sun, 11: Sun, 18: Sun, 25: Fri, 30: Sun, 08: Sat, 14: Sun, 15: Sun, 22: Sun, 29: Sat, 05: Sun, 06: Mon, 07: Wed, 09: Sun, 13: Sun, 20: Sat, 26: Sun, 27 Sun, 03: Sun, 10: Sat, 16: Sun, 17: Sun, 01: Thu, 05: Sun, 08: Sat, 14: Sun, 15: Fri, 27: Sat, 25: Sun, 26:

Thames Trot Ultra 50 11:20 Oxford Mail XC League Round 4 (Swindon) • Lungbuster 2018 - 9 miles XC 10:00 The Wiltshire 10 • 10:30 Bramley 20ml & 10ml Road Races 12:20 Dorney Lake Winter Half Marathon ½ Mthn, 5k, 10k & 15k 10:00am Wokingham ½ Mthn 09:00 Brighton Half Marathon • 10:30 The Terminator (12 miles XC) 07:30 Lulworth Cove Trail -10K, ½ Mthn, Mthn & Ultra 11:20 Oxford Mail XC League Round 5 (Farmoor) • Goring 10k 10:45 Deep River Trail ½ Mthn & 10k Barcelona Marathon • MK ½ Mthn & Festival Of Running Reading ½ Marathon • Ridge Off Roader • 10:30 34th Hastings ½ Mthn • 12:30 Windsor & Eton 5k, 10k & 15k 09:00 Yeovil ½ Marathon • 10:00 OX5 Run • 14:00 Combe Gibbet 2018 - 16miles 09:30 Maidenhead Easter 10 White Horse ½ Mthn • 08:30 Thames Towpath 10 • 09:30 Baildon Boundary Way (Trail ½Mthn) • Devizes Half Mthn 12:30 Thames Valley Spring ½ Mthn, 5k, 10k & 15k The Brighton Marathon • 09:00 Woodley 10k • 10:30 Chedworth Roman Trail 10 ml 09:00 Southampton Mthn, ½ Mthn, 10k & 1ml fun run • 10:00 Virgin Money London Marathon 11:00 Ciderthon ½ Mthn 11:00 Oxford Greenbelt 10k 08:30 North Dorset Village Mthn & Relay 09:30 Shinfield 10k • 10:00 MK Mthn, ½ Mthn, Mthn Relay (Team of 4) • 12:00 Chalgrove Festival 10k 19:30 Silverstone 10k 09:00 Henley ½ Mthn & 10km Trail Runs • 10:00 Hairy Legs XC Challenge • 10:00 Oxford Town & Gown 10K 08:30 Royal Windsor ½ Mthn & 10k River Trail Runs • 09:45 Wallingford Thames Run 10k & 5k 10:30 Royal Berkshire 10K • Windermere Marathon Grand Union Canal 145ml 10:00 Newbury 10k • 11:00 Dauntsey 10k 08:30 Windsor 10k River Trail Run • 10:00 Chiltern Chase 15.4K, 10K, 5.4K 10:00 Downland Dash 10k 10:00 Ridgeway Revenge ½ Mthn & 10K 07:30 29th Ridgeway Relay 09:30 Beat the Boat 10k 19:30 Thames 10km, 5km and 3km at Beale Park 10:00 Run Wexham 5k, 10k & Fun Mile Race to the stones Race to the stones Kennet & Avon 145-mile Canal Race Leeds & Liverpool 130-mile Canal Race • Ridgeway Challenge 86 Miles Leeds & Liverpool 130-mile Canal Race • Ridgeway Challenge 86 Miles • 11:00 Englefield 10k

For more events, see online Calendar or follow link for other sources: Finder

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Compton Harriers Monthly Newsletter


Compton Harriers Monthly Newsletter