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THE HARRIERS HERALD No. 292, June 2017 Editor: Sue Francis

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

Thursday night schedules for June and July Compton Annual Relay – preliminary information Race results and brief reports – Cragside 10K, Silverstone 10K, Marlborough Downs Challenge, Welford & Wickham 10K, Boundary Run & Walk, Hairy Legs Challenge, Bayer Newbury 10K Bob Graham Round – Kirsty reports on her gallant attempt at this Lake District Challenge Webmaster’s article – Mo features: Compton Harriers’ 2017 charity donation; race listing websites; inspirational tips from a winning lady; and forthcoming local and interesting races Thanks to Darren, Kirsty and Mo for this month’s contributions

Thursday night schedule for June Thurs Thurs Thurs Thurs Thurs

1st 8th 15th 22nd 27th

Kirsty to lead Aaron to lead Handicap Race Run with Team Kennet (Colin & Nick leading) Sue to lead

Thursday night schedule for July Thurs Thurs Thurs Thurs

6th 13th 20th 27th

Tim to lead Compton Relay – see below for more information Lucy to lead Darren to lead

Compton Relay Sue The annual Relay will take place on the evening of Thursday 13th July starting at 5:30 pm from the Downlands Sports Centre, and there will be no ‘normal’ Club run scheduled for that day. The route (which will be the same as last year) is a 2.53 Km (1.6 miles) multi-terrain loop starting and finishing in the Downs School playing field. Each runner in the 4-person team will complete 1 lap. The start will be handicapped so all teams should have a similar chance of winning, and there will be a trophy for the winning team. All competitors and their supporters will be welcome at East Ilsley Swan pub for a barbecue in the pub garden (from 19:30). The trophy will be presented to the winning team at the barbecue. Please let me know if you’d like to form a team or would like more information. Also, if you don’t wish to run but would be prepared to assist Jan with the time-keeping, or to help as a marshal or first-aider. More details will follow by e-mail.

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Race Reports and Results Cragside 10K, 1st April Pete O completed this challenging 10K on a private road that circles the Cragside Estate, a National Trust property in Northumberland. Pete was 136th in 48:16. The race winner was James Taylor (Morpeth Harriers, 34:09) and there were 632 finishers.

Silverstone 10K, 2nd May Jonathan went up to this evening event with some work colleagues. Jonathan finished 287th in 44:23. The race winner was Michael Aldridge (Wootton Road Runners) in 33:30 and there were 1219 finishers.

Marlborough Downs Challenge, 6th May Five Harriers completed the 20-mile route of this trail race event. The course includes some stunning scenery, including the Wansdyke Path, Tan Hill Way, White Horse Trail, Mid Wilts Way, Vale of Pewsey West Woods, and two of the highest points in Wiltshire. Martin had a great run to finish 10th (2:26:53), while Sus broke her FV50 rival and finished 22nd (3rd lady) in 2:43:48, Philomena was 40th (2:56:51), Terry 50th (3:04:28) and Lucy 86th (3:21:12). The race winners were Michael Gaylard (Pewsey, 2:17:25) and Holly Rush (Avon Valley Runners, 2:20:53), and there were 161 finishers.

Welford & Wickham 10K, 7th May Darren I was trying to get in a few more competitive races before the summer, when I know I am going to have little time at weekends. I noticed this local event, that took place on Sunday 7th May at Welford Park, seemed quite well organised judging by the website, so I entered. It was a warm day and I was struggling a bit with my knee injury, so with K tape in place, off I went. The event had plenty of car parking, with a couple of parking attendants waving their arms about. The parking field was about 4-5 minutes’ walk from the actual venue. The venue was amongst some barns and farm buildings, quick and easy registration, coffee and food stalls available, and a large barrel BBQ lit. Toilets were a selection of portaloos inside one of the barns, sufficient but apparently far more for the ladies than men. This could be partly explained as they had a urinal facility but hardly ideal if you had been to the local Indian the night before. Anyway, I shall stop ranting about toilets. The 10k was the main event, following a fun run and a 2.5k race. At the start, the owner of the estate took the microphone and gave a few posh words to motivate one, then blew the hooter and off we went. We started off downhill, but this didn’t last, doing a small circuit before passing the start-finish straight again, then out into the countryside. Most of this was very pretty, and underfoot was all very dry with a combination of tracks and fields. Some was alongside the M4 which we went over, then a short time later under. The course is very ‘off road’ and was much more undulating than I had anticipated. It was well marshalled, with water stops and decent signing. It was a much tougher course than I had anticipated, certainly not one to try and get a PB at. I enjoyed it though - a nice local, friendly event, with cheering crowds at the end, and a goody bag of sorts, thrown into your hand. I would do it again; if you like an off-roader 10k then it’s well worth a go. I finished in 45:50, which placed me 24th out of 176 finishers. It’s also worth mentioning that they take plenty of photos and you can view them on the internet, but to buy a complete one is £5 a go. So I didn’t. HH June 2017


Boundary Run & Walk, 11th May A total of 49 people and 1 dog completed the full route by running or walking - probably the largest ever field in the 43-year history of the event! Conditions were perfect for most of the race but, although the later rain was quite refreshing for competitors, it made things very difficult for Jan, Dick and Simon who were timekeeping. We adopted this version of the Boundary Route in 2016. This year, all the winning times beat the 2016 winning times, so four new course records were set – 1st man and lady in the run, and 1st man and lady in the walk. Simon B was the fastest walker for the eighth successive year, and took over a minute off his 2016 time. Jennifer (from Ridgeway Biologicals) was first lady walker. In the Run, Simon Adams (Newbury Runners) clocked 53:43 to take 42 seconds off the course record. Dave Wright (Newbury AC) was 2nd, and Tim triumphed in a sprint finish to take 3rd. In the ladies race, Sue defended her title and took 36 seconds off her own course record, with Philomena 2nd lady, and Lisa Martin (Harwell Harriers) 3rd. Many thanks again to all those Harriers and friends who helped to make the evening a success: Gillian, Uwe, Jan, Dick, Simon, Helen, Mo, Kyle, Ryan, Gerry, Emma and Colin. And thanks to Kim, Richard, Ken and team at Ilsley Swan for welcoming us all to an excellent BBQ. For full results, and all of Mo’s photos, see:

Hairy Legs Challenge, 14th May Darren Another new event for me, this one coming highly recommended from our own Jeremy, as he is involved in the organisation and running of it. Sue F was also helping out. The event itself is very family-orientated, with several events for budding young runners (‘little legs’ and ‘teenage kicks’) before the main Hairy Legs starts. The event village is located at Sheepcot Field near Goring railway station. One word of warning: there is no parking at this event, so you need to park within Goring. I arrived early and got a place at the railway station, which was ideal. A well-equipped and very busy event village, with pretty much anything you need. You can enter the Hairy Legs as a relay or as solo. It is twice round the course if you run it on your own, as I did. Each circuit is about 6k, so an approximately 12k race. My Strava recorded the total distance as 7.6M. The course starts at the main gate of Sheepcot Field, then takes you straight out into the countryside. A very long and very tough hill awaited me, though I found it quite a good place to overtake as we all struggled for air. Then, following a couple of farm tracks, the route takes you into and through some woodland, a little slippery in places, then once back out into the open, a little up and down, before a very fast downhill section which takes you back to Sheepcot Field. A good fast run along the field before reaching a circular fenced obstacle, which cannot be taken too fast due to the tightness of the turn. Then, to cheering crowds, you must jump 3 lines of hay bales; I was desperate not to trip up right in front of the crowd, and thankfully didn’t! Then, if you are not doing the relay, do it all again. This is a really different event, very family-orientated, and a lot of fun. I had quite a decent battle with a couple or three other runners throughout the race and finished 20th out of 137 solo finishers with 57:56. Thanks to Sue, Mo and Jeremy for cheering me on.

Darren’s ‘just-finished’ selfie is photo-bombed by cycling supporter Giles and his daughter were 5th in the Parent-Teen Relay team category (Photo by Mo) HH June 2017


Bayer Newbury 10K, 28th May On a hot morning, Ben finished in 42:45 (30th), Vince 43:30 (39th) and Colin 56:22 (370th). There were 807 finishers, and the race winners were Julien Lhomme (Headington RR, 37:58) and Hannah Claydon (Swindon Harriers, 39:48).

Bob Graham Round Kirsty The Bob Graham Round is a running challenge which entails completing a circular route, taking in 42 peaks in the Lake District in under 24 hours. This involves around 8,200m of ascent and a distance of approximately 66 miles. Runners can attempt it whenever they want and they can go clockwise or anticlockwise, so long as they set off from the Moot Hall in Keswick and return there within 24 hours. I’d been thinking about attempting the BGR for several years and finally decided that this was the year. I spent many weekends doing recces of the route, studying the map, reading everything I could about it, and of course testing out kit. Being the Lake District most of the recces were done with very little visibility (or in ‘the clag’, as Cumbrians say), a lot of time was spent up to my knees in bogs and the waterproofs got a very thorough test. The recces also showed that this was going to be a very difficult challenge. The relentless ups and downs, the often-tricky conditions underfoot (wet rock, scree, bog, bracken etc) and the continual stopping to check the map made for slow progress. The other challenge was the logistics involved. There are only 4 places on the whole route that are accessible by car, so if you need water, food, or a change of clothes/shoes you need to arrange for people to meet you. It’s also necessary to have a witness at each summit, to confirm that you were there (you also fill out a log as you go), so you really need a whole team of people in place to accompany you on each leg and to provide support and ferry your accompanying runners around. As the day of our attempt approached, the Lake District had been enjoying weeks of uncharacteristically good weather. Hooray! But the forecast didn’t look great. We set off at midnight on a Friday night (the logic being that we would hit the trickiest parts of the round in the daylight) in fairly balmy conditions with our accompanying runner for the first leg, Jacob. About an hour later we found ourselves at the top of the first summit, Skiddaw, with the clag closing in and the rain coming down. Well, at least we were used to this sort of weather from our recces. By the time we got to our third summit, Blencathra, it was so foggy that it was hard to find the cairn to identify the summit. In fact, it was quite hard to see your feet. Unsurprisingly this led to a few navigational issues and we lost a bit of time trying to find the right path (and falling over). Once we’d dropped down from Blencathra to the first road crossing (about 12 miles in) we said goodbye to Jacob and hello to our support crew for the next section – Martin and Lucy. We were a little bit behind schedule but we felt quite optimistic at this point – it had stopped raining, it was getting light and Lucy had chairs, cups of tea and food for us! After a short stop, we all set off up Clough Head, a fairly long and steep climb. It was really fun at this point as we were chatting away and it was fairly warm again. Once we reached the summit Lucy headed back down so that she could get back to the car and be ready to meet us at the end of the next section, and Martin was in charge of keeping us on the right track, both literally and metaphorically.

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The next few summits passed quite quickly and Martin was the model pacer. I would use my walking poles going up the hill, then when I didn’t need them any more Martin would carry them for me. He took care of a lot of the navigating, he encouraged us to eat and drink and cajoled us when we needed cajoling. Then, as the weather started to close in again and the temperature dropped, he whipped a pair of gloves out before my hands got cold. I’d definitely recommend getting a Martin for any tough races you have coming up. Unfortunately, the weather really closed in again on this stage. By the time we got to Helvellyn (summit 11) it was pretty grim. Once we reached Fairfield (summit 14) it was hammering down, blowing a gale, we were really cold and I’d have gladly paid good money just to get off that mountain. We fell further and further behind schedule, and it became obvious that this wasn’t going to be our day. We descended off the last summit in that section to find Lucy waiting for us with bacon and egg sandwiches and hot tea. I can’t think of anything I wanted more at that moment, and likewise I can’t think of a better crew than Martin and Lucy. I can’t thank them enough for getting up at an ungodly hour, spending many hours in the rain and looking after us so well. We plan to have another go at the BGR later in the year and I think that a few Harriers might be interested in doing a joint attempt.


A record turn-out for Susanne’s ‘farewell run’ (Photo from Darren)

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Website update… Mo More news on the Charity Donation: Following the successful outcome of this year's Compton Downland Challenge, arrangements have now been finalised to present a £1000 cheque to our chosen charity, The Memory Clinic at Hillcroft House, adjacent to Newbury Community Hospital. The charity donation was suggested by Jan Kearn and her sister Sarah, in memory of the many years voluntary service their mum (Daphne Allen) gave to Compton Harriers' Downland Challenge. Daphne was a fixture when it came around to Race Registration every year, ensuring that names and numbers matched the entry list and things ran as smoothly as possible. Daphne attended the Memory Clinic and, in view of the excellent treatment she received, Jan & Sarah would like others affected by dementia to benefit in some way from our donation. I have been in contact with the Service Manager who has now confirmed the money will be 'ringfenced' so that it can be used for the benefit of the clinic, rather than disappearing somewhere within the NHS funding system! On Thursday, 8th June, Sue and I will call in to hand over the cheque and take a photo for next month's Herald. Links of interest this month: Can't find a suitable race listed on our Web Calendar? Then check out the Links page at which has a list of 22 sites to choose from! If you are looking for something in particular, such as an Ultra run, Marathon, Triathlon, Duathlon, Open Water Swim, Swimrun, Aquathlon, Cycling Sportive etc, then the one-stop shop that covers all and has an excellent search facility is There is no need to sign up for a free account to use the site unless you want to make a shortlist of events to share with others or wish to receive regular email updates and links to various running-related articles. Inspirational tips from a winning lady: As most of you will know, Sue F is a winning lady in our club and it's through her association with Reading AC, her first claim club, that I have become acquainted with many of her RAC lady colleagues and I would like to mention one in particular who has performed exceptionally well over the past couple of years, culminating in a winning performance in this year's London Marathon. This winning lady is Anna Boniface who was the first non-professional female to finish and therefore the first lady in the Championship race, and 5th British lady overall in a time of 2:37:07. Her blog is a pleasure to read at and it is especially inspiring to read her top tips on exercise and sport: Anna’s Top 5 Tips: o Choose a form of exercise that you enjoy. If it doesn’t make you smile at the end, find something that does. Exercise and sport is fun! o Finding something you can do with others provides a great incentive, it’s a lot more enjoyable when you have company and there’s a sense of camaraderie at completing something together. o

Make sure the activity you choose fits into your routine and that you can commit to it, as you’ll be more likely to stick to it.


Nothing gets me out the door quicker for a run than a fresh pair of trainers! It’s good to have the right clothing and footwear that’s comfortable for the activity and it can make you feel more confident too, so treat yourself to some new kit. Set yourself a goal. You need something to keep you motivated. Tell everyone about it, stick it to the fridge, and commit to achieving it. It might be completing a parkrun, or running a marathon, but make it meaningful to you.


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Events of Interest – see Website Training & Events Calendar for full details:

Sat, 03: Sun, 04: Wed, 07: Sat, 10: Sun, 11: Wed, 14: Sat, 17: Sun, 18: Sat, 24: Sun, 25: Sat, 01: Sun, 02: Sun, 09: Sat, 15: Sun, 16: Wed, 19: Sun, 23: Fri, 28: Sun, 30: Sat, 05: Sun, 06: Fri, 11: Sat, 12: Sun, 13: Sun, 20: Sat, 26: Sun, 27: Sun, 10: Fri, 15: Sat, 16: Sun, 17: Sat, 23: Sun, 24: Sun, 01: Sun, 08: Sun, 22:

14:00 38th Otmoor Challenge ½-Mthn 10:00 Chiltern Chase 15.4K, 10K, 5.4K • 10:30 Ollie Johnson Kintbury 5 19:45 Banbury 5 Compton Charity Cycle - 25miles • 10:00 Run The Rock 5K and 10K 10:00 Heyford Park Airbase Half/10K/5K • 10:00 Wargrave 10K • Bagley Wood Fun Run & Walk 5.25k Stanwick Lakes 5k, 10k & ½Mthn 19:30 Woodland 5 (Miles) 18:00 Humph's Hilly Half Marathon 07:30 Ridgeway Relay • 10:00 Hampshire Hoppit Trail Mthn & ½ Mthn • Hungerford Harey 8 10:00 Ridgeway Revenge - Mthn, ½Mthn & 10k • 10:30 Kingham 10k 10:00 Downlands Dash 10k • 10:30 Gibbet Challenge 09:00 Birmingham Black Country Marathon • 10:30 Bracknell Samaritans 10k & 5k 09:30 Didcot 5 • 09:30 Buscot 5k & 10k 09:45 The Adderbury ½ Mthn, 10k & 5k • 10:00 Greystones 10k & 5k Walk or Run • 11:00 Tim's Tadley 10k 11:15 New Forest 10 Race to the Stones 100k & 50k • 19:00 Hornton Classic 6 Race to the Stones 100k & 50k • 09:30 Wycombe ½ Mthn & 10k • 11:00 Black Park 10K 19:30 Thames 10K • Woodland 5 (Miles) 10:00 Down Tow Up Flow ½ Marathon • 10:30 Kingsclere Twist 5K & 10K Kennet & Avon Canal 145 Mile Race 09:00 Run for Champagne - COTSWOLDS - 10K/5K • 10:30 Wellingborough 5 (Road) Round Reading Ultra Marathon Hooky 6 • 09:30 Bearbrook 10K Sturminster • 10:30 Newton ½Mthn & 5k Oxford Ultra 66 10:00 Thames Meander Mthn & ½ Mthn 09:30 Burnham Beeches ½ Mthn & 10K • Run Dorney 5k, 10k & ½ Mthn • Salisbury 54321 Trail Runs Lulworthcastle 10k • 09:00 Run-for-champagne Berkshire 10k run & 5k walk Liverpool - Leeds 130 mile Canal Race • Ridgeway Challenge 86 Miles Ridgeway Challenge 86 Miles • 09:30 Headington 5 • 11:00 Englefield Run 10K 08:30 47th Chiltern Marathon • 09:30 Chippenham ½ Mthn • Henley 10k • 11:00 Earthtrust 10k IOW Fell Race Series IOW Fell Race Series IOW Fell Race Series • 10:00 Cotswold Classic 10miles (Road) 10:00 Ridgeway Run 5 & 10 mile trail Swallowfield 10K+3K & Duathlon Blenheim Palace ½ Mthn, 10k & 2k 09:30 The Yorkshire Marathon • 11:00 RARE 5k & 10k Abingdon Marathon • 10:30 Exmoor Stagger & Stumble

... don't forget, if you want to search for more events, especially those further afield, just follow our page link for other sources: Finder:

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Compton Harriers monthly newsletter - June 2017


Compton Harriers monthly newsletter - June 2017