(above - Paul & Carol before the short fell race on Saturday morning)
Whilst a host of Harriers competed at the local Ash multi-terrain race, Jon James, Chris Walker & Paul Chadwick were in action this past weekend further away. Jon was 4th overall 1st V55 at an event that incorporated the prestigious Masters 10k Championships held at Kew Gardens, when representing the England V55 team. Chris Walker also ran in the half-marathon version for an England V45 team at Kew and finished in 83 minutes after taking the wrong turning. Paul ran in the South of England Fell Running Championships on the Isle of Wight, finishing 20th overall for 4th V60. Read on for details of all Harrier efforts and of training & competition opportunities coming up…
(Above - Jon, race number 76, tracking the leader in the 10k race)
BRITISH MASTERS RACES at Kew
Jon James ran 33.42 for his 10k effort which is just a shade slower than his 2021 best of 33.32 which he achieved when running the Glastonbury Levels 10k earlier this summer. Obviously, Jon ranks Number one in the country for his age group at this distance. Chris Walker has been training well these past few months so was pleased to get his England vest but was disappointed to finish down the field due to a mishap taking the wrong turn.
SOUTH OF ENGLAND FELL RUNNING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Meanwhile, Wells City Harriers once again had a representative completing the South of England Fell Running Championships this past weekend (11th/12th September). The Regional Championships, held on the Isle of Wight, consists of three tough races – 2 on the Saturday and 1 on the Sunday –and draws runners from across the region covering Cornwall to Norfolk, with a good contingent from London taking part. To count in the Championships, all participants have to complete all three races. Fellow Harrier Carol Buckland also ran one of the races.
Harrier Secretary and coach Paul Chadwick was competing in these Championships for the 18th year, his 14th on the Isle of Wight with previous, earlier, Championships having been held in the Lake District (Coledale Horseshoe) or the Breidden Hills, consisting of just the one tough race in those instances. Paul was outright winner of the Southern Championships back in 1996 and now, apart from continuing to compete, administers the championships on behalf of the South of England Athletic Association.
One challenge with the Series, with all races starting & finishing in Ventnor, is to be able to recover sufficiently from each of the shorter races to be competitive in the final, longer, race held on the Sunday. In Saturday morning’s race held over 3.8km with 235m ascent Paul finished 46th in a time of 25.23, with fellow Harrier Carol Buckland, running in just this one race whilst on holiday on the Island, finishing in 66th place with a time of 28.51. Saturday afternoon’s race of 12km with 443m of ascent saw Paul finish in 44th place in 1.20; and Sunday morning’s race over 21km and 487m of climb saw him finish in 48th place, 2.10. A number of runners just run in one or two of the three races, but the competition for the Southern medals by competing in all three races at the sharp end is always strong. Paul finished 4th V60 overall.
The races were, once again, well organised by the local Club, Ryde Harriers and the weather, as usual at this time of the year on the Island, was good for running & spectating.
(Above - Paul finishes his 3rd fell race - over the half marathon distance on the Sunday)
ASH EXCELLENT 10k
In the local Ash 10k multi-terrain race, there was a host of Harriers out competing with first home being Henry Sage in 6th, 42.40, followed in by 12th Andrew Robinson, 47.02; 14th Richard Mann, 47.31; 51st Karen Shears, 64.11. There were 67 finishers.
Contact has again been made with Millfield Enterprises to receive assurances that the track sessions hired by the Club can continue without further mishap after the failure of the floodlights to come on this past Tuesday evening (14th), following on the lack of toilets for the Tuesday sessions held in August. Its now some 32 years since we first hired the track and the difficulties we have faced this past period have been the worst that we have known.
However, it is without doubt, that for our coached groups the Track offers the best opportunity for some quality training. Our Monday junior sessions for Club members are now full until half-term with 35 registered juniors, age 8-15 working in 3 or 4 separate groups covering sprints; middle-distance/endurance running; long jump; and, this past week, javelin. Tuesday sessions, which are attracting up to 40 Club members, will continue to offer track and grass-based sessions virtually every week with one week per month dedicated to all training together on the same plan. See Session plan on Training webpage.
Meanwhile there has been an upturn in enquiries about our Wednesday training groups from Wells Rugby Club recently and these continue to operate on a turn up and go basis. See Training tab for all information.
Good luck to those competing this Saturday 18th September at the Yeovil Games Track & Field event hosted by our partner Club, Yeovil Olympiads. Before the Games, the refurbished Clubhouse will be officially opened with representatives from the Harriers present (Al & Rosie Thorner) as we have also made a financial contribution to the work, alongside the District Council, YOAC themselves, and other funders.
On the Sunday, 19th, a number of Harriers have entered the Glastonbury Levels 10k race which incorporates the Somerset County Road Running Championships.
Other races hosted by local Clubs are listed on the relevant webpage, with a new link to the Uphill to Wells relay website in case any group of Harriers wants to band together to enter this local multi-terrain relay race being held on Saturday 25th September.
Harrier teams have already been entered for their Midland Road Relays effort to take place that very same day at Sutton Park, Birmingham.
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