(Above - the smiling Mens team after their 13th place finish at the Midlands Road Relays)
Wells City Harriers have been excelling at Regional and Local competition this past few weeks with the headlines being made by the great team performances at the Midland Road Relays on Saturday 25th which saw the Senior Men (team of 6) finish 13th and the u17 men’s team (of 3) finish 15th. Both qualify for the National Road Relays.
Other Harriers were in action at the local Uphill to Wells Relay, winning their class whilst the previous weekend saw a whole squad of Harriers have good runs at the Glastonbury Levels 10k with a number of juniors performing well at the Yeovil Games, where the 20-year partnership between the Harriers and the Olympiads was celebrated. Read on also for details of Team Management for the Gwent & Wessex Cross Country Leagues and make sure you enter by the deadline!
NOTE: MONDAY & TUESDAY training sessions at Millfield will start at 6.30pm (to 7.30pm) from 4th October
(above - 20 years of team partnership celebrated!)
Midlands Road Relays -Saturday 25th September
For the first time ever, the Harriers made the switch from competing at the Southern Road Relays (now usually held at Crystal Palace) to contest the Midland Road Relays, held at Sutton Park, Birmingham.
The Club has a long pedigree at Regional (& National level) relays, and the two teams sent this year did not disappoint with some excellent running at this level. Jon James & Simon Prior managed the senior mens team, and Simon Prior the u17 mens team.
“A mixture of youth and experience enabled Wells City Harriers men to qualify for the national 6 stage road relays on 9th October. They did this through coming 13th at the recent qualifying Midland road relays – the team were able to participate in these following the recent cancellation of the Southern equivalent at Crystal Palace.
The relays were held on a warm afternoon in Sutton Park in Birmingham and each leg consisted of a hilly 5.9K loop. Leg 1 saw Matt Lusby make a great debut for the club, running a time of 19.27 and bringing the club home in 31st place on the traditional, highly competitive first leg.
Another runner making his debut in the senior team, although a seasoned junior runner for the club, was Dan Maydew and he ran a storming second leg, moving the club up 11 places with a great time of 19.20. The next two runners made the journey up from London to run and both performed well: Dylan Dukes, despite a lack of recent race experience, ran well in clocking 20.21, and at the half-way point this meant the club were in 22nd position.
Sam Somerville is a very reliable runner and on the fourth leg gained 6 places running a more than useful time of 19.34. Zak Hurrell was below his best, suffering with a cold, but still turned out for the team and was able to gain a place on the fifth leg running 20.21.
The “old man” of the team, Jon James, then gained a further couple of places on the last leg running 19.34 and enabling the team to finish 13th out of 96 finishing teams. Thanks as well to Simon Prior for managing the team and sorting out glitches in the early versions of the results that came out!”
“Our u17 team of Bradley Glover, Ollie Castle and Jack Harvey make the trip up to this iconic race and venue. Over the 3.8k course Bradley having had a strong season over 800m lead off gauging his effort as catching 3 athletes up the last hill bringing them home in 18th
2nd leg was Ollie Castle who has made great improvements over the last 18 months with a hard fought 14.48 to keep us in the hunt for a top 20 spot.
Then 3rd up was Jack Harvey who went off hard trying to make an impression up the 1st hill and continued that effort to catch 6 athletes and bring home the team in 15th spot, and a handy time of 13.29 which was 10th fastest time of leg 3.”
(Above - after the relay - the u17 mens team - photo by Simon)
Well done to all. With a top 15 spot the boys will be looking forward to the Nationals in 2 weeks time - also to be held at the same venue of Sutton Park.
You can read about our success at earlier Regional & National Relays on the Potted history page on this website but our best ever performances were in 2005 & 2006 for the Senior Men (2nd on both occasions) and 2014 for the u17 men (5th that year).
Uphill to Wells 29 miler...
A number of Harriers turned out at this charity fundraising event to cover the 29 mile route from Uphill by Weston-super-Mare to Wells Cathedral Green mainly along the West Mendip Way which has a total of 3,259 ft of climb and is (usually) divided into five legs when run as a relay with runners going off in waves….Oli Frost and Andrew Tindal, however, decided to do the whole route….
“We entered the 'whole route; option where we ran as a pair all the 5 stages. We won our class against 4 teams in a time of 5hrs 11 finishing on the Wells Cathedral Green and welcomed with a wonderful spread of tea and cakes. The race is organised by Mendip Hash House Harriers who organise the race every year to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK charity.”
(above - what a great starting line on the beach at Uphill, with Andrew & Ollie on the right listening to final instructions)
Glastonbury Levels 10k (inc Somerset Road Race Championships)
Over the previous weekend, Saturday & Sunday 18th & 19th September there was a good turn-out of Wells City Harriers at a local 10k race on the Sunday, whilst a number of juniors were in action on the Yeovil track on Saturday; and the Club Secretary was running (yet) another Fell Race, this time up in the Peak District.
Club Chairman Graham Goldsmid reports
“On Sunday 19th September in a field of 227 runners, 18 Wells Harrier members were out competing in perfect sunny weather at the Glastonbury levels 10km road race. This race first held in May this year is a fast flat road course which goes out across the levels from Strode College to Butleigh and back.
First home for the Harriers in 3rd place was (SM) Deputy Chairman Chris Green in 32.20, closely followed by (SM) Zac Hurrell 4th in 32.58, then next in 5th place was the ever improving (U20M) Dan Maydew 5th in 33.13 and 1st U20M.
Other Harriers competing over 10k were: 13th Alexander Coombs 36.43;
19th Chris Walker 37.50 ; 21st Tom Dukes 38.44; 45th Phil Paddick 41.45;
53rd Craig Foley 42.50; 54th Graham Goldsmid 42.54; 65th Rosie Park 45.00;
66th Andrew Robinson 45.13; 68th Paul Knight 45.36; 71st (1st u20F) Phoebe Aspinall 45.58
81st Emma Woodcock 47.31; 85th Melissa Aspinall 47.45; 111th Akom Srithunma 50.09;
112th Isabelle Walker 50.14; 197th Liz Paddick 62.49
(above - Most, but not quite all, of the Harriers who contested the Glastonbury Levels 10k)
Also racing on that Sunday was Club Secretary Paul Chadwick who finished the Stanage Struggle Fell Race in the Peak District over 6.2m and 1165ft of ascent in 64.02.
YEOVIL GAMES Track & Field – including the celebration of the refurbished Club house & our 20 year Club partnership
Meanwhile at the Yeovil track on the Saturday 18th there were some good performances by Harrier juniors from the Club’s Monday training sessions. U’13 Indy Pitman ran a personal best for 800 with 2.37. Sian Valuto made her track debut over a mile; U11 Amelie Williams ran in the 75m sprint, and Georgina Burrows once again competed at the 300m sprints.
Amongst the slightly older juniors from the Harrier Tuesday group, Jack Harvey won the 3000m race in 9.43. U’20 Toby Watson and u’17 Bradley Glover both ran good times of 2.04 and 2.05 for the 800m.
On the same day there was the official unveiling of the newly re-furbished Yeovil Club house which the Harriers, as partners to YOAC contributed to. Al & Ollie Thorner represented the Harriers when the framed vests of the 2 partner Clubs was put on display, celebrating 20 years of Partnership. it's been a good two decades where the two Clubs have pulled together to offer the most competitive opportunities possible for our athletes.
Cross Country Leagues – make sure you enter in time!
Gwent XC League – please follow the link for details of all fixtures as finalised and discuss with coaches about entering. Make sure you enter the first fixture (Saturday 16th October) online by the deadline if you want to count in the British Cross Challenge - if not then enter on the day. This League is suitable for those who train hard on a Tuesday or are 'seasoned' athletes! Most fixtures are on a Saturday.
It’s most likely that many of the competitive senior athletes and older juniors, u17 upwards (though younger ones invited too) will enter the Gwent League.
Wessex XC League – please follow the link for details of all the fixtures as finalised to date - 3 fixtures in total on Sundays, 2 down near Poole & 1 more at RNAS Merryfield, Ilton (just beyond Langport) on 2nd January which includes the SW XC Championships. This League is suitable for the majority of the Monday Harrier training group age 10 and above, and for any Harriers of any age who find the Sunday racing dates better.
Please make sure your name is on the team entry form being submitted by one of the Clubs Team Managers Stuart Dowden by 5th October. The Harriers pay for the entry (do not enter as an individual - it will just cost you more & cause confusion)
Please e-mail Stuart if you think you will run in at least 1 of the 3 fixtures – Stuart will enter all of our Monday juniors age 10 and upwards alongside YOAC juniors wanting to compete there, but it may be that some older juniors & seniors will also want to be on the entry list he compiles – Stuart just needs your full name, date of birth, and EA registration number no later than 5th October.
First Fixture Sunday 17th October. 4 or 5 parents from the Monday night Harrier training have volunteered to team manage at the Wessex League and at least 2 will be there each fixture with the flag to provide the individual athlete numbers.
All team announcements, including any forthcoming Championship information can be seen on the dedicated tab – please check there for information on a regular basis, or ask at Monday & Tuesday training if you can’t see the information, or for instance want to arrange shared transport with other parents/senior athletes.