Wells City Harriers


Wells City Harriers were well to the fore again when the awards for the Somerset Series 2017, sponsored by Cornwall Glass took place on Sunday (26th November) after the Brent Knoll race. Overall male and female Series winners were Jon Gilling (Taunton AC) and Anne Kelly (Langport Runners) whilst Graham Goldsmid (4th, 1st V50) and Ali Blaney (2nd overall) were highest for the Harriers. Read on for more news from the Series, final standings, and other results from the weekend’s races at Liverpool for the Cross-Challenge Series.(Harriers at the Brent Knoll Fell race - photo by Mrs Foley)





The Somerset Series has been going now for some 21 years, and the Series sponsors are the supporting Clubs and the Cornwall Glass company. 13 men and 13 women received the coveted series engraved glasses this year, and in addition there were some 40 recipients of the Series long/sleeved technical t-shirts recognising that they had competed in at least 8 races in the Series. Jon Gilling, ex Wells City Harrier, was never headed in his campaign to gain the 2017 trophy but there was close competition for 2nd and 3rd places where Matthew Bowden (Minehead) just did enough to overhaul Josh Harris (Weston AC) by 1 point in the final race.


For the women, the Harrier’s Ali Blaney had an excellent Series and cemented her 2nd place with her final race at Brent Knoll, but Anne Kelly had an even better finish there to gain Series victory. Kate Britten (u/a) was third overall.


For the Harriers, Graham’s 4th place was one place ahead of Justin Thomas who came away with 2nd V40, whilst Nick Weaving managed a top ten Series position to gain 3rd V50 award, just keeping far enough ahead of Andy Piper in the Series who would otherwise had gained that particular award. Craig Foley was 13th overall for 3rd V40. Amongst the women, Cath Goldsmid was 6th overall and 3rd F45 whilst Karen Shears was 2nd F55 in the Series. Full Series standings at the bottom of this report. 


The first race in the Somerset Race Series 2018, sponsored by Cornwall Glass, will be the Humdinger Half Marathon on 11th February. Apply early to avoid missing an entry. The Harriers have nominated three races, as per usual to the Series in 2018: Babcary 7.5m Road Race (25th Feb – entry form here); Butleigh 7m multi-terrain race (25th March); and the Wells Fun Run 10km race (27th May). Note that the Somerset Race Series website is currently off-line but a refreshed website will be up and running soon.


Brent Knoll Race Report


This race has been on the calendar for 20 years or so, but this year competitors had a surprise when they discovered that the tracks alongside the rhynes running down to Brent Knoll village had been completely levelled and gravelled! Gone were the muddy tracks when slipping into the ditch was a real option; and instead a race-track had been created. Next year ….tartan track to the top of the Knoll?


Anyway the same lung bursting ascent and descent is needed on the race and for the Harriers Justin Thomas was highest placed in 11th with 43.43, followed by Tim Hawkins 15th, 44.19. Tim, who was Somerset Series winner last year (2016) took it steady as this was his first race back since he ran for Team England at the Chester Marathon last month - he gradually worked his way through the field. Graham Goldsmid was 19th, 45.08; Andy Piper 22nd, 45.43; Nick Weaving 35th, 48.55; Paul Chadwick, 37th, 49.21; Ali Blaney, 46th, 50.50; Craig Foley, 59th, 53.18; Andrew Robinson, 61st, 53.18; Cath Goldsmid, 84th 58.54; Colin Fox, 90th 59.57; Karen Shears, 109th, 64.42. There were 131 finishers. Excellent race & presentation photos again by Daniel Anderson on the flickr account. Our thanks to Burham Harriers for their race.



The winning woman at the race was one of the Harriers Hon Life members – Amber Gascoigne who ran clear of the other women runners to finish in overall 5th in 42.45. Well done Amber! Amber was the first Wells City Harrier ever to be selected to compete for TeamGB when she competed at the World XC Championships almost 20 years ago. Amber is now competing for Reading AC where she lives and teaches. See Club's potted history to learn all about Harriers and Team GB!


British Cross Challenge Series – Liverpool


Saturday (25th November) saw the latest in the Cross-Challenge Series. This series brings together the best cross-country runners from across the UK, and this particular set of races also included the trials for the TeamGB to be selected for the forthcoming European XC Championships.  


Al Thorner reports:

"Four Wells City Harriers made the long journey to compete in the prestigious third UK Athletics Cross Challenge of the winter which incorporated for many of the competitors the European Cross Country Championships trials.

Oliver Fox was back in action for his second race of the winter, combining his running with his medical degree at Cambridge University. He finished in a highly credible 34th place (9th in his U23 age group) out of 525 on a flat but rain sodden 9.8 km course at Sefton Park, Liverpool. Also, having an excellent run was Sam Sommerville competing in the same race who finished in 126th position, 41st in his U23 age group.

Daniel Maydew completed his 3rd race of the Cross Challenge series finished in a very credible 81st of 149 in the U15 boys age group over a 3km course.

Also, completing her 3rd race of the series was Elise Thorner who finished in 22nd place in the U17 girls race over a 4.4km course which sees Elise hold on to a top four place overall in the Series with two more races still to come in County Antrim and the final in Loughborough in March."


For all of these Harriers that was great running and good experience to take into forthcoming Championships - County, South-wests; and Southerns.


NOTE: All Harriers should be aware that the deadline for entering the Somerset XC Championships is 4th December – see information on the Championships here. Please contact Graham if you can assist with team management or the County AA input to these Championships at University of Bath on Sunday 10th December.


Elise Thorner in action in Liverpool - photo by Al




Somerset Series - 2017 - Final Standings       
Forename Surname Club Cat Points Races  
Jonathon GILLING Taunton AC MV40 28* 11  
Matthew BOWDEN Minehead RC SM 68* 9  
Josh HARRIS Weston AC MV40 69* 14  
Graham GOLDSMID Wells CH MV50 122* 14  
Justin THOMAS Wells CH MV40 156* 10  
Ben TIMPSON Running Forever RC SM 182* 10  
Neale JARRETT Weston AC MV50 194* 11  
Nick BROOKE Dorset Doddlers MV60 206* 9  
David CARNELL Crewkerne RC MV60 210* 12  
Nick WEAVING Wells CH MV50 246* 11  
Andrew PIPER Wells CH MV50 262* 9  
Matt DRIVER Yeovil Tn RRC MV50 291* 11  
Craig FOLEY Wells CH MV40 293* 13  
Kevin DOHERTY Yeovil Tn RRC MV40 358* 12  
Nick  HEMMINGS Unattached MV50 366* 11  
Christopher DACHTLER Weston AC MV50 390 8  
Stephen LYSACZENKO North Devon RR MV50 398 8  
Robin CALLENDER Mendip AC MV60 461* 12  
Andrew ARCHER Stragglers RC MV50 462 8  
Paul CHADWICK Wells CH MV50 475 8  
Michael NORTON Langport Rns MV40 511* 10  
Brian MOUNTJOY-ROW Yeovil Tn RRC MV70 562* 11  
Anne KELLY Langport Rns FV45 35* 10  
Ali BLANEY Wells CH FV35 52* 9  
Kate BRITTEN Unattached FV35 78* 9  
Geraldine  HOPE Weston AC FV45 92* 9  
Mary BUTCHER Minehead RC FV55 95* 9  
Catherine GOLDSMID Wells CH FV45 121* 12  
Kirsten IRISH Crewkerne RC FV45 123* 9  
Hazel SHEARS Unattached SF 135* 9  
Tracey THOMAS Burnham Hrs FV35 167 8  
Sarah HARRIS Weston AC FV35 178* 12  
Joanna HENLEY Yeovil Tn RRC FV35 197 8  
Jayne CHANTER Minehead RC FV45 218* 9  
Karen SHEARS Wells CH FV55 267* 11  
Elspeth FONTANA Yeovil Tn RRC SF 308 8  
Gill CONSTABLE Cheddar RC FV65 405 8  
Hilary ASKEW Crewkerne RC FV55 619 8  
Note  * Best EIGHT Results          
Qualifying date for age category in 2017 is 1 January        
The Somerset Series is not confined to Somerset Affiliated Clubs or UKA Registered Athletes. 
Any Queries - Contact Brian Beale - e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Telephone 01934 732310

Engraved glasses awarded to all highlighted in red. Overall trophy to Jon Gilling & Anne Kelly.

Roy Smart Trophy to Nick Brooke; Ann Hutchinson trophy to Mary Butcher.


Long sleeved tech t-shirts available to those who competed in 8 races.

Contact Paul if you did not collect your t-shirt on 07761 967075 or 01749 812420