Wells City Harriers members were out at national and regional Championship events this past weekend and also had a team competing at a more local running event. Three of the Harrier juniors competed at the English Schools National Combined Events Championships at Bedford; whilst four of the veterans headed across to the Isle of Wight for the South of England Fell Running Championships and a group of seniors competed at the local ‘Uphill to Wells’ relay race. Ollie Thorner gained a silver medal for the decathlon whilst Chris and Helen Kelsey picked up gold & silver medals, respectively, for their fell running.
Start of one of the three races that make up the Southern Fell Running Championships
Al Thorner reports from Bedford:
Ollie & Elise Thorner took to the track for the last time this season at the weekend. Competing in the Championships for the first time as a senior boy/girl, they were part of a strong Somerset team challenging for team and individual medals. Ollie had a fantastic weekend in the 10 event Decathlon finishing with a personal best score of 6,544 gaining his first English Schools medal in second place out of 28 competitors. Ollie aged 17, who gained GB International status this year as an U18 only had three months to learn to compete with new weights and heights in four of the Decathlon disciplines, but despite this goes 5th on the UK rankings for the U20 Decathlon in 2018.
Ollie & Elise celebrating the team success too
Elise completely outperformed expectations in the 7 event Heptathlon, despite having had little time to train for the event, concentrating predominantly on the discipline that also gave her GB International status this year, the 2000m steeple chase. She finished in 5th place overall with a personal best total of 4,329 points out of 32 competitors, with personal bests in the 100m Hurdles, Shot Put and Javelin. She also broke the senior girls championships record in the last event, the 800m by 3 seconds to record 2 mins 13.90 seconds. In addition to both gaining personal bests at the Decathlon & Heptathlon, they also helped their teams to gold in the team events for Somerset beating other counties across England.
Also competing well at the Combined events Championships in the u15 boys category was Harry Barton who finished 10th out of 31 competitors in his first year at the pentathlon with a new personal best of 2,672 points. Harry achieved pbs in the 80mH – 11.64 and in Shot Put 9.13m; with other good solid performances: High Jump 1.71m; Long Jump 5.78m; 800m – 2.23.
On the Isle of Wight the annual Southern Fell Running Championships were held and again consisted of three tough races in two days with Saturday seeing a 2.5 mile (770ft ascent) in the morning followed by an afternoon 7.5 mile (1500ft ascent) race and then a 13.1 mile (1600ft ascent) race to finish things off on the Sunday morning.
Harrier Secretary Paul Chadwick administered the Southern Championships on behalf of SEAA, as well as competing. First Home for the Harriers, and gaining the Southern V60 Gold medal was Chris Kelsey who had an excellent sequence of runs (times 23.34; 72.05 &1.53 respectively). Helen Kelsey made up for missing out last year when she fell and injured herself in the 2nd race by gaining a Silver medal as 2nd F60 when completing all three races this year (32.08;1.35 & 2.39). Paul Chadwick just missed out when finishing 4th V60 (24.02; 76.52 & 2.05). V60 Pete Wright also made the journey to take part in one race, and to support the team and organisers, when finishing the Saturday afternoon race in 1.40.
Chris was the first Harrier to complete the ‘Bob Graham Round’ some 20 years ago whilst Paul won the Southern Fell Running Championships when running as a senior man (pre-veteran days!) outright in 1996. Both Chris & Paul used to run together at some of the tough two-man team two-day mountain marathons in the same decade. You can read which other Harriers have won the Southern Fell Running Championship in the potted history elsewhere on the website. Chris & Helen below with medals:
In the ‘Uphill to Wells’ relay race a Harrier team of Pete Clothier, Andrew Tindal, Oli Frost, Kelly Moger and Nathan Young finished high up. Full report awaited from one of the participants.
Report from the Yeovilton 5k (12th Sept) is here
STREET 5k Series & accompanying junior 1k and 2k races – 2nd Wednesday of every month from 11th Oct -see calendar tabs. Harrier members, or parents of members, required to either compete or to marshal at least once during the Series.
ANNUAL Pre-Xmas DINNER Friday 30th November at Wells Golf Club – 2 course meal: Adults £15; juniors £12. Bookings and payment taken at Training sessions.
Sunday 23rd Sept – South of England AA Road Relays at Crystal Palace – teams already entered – see Team tab – contact team managers or coaches for further information. Good luck to all competing for the Harriers
Sunday 23rd Sept – Mells Scenic 7 – next race in the Somerset Race Series
Note: there is also an end of the month pub run coming up - see calendar for 26th September