Wells City Harriers


This past week has seen some excellent performances by Harrier members –topped by Oliver Fox gaining his 3rd TeamGB vest following a tough, intensely competitive race at Liverpool. Whilst in Somerset, Christian Green and Ali Blaney deservedly won the 2018 Somerset Race Series and were awarded their prizes after the final race at Brent Knoll, with others gaining age category or top ten awards. Philip Bridge ran away with victory at the local race in an impressive exhibition of front running as he trains hard for a Spring Marathon.Read on for XC Championship arrangements and Social news, including a final call for Bog seat nominations.

Oliver when he first ran for TeamGB v USA v Europe at Edinburgh Jan 2015

aaOliver Fox Junior 6k 2

Wells City Harrier member Oliver Fox gained selection to run for TeamGB at the forthcoming European Cross Country Championships when he competed in the trial race held at Liverpool on Saturday 24th November. This will be Oliver’s 3rd TeamGB vest. He was 4th in the u23 trial race over 9.8km with a time of 28.29. Only 6 seconds covered the first 4 u23s home to gain automatic selection and 2 more will be selected to make up the 6 man team based on previous form.


It will be Oliver's 2nd time at the European XC Championships, which this year take place at Tilburg in the Netherlands on Sunday December 9th. Oliver started training and became a member of the Harriers when he was aged 8, joining us without fail on a Monday evening for our structured junior training sessions He is one of 9 Harriers to be selected to represent Britain in the past 20 years. We've been here before with reporting Oliver's achievements - onwards and upwards. See here from 2015.


More information about the forthcoming European XC Championships can be found here.

Also competing at Liverpool, in what was the 3rd round of the British Cross Challenge races was a small number of Harrier juniors. U13 Jack Harvey was an excellent 16th in 10.55 for the u13 boy’s race over 3km. Tommy Humell 37th and Dan Maydew 42nd in the u15 boys race in times of 10.23 and 10.26 respectively. Leo Stockham was 91st in the u17 men’s race in 19.49 for the 5.5km distance. Well done to all after what must have been a long and tiring journey.


Meanwhile the Harriers were out in force at the local Brent Knoll Fell Race on Sunday 25th over 5.75miles to the top of Brent Knoll from Burnham. U23 Harrier Philip Bridge won the race in 36.07 with team mate Christian Green 2nd in 36.25. Philip is in training again for another crack at the Marathon distance in Spring where he will look to beat his current pb of 2.33. The Harriers also picked up 1st V50 and 1st V60 prizes at Brent Knoll through Nick Somerville, 40.39, and Club Secretary Paul Chadwick, 45.57, respectively. 

Photo of Phil leading Christian after 400m of the race (photo by Dan Anderson)




Other Harrier positions and times amongst the 169 finishers: 10th Justin Thomas 41.45; 19th Andy Piper 43.53; 24th Graham Goldsmid 44.19; 46th Ali Blaney 48.17; 48th Craig Foley 48.28; 102nd Harriet Burr 56.54; 138th Colin Fox 62.35; 142nd Karen Shears 63.07.

Philip with his Brent Knoll winners trophy, presented by Burnham Harriers Stuart Anderson (Race Director)



All were rewarded for their efforts with great views from the top of the Knoll on a clear but cool day, good for running. The Brent Knoll course is nowadays a little less muddy than it used to be following the grading and rough-surfacing of the track by the rhyne but it makes for a challenging run.

The Brent Knoll race was also the final race in the year-long Somerset Race Series sponsored by Cornwall Glass and contested by all the Clubs from throughout the County and beyond. Harriers Christian Green, for the men, and Ali Blaney, for the women, were crowned Champions based on their best 8 performances. Christian achieved victory with a super low score of 14 points from his best 8 races with Ali equally dominant in the women’s section. They follow in the footsteps of many other Harriers who have won the outright Series award over its 22 years. The list appears on the Club’s potted history tab here.

Matt Powell presents Christian and then Ali with their overall Somerset Series winners awards




Andy Piper was 1st V50 with Club Chairman Graham Goldsmid 2nd V50 competing hard to try and overtake Andy on the last event. Andy thus gained his 2nd award in a week having belatedly been presented with his Yeovilton 5k Series award at Tuesday track training.(see previous article). Justin Thomas was 2nd V40 in the Series whilst Paul Chadwick was 2nd V60 overall. Harriet Burr was 4th overall for the women. All received engraved glasses from the sponsors. For the Harrier men, Craig Foley and Andy Robinson just missed out this year and for the women Karen Shears was pipped to one of the age category wards. Well done to all – next year’s Series commences on New Year’s day with the Chard Flyer and full details of the expanded Series, with some new races, appears on the dedicated website.

The Harriers came away with an array of Series Engraved Glasses - well done team! (more photos below)

aaSeries group



Harriers are reminded that the Club helps with the local races at Babcary (Feb 24th ); the Butleigh Multi-terrain (now confirmed for April 14th); and the Wells Fun Run (10k in the Series) on May 27th. Entry form for Babcary already available on the dedicated webpage. Updates on all our sponsored or supported races also appear there. New races in the Series next year are the BHAM trail race from Martock on April 7th and the Pawlett Plod 10k multi-terrain on July 17th.


Our thanks to Brian Beale of Burnham Harriers, who continues to look after the Somerset Series scoring system, and to Burnham’s Matt Powell who took over as Series Supremo this past year.


Also on Sunday (25th) three Harriers competed at the Avon Valley Runners Wiltshire Half Marathon, with Chris Searle home in 132nd place with 1.42, Rosie Park in 156th with 1.46, and Barbara Mercer 222nd in 1.55.


Cross Country Championship races – deadlines coming up & Team Managers/Marshalls needed

Harriers, and other, are reminded that the entry deadline for the Somerset County XC Championships is 3rd December with the races, for all junior and senior age groups, taking place on Sunday 9th December at the University of Bath. Full details and links as usual on the Team news tab, along with a request for parents to take on team management for particular age groups – speak to Graham Goldsmid. Any parents going to Bath on the 9th should be prepared to help with marshalling duties for an hour or so – please contact Al Thorner on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to book your 60/90 minute ‘slot’. Without people volunteering to help at these Championships they cannot take place and be organised to an efficient standard. If you can help Graham put up and take down the Harrier tent that would also be appreciated - don't leave it to others....

& Don’t miss the South West XC Championship deadlines!



This coming Friday (30th November) will see 72 Harriers gather for the Annual Dinner at this year’s venue at Wells Golf Club. Arrive at 7pm for 7.30pm two course meal, to be followed by the draw for the 2 London Marathon places, the raffle, the Quiz and the Bog seat award. Our thanks to our partner Club, Yeovil Olympiads, for providing the additional London Marathon place once again. Any final nominations for the coveted Bog Seat award to Graham or Paul - you can read about some of the daft things Harriers have done in the past in this very old history which Paul wrote (in 2002!).Bog Seat History

The next Social event for all Harriers is the pre-Christmas parlauf run and curry on Tuesday 18th December. The format for this is that everyone arrives at Millfield track by 6.30pm for usual warm up session and to be paired up with another Harrier to each run alternate 400m laps of the track within the time limit of 30 minutes. Jon James will match pairs so that a speedy runner is with a not so speedy runner. Booking for either a meat curry or veggie curry after the session will be taken by Rex Whitcombe – add your name to the list in the track announcers hut on a Tuesday or at the next Street 5k race on Wednesday 12th December (deadline for booking).

There will also be a sociable run through Wells to view the Christmas lights on Wednesday 19th December as part of the Wednesday running groups training.

SOMERSET SERIES PHOTOS - Andy, Harriet, Justin, Graham & Paul receive their Series awrds from Matt Powell: