Wells City Harriers


There was another great night of racing at the 178th edition of the Street 5k races. Harrier Life Member (TeamGB international) Ben Tickner returned after a long gap to win the race, whilst Zoe Kurle won for the first time at Street. Meanwhile last Sunday saw Ollie Thorner finish 4th u20 at the UK indoor multi-event Championships in Sheffield; and also the same day was the latest edition of the South West Cross Country Championships when over 20 Harriers took on the challenge of Aldon Hill for Club and in some cases County!

Juniors race at January 2019 Street race gets underway (photo by Helen) & start of the u15Boys race at SW XC Championships (Harriers in white Somerset vest) (photo by Kate)

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On a night where the weather was cold but still, though with some slippy conditions on the road, especially Farm Road, Ben’s winning time was 16.12. Ben last competed at Street in November 2009 so almost 10 years ago. Zoe’s winning time was 18.52: her best on this course and just shy of her Yeovilton 5k best.

In Ben’s wake, for the men, was team-mate Robbie Hawkins, fresh from his efforts at the South west XC Championships at the weekend (see below) despite becoming a dad less than a fortnight ago (congratulations), in a time of 17.02; & chased to the line by 1stV40 team-mate Tom Dukes just a second behind and now in full on training for his Rotterdam Marathon in April. 1st junior was u20 Will Pate (Wells City Harriers), 5th in 18.08. 1st V50 was Andrew Tindal (Wells City Harriers) in 19.12. 1st V60 was Matt Sparkes (Wells City Harriers) in 20.50; and 1st V70 was Len Horlock (South West Veterans AC) in 26.22.

For the women there was a great tussle at the sharp end with Zoe holding off 1st F35 Helen Southcott (Maiden Newton Runners/Wells City) who finished 2nd in 18.52. (Helen was  also competing at SW XC Champs on Sunday - see below). Rachel Astington (Running For Time) was 3rd in 19.20. 1st junior was u17 Jessica Hudson (Wells City Harriers) in an excellent pb of 19.54 (1st time under 20!). Jessica was one of 4 on the night to claim their bonus Apple Juice/Cider for running 15 seconds quicker that before this Street Series. 1st F45 was Harrier Membership Secretary Alice Knight in 24.24. 1st F55 was Karen Shears (Wells City Harriers) in 26.18. 1st F65 was the welcome return again of Sue Nicholls (Burnham Harriers) in 26.10 – Sue can claim her Cider for running 15 seconds quicker than before, at Street, at next month’s race as she may have missed out on the night.

It will be no surprise to learn that Sue was also the best on the age graded tables with her 90.4% score. Ben Tickner’s 80.6% was best for the men. The Challenge for next month is for any that can lower their best 5k time this Series by a whole 5 seconds (or more) will be awarded a bottle of Cider/Apple juice - just imagine that's only 1 second per lap quicker!!

Congratulations once again to all the juniors racing in the accompanying 1k and 2k races - times were a little down on last month but there was no lack of effort shown in the week when you've just gone back to school. Michael Eames won again for the boys in the 1k race with Indy Pitman 1st for the girls. Owen Dukes won yet again in the 2k too. If any juniors didn't collect their prize please see Race Director Ed Tickner next month.

Our thanks as ever to the intrepid band of volunteers who oversee the Street races. Harriers or parents of junior Harriers that haven't yet had the chance to come and help this Series should make arrangements to come and marshal in either February or March.

Street 5k Results January 2019

Junior Results January 2019

5k runners disappearing down Farm Road (photo by Emily D)




Al reports: "Ollie achieved a personal best at the National Indoor Combined Events championships at Sheffield's indoor arena. The junior GB international was competing for the 7 event heptathlon title in the U20 age group. For the second year in a row Ollie finished in a highly credible 4th place out of around 30 starters, jumping from 5th to 4th place after winning the final event, the 1000m. His performances were 60m - 7.51 (PB), Long Jump - 6m 26, Shot Put 11.85 (PB), Pole Vault - 4m 20, 60m hurdles - 8.67, High Jump - 1m 95, 1000m 2.42 (PB), finishing with a near 200 point improvement to his overall personal best score with 5047 points.

Ollie won the Silver medal for the combined Midlands & SW Region"

Ollie (left) with team mates on the podium from the South West at Sheffield





Meanwhile the South West Cross Country Championships drew in Club athletes from as far away as Cornwall to Gloucestershire to the event held at Aldon Hill on the outskirts of Yeovil. The hilly course proved a tough challenge for all. Many of the Harriers were not only competing for their Club team but also for Somerset County, wearing the white vest with black and red band, with the u15 boy’s team most successful when winning the team silver medals.

Start of the u13 Boys race (photo by Geoff)

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Top individual performances on the day by Harriers in the various age groups were by Dexter Townsend and Ed Sherman, 4th and 8th for the u11 boys (out of 27);Toby Watson for the u15 boys in 7th, with team mate Tommy Hummel, 9th (out of 49). Jack Harvey, 8th for the u13 boys (out of 68); Ben Lloyd for the u20/senior men in 14th (out of 182); with Archie Tyler for the u17 men, 19th (out of 34); Elise Thorner 3rd in the u20/senior women race (out of 91); Holly Bigger and Poppy Pellow, 7th & 8th in the u17 womens race (out of 41); Hannah Blundy, 12th in the u15 girls race (out of 56); Mackenzie O’Dea, 14th in the u13 girls race (out of 62); Daisy Davies, 3rd in the u11 girls race.(out of 28).

Other Harrier results

Senior men: 19th Christian Green; 47th Zak Hurrel; 48th Felix Rusby;77th Robbie Hawkins

u17 men: 27th Leo Stockham

u15 boys: 15th Dan Maydew; 18th Bradley Glover

u13 boys: 10th Arthur Fisher; 15th Leyton Finn;

Senior women: 27th Helen Southcott

u15 girls: 52nd Mia Noad

u13 girls: 22nd Skye Fisher; 44th Macy Noad; 50th Jamie-Leigh Rose

One of our Hon Life members, Luke Prior, now competing for Aldershot, Farnham & District finished 5th in the Senior mens race

Well done to all as we know that course is really tough! 

We are aware that the organisers seem to have mixed up some team results and appear to have not realised that Wells City Harriers and Yeovil Olympiad members compete first claim for Wells City Harriers at Cross Country.

Parents of junior Harriers/Senior Harriers you can help write reports and also send in photos from the events - include detail about weather, conditions and details of all Harriers taking part so that we can have a comprehensive record of achievements/taking part. If one parent per age group did this that would help.


Hannah Blundy (432) in the u15 girls race & Elise Thorner in the u20 womens race (photo by Geoff)




For many of the juniors they now turn their attention to Schools Cross-Country, whilst some will target the Southern Cross Country Championships at the end of January. The Harrier’s training sessions at Millfield on a Monday, for juniors, and Tuesday, for older juniors and seniors, help with their training whilst other members attend Tuesday at Milfield or the Wednesday session from Wells to prepare for a Spring half or Full marathon.


Emily Smith has run a new 5,000m personal best indoors whilst out in the United States - coming 7th in a Michigan State race in a nippy 16.26. In fact it may be the first time she's ever run on the boards so that's some achievement!


Be inspired and inspiring.

Watch https://youtu.be/4MPVINwe-SI

Or read https://www.englandathletics.org/coaching/gocoach/

Talk to Graham or Paul if you can help at a Harrier training session and learn from them about becoming a Harrier coach.

FOND MEMORIES: Beyond the Finishing Line

Many Harriers of long standing will recall Bruce Pointer who was the previous Chairman of Yeovil Olympiads and who for many years team managed the joint men’s team in the British Athletics League. He has died recently and we recall him being a very positive character with lots of energy and loads of patience dealing with possible team members – arm twisting when need be and encouraging always. He served for a time on the County Committee and also helped Paul when there was a Somerset Athletics Network to develop new initiatives to bring Clubs in the County closer together. Our condolences to his family.

Harriers of even longer standing will have been saddened also to hear of the recent death of Fred Fox, who was only in his early 60’s and used to give many of us a good run for our money especially at long distance off-road events. Fred (Running For Time; Yeovil Town; Maiden Newton; or Crewkerne RC across his career) was always encouraging of others in the sport, always had a broad smile, and played his part in helping to make the Montacute Park Run the success it is along with others. Our condolences to Fred’s wife, Sue, and his sons and all that knew him.

We recall Harriers who have gone beyond the Finishing line in the article posted on the Potted News webpage and repeated here. Let us know if we’ve missed any Harrier out.


A Timely (?) REMINDER: Don't train or compete when you are unwell

At this time of the year there are lots of colds & sore throats going around, and worse, so please listen to your body and don't push yourself if you feel below par when you do any training. Maybe just a gentle jog if you feel up to it? This article is from long ago (2013) but it is still relevant today. It concerns one of our TeamGB athletes and Hon Life Members, Adrian Marriott.


Our intrepid photographer and YOAC Chairman, Geoff Cole, found time to combine marshalling duties with taking Harrier photos on Sunday. Our thanks for these:

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