The 185th edition of the Street 5k races saw 82 finishers with the Harrier’s Ben Tickner winning in 15.56 and fellow Club member u20 Abbie White winning for the females in a new pb of 19.34. There was some terrific racing by all in the 5k race, and also in the 1k and 2k races for juniors. This follows on another successful weekend of Cross-country running by Harrier juniors at the SW Schools Championships and by a squad of senior Harriers at the tough Gwent League. Read on for all results. We also celebrate the 80th birthday of our Honorary Club President, Mary Rand, this week recalling her Olympic achievements and we have an update on the Millfield track refurbishment.
February Street 5k winner Ben (left) and 2nd placed Matt after the race
Clive & Angela Thomas Street 5k Series – February 2020
Ben Tickner had Matt Lusby (Street Striders) for company as he hurtled round the 5 lap course on Wednesday night, gradually pulling clear to open up a 14 second gap by the Finish. It was a new 5k pb for Matt which augurs well in his training for racing at the London Marathon in April. For Ben, now that he’s back living in the area, this was another fine run following on his exertions at the Gwent XC League fixture the previous Saturday (see below). 3rd on the night was Chard’s Wayne Loveridge in 16.32, not far short of his pb.
Amongst the veteran men there was no lesser a level of competition as Tom Dukes (Wells Harriers) in 17.20 did just enough to beat team mate Chris Walker to the V40 award; Andrew Piper (Wells Harriers) in 19.54 pipped Gerry King (Weston AC) by the same 1 second margin for the V50 award; whilst David Carnell (Maiden Newton Runners) continues to show he’s got the speed to win the V60 award with 21.02, and Len Horlock (South West Vets) won the V70 award again in 26.23.
For the women, Harrier Abbie White’s winning success at Street was a pretty good return given that it was her first time out at a road 5k. Her winning time of 19.34 was 5 seconds clear of former Harrier Rebecca Carver, making a welcome return to racing on the road again, although again it was her first time out at Street. In 3rd place was Kiersty Rose of Calne AC in 19.47.
Although Abbie was first junior, she was awarded the overall 1st prize so Harrier Daisy Pellow was awarded the 1st junior prize with her 19.50 clocking. Gill Pearson (Running For Time ) was 1st F45 in 19.52; Vicky Scrowston (Running For Time) 1st F35 in 22.17;and Charlie Spencer (Maiden Newton Runners) 1st F55 in 25.04.
It was good to see a number of Street Striders out running the 5k race and we know that some achieved personal bests - well done to all. Amongst the Harrier pbs were Alexander Coombs (17.29); u15 Harrier Owen Dukes (19.26) running his first road 5k, who was well paced by elder brother Dylan; and u17James Carr also making his 5k road debut in 19.29. Apologies from the Bulbeggar Cider man (that’s me!) who forgot to bring the bonus awards for those who ran quicker than before this Series, and indeed any first-timers who should also have been able to collect their bottle of Lamyatt Cider or Apple juice. (next time, honest!).
For the Junior races there was the usual great endeavours in both 1k and 2k races. We know how dedicated some of these runners are as we see them training with us on Mondays in the wind and the rain putting the effort in. The 2k race was won by one of our most consistent trainers, Leyton Finn, in 8.18. I’m sure he would have a realistic chance of breaking the 1k race record, for which he’s eligible, but he prefers the 2k distance.(Having said that, it may well be Caleb who breaks the 1k record - see below). Ella Ashman was 1st for the girls in 9.16.
Caleb Gifford-Groves is making a habit of winning the 1k and he's pretty nippy too - this time out he ran 3.39 (the 1k record is 3.28, so that's close). First for the girls in the 1k was Elsa Evans in 4.21 (girls 1k record is 3.40).
Leyton shares his 2k prize
Our thanks as usual to the intrepid marshals, finish line crew, entry team, results duo and tea team. If you are a Harrier or parent of a junior Harrier and havent yet taken your turn helping out then please endeavour to do so.
Cross Country last weekend
Last weekend Wells City Harrier members were competing on the Saturday (8th) in two tough Cross Country meetings in different parts of the Region. Whilst a large number of the juniors were competing for Somerset Schools at the SW Schools XC Championships at Bournemouth, a squad of senior Harriers went across the Severn Bridge to compete at Chepstow.
South West Schools XC Championships
Amongst the junior Harriers doing well at Bournemouth were Archie Coates and Jack Harvey, 3rd and 6th respectively in the Junior Boys race for school years 8&9. In the Inter Boys (school years 10&11) Dan Maydew was 6th, Toby Watson 18th, Tommy Hummel 35th and Bradley Glover 47th. In the senior boys (years 23&13) Leo Stockham was 44th.
The Somerset Inter Boys team included a number of Harriers and won the SW Schools title (photo by Kate)
For the girls, the pick of the Harrier performances at Bournemouth were those by Daisy Davies and Hannah Blundy, when both finished 6th in their respective Minor and Inter Girls races. In the Junior Girls race Mackenzie O'Dea was 23rd, Skye Fisher 30th, and Mary Noad 49th. In the Inter Girls, Daisy Pellow was 34th with Anya Evans just behind in 25th. For the Senior Girls Poppy Pellow was 47th. A number of the Harrier juniors have now been selected to represent their County School teams at the English Schools XC Championships. (please let Paul know if we've missed your performance - as there was no report received from any parent). We hope a parent will take photos and write a report on the English School Championships - please let Paul know.
Gwent XC League (report by Graham)
"Also on Saturday, 8th February, was the fourth fixture of this seasons Gwent League x country. This was held for the first time on a dry but undulating course at Chepstow racecourse. A small squad of Senior Wells Harriers competed.
4 of the 5 man squad that went to the Races:
First home for the team in a field of over 400 runners and making a welcome return to X country competition for the club was (v35) Ben Tickner who finished 5th, closely followed by club vice chairman and ever improving Christian Green who was 14th.
Next home in 32nd place came v55 Jon James followed by Zac Hurrell in 36th place. Club Chairman (v55) Graham Goldsmid completed the scoring for Wells finishing 233rd.This was enough to give the Wells team 9th place overall out of 98 senior teams competing."
The final fixture in the Gwent XC League is held on Sunday 1st March at Singleton Park, Swansea – senior Harriers contact Jon James or Graham Goldsmid - and full details can be found here. The Harriers pay the entry for any Club member that takes part and there are races for all age groups.
Also in competition this past weekend was senior athlete Emily Smith who came within a whisker of her mile pb when she won at an indoor meeting in Indiana, USA, on the 8th February. Her mile time was 4.53.51. which is good enough for 10th on the national rankings for the year to date.
Happy 80th Birthday Mary Rand!
Mary Rand has been the Honorary Club President for Wells City Harriers almost since its inception in the early 1980s. Her medal-winning achievements at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 were phenomenal and her Gold Medal achievement in the Long Jump is forever commemorated in Wells Market place. She was last over visiting in 2012 from her home in California to celebrate her past achievements and those of the Club when there was a procession through the streets of Wells and she was awarded the Honorary Freedom of the City. Monday 8th Feb was Mary’s 80th birthday and you can read about her achievements of 1964 in this Athletics Weekly article here.
Millfield Track update
Club Chairman Graham Goldsmid and Secretary Paul Chadwick visited the Millfield track last Monday to see how progress was going with the refurbishment of the facility and relaying of the Track. As most of us know this past Autumn and Winter have been incredibly wet and this has held up the work that was first started last August. The track bed has been refurbished and they are now awaiting a spell of dry and not too cold weather to complete the top ‘tartan’ layer and then being able to carry out the lane marking.
Latest information is that contractors are lined up to carry out some of this work next week if it is dry enough. If this is possible then we hope to be able to return to the Track facility for our Monday and Tuesday evening training sessions some time next month (March 2020). The Pole Vault bed is being moved to one side, the far side of the track, and the throws cages will be moved further down the infield. New floodlights are also due to be installed but we are uncertain whether they will be done before the summer Track & Field season commences in April or later in the year.
There are still spaces available on the Harrier's teams for the 10-person relays at the Cotswold Way on Saturday 4th July. Please let Paul know if you can join one of the two teams. Its a great day out in lovely countryside with some great challenging running! Free for Harrier members but guests can also join us in the 20-person squad.
Harrier supported races coming up – enter now!
Sunday 23rd February – 11.00am - Babcary 7.5 road race and junior races (field for u11’s; road for 11-15). Entries are now being taken and can be made on the day. This is an undulating (hilly!) circuit which has a glorious downhill finish. Cakes and tea in the hall afterwards. Entry form here: https://wellscityharriers.co.uk/images/stories/race_entry_2020_1.pdf
Sunday 17th April Butleigh 10k Multi-terrain – no junior races - entry link here
Sunday 31st May Wells Fun Runs – races for all age groups – entry link here
Get ready for the Track season!
Fixtures for the new season are now being finalised – please see our partner Club’s fixture list. Harriers compete for YOAC at Track and Field. The Early Season Spring Meeting is being held on Easter Monday 13th April – u11s through to seniors. This season, the Senior athletes team will be competing in the new National League which brings together the previously separate Men’s and Women’s British Leagues.
Also coming up – races/competitions organised by our friends
Somerset Race Series, sponsored by Cornwall Glass– some great races on different terrain across the year – next race at Babcary, then the Big Cheese at Cheddar on 29th March - a tough little race not for the feint-hearted!
Thursday 2nd April - Avon Valley Runners 5by5 (actually 5by4!) – an evening set of four 5k multi-terrain races starting in April and every first Thursday of the months afterwards. Information here. Race starts and finishes at Steeple Ashton and along the White Horse Trail - just beyond Frome.