3 Harriers travelled across to Lancaster on Sunday 1st November to take part in the fast and flat Lancaster Half Marathon. The journey was a worthwhile one for Jo GASCOIGNE-OWENS as she finished a brilliant 2nd female and was 14th overall finisher of well over 600 runners! Jo clocked 1.22.47 and was about a minute behind the female winner, though well clear of the 3rd finisher. For her efforts Jo won a toaster and a bottle of wine. Also taking part were Mark DOCTOR and Stuart MORRIS. The pair had a decent battle for the first 10 miles, though Stu ran out of steam and sadly struggled for the final 3 miles. The race is definitely a pb course and were it not for the thick fog would probably have been a scenic route! Results:
14-Jo GASCOIGNE-OWENS 1.22.47
117-Mark DOCTOR 1.38.08
163-Stuart MORRIS 1.43.49
Also that day Dave HINDMARSH was in action across the pond in the New York Marathon! Dave has trained hard and well for this race, and was rewarded with an excellent 3.33.30. Well done big man!
Finally for Sunday Gay and Richard EASTOE took part in the Derwentwater 10, a scenic but undulating race organised by Keswick AC. Gay finished 2nd in the female 60 category in 1.30.41 in 321st place, whilst husband Richard was one place and one second further back.
The day before a decent number of Harriers took part in a special Halloween Druridge Bay Parkrun. 1st Harrier home once again was Nick ARMSTRONG in 20.50, to finish 1st in the male 45 category. Next was Richard AGAN who was wearing a cross between a skeleton/gimp suit outfit, followed by Mike HENRY who is returning to form and won the male 65 category. Other notable Harriers included Pam WHELDON who won the female 60 age group, whilst Ed WHELDON ran a course pb. Results:
11-Nick ARMSTRONG 20.50 (69.68%)
29-Richard AGAN 22.36
44-Mike HENRY 24.02
49-Rachel McCOY 24.31 (60.37%)
52-Rob ENSER 24.33 (56.89%)
53-Sophie ENSER 24.37 (62.97%)
74-Thomas DAVISON 26.42
81-Pam WHELDON 27.03
90-Paul DELLBRIDGE 27.40 (53.73%)
100-Catherine JACKSON 28.36
107-Stuart BRUCE 29.23
112-Ed WHELDON 29.48
Also that morning Gay EASTOE was once again an age category winner at the Workington Parkrun! Gay was 30th finisher in 25.47, whilst Richard EASTOE was 31st in 25.48. Finally it was great to see Mark JEFFERIES back in action after a long spell out injured. Mark took part in the Northampton Parkrun and was 53rd in 22.39.
Finally a short report on the Howick Trail Race by Club Chairwoman Tracey SAMPLE!
“At last, the tale of woe, terror and hilarity that was Howick Trail Race! It started off well. Heavy rain in the few days leading up to the race meant everyone knew it was going to be the best kind of run, the ones with mud up to your eyes and it was a perfectly clear, crisp day showing off the Howick Gardens at its Autumn best.
The start had changed slightly with an extra 100m to run to make the distance up to 5 miles as last year was a touch short. Also the under 12’s race started at the same place as the adult race meaning the Seniors could cheer the youngsters on in their 1 mile out and back route (I heard the instructions they gave, definitely out to the marshal and back). So how did we miss Lauren BROWNs win when we were looking down the track for them coming back? Because they came in from the side, where the Seniors were standing, supposedly out the way, and poor Lauren had to push past us to cross the line! We hastily got out of the way of the rest of the finishers. There were a lot of Alnwick Harrier Juniors but those results have not been published yet.
Anyone over 12 had to do the adult race so it was a big step up for the over 12 Juniors as none of them had ever run that far before. The race twists and turns through the beautiful tracks of the arboretum so it was nice to pass and cheer at runners going in different directions early on in the race. There were a few direction signs missing in the arboretum but most people managed to get over 3 miles into the race before they started getting lost. When you compare Garmin distances after a race, you expect a little variation. As far as anyone can tell the correct route was 4.82 miles (so why the start line was moved 100m no one knows) but the shortest route run was 4.5 miles and the longest over 7. Up to a quarter of the field ran the right way, leaving the vast majority going off course at some point.
What was nice to cheer people going in the opposite direction early on in the race, soon became tedious when the people you were passing were coming back along the same track and at every junction someone was stopped deciding which way to go or coming in from somewhere else. The Gardens must have been full of stray runners going in random directions. Poor Brenda MALLEN and Sue SKIRROW (running together as a safety measure, I think) had listened to the sound advice of their chairwoman before the race not to follow anyone and to really study the signs, so were confident of finding their way. Nope, they ended up in a wood with no idea how to get back to the route and scared a poor dog walker half to death shouting for help. Luckily he was able to help out otherwise there would have been no Junior Harriers on Tuesday with the coaches still in Howick Gardens.
The results suggest the top 5 men went the correct way and then there was a massive gap until the next male came home. Therefore the next 13-15 runners went wrong within the last mile. A dodgy sign managed to direct them all to go off the perfectly good farm track back in to the woods. The wind had blown it thus it was not pointing in the right direction. These runners included the fastest two females on the day, Karen KELLY and Tracey SAMPLE. You know it’s not a good day when you are within half a mile of the finish line but 10-15 runners are all stood in a clearing debating on whether to go back through the wall of brambles and nettles or scramble through the knee deep water in the ditch and carefully negotiate the barbed wire to get into the field which would be easy running to get us back to where we needed to be. We opted for the barbed wire as that would hurt less than the brambles we had just come through. The poor competitors who had gone the right way were very confused by more than a dozen rested runners flying past them before the finish line, leaving them all thinking they had run short.
Our own Emma GIVENS won the female race (and fastest Harrier overall) but was well aware she had not done the correct route as she ran down the hill on the road towards the finish line (the finish was on a grass clearing after coming out of the woods) and passed one of the leading men going in the other direction who had just finished. Her daughters were at the finish but instead of cheering their mother on to her first ever win, shouted at her to go back out on the course. How could they not believe Emma would finish 6th overall and 4 minutes ahead of Karen Kelly who was promoted to the medium pack at the last cross country?? Oh, yes Emma, we are expecting big things of you at the next cross country. At the prizegiving, Emma got the biggest cheer of the day for her fantastic performance in morphing past half the field.
First male Harrier home was Harry BROWN who was running with Ollie and Mike TELFER. A special mention goes to Cris ATWELL who completed the race having been injured and unable to run for over a year.
Alex THREFALL, who was running with Harry and Ollie, is not on the results and also was missed at he prizegiving as fastest Cadet in the race. His longest run ever with epic tales of brambles, getting lost and a race win with no result to prove he was even there. Poor lad.
The results are a bit meaningless but it gives recognition to the intrepid adventurers who completed the race!
6-Emma GIVENS 39.28 (first female)
10-Harry BROWN 42.25
11-Oliver TELFER 42.26
11-Alex THREFALL 42.26
12-Dave COATES 42.27 (first Alnwick Harrier to run the correct route)
13-Mike TELFER 42.28
15-Karen KELLY 43.02
17-Tracey SAMPLE 44.03
23-Graham SKIRROW 45.07
25-Cris ATWELL 48.04
28-Mairi CAMPBELL 48.22 (ran correct route)
29-Mel STEER 48.23 (ran correct route)
36-Kim BRONZE 49.13
43-Sue SKIRROW 58.15
43-Brenda MALLEN 58.15”