Jon James pictured earlier this year posting a nippy 33.30 at the Speedway 10k & now crowned the England Athletics V55 5k Champion
At last, after a long pause to the official Club organised training sessions since mid-March 2020, sessions are now resuming. Read on for how we are gradually bringing these session back into operation following official Guidance and with the agreement of facility providers, and also for a gloomy update on the likelihood of races being back any time soon. The pause, though, hasn’t stopped groups of Harriers meeting up to train together, nor members having a go at Virtual races with our Senior Club coach Jon James winning the England Athletics 5k Championships in his V55 age group!
HARRIER TRAINING UPDATE
Following the England Athletics Guidance, the Chairman, Graham Goldsmid, Secretary, Paul Chadwick, and senior Club coach, Jon James, have been working hard behind the scenes to negotiate arrangements for a return to safe Harrier training. England Athletics webinars have been attended, meetings with Facility Managers have taken place, and a Harrier Risk Assessment has been drawn up to ensure we can offer training in small groups in as safe a way as possible, as long as participants all play their part too. We have insurance in place through England Athletics Membership.
We will be starting this coming week with a session aimed at those senior Harrier members (over 18) who attended our sessions regularly on a Tuesday prior to lockdown. The session will take place at Strode College Sports Centre field on a Thursday and an e-mail will be going out to those who are members to invite them to book a place. We have limited capacity to start with whilst we test out our systems and processes – only those who have booked and received confirmation of a booking should attend and all should have read the latest Guidance from England Athletics here
At a later date, we hope we can expand the sessions to a larger number of senior Harriers and will consider inviting some younger Harrier members subject to coaching resources and the Guidance around young athletes. Any changes to our coaching and training sessions will, as usual, be posted here on the Harrier website. We also hope that, fairly soon, we may be able to resume sessions at Millfield Track facility but are still awaiting news on when that will become available. Please ensure until then, at other times, you only train in public areas following the UK Govt & EA Guidance.
The Wednesday senior Harrier group has started meeting up by Wells Rugby Club again and running onto the Mendips in groups of 6 and there has been some forays by small groups of Harriers on Sundays to run longer distances.
A group of physically distanced Harriers (& one dog) out training on the Mendip Muddle 20k circuit recently take in the highest point of the Mendips - left to right: Chris Kelsey, Andrew Tindall, Rod Little, Oli Frost, Chris Walker & John Glaisher
Harrier Membership is presently paused. Those who were paid up members for 2019/20 are the priority for our sessions at present. The Committee will meet soon to determine what to do about 2020/21 Membership and when to re-open applications for new members.
RETURN TO RACING?
Since our last update it has become gloomier for a return to racing. Most, if not all, races are cancelled for the next few months and beyond. Recent cancellations include the various local Somerset Series races, with the Series due to be cancelled for 2020. The South of England Fell Race Championships on the Isle of Wight in mid-September has been cancelled. The Mendip Muddle in early October has been cancelled. Ive still got a Race Adjudication role for the re-arranged Quantock Beast in November but I’m not holding my breath on that one ! All we can do is carry on training in readiness for the 2021 editions!
The prospects for the return of the Clive & Angela Thomas Street 5k Series in October are incredibly slim. Race Director Lynn Elstob has attended recent EA webinars and a review of the latest EA requirements for races to go ahead make staging a race very onerous. This is very understandable given the risks. We will confirm the situation with the Street 5k and any other significant races here on the website when available. Soon for instance, we will have some information about what will (or more likely won’t) happen concerning the Gwent XC League.
JON JAMES 16.12 for 5k
Jon clocked 16.12 when running a 5k circuit around Yeovilton recently to win the England Athletics Virtual 5k Championships for his V55 age group. That’s some performance!
2,798 competitors took part up and down the country with Jon and a few other Harriers running the Yeovilton circuit on the same day (Saturday 11th July) and accordingly the team of Jon, Chris Green and Alexander Coombs were 32nd overall. Both Christian's & Alex’s times of 15.56 and 17.10 are personal bests, though of course don’t show on the power of ten... Chris Walker (17.31) & Tom Kenrick (19.57) also posted good times too with the Harriers at Yeovilton setting off on a time handicap basis keeping socially distanced.
Jon’s winning of the virtual 5k Championships for V55 will be some consolation but I think he’d rather have been in Toronto for the now cancelled World Masters Championships which he had entered. Those Championships would have been held this week.
PREVIOUS NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED