Oli, John, Andrew & Henry before the start on the beach at Uphill (by Weston-super-Mare)
A team of 4 Harriers won the local Uphill to Wells race at the weekend – instead of running as a relay the squad chose to run together over the entire 29 mile course and came home first of those teams that had selected that option. Well done team! And congratulations to the Mendip Hash at arranging this annual event for Charity once again. There are precious few competitive opportunities about at present but we also know that some Harriers competed this past weekend on the track (report awaited) and others competed at a 5km road race over in Wiltshire. Read on for more competition news (or the lack of it) and for any update on Harrier training and plans ahead. We also again put out a call for senior Harriers or parents of Harriers to attend a Coaching Assistant courses so that we can maintain & expand our Club coaching.
Team Manager Oli Frost reports:
“Saturday saw the annual running of the Uphill to Wells Relay race. A 29mile five stage race organised by the Mendip Hash, following the hilly West Mendip Way footpath from the beach at Uphill to the Cathedral Green in Wells. Teams can either enter it as a hand over relay race or opt to run the whole length as an ultra-marathon. Wells Harriers are regular entrants and this year we entered a team of four to run the whole route. Henry Sage, Andrew Tindal, John Glaishier & Oli Frost set off from the beach in a timed staggered start due to Covid management. We were last to set off of the whole routers and had past the 3 other teams before reaching Cheddar.
Good social distancing shown going up the hills!
The conditions were fair, being dry underfoot and a cooling breeze on the high ground, although running into a headwind for much of it. Fantastic views took our minds off of the hills. This was a new distance for John & Andrew who made it look easy for such a hilly course. A bit of knee trouble slowed the team up in the closing stages but spirit and support was high and we finished in a time of 5hrs 20mins, winning our category. Thank you for the Mendip Hash club for putting on the event who raise money for the Prostate Cancer UK charity. A great day out had by all.”
Andrew Tindal adds: “After the disruptions of 2020 it was lovely to be competing in an event again!”
Photo below: After the event at the finish on Cathedral Green
Meanwhile some other Harriers took part at a middle distance track meeting at Yeovil Arena on Sunday (20th September) – if there is any Harrier that can submit a report and/or any good photos we can add these later.
On the same day three Harriers went to compete at the Hullavington 5k road race and achieved som egood times in an event which was staged with waves of runners (no more than 6 per wave) setting off a minute apart to satisfy Covid-19 concerns. There's no indication that there was any extra medical cover provided at the event which was licenced via the Association of Running Clubs system (not UKA). Zak Hurrell ran the 3rd fastest 5k time of the day with his 16.11 with team-mate, Deputy Chairman, Christian Green going off in the same wave for an overall 5th place finish in 16.14. Club Coach Jon James was disappointed with his 7th place 16.39 and feels he would have gone quicker if he had been in a faster wave.
Zak & Christian seting a good pace, whilst below, Jon found himself having to run on his own....
ANY OTHER RACES COMING UP?
The prospects of more races are not looking too good. This week we have heard that both the Quantock Beast and the Brent Knoll races have now been cancelled. The main barrier is the need to have not only qualified First Aiders on hand but also an ambulance, and other Covid-19 precautions, in order to gain a UKA licence (& insurances). We are aware that some races permitted via the Association of Running Clubs are taking place but they don’t seem to have the same requirements. Kay Franklin still has the Harrier supported Baltonsborough 5 mile road race lined up for Sunday 20th December if conditions permit - this website will carry any updates about that event as we hear.
On the Cross Country front the Gwent League have now formally decided not to hold any League races this side of the New Year, and they follow in the footsteps of the Wessex League at cancelling fixtures, It appears the Hampshre League may still hold their first fixture in November but we will need to wait and see if that and any other XC matches in the UK go ahead in the event of further restrictions on sport due to Covid-19.
LATEST TRAINING UPDATE - Junior training on the way back?
On the training front the formal Harrier Club session on a Thursday (6.05pm-7.30pm) continues to attract good numbers and is growing in size, and the session follows the requirements for gatherings in the Covid-secure environment that Strode College Sports Centre provides. Book a space by contacting Graham by 6pm the previous night if you want to attend as we have to limit overall numbers.
The Wednesday informal group runs from Wells Rugby Club continue at 6.40pm with groups of up to 6 setting off in waves.
From early October, we have made provisional bookings with Strode College to bring back the junior training (age 8-15) on a Monday at Strode College (6pm-7pm); and a Tuesday seniors session (14 upwards) at the same venue (6.30pm-7.30pm). Parents of juniors who were attending before lockdown back in Feb/March will receive an email ahead of the sessions starting which will help guage interest and support. We will need to follow good practise for all sessions in terms of folk registering to attend, keeping social distance rules, etc. Updates to training will continue to be signposted on the Harrier website. We can only run these sessions if there is sufficient demand and enough qualified Harrier club coaches available.
We may trial 2 adult sessions (Tuesday & Thursday) if facilities allow but those attending training will be advised if one or two sessions a week available, and which night. If there is insufficient demand for 2 formal sessions then we will keep it at one.
Priority as always is given to Harrier members - see Membership tab if you want to join the Club and benefit from Harrier coaching sessions. There is still no formal update on when we might be able to use Millfield track again.
Check the England Athetics website from time to time to keep up to date with Covid-19 requirements but generally speaking informal training in groups of up to 6 (only) can carry on if you are using a public space.
COACHING OPPORTUNITY COMING UP! Volunteer to put some time back into the Club!
Given the pressure on how we have to organise and run sessions, and the fact that our coaching resources may be spread across 2 or 3 nights a week we are again RECRUITING TO THE COACHING TEAM. There is a Coaching Assistant course coming up in Taunton on the weekend of 17th & 18th October and we would like at least 2 Harriers (or parents of Harriers) to attend so that when qualified they can then assist at sessions on a regular basis - the commitment would be one night a week (at least every other week) on a rosta agreed with other coaches.
Please contact Paul, Graham or Jon if you want to know more about what it entails and talk through with Paul how the Club will pay for your Coaching course.
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