Elise Thorner in action in the 3000m Steeplechase (No 1 on leg, light blue vest) photo credit @jkh_photo


Whilst many Wells City Harrier members are getting ready to compete for the first time in a while, due to Covid19 restrictions, a couple of our Hon Life Members have continued to excel in the United States where they are on Athletic Scholarships. 20 year old twins Elise & Ollie Thorner first started training with the Harriers age 8 at our Monday evening coached sessions and they continue to improve! Meanwhile some of the current crop of Monday youngsters have been working hard in training and together with our sessions for older juniors and seniors on a Thursday, and our Wednesday group runs, numbers attending Harrier sessions each week are in excess of 80 in total. Read on for more about competition, training sessions, and the latest about Club Membership.

Al Thorner reports on his twins in action Stateside:

“Ollie & Elise have both been in athletic action in the US for their respective universities in Seattle and New Mexico. On Friday 9th April, Ollie competed in the Decathlon at the Jim Click invitational Shootout in Tucson, Arizona, albeit he was only scheduled to complete in 7 of the 10 events whilst still rehabilitating from an injury sustained in January.

Solid results followed over the two day event in the 100m (11.30), Shot Put (12.28m), Long Jump (6m 77), Pole Vault (4m 50) and High Jump (1m 91), but the stand-out performances came in the throws with a personal best 38m 49 in the Discus and a whopping 6m personal best in the Javelin to record 52m 24. Ollie next competes in Fresno, California on Friday 30th April which will be the first time that he has competed at the same meeting as his twin sister since they both moved to study in America.

Below: Ollie achieving a new pb at Javelin


On Friday 23rd April Elise was fortunate enough to gain an invitation to compete at the 111th running of the prestigious Drake Relays at Des Moines, Iowa in the 3000m steeplechase. The event was billed as a US qualifier for the forthcoming Olympic trials and attracted a field of 15, all of whom had personal bests at least 45 seconds faster than Elise.

In perfect running conditions on the night she ran an excellent race against the predominantly professional field of athletes and finish in 11th place taking an enormous 55 seconds off of her personal best time to record 9 mins 52 seconds. This performance represents a qualifying standard for the forthcoming European U23 championships (*) currently ranking her No 1 in Europe for the event and 6th on the UK All time U23 list. Elise will also next be competing in Fresno, California on Friday 30th April over the shorter 1500m distance.”  

See Power of Ten Rankings for 3000mSC (all ages)

(*) The European u23 Championships this year take place in Bergen, Norway, 8th-11th July. It will be fantastic if Elise gets selected to represent Team GB again for those Championships - Good luck to her & Ollie as their season progresses.


Competitions coming up

Track & Field: A number of Harriers are entered for the first of the Yeovil Spring Open Track Meetings taking place in the next few weeks (1st & 8th May). Our partner Club, Yeovil Olympiads, was inundated with entries as soon as they announced this early season opportunity to compete at both Field and Track events. We will report on achievements in the next round up, but parents/athletes, please take a photo or two and provide any report you can for the website.


Dates for the South West League are yet to be finalised but see this link here for when they are announced – those wishing to compete should contact team managers at YOAC to express an interest in being selected. Details on our partner Club's website. Other opportunities for Track & Field Championships etc will be posted on the dedicated webpage - Team News & Contacts.


Road & Off-road: The Glastonbury Road Run, using a straight out and back route from Strode College covering 10km takes place this coming Sunday 2nd May. A number of Harriers will be lined up in the different ‘waves’ of starters. Good luck to all competing. A number of other races are now being licenced to take place following the Covid-19 rules.

The Haselbury Trail Race is due to take place on Wednesday 4th August and is open for entries. LINK HERE. Some Harriers are traveling further afield to Dorset or South Wales for multi-terrain or fell races. As we hear of races especially those organised by fellow Clubs we will try and post up information. We are hopeful that the Baltonsborough Road Race might take place at the end of August and also the Ash Excellent 8 & 5 & juniors races also might happen in early September.

Parkruns are useful as a regular test of fitness for all ages & abilities (they aren't races) & the junior versions - 2k- have already re-started at some of the Parkrun venues. We hear of good times posted by some of our Monday juniors at the Shepton Mallet venue. The 5km Parkruns are due to re-start on Saturday 5th June so look out for news on the Parkrun website for your local venues.


A number of Harriers have already entered Fell Races in the Brecon Beacons and other opportunties are to be found there, or at Trail races in Devon & Dorset - ask Paul if interested.



Harrier Training Sessions

The Harrier training sessions have now been back in action for a month with good numbers attending: Monday coached Juniors sees up to 20 attending & we have room for another 3 or 4 youngsters; The Wednesday running group from Wells Rugby Club has up to 30 attending; and Thursday coached session sees another 30 or so taking part. We still need to register in advance for the coached sessions on Monday & Thursday and follow Covid-19 guidance about groups of 6 for the Wednesday runs,


This past week the Monday juniors all had a go at the Kosmin Test  on the grass track to predict 800m times and when we are able to, we will also be using the Gacon test again which we tend to use two or three times a season. We use different activities and programmes to provide variety and encouragement for the juniors. When we are back at Millfield we will also be doing shot put and jumps again. If any Club member is interested in coaching then please contact either Graham or Paul. There is no Monday junior session on the Bank Holidays in May. Fuller detail about our coached sessions is on the dedicated tab - Join the Club to benefit from our training. 


Harrier Membership

We have 180 members on our database, and our partner Club, Yeovil Olympiads another 200+, so together we are a very sizeable ‘team’. Both the Olympiads and ourselves have been asking members to pay their annual fees this past few weeks.

All the requests to pay went out via England Athletics on the weekend of 10th or 17th April. If you can't  now find the e-mail or think it hasn’t arrived please get in touch with Paul as we’ve had reports of a handful of members who haven’t received it. Please try and pay all fees by mid-May at the latest to ensure you continue to be eligible for Club benefits and training sessions, and covered by Club insurance. Almost 100 Harriers have already paid up for 2021/22 - try not to be the last to pay!


When you get confirmation of membership of England Athletics (if paid for) please ensure you click your profile and update any information which is incorrect or add any information which is missing e.g. emergency contact.


There has been no word yet from the London Marathon organisers about Club places for this years edition to be held in October.



If as a Harrier you compete at an event let us know how you fared. If there are a number of Harriers at the same race please try and pull together a joint report and any (good) photos you can capture will also be useful. Reports & photos sent by Monday evening have a chance of getting into the local newspaper and/or onto the next report on the Harrier website. Send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


& FINALLY: BLAST FROM THE PAST - This time from 10 years ago, we have a report on how Harriers raced at the 2011 London Marathon and the Club Newsletter from April 2011 How many folk do you recognise?