(above - Ollie Frost coming up through the mist at the top of Fan-y-Big in the Brecon Beacons)
Elise Thorner is now in Estonia getting ready for her 3000m Steeplechase event at the European u23 Championships whilst a handful of other Harriers are packing their bags to go as part of the Somerset Schools team to take part in the English Schools Championships. Meanwhile this past weekend has seen a whole host of great performances by Harriers of all ages – 10 to 60+ - in the whole range of athletic disciplines: track & field; road & fell racing; & also junior park-running setting new records!
Wells City Harrier Elise Thorner flew out to Estonia this week on Tuesday (6th July) with the British Athletic team to compete in the European u23 Track & Field Championships. This is Elise’s 2nd appearance for Team GB, where she competes at the 3000m Steeplechase. The first round takes place on Thursday (8th July) with the final on Saturday 10th July. You may be able to catch news on the Championships via the European Athletics website. We will carry a report and maybe some photographs next week, as dad Al has managed to secure his £10 seat on a Ryanair flight to be in the stadium!
Also going for gold this coming weekend are a handful of Harriers at the prestigious English Schools Championships being held in Manchester. Good luck to Hannah Blundy (inter girls 3000m) & Harry Barton (senior boys 110m Hurdle) and to 2nd claim Sophie Nicholls (inter girls 1500m) who trains with the Harriers at the track. Also, good luck to our Yeovil partner members who have in the past turned out for the Harriers at Cross-country or road relays: Lizzie Ingram, Anya Evans & Kai Snell.
Live action from Tallinn or Manchester may be available by the Vinco website or check the respective European Athletics Championships or English Schools websites for details. You can even listen to the anthem of the Tallinn Championships by following the link! I enjoyed watching the recent u20/u23 & senior National Championships live on Vinco. (made a change from the football).
Meanwhile this past weekend, Harriers of all ages have been competing hard at all the disciplines of athletics - track & field, road running & fell running – and some very young members have also continued to run time trials at their local junior 2km Parkruns.
Well done to 10 year old Harrier Leyton Finn who seems to be setting about establishing new records at the local junior Parkruns – he clocked 7.21 at the fast & flat Cheddar junior parkrun last Sunday, 4th July, following on from recently setting a fresh mark at Collett Park, Shepton Mallet. We know a number of our Monday junior Harriers have been excelling at the Collett Park runs – well done Eva Dowden, Jamie Williams, Corey Lincoln & others! The 5k Parkruns should be back very soon, but don’t all rush at once to take place in the weekly time trials!
National Athletics League
Competing in the National Athletics League at Yate as part of the team with Yeovil Olympiads on Saturday saw Zak Hurrell and Christian Green achieve personal bests over 5000m with 15.37 and 16.09 respectively. Sam Harding was a bit off his usual pace with 2.22 for 800m. This is a tough League where we are up against Bristol & West, Swansea, Cardiff & Yate, with all fixtures this season at Yate.
South West Athletics League
In the South West Athletics League the following day at Yeovil, Toby Watson & Bradley Glover ran well for 4.27 and 4.45 in the u201500m, with Jack Harvey having an excellent run for 4.30 in the u17 1500m, and Finlay Downes winning the u15 version in 4.35.
At the same fixture, Melissa McCusker was 3rd in the u17 300m with 44.0. Jemima Seagrove ran 13.6 for u15 100m and then 46.0 for u15 300m, before finding time for a 4.24m long jump. Also in field events, new member Hector Jones competed well in the u13 Javelin and scored good team points in the High Jump with 1.05m clearance.
Brecon Fan Fell Races – Saturday & Sunday 3rd & 4th July
Over in the Brecons in Wales at the weekend, a squad of very experienced Harriers competed in some tough fell races. With thick mist and squally showers on the tops, on the Saturday the Fan-y-Big 10 mile race included over 2,200 of ascent. A hardy group of fell runners from all over the UK assembled before the start, with all taking up to an hour or longer to reach the Fan-y-Big peak through showers and swirling mist at the top. The descent was a little bit quicker and Oliver Frost was first home for the Harriers in 8th place, 1st V40 in 1hr 26; followed by Chris Kelsey, 35th; Paul Chadwick, 53rd; Andrew Pate, 80th; Helen Kelsey, 1st F60, 82nd; & Gary Tubridy, 86th. A new course record was set by the winner, Luke Fisher of Tonbridge AC, who is a 15.30 for 5k runner on the flat.
The following day saw only a few of the previous day racers tackle the 2nd race but a good number of new, fresh runners enter. This race is much shorter (3.5mile, 1900ft ascent) but has a much more brutal gradient going up and down to Corn Du and along the ridge to Pen-y-Fan summit and back.
Paul Chadwick claimed 1st V60 place, 28th overall, in 57.21, gaining a number of places with his relatively quicker descent. Andrew Pate was the only other Harrier to do the double, finishing here in 80.16 for 44th. The Brecon’s weekend is all good training for any looking to do the South of England Fell Running Championships in September when there are 3 races to complete over a weekend! Speak to Paul about these Championships.
(Harriers after the Fan-y-Big race with their bottles of beer - who needs medals? photo by Helen)
Martock 10k Road Race
At Sunday’s Martock 10k road race (4th July), Harrier positions & times:
9th Archie Tyler (1st u20) 36.33
26th Laura James (1st F) 40.57
34th Neil Biss 41.55
45th Andrew Piper 43.40
88th George Biss 47.11
96th Hazel Shears 47.49
144th Gaby Rowe 50.56
Well done all that competed this past week - keep on training! If you compete, send us a report and any good photos for the website & local newspaper
In case you missed these articles....
& Blast from the past: Cotswold Way conquered (again) - July 2019 report