(Elise, wearing No 15, in the European 3000m Steeplechase - photo by Al)
Wells City Harrier members have been competing at both the National and European level this past week. Whilst some of the junior members were selected for the Somerset Schools team competing at the prestigious English Schools Championships in Manchester, another was part of theTeamGB squad that competed in Estonia. Elise Thorner finished 8th in the 3000m Steeplechase at the European u23 Athletics Championships in Tallinn, whilst Harry Barton is now the English Schools Senior boys Champion for 110m Hurdles. There were also good runs by Hannah Blundy & Sophie Nicholls at the same Championships. Meanwhile Andrew & Gill Tindal had a great weekend competing at the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon - fabulous hill running! Read on....
EUROPEAN u23 ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
"20 year old Elise Thorner was part of a 52 strong British Team to fly out to Estonia. This was Elise's 2nd GB International vest having competed in Gyor, Hungary in 2018 at the U18 European Championships. Specialising in the 3000m steeplechase, she lined up in the second heat of two on Thursday 8th July against 14 other rivals from across Europe seeking to finish in the first five or be one of the five fastest non automatic qualifiers, to progress through to the final.
Finishing in 8th place in the heat was sufficient to progress through to Saturday's final which saw sweltering 34 degree temperatures on the start line at 4.50 pm Estonian time. As can be typical in championship finals, the pace was slow through the first few laps, winding up towards the end of the seven and a half lap race, where Elise crossed the line in a very creditable 8th place with a time of 10 mins 12 seconds.
Elise can now look forward to a few weeks rest before travelling back to America in August for the beginning of the new academic year at the University of New Mexico where she is enjoying an athletics scholarship whilst studying for her degree in mass communications."
Well done to Elise for that performance, and we should also spare a thought for dad Al who survived the Ryanair flight and the testing 'hoops' to get out and back, even managing to watch the England v Denmark game in Tallinn Town square as part of his trip! Now back safely (in quarantine).
ENGLISH SCHOOLS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Meanwhile in Manchester last Friday, 9th July, 17 year old Harry Barton followed up his recent Silver medal winning performance at the national u20 Championships with a Gold medal winning run at the English Schools Championships. Competing in the 110m Hurdles event for Senior Boys, school years 12 & 13, Harry won his heat earlier on the Friday in a time of 14.29 and then later won the final in a new personal best of 14.15 – the 2nd fastest time of all u20s this year in the UK.
Harry is in the younger year group and will have a chance to defend his Senior title next year. This past Monday he still found time to come and help out at the Harrier’s weekly Monday junior training session helping the next cohort of juniors develop their athletic skills. All hail the English Schools Champion!
We have added Harry's (& Elise's) achievements to our roll of honour which can be found here in our 'potted history' section.
On the Saturday (10th July) at Manchester it was the turn of the Intermediate age group, School Years 10 & 11, and there was some excellent running by Hannah Blundy in the 3000m track event, and by Sophie Nicolls in the 1500m race.
Kev & Sarah Blundy report:
"Hannah enjoyed competing for Somerset in the Inter Girls 3000m race on Saturday. In a race that had 21 runners in it, including some of the countries top ranked athletes, Hannah finished in 8th position in a time of 10.03."
This clocking is a new personal best for Hannah as she continues to improve this season.
Also competing well, In the 1500m race, Sophie Nicholls ran a good 4.32, just outside her best, for 6th place.
A number of the Harrier juniors will be competing this coming Sunday at the South West Track & Field Championships, which incorporates the Inter-Counties match where some will be representing Somerset. Many are looking further ahead and have already entered the Somerset County Athletic Championships to be held on 21st & 22nd August at Yeovil. See link to the Championships off the Team tab here. Don't miss the entry date if intending to compete. We would encourage all of our junior members aged 10 and above to have a go!
Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon
Andrew and Gill Tindal competed in the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon which this year had Buttermere as the event centre:
"We completed the “Fairfield Pairs” class where we had 12 hours spread over two days to reach as many mountain checkpoints as we could to test strategy, navigation and camping skills as well as running speed. We were pleased to come 25th out of 80 pairs in our class covering approximately 40 kilometres and approximately 3000m of ascent."
What fabulous hills to go running over! Photos show Gill finding a checkpoint; and the overnight Saturday camp site - all competitors have to carry the full camping gear with them and ony have access to milk (& beer!) at the campsite - other provsions, food etc, has to be carried by each competitor.
MEMBERSHIP & TRAINING UPDATE:
We continue to see a steady number of new members of all ages join us to take advantage of our training sessions and other Club benefits - welcome to all the new members. We now have over 150 paid up members with a further 29 former members yet to advise us if they are renewing this year.
The Monday junior sessions pause after next Monday until September, although some of the older 'Monday' juniors will be advised by coaches to attend Tuesday sessions during August. In September we will again have a few places available at the Monday sessions where juniors can book a place on a half-termly basis.
Tuesday and Wednesday sessions continue as per usual, with the Tuesday training plan for July & August at Millfield track previously posted up - option of either a track-based session or a grass-based session. You choose.
Below - "if you survive the warm up, then you can survive the training session" on a Tuesday night (photo by Graham)
& Finally - Blast from the Past - Report on Harriers at the English Schools Championships in 2013