We welcomed some very familiar faces and some new ones to the 200th edition of the Street races on Wednesday night. We actually had one competitor, Brian Mountjoy-Row, who had run in the very first edition back in October 1990! Amongst the volunteer marshals we should also point out that Ray & Dan Culliford and Terry Kingham also ran in Street race No1. Our thanks as ever to all of the volunteers who help make the Street races go so well.
Everyone who attended and took part, or volunteered, should have collected their souvenir buff of the 200th edition. If not then please contact the Harrier kit manager Graham Goldsmid to collect.
Headlines are taken by u17 Tom Webb setting a new age group course record when he won the race in a nippy 15.22. u20 Sophie Nicholls was again supreme amongst the women racing the 5k distance. Prizes were awarded by one of the Harrier founder members Berni Mundy, who missed the very first Street race bur ran in the 2nd one!
In the junior races, Rowan Kelly & Florence Perkins won the 1k race, and Oskar Beck & Eva Dowden won the 2k race. Two of the Harrier’s TeamGB athletes, Ben Tickner and Luke Prior were on hand to congratulate the juniors and inspire them to greater glory! Junior results now added - see below
This report also summarises the huge number of great performances by Harriers at Sunday’s County Cross Country Championships. There were outright wins by u11 Ruby Shaw, u13 Bibi Abernethy and u13 Oskar Beck; Somerset Gold medal winners in addition to those three were u11 Rowan Kelly, u17 Daisy Davies and u17 Tom Webb. Not to be outdone for County gold was also 1st V50 Geoff Cole.
Photo below of Rowan Kelly and Ruby Shaw holding their Somerset Gold medals.
Last call for entries to Sunday’s Harrier supported Baltonsborough 5 mile road race with a Christmas pudding for all entries. Enter in advance if at all possible, or on the day. All surplus proceeds to charity. Information and entry link here.
Street Series Race No 200 – Wednesday 13th December 2023
There was an excellent turn-out of 103 competitors in the 200th edition of the Street races. It’s hard to imagine that the founders of the races around Street, back in October 1990 would have envisaged them still being organised some 33 and a half years later!
Below we’ve got a bit more looking back with some of the original results from the first three races of October-December 1990. We can see that the original race Director and former Chair of the Harriers, Clive Thomas, had a mathematical mind – he was not only the Master in charge of Athletics at Millfield Prep but also taught Maths - and so there was a bit of handicapping going on then, the pre-cursor I guess to the Age Graded stats that we still report today.
My thanks to Ray Culliford in particular who ran in those first three races who has leant me those results. Ray’s son, Dan, also ran in those races along with Terry Kingham and all three have been stalwart marshals at the Street races now for many years. A very big shout out though to Brian Mountjoy-Row who ran in the very first race and ran again last night….
The 200th edition was won outright by u17 Harrier Tom Webb in a new age group course record of 15.22. He ran away from the rest of the field early on and was never in danger of being caught. 2nd was Bristol & West’s David Awde in 15.49 who had the fast closing Harrier Alex Coombs chasing him down in 3rd place with his 15.52(pb).
For the women, u20 Harrier Sophie Nicholls is making a habit of winning - this time in 17.21. In 2nd place was Woking AC’s Louise Mills in 18.29, and 3rd was 1st F45 Gill Pearson (running For Time) in 19.13.
Virtually all photographs from this Street night of racing by Al Thorner – many thanks
Other age category winners:
1st M40 Alexander Sampson (Westbury H) 17.17
1st M50 Marko Nurminen (u/a) 18.04
1st M60 Graham Goldsmid (Wells City Harriers) 20.01
1st M70 Barrie Knight (Frome) 23.49
1st M80 Len Horlock (Burnham Harriers) 28.20
1st F35 Hazel Shears (Bow Street Runners) 21.52
1st F55 Carol Buckland (Wells City Harriers) 23.43
1st F65 Kim Clark (Wells City Harriers) 27.01
Age Graded ‘winners’ were Tom Webb with 88.6% and Gill Pearson 87%
Photos below of Berni with Graham, Sophie, Hazel and Barrie
Junior Races over 1k and 2k
As ever, there was some great running by the enthusiastic juniors in the 1k and 2k races. 1k aimed at School years 5&6; 2k aimed at school years 7&8. The vast majority of the junior competitors train with us on a Monday. 24 competitors in total.
The winners were:
1k – Rowan Kelly & Florence Perkins
2k – Oskar Beck & Eva Dowden
Above: that's Harrier Life Members and TeamGB athletes Luke Prior (left) and Ben Tickner (right) flanking our 4 junior winners on the night with Race Director Stephen Nicholls in the background
Below: Without volunteers the Club is nothing - some here have been volunteering 20 + years at Street. We should think about renaming the first Street race corner, bottom of Farm Road, the Goldsmid corner, and the 2nd corner the Culliford corner!! If you are a Harrier or parent of a junior Harrier please volunteer.
See below for Street races looking back feature
Tri-Counties XC Championships, University of Bath – Sunday 10th December
(incorporating Somerset AA County Championships)
Wells City Harrier members again dominated the Somerset County Cross Country Championships this past weekend, maintaining their prime Club position across the County. There were a number of County Champions, and as the Championships were also contested alongside those of Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire with athletes running in the same race, there were also some outright winners.
Photo below taken on Monday night of those who were back training with us after competing the day before. Well done to all from either the Wells section or those from Yeovil!
The races of varying distance were held at the University of Bath on muddy fields with a strong headwind as all competitors raced downhill before a long uphill haul with the wind behind them. From the Harrier’s Monday juniors squad there were 12 competing and another 8 or so juniors from the Yeovil side of the Club.
U11 Ruby Shaw, who has been dominant at the Wessex XC League and at the local Mendip Primary Schools XC races won her race outright when claiming the Somerset Gold medal. Likewise, u13 Oskar Beck who has won 3 out of 3 at the tough Gwent XC League won the race outright against all comers. The third Harrier to beat all comers was u13 Bibi Abernethy when claiming Somerset Gold.
For the u11 girls, in addition to Ruby’s performance, Harriet Scott was 3rd overall and won the Somerset County AA Silver medal, with Zoe Frost 14th and Florence Perkins 28th out of 38. In the u11 boys race, Rowan Kelly and William McAslan won County Gold & Silver respectively, with Harriers Milo Cook, 45th, and Alfie Beck, 46th, in strong support behind them. (55 runners).
For the u13 boys race, in addition to Oskar’s great victory, Jamie Williams was 17th, Dominic Cook 37th and Toby Hirst 47th in the big field of 60 runners. In the u17s men’s race, Tom Webb was 4th overall, 1st Somerset runner and thus gained Gold, with support from fellow Harriers Gabriel Chatard, Joshua Hinton and Jay Carey in 20th, 25th and 29th positions, out of 52.
For the u15s, Isabelle Whittle was 8th and Isobel Stacey 11th out of 32 runners.
In the u17 women’s race, it was a clean sweep of the County AA medals with Gold going to Daisy Davies in 6th place overall, Silver to Lucy Bickerton, 8th, and Bronze to Evie Horsfall, 12th, with Amelie Cook, 13th, just missing out.
There was also a few of the Harrier’s Senior runners competing over the traditional 4 lap course, though most are now saving themselves for the South-West XC Championships in early 2024. In the women’s race, Melissa Aspinall was 123rd out of 157 competitors. For the men, Matt Lusby was 1st V35, 3rd Somerset runner home, in overall 19th position. Laurence Badman, 101st, Oliver Frost 113th, and Geoff Cole 166th. (200 in total ran).
It's important that Harrers of all ages look to compete at the County Championships and if at all possible volunteer to help out. Our entry was down this year but the administrators and organisers still need help to organise the event regardless of numbers competing. The County AA has been dependent on our tent being available in the past and it always helps to have a welcoming face from the Harriers for our many juniors that compete.
Blast from the past: 10 years ago - Report from the 2013 County XC Championships here
Next up for the XC runners is the Wessex XC League on Sunday - good luck to Ruby as she strives to win her 3rd race in that particular League. Harriers should also ensure they pre-enter the SW XC Championships at Ilton before the deadline, and for those who are really wanting to test themselves the Southern XC Championships at Beckenham. Those good enough will also be selected to represent Somerset AA at the SW event if they have entered. Full information about XC fixtures is on the Cross Country webpage here.
Street Series – looking back
My thanks to Ray Culliford for finding these results from long ago. The results from the very first race are not entirely complete as they are based on Clive’s summary sheet from the 3rd race where he was compiling the Series standings as they stood at that time – if anyone can provide any missing information then let us know.
Now, something I’d not known, or had forgotten, although I did run in the 2nd Series on the same original 4-lap circuit... is that it wasn’t actually 5k!
It was longer at 5k and 154metres, or 3 miles and 356 yards as Clive calculated it. Clive also worked out some handicapping for each runner, which may be similar to the Age graded calculatons that the computer software now throws up. I'm advised he then awarded prizes at the end of the Series based on the handicap - he was interested in how people improved over the Series - not just the fastest! I guess we do something similar nowadays whereby we award a bottle of Hecks cider to anyone who runs quicker than their previous time in the Series!
Street Race results Race 1 October 1990 here – as far as I can work out (based on Clive’s hand-written Series standings after Race 3). If anyone can help fill in any of the gaps then please get in touch!
The first Race HQ was the Victoria Club.
There were actually some shorter races based on1 lap or 2 laps for juniors and novices at these first races.
In December 1990, Duncan Cole (Harriers) won the 1 lap race(1288m) in 3.52 which is very nippy; Richard Barnes (Burnham) was 2nd in 4.05; and Andy Hennessy (Harriers) 3rd in 4.15. Kathleen Francis (Harriers) was 1st girl in 4.25.
For the novices over 2 laps (2.5km) Michael Scott (Butleigh) ran 10.21 and Graham Street (u/a) 10.30 with Rachel Clark (Harriers) 1st female in 11.23
More Street Photos from the December 2023 edition below: