Wells City Harriers


aaaaElise indoors


This week’s round up has a report on some of the Harriers who are over in the USA on athletic scholarships. In particular, the Thorner twins (Elise in photo above & Ollie below) who are excelling at their athletics in their final year in the US College system.



We also summarise how some of the Harrier trained juniors faired at the South West Schools Cross Country Championships last Saturday, and have a round-up of any athletes I could spot at the regional XC Championships for Clubs, and the British Universities XC Championships.


For those looking to get back into running and maybe wanting to run at the Wells Festival of Running at the end of May, but are unsure of their fitness, there’s news too of a new Harrier ‘Couch to 5k’ programme about to start in April – sign ups now welcome.


Lastly, a reminder to all that we have the 202nd edition of the Street 5k races to look forward to next Wednesday, 14th February, and on the same night the accompanying 1k & 2k races for juniors. Sign up online in advance for the 5k and entry on the night for the junior races and the 5k is available. The Harrier supported Babcary road race on Sunday 25th February, 11am, is also coming up soon – don’t leave it too late to enter as sometimes this races is full by mid-Feb!

aaaaOllie 1000mindoors


Al reports about indoor action in the States:

"On 26th and 27th January 2024, Wells City Harrier twins Ollie and Elise Thorner opened their indoor track and field seasons at the Arkensas Razorback invitational at Fayettville in the USA.

The Great Britain Internationals both transferred to the University of Florida for their post grad year after graduating at the Universities of New Mexico and Washington in 2023.

Multi-athlete Ollie opened up with a personal best running a 7.15 seconds 60m dash in the opening event on Day 1 of the indoor Heptathlon, a seven event competition spread over the two days of the meet. Solid performances in the Long Jump, Shot Put and High Jump saw him break 3000 points for the first time on Day 1. 



He then backed it up with a personal best on Day 2 in the 60m hurdles, running 8.42 seconds and a solid 4m 40 in the Pole Vault. On the final event, the 1000m he set a third personal best of the event and recorded the 5th fastest time ever by a Heptathlete from any nation in a top class competition, recording 2 mins 29 seconds, sufficient to climb from 7th to 5th overall in the final standings. This was also a Heptathlon personal best by Thorner at 5675 points ranking him 2nd on the GB senior rankings for 2024 and 10th in the US.

aaaaOllie indoor High Jump



Elise competed in the Distance Medley Relay team on Day 1 of the event posting a highly creditable 3 mins 19 seconds for the first leg over 1200m helping her team to 3rd place ranking nationally in the event for 2024. On Day 2 she then competed in the elite invitational mile also posting a great time of 4 mins 38 seconds, her second fastest ever at sea level. Both will be hoping for top 16 rankings nationally and a coveted place at the NCAA indoor finals at Boston on 8th and 9th March 2024."

Also competing well indoors Stateside is another of the Harrier’s Hon Lifetime members (for selection for TeamGB): u23 Harry Barton ran a 200m pb when finishing in 21.77 last Saturday, 3rd February.

South West Schools XC Championships – Ilton – Saturday 3rd February

For some of the Harriers this would have been the 3rd time this calendar year that they have competed on the XC course at RNAS Merryfield, near Ilton. No doubt, the prior course knowledge helped in some ways, but I hear Saturday’s efforts were somewhat harder due to a feeling that it was muddier than the previous two occasions!

U17 Tom Webb and u13 Bea Soper take the outright plaudits for their 2nd and 3rd places respectively, but all who ran for the Somerset County Schools team (or the Dorset Schools team!) should be pleased with their efforts and no doubt most, if not all, may well feature in the County Schools teams to go to the prestigious English Schools National XC Championships to be held at Pontefract on 3rd March. A number of the Harriers were running in the two-year age groups and giving away at least a year to older students. (If I've missed any Harriers out from this list let me know)

Junior Boys (Years 8&9)

13 Oskar Beck 

41 Leyton Finn

Junior Girls (Years 8&9)

3 Bea Soper

6 Bibi Abernethy

41 Vienna Townsend

Inter Boys (Years 10&11)

2 Tom Webb

34 Dexter Townsend



Inter Girls (Years 10& 11)

10 Daisy Davies

16 Isabelle Whittle

22 Daisy Abernethy

28 Jemima Davey

28 Isobel Stacey

Senior Girls (Years 12&13)

7 Sophie Nicholls

12 Iris Courtney

32 Lucy Acott

41 Mackenzie O’Dea

Southern XC Championships - Beckenham Park, 27th January

The Southerns used to be a very big day out for the Harriers of all ages with us taking either a coach load, or two minibuses plus, of athletes to compete, especially in the years when the event is held at Parliament Hill (every other year).

For the senior men they have always been faced with what is reputed to be , at 15km, the longest XC Championship race in the world! This year, just the one Harrier up for the challenge:

79th Matt Lusby 48.22 (720 finishers)

Meanwhile at the

Midlands XC Championships - Leamington Spa, 27thJanuary

U20 race 2nd Hannah Blundy 23.07 (6km)

And the following week

British Universities College Sports XC Championships - Leeds 3rd Feb

16th u20 Hannah Blundy 27.30              (6.56k)

215th u20 Dan Maydew 32.53                 (7.95km)

Couch to 5k course coming soon – sign up now!

So, you’re not sure if you are fit enough to run continuously for 5k, or used to run but would like to get back into it, and want to run with a group of others all supporting each other? So, back again for the umpteenth time is a Harrier Up & Running course over 8 weeks starting on Wednesday 3rd April (when the evenings are light). Again, under the guidance and watchful eyes of Harrier coaches Sharon Bowles with Lynne Elstob.

aaaaUpRunning Couch to 5k

Street 5k & junior races

Next Wednesday 14th February. Register online in advance if at all possible for the 5k; sign up on the night by queueing; 1k for School years 5 & 6 (and confident younger runners); 2k for School years 7 & 8. 

See here for more information and previous results.

Street 5k February entry link here

Babcary Road Race – Sunday 25th February

Back again, the annual Babcary race sees folk tackle a hilly little circuit and then enjoy tea and cake in the playing field pavilion afterwards. Some in training for a Spring Marathon have been known to run the circuit twice over as part of their weekly long run- the question is….is it best to run the course easy before the race starts and then race; or to run the race and then run it afterwards when you’re a bit more tired?

Babcary race information & entry link here


Also, coming soon a few other local races to think about  - all can be entered online via the RunBritain portal

1st April Shapwick Bunny Hop mt (& junior races)

14th April Harrier supported Butleigh 10k Multi-terrain race

14th April Penselwood hilly 10k road race (& junior races)

All have great cake & tea afterwards!


Meet the Harriers


Our next Meet the Harriers interview features junior triathlete Tom Webb. Click here to read his interview. 



& finally, GET READY FOR TRACK & FIELD! The Harrier Monday sessions for juniors age 8-15 will soon start to switch into Track & Field training ready for the forthcoming season.

Athletes of all ages should think about entering the early season Spring Open held over the Easter weekend at our partner Club's track at Yeovil. For full information see the link here and enter online early as some races/events fill up quick!


Well done to our partners at Yeovil Olympiads and to all that signed the petition to demonstrate the need for the Yeovil track - the Town Council in Yeovil is now going to help support it continuing to be a great community asset. You can read the update here.