Hopefully everyone is staying safe and healthy during the lockdown due to coronavirus? There’s been lots more people out walking, running and cycling of late – helped by the better weather over the last few weeks. Sunday (19th April) would have been the Harrier supported Butleigh 10k multi-terrain race – one that many of us enjoy because of the varied and interesting course or because of the cakes afterwards. Like other events, it’s one that raises good money for a local cause – in this instance the village Playing Fields & Pavilion – and the Harriers are always pleased to help out the village organisers. Now includes Pete Wright looking back at his first running of the race in the 1980s. We look back also at some mislaid photos from the National XC Championships at Nottingham just 2 months ago – can you believe that mud?! And discover another item from the dusty vaults of the Club from the early 1980s.
Harrier stalwart Steve Masters powers home first for the Harriers at the 2008 edition of the Butleigh race
The Butleigh race was due to have been race number 4 in this year’s Somerset Race Series 2020 – the Series is currently on hold and a decision will be taken later as to whether to abandon it completely or have a slimmed down Series this year. It’s probably the least of our worries. The Harriers have always supported the Butleigh Race as obviously it’s on our local patch and Harriers that live in the village have usually been very significant in organising the race. You can read last year’s report here.
Photo of Harriers after the 2017 Butleigh race (that man Steve Masters is still there - front far right!) with then Race Director Harrier Pete Wright in the middle
Here are Pete Wright’s Butleigh reminiscences:
“Back in circa 1989, it was a new experience for me (at Butleigh) having never taken part in something called a multi-terrain race, and I’m sure I had planned to test myself prior to running the Glastonbury road run.
I was totally unprepared for Butleigh, no running shoes to speak of, think plimsols style, pretty basic footwear and definitely not recommended. What was pivotal for me, which has shaped much of my running and social life since, was meeting Angela Thomas.
Angela drew along-side me on the run up the road section of the Cedars as I had run far too quickly in the first mile, she commented on my footwear!
She kindly suggested that something with better cushioning would be more appropriate, we had a very brief chat, before she pulled away from me.
It was afterwards that she collared me and talked me into joining WCH which I did and found myself joining the Wednesday evening group training runs from the Wells Rugby Club. So, some thirty years later I wouldn’t have expected to be living in Butleigh and be linked with the BMT, thank you Angela.
The BMT course then was the older longer route crossing over and back & along the main road with my favourite section being the downhill stretch to Compton Dundon. It was in later years that I found my feet sort of… chasing Stuart Marsh and Paul and many other WCH’s and of course Stuart was always ahead.
It was and still is a most memorable event, post-race memories: the cup of soup matched the steamy glow of the runners and those fab cakes crammed into the old hut and now with the new hall providing a superb venue, those cakes still hit the mark, as does the atmosphere.
The race course and distance has evolved over the last few years and hopefully it has retained its magic, with the revised route and start/ finish contributing to a safer event ( traffic wise) and with the good will of everyone involved it will return.”
Pete has been a Harrier member since then, was a demon at distance races in particular – clocking 2.45 at London – and went on to be the Butleigh Race Director. Hopefully we will have more about the legendary Stuart Marsh on the web report about the Glastonbury Road Run coming up…..
National XC Championships 2020 – the lost photographs
It’s hard to imagine that it's only 2 months since the National XC Championships took place in Nottingham. We carried a report in this article here but a few photographs supplied by parents went astray due to the Lamyatt broadband system being on strike at the time so here’s two that got away. Can you believe that mud? Well done to the u15 boys team of three that all had great runs in those conditions. That’s Archie Coates, Freddie Griffiths and Tommy Hummel in the team
From the Harrier Archives
There are a few Harriers out there who log every training run and race/event they compete in – that’s not a bad thing to do as it helps you work out what went right or wrong when you are reviewing performances. (some of us have 30 years of training logs!!) Of course, in the old days they'd use bits of string on maps to work out distances covered, and note where the big hand was on the clock when they got back for the time elapsed, whilst nowadays many use Garmins or Stravas, or something else. This bit of the archives is definitely from the ‘old days’ – the early 1980’s and there are a still a couple of these Harriers out training and competing – that’s pretty good! Extract from the MidSomerset Series of Newspapers which has been really good over the years carrying our reports of races and events.
Who can you recognise? (copy supplied by Andrew Piper, who was very young in this photo!)