Junior Gwent Cross Country League Races

Good afternoon,

If you've not had an email from me before, I am the Girls Team Manager / Coaching Assistant at the club.

As most of you probably know, it's now the cross country season and I am, as ever, looking for youngsters to represent the club at the Gwent Cross Country League. At the first meeting in Bridgend we entered 29 girls and 18 boys accross the junior age groups. However, we would like more juniors to race.

The races are open to all ages from 9 upwards and each race costs £1.00 for juniors.  If you are interested in running please let the relevant team manager know at Manager.Girls@WestburyHarriers.co.uk or Manager.Boys@WestburyHarriers.co.uk.

 I've listed below details of the remaining fixtures :

Sunday 9th November 2014 - Llandaff Fields, Cardiff

Saturday 6th December 2014 - Penlan Leisure Centre, Brecon

Sunday 8th February 2015 - Blaise Castle, Bristol

Sunday 1st March 2015 - Dare Valley Park, Aberdare

There are also adult races at these meeting so if you have a junior who wants to race, why not make a day of it and enter yourself into a race. Adult entries are £4.00. Please let the relevant men / women team manager know if you are interested in racing.

If you have any questions or want to confirm your availability to race, please do not hesitate to contact me. Alternatively, I am always at training on Monday and Thursday evenings if you want to come and have a chat about the races. For those of you who are not sure who I am, just look for the big hairy bloke!!!

Thank you

Simon Johnston

Junior Girls Team Manager




Weston Christmas Supper – Thursday 18th Dec

Sandra Bailey Gard is organising the Weston Christmas supper on 18th Dec

Starter chicken liver &bacon Pate' , Tomato &basil Soup or Broccoli &blue Cheese Soup £2.25

Roast Turkey , Salmon Fillet , or Lentil,mushroom,Mozzarella&pumpkin Seed Roast all including drink £8.99

Dessert Christmas Pudding with Custard or Brandy Sauce Please stipulate choice, Salted Caramel Cheesecake or Christmas cake £2.25

Please can I have menu choices and full payment ASAP

Thanks Sandra

Gwent League Fixtures

The remaining fixtures for the Gwent League have finally been decided:

  • Sunday, October 12th  - Newbridge Fields, Bridgend (event details here)
  • Sunday November 9th - Llandaff Fields, Cardiff
  • Saturday December 6th - Penlan Leisure Centre, Brecon
  • Sunday February 8th 2015 - Blaise Castle, Bristol
  • Sunday March 1st 2015 - Dare Valley Park, Aberdare

We had to switch because no-one else could make the February weekend.  Unfortunately, the South West Schools is on Saturday, February 7th, so we're going to stage our home fixture on the Sunday to avoid the clash.

Don’t Forget to Pick Up Your Vest

A Westbury Harriers vest is included in the cost for new members.  Once you’ve joined, you’ll be sent an email confirming your membership.  Print this off, and take it along to Up and Running in Henleaze, where they hold a stock of vests in all sizes.

Existing members can also buy new club vests for £13.  Family membership includes one club vest, so you may want to buy additional ones.

About Running Spikes / For Sale (Log in to View)

If you are going to run cross-country races (and why miss out on all that fun), a pair of running spikes is a big advantage.  Although you can run cross-country in ordinary trainers (and many do for their first few races), you’ll quickly realise that they are heavy, and don’t grip very well.  Spikes, on the other hand, are built for racing, and the spikes within the shoe are interchangeable, so you can put long ones in for slippery conditions, short ones in for the track or firm grass.

Westbury Harriers does have a few spare pairs of second-hand spikes, and we’ll bring them along on Monday and Thursday, so you can try a pair on.  We charge £5 per pair.

Cross-Country Running Style (Log in to View)

I was asked recently about ‘technique’ for cross-country.  I was never taught this, and don’t formally coach it with youngsters, but it is true that you run slightly differently for cross-country.

The main problems are slipping and tripping.  If you land on your heel with your foot well ahead of your body, you’ll end up on your backside!  And if you run with your feel swinging forwards low before landing, you’ll end up tripping on the uneven ground.  So cross-country runners tend to bring their knees through earlier and slightly higher, allowing them to then plant their feet downwards.

It turns out that this is a more effective technique on any surface, allowing you to run faster and with less risk of injury.  So get out there on soft, rough ground, and work on that technique!

Cross-Country Races – Packing Kit List (Log in to View)

Think of a cross-country match as an adventure!  The race itself just a small part of it.  We’ll gather in a tent in a corner of a field, somewhere in Wales, and as with all such adventures, it might rain all day, but we’re all helping each other, and the more horrible the conditions, the better you feel you’ve done.  During the day, as well as warming up and running your own race, you’ll be out running about supporting the others, as well as passing the time at the back of the tent.

So what to pack?  The main principle is to assume it’s going to be colder and wetter than you expected, you’re going to get sweaty and muddy and want to put warm dry stuff afterwards.  Here’s a list of things to consider:

  • Westbury vest, shorts (you really don’t want to race in long bottoms, which are heavy when wet, and hot on a fine day)
  • Running spikes (if you’ve got them; do try a few training sessions in them before racing)
  • Socks (cotton, or high percentage of cotton, because nylon socks are horrible for sport)
  • Waterproof jacket and perhaps waterproof trousers
  • Long-sleeve tops: I usually take a lightweight one for running around in, and a heavy, warm one for afterwards
  • Leggings: you can get some great lightweight ‘tracksters’ for warming up in
  • Warm coat, although if you have a couple of long sleeve tops on under a waterproof jacket, that would do as well
  • Hat and gloves; if you wear glasses, a cap is useful to keep the rain off them
  • Dry spares for afterwards: T-shirt, warm sweatshirt or hoodie, socks, perhaps spare tracksuit bottoms and dry shoes
  • A small towel
  • Wellies – some people like these, because they keep your feet dry and hence warm, while others stick to heavy duty trainers.
  • Food and drink, both water/sports drink and a thermos with a hot drink.
  • Plastic carrier bags to put wet kit and muddy shoes in, and a big bin liner to put your bag in if it’s really wet.
  • And most importantly of all: a sense of humour!

London Marathon – club places

If you've received a rejection from the London Marathon ballot, please keep hold of your documentation if you wish to be entered into the club draw.

The club is in the process of applying for the places and as soon as we know how many places we have been allocated we'll publish the details so that you can enter.