Vets Races December

Vets News

Hope everyone has had a good Christmas and you've managed to fit in some exercise between the food and drink.

December has been a busy month for the club with many of the vets in action on the road and in cross country races. Great to see so many turn out at Weston and on Boxing Day at Clevedon.

The Tri Counties (Avon, Wiltshire and Somerset) Cross Country Championships were held at Bath University on Sunday 11th December. Good conditions meant some fast races and good performances from Westbury runners in every age group.

Well done to Scott Campbell (7th overall) , Alex Hamblin (20th), Ben Osborne (23rd), James Shorney (27th), David Hobbs (36th) and Alan Uren (40th) who picked up silver medals in the team event.

There were seven individual Westbury winners in the Avon Championships and 5 were overall Tri Counties winners.

I think we can claim a clean sweep of the Age Group categories with wins for Anthony Glover ( Annadale Striders / former Westbury Vet Manager) in MV40, Ken Ham in MV50 and Mike Mewse in MV60.

David Hobbs MV40 added the individual bronze medal to his team silver and there were fine runs from Richard Noble and Jullian Bailey-Gard in the MV40 category.

Full results are on the Avon AAA website

Weston Prom 5 Mile Race   Thursday 22nd December

A good turn out again for Westbury Harriers with some fine running and a good meal out afterwards. Thank You to Sandra Bailey-Gard for all her hard work in organizing the meal.

Full results are on the website

Must pick out some results from the male vets. Jullian (jnr) (29.11) was in good form leading home the men,  with Robin Phillips (30.07) having a brilliant run (first snowman home !! – yes he ran in a snowman onesie !). Also impressive runs from Ewan Paton (31.50) and Terry Jewel-Davies (32.02).

Clevedon Boxing Day 4 Mile Race  & Junior 3k (sponsored by Up and Running) The races took place on a pleasant sunny morning and again we saw some good Westbury performances. Ben Rawlins started the day off well with an emphatic win for Westbury in the Junior 3k race.

Full results for Westbury Harriers can be found on the website   - but worth highlighting Jullian jnr and Robin’s performances in the tough MV40 category. Also father and son Clive and Jake Attwood – only surpassed by father and son Jullian jnr and snr. (Both Jullians in top form – must be due to Christmas day discipline !). Good to see Chris Beck and Mike Hopkins back in action after injury and well done to Tim Carr, Phil Plant, James Fox and Chris Hume.

Races coming up - SW Cross Country Championships - Exeter Sunday 8th January.  Cardiff Cross Challenge  - Cardiff  Sunday 22nd January.

Looking forward to an enjoyable and successful year of running in 2017.

Happy New Year





Training dates

Last training session is on Monday 19th December at Coombe Dingle. Festive drinks afterwards in The Black Swan (Stoke Lane BS9 3SP) all welcome. No reception children that night. Training resumes on Thursday 5th January 2017.

To keep you motivated over the Christmas period there is the Clevedon AC Boxing Day race, Weston AC Hangover 10km on 1st Jan or your local parkrun - aways a few Westbury Harriers at these events, check out their websites for details.

Don't forget club initiative run Thursday 12th Jan - all welcome

Running shorts: guide running in Budapest

Colin Johnson ran the 2016 Budapest Marathon. Nothing too out of the ordinary there, Colin's done a few marathons, but this time there was a little twist to it, he was acting as a guide for a blind runner. Colin tells us his story.

Why did you decide to be a guide runner? What was your inspiration?

I personally find running provides me with so much more than just being fit, by improving your whole mental outlook on life in general.  It was the idea of being able to help someone else achieve both their personal goals and help them to also improve on their well-being seemed like a great idea.  It was a post on Facebook by fellow club member Tim Carr asking if anyone wanted to try guiding a blind person around the Budapest marathon that I though why not.  So I followed up and arranged to meet with Chris (Blind runner) for our first training session together.

Was there any particular training you had to do to prepare for the race? or can anybody do it?

I did a bit of research and discovered that UKA provides a 2 hour guide training course which I signed up to do.  There is nothing particularly sophisticated to learn and the most valuable part of the course for me was taking it in turns to wear a blindfold and be guided as well as being the guide.  You very quickly realize the high level of trust place in your guide as well as the correct use of language to describe the approaching hazard and timing to react. I then did a number of training runs with Chris which is very much about getting to know each other and what best suits him when running.  Each visually impaired (VI) runner can be very different depending of their level of sight and how they came to have their VI (From birth, degenerative etc.)

How many times prior to the race did you train with your partner?

We actually only trained together 5 times before we did the marathon, the challenge with us training together is the fact that Chris lives in Hereford, so I either traveled to Hereford or we met somewhere in between and on one occasion Chris came to Bristol. 

The race - how did it differ compared to running on your own? what challenges did it present you and your runner with?

It’s important that your VI runners target time is well inside your comfort zone because as a guide you have a lot more to think about than just running. You need to be looking for all potential tripping hazards, uneven road surfaces, curbs as well as avoiding other runners and providing a commentary so they can react in time to a hazard.  Budapest is a pretty flat course up and down the river on mostly roads which is ideal for guiding. The main challenges were a few cobbled streets which are very uneven and would be a challenge for a sighted marathon runner, this caused our pace to slow right down at these locations.  The other unexpected issue for Chris was with very load cheering of crowds and bands.  For you and I this often provides great support and motivation, but for a blind person your hearing is one of your only remaining senses and having an overwhelming noise can be very unnerving.

What was the most difficult part of the race?

As it was a big race with many thousands of other runners, the organizers had us in crowded pens at the start of the race, and this was quite a challenge being squashed in. Ideally it would have been better to have us near the front of the race start.

When you crossed the finish line what were your emotions like?

As it was Chris’s first marathon that last couple of miles were pretty emotional, from about mile 23 Chris knew that he was going to complete his first marathon and had tears streaming down his face in joy. It felt very special to be able to share in this with him and to have helped in a small way to help him realize a dream.  Very humbling and inspiring for me in so much that in spite of his lack of sight he manages to get out of his front door and train when many times it is all too easy to find an excuse not to run.  He also skis both downhill and cross country as well as climbs, and is a triathlete so is an inspiration in his own right.

Would you do it again? and what would you say to anybody else who was thinking of becoming a guide runner?

Yes we have already ran another half marathon together and are planning running some other half’s Great Nort Run, as well as the Edinburgh marathon.  If anyone is thinking of becoming a guide I would say give it a go and you will find it to be one of the most rewarding things you may ever do.  I am looking to try and organize a guide runners course in late January 2017 along with UKA.  Having talked about blind people with Chris he has explained that many blind (VI) people can become very isolated and withdrawn from society and I have this idea to try and organize a running course/group for blind people with the help of other guides in Bristol. (couch to 5K) With the objective to try and help blind people discover how much running can change your life for the better.  So if anyone is interested in helping and becoming a guide please let me know.


London Marathon Club draw

The draw for the London marathon will take place on Monday, December 12th.

The current situation is that in the top priority group (members who didn't get a club place for the 2016 London Marathon and can prove that they applied again unsuccessfully this year) there are four names for the four available places. Those names are:

Steve Puetz

Tim Carr

Nick Marshall

Shaun Howie

If no more top priority names are put forward before the draw takes place (before training on Monday, December 12th 2016), these four people will automatically get the four available places.

In the second priority group are:

Clive Attwood

Mike Howie

Amy Hogarty

Linda Philips

Nathanael Ahearn

Emma Bradbrook

Mike Hopkins

Carolyn Dent

Sarah Andrews

Mark Andrews

Carol Fee

Two reserves will be drawn from this group.

Club Run Initiative Sessions

The club last year successfuly applied to a scheme England Athletic was running called clun run initiaive. Our application means that we get three coached sessions by a National Coach. So starting on January 12th Bryan Clinton will be coming along and running our Thursday session. The following sessions are scheduled for Thursday 2nd Feb and Thursday 2nd March. These sessions are open to everyone (adults and juniors) and will focus on different target races. After the session there will discussions and information around  topics such as nutrition and preparing for races etc. So on these dates the sessions will run longert than usual from 7-8.45pm.

This is something really exciting for the club and a way to get inspired for your next running goal. Club leaders and coaches are enouraged to attend as it will be good learning opportunity for you.


Gwent League Further Results – Ladies

As well as the men and boys results above, the ladies had a fantastic turnout with 24 ladies taking part. We saw a storming performance from Floren Scrafton to win the ladies race, who was just back from university for the weekend - the first time in a long while that a WH lady won! Our U23 team was out in force with Ellie Wallace competing in her first senior race and Ellie.L and Emma.J both running well. It was wonderful to see Lucy and Evita back with the team. Great to see some first timers to the Gwent Rhona and Phillippa who both ran really well. Also thanks to Sophie for running after an epic journey back from her holiday with no sleep! It was a high class field and with good conditions a fast race. The ladies all ran their socks off and will be exciting to see the team results. A huge thank you and well done all.

1st Floren Villanueva Scrafton, 7th, Ellie Wallace, 17th Ellie Leather, 18th Emma Journeaux, 35th Sophie Voller, 44th Lucy Richens, 49th Kirstie Hamilton-James, 53rd Jayne Pemble, 70th Rhona Beynon, 76th Emma Woodworth, 80th Kelly Winstone, 109th Emma Bradbrook, 116th Jeni Stevenson, 117th Caroline Bull, 122nd Evita Gonzalez, 127th Alison Osborne, 151st Shirley Hume, 153rd Sandra Sforza, 161st Philippa Beale, 186th Victoria Sloan, 197th Svetlana Jones, 206th Marilyn Palmer, 232nd Eithne Noonan, 242nd Linda Phillips And Tony Jeffries (MV70) 168th.

Also a big thanks to all the WH organisers and marshals who give up their time to make it such a great event.

Gwent League Results + Lost Property

Well done to everyone who raced on Saturday (there were over 100 from the club), and a big thank-you to all our many (at least 40) helpers who made it such a successful event.  We were rewarded with the best weather of the week, and some outstanding results, including wins for Floren Scrafton in the senior women (leading home a very powerful team), Hannah Hobbs in the U17 women, and Dalis Jones in the U13 girls (also at the head of a very strong squad).  Abdi Hasan just got pipped at the post in a thrilling finish to the U15 boys race, and there were many other great performances to behold.

I've only seen the men and boys' results in detail (others to follow):
Boys U11: George Peacock 3, Soloman Scott 20, Murray Pearson 23, Isaac Osborne 27, Sam Huckett 28, Sam Leather 32, Finley White 53, Charlie Duncan 84; U13: Seamus Robinson 7, Finn Goodhew 45, Tom Watson 68; U15: Abdifataah Hasan 2, Bryn Davies 7, Greg Hayward 11, James Harrod 14, Fred Stewart 16, Johan Hobbs 30; U17: Ben Rawlins 8, Aidan Noble 13, Ben Whitaker 26, Nathan Mullick 40
Men: Scott Campbell 31st, Oli Beale 43rd, Alex Hamblin 58th, Ben Osborne 74th, Nick Smart 86th, David Hobbs 96th, Daniel Ewing 105th, Robin Phillips 142nd, Ken Ham 146th, Richard Noble 160th, Dominic Taylor 167th, Ewan Paton 203rd, Dave Clark 217th, Mike Mewse 234th, Paul Harrod 235th, Joshua Smith 267th, Andrew Yuill 285th, Jullian Bailey-Gard 313th

Lost Property
This week's haul includes a pair of bottoms in navy blue, age 8-9 years old; a LOGG Hoodie in old burgundy with '1994' on the front; and a single blue sock, slightly sweaty.  I'll bring these along to training.

Aztec Fast 5 / Gwent League

Aztec West Fast 5k

Well done to all the Westbury vets who turned out on a very cold Tuesday evening for the Aztec West Fast 5k. A very quick race and some good performances. Good to see Rich Hughes (V55) in good form with a sub 21. Rich Noble (V45) with a good 18.52 and Ken Ham (V55)  18. ??  had a good battle up front with Ken getting away in the final lap. Ken has had a string of impressive runs over road and cross country. Ewan Paton (V45) continues his great progress with a fine 19.22 as he moves up the rankings.

Well done to the  juniors and ladies as well - worth mentioning Adam Wilson with an impressive 16.12 and Elliott Chard with a new PB in 17.37.

Gwent League at Blaise - Saturday 3rd Dec

Looking forward to seeing as many vets as possible at Blaise on Saturday. The weather is looking good so come along early, enjoy the atmosphere and support the ladies and juniors.

Mike Mewse