With only a brief pause for Christmas, and the occasional light dusting of snow, various Westbury Harriers continued racing over the Christmas holidays and into the New Year, with some excellent results.
Harriers Vets at Clevedon, Boxing Day
Well done to all those who ventured out on Boxing Day to Clevedon for the 4 mile race, with very strong fields in the male and female races. A special mention to Hannah Hobbs, Sophie Voller and Ellie Hobbs for their excellent runs - respectively 4th, 5th and 7th in the female race. In the men's race, young Ben Rawlins continued his recent fine form with a very impressive 17th place, in a time of 21:48.
Even more Harriers avoided Hogmanay excess to turn out in the Hangover 10K near Weston on New Year's Day, with great runs in particular from Robin Phillips (37:41,10th overall, 4th MV40; pictured below courtesy of the Weston Mercury), Ken Ham (13th, 2nd MV50) and Julian Bailey-Gard (20th) in the men's race, while Sandra Williams ran well to be first Westbury lady home and 11th female overall.
Robin at the Hangover 10K
South West Inter-Counties Regional Cross Country, Yeovil, 7th January 2018
A large number of Harriers men, women and juniors travelled down to Aldon Hill (there is a clue in the name..) just outside Yeovil, for this prestigious team and county event. On a bright and dry day, but with a truly icy wind whipping across the elevated and extremely hilly course there were some very impressive runs in all races. Over to the team managers and others for their summaries of a great day out, with some beautiful pictures courtesy of Mike Mewse and Jason Michael....
Ladies team members at Aldon Hill
Hannah on her way to 2nd F overall and 1st U20
Katie on her way to 14th, and 2nd F35
Ladies (from team manager Tamsin..)
"Great day at the South West XC Champs. In a testing hilly course and a very competitive field the ladies ran off Christmas with some great results.
14th Katie Hughes 22.58, 28th Sophie Voller 23.54, 35th Kirstie Hamilton-James 24.23, 45th Vicky Waters 25.38, Tamsin Elson Chick 25.40
Team was 5th overall.
Congratulations to Katie Hughes, 2nd V35 and a gold medal for being part of the winning ladies Avon team. Hannah Hobbs continuing her fabulous form winning the U20s & 2nd place overall in the Senior/U20 combined.
The men got their own back as the ladies usually trundle off to get a cup of tea and head home as the weather turns and the men head out to start their race in the Gwent league. This time the ladies race was last! Men - we did note that we do usually cheer your first lap!!!"
Scott, 1st Westbury man home
Brendan and Ben
Men (from team manager Scott)
"Congratulations to the senior men who travelled down to a cold Yeovil yesterday for the South West XC Championships.
On a picturesque course which was pretty dry but had some really testing hills there was some really strong performances and some good club battles!! Special mention to Brendan Moroney who had an excellent run in his first xc for the club and Geraint Torrington for stepping up to run his first South West Champs and putting in a strong performance in a high quality field.
There were 134 runners in a combined senior/u20 race.
Scott Campbell 37th 33:38, Alex Hamblin 67th 35:36, Brendan Moroney 68th 35:37, Ben Whitaker 73rd (18th u20) 36:07, Richard Noble 90th 37:38, Robin Phillips 91st 37:42, Ken Ham 96th 38:09, Ewan Paton 103rd 39:09, Geraint Torrington 131st 46:12
Westbury came 6th club out of 10 and Avon came 2nd in the county champs."
U15 girls, gold medallists
Eve and Tanaya, U13s
Amongst many great performances, pride of place on this day went to the all-conquering U15 girls' team, already Gwent League winners in waiting but in this race crowning themselves South West champions. Such is the strength in depth that the superb runs of Dalis Jones (3rd), Rosie Hamilton-James (4th), Kate Howard (6th), Rhiannon Paton (26th) and Emily Whitaker (27th) were more than enough to secure the gold team medal, with Dalis, Rosie and Kate also contributing to the county gold medal for Avon.
The immediate future is equally bright, with great runs from U13 and U11 girls too. The U13s scooped 3rd place overall, from an impressive turnout on a cold day - well done to highest finisher Laura Chance (13th overall) but also to Clemmie Lee, Grace Horswell, Eva Ward, Katie Whitaker and Tanaya Ghosh who all ran well, with only about one minute between all Westbury runners. The U11s/novice race was not a county event, but there were likewise very good runs from Estelle Lowe, Zoe Bradbrook and Felicity Lowe, 4th 9th and 11th respectively.
Ellie Hobbs was once again our solo U17 competitor but ran superbly for 6th place overall in a strong field.
With one more runner to make up a team of 4, the U13 boys would almost certainly have bagged a medal, but as it was the three boys who ran did extremely well, all finishing in the top half - Seamus Robinson 5th, Will Connors 11th and George Peacock 29th. Both the U15s and U17s were just two in number, but well done to both James Harrod and Tom Connors (U15), and Ben Rawlins and Aidan Noble (U17) for turning out and running well in strong fields - the photo below of Ben captures very well the killer steep hill just before the finish!
The hill near the end!
Well done to all, but boys and all members take note - these are team as well as individual events, and it's often a team's last counting finisher who is the most important. So why not speak to your coaches and have a go in the next event? Lift shares are often available and these are fun days out, even if occasionally a bit cold...