Halifax Harriers took part in a Food Bank Run on Tuesday evening. Setting off from Spring Hall, they ran to Sainsbury's as part of their normal weekly training runs where they stopped off to donate food to the Ebenezer Food Bank and the RSPCA.
The Food Bank Run is a new nationwide campaign gaining pace in 2023, created off the back of a run started several years ago by Fareham Running Club in Hampshire. There have been more than 500 pledges to support the Food Bank Run throughout the country this year.
Winter is the hardest time for food banks, when people’s bills kick in. With rising household heating and fuel costs making it almost impossible for families to make ends meet. The club felt that we had to do something, and decided to take part in this initiative.
In all over 20 runners took part and between us we managed to hand over almost 2 trolleys worth of goods to the Ebenezer representative who was there to receive it.
Six Halifax Harriers headed to Elche in Spain to take part in the ‘Oldest half marathon in the world’ – the ‘Elche Media Maraton,’ close to Alicante, on 12 March.
Harriers Hazel Berrett, Mark Crabtree, Simon Johnson, Ryan Barker, Will Stewart and April Caufield faced challenges just being able to travel out of Calderdale, due to severe weather, with heavy snow before departure from Manchester.
In Elche, the opposite was true, with unusually high temperatures and strong winds making the 50th anniversary of the race extremely tough. Around 3,200 runners from 30 different countries started the race through celebrations with confetti and fireworks, into the streets and parks of the historic city (a UNESCO World heritage site.)
Johnson, Barker and Berrett were using the race as a training platform for spring marathons and hoping for a strong performance.
Soaring temperatures above 30 degrees affected performances, and at around 7km Berrett had to retire from the race with breathing difficulties. With a strong first 5km Barker then also suffered through the heat, and his pace slowed through the event (1hr 32:17.) Stewart paced the race well, with a slower start but strong finish to overtake Barker, through the picturesque gardens south of the city, at around 18km to complete the 21km course in 1hr 30:37.
Caufield ran a strong race, moving through competition to finish as 16th female with a fantastic time of 1hr38:22. Although she was affected by heat exhaustion, having pushed hard during the race, and collapsed after the finish line, needing some recovery time to cool down and recuperate.
Crabtree, despite struggling with injuries achieved 1hr 50:42 to finish as 19th in his age group. Unfortunately, Johnson suffered a shin injury days before the race and was unable to start the run.
Despite the difficulties, a great time was had celebrating the 50th event, spending time in the historic city and famous palm groves of Elche, before relaxing on the Costa Blanca.
However, this exciting edition of the race did end on a sad note. It was marred by the tragic death of a 21 year old Spanish competitor who collapsed after the race. Despite receiving immediate medical attention the young runner passed away in hospital. Our thoughts are with their family and friends.
Fred Carver came 23rd out of 132 runners. He he was second MU23 in a time of 0:56:17.
I was 74th in 1:10:16 and first female Harrier back. Stef Dickinson ran in a time of 1:18:41 and was 104th.
We were the only three Harriers that ran.
It was good running weather, cool but not really cold and not windy. Pule Hill was a challenge and all but the winner of the race walked up it!