Leeds Abbey Dash
A remarkable seven Harriers recorded personal bests (PBs) at Sunday's Leeds Abbey Dash 10k, taking full advantage of this highly popular race's reputation for being a fast, flat course. A total of 16 represented the club with Harry Johnson leading the contingent home, setting a PB of 31:30 and taking 48th place out of a total 5,042 finishers. Our three leading women all ran PBs; Laura Knowles (42:09), Joanne Arundale (43:29) and Amy Radford (43:40). There were also PBs for Ken Montgomery (37:27), Harris Faulkner (40:46) and Tabitha Howe (44:06). Rachael Beaumont took third place in the F50 category in 43:48.
Whixley Village Hall 10k
The Stewarts took on the Whixley trail 10k near York on Sunday. The course was mostly on woodland trails and farm tracks, with lots of slippery mud sections and surface water after our recent rainfall. However, conditions were perfect on the day, with glorious sunshine making it very enjoyable.
April was first lady with 43:44. Will was over three minutess faster than his wife, running 40:23 and placing third overall. What a team!
Bath Half Marathon
After a six-year hiatus, Stephen Rainbow decided to take the plunge once again by entering the Bath Half Marathon on what was his twelfth attempt at the race. This mass participation event had been a highlight of his race calendar prior to the COVID years following a recommendation he received from a work colleague way back in 2004. Sadly, the atmospheric experience was significantly watered-down this year as a result of a number of changes to the course that were apparently intended to combat climate change! Both the start and finish of the race were moved from their original iconic position situated on Great Pulteney Street (featuring majestic Georgian buildings and a grandstand finish) and were relocated to a small area of soggy parkland located just outside of the city centre. The changes also resulted in the inclusion of an unnecessary uphill finale for the remaining kilometre of the race on what had historically been a relatively flat and fast course. In light of these changes, Stephen can no longer wholeheartedly recommend this race, much to the chagrin of his rubber duck. But, to look on the bright side, at least the officials can breathe a huge sigh of relief now that the city of Bath won’t be completely submerged by the year 2024.
Despite losing somewhere in the region of 20-30 seconds on the final hill, things went swimmingly well for Stephen, and he managed to make a splash by achieving a personal best time of 1 hour 20 minutes and 19 seconds (his best time in eleven years at this distance). He finished in a respectable position of 153rd overall out of a field of just over 9,200 runners and was 10th in the MV40 category. Will he be back in the Bath next year? Don’t hold your breath!
The Harriers had two representatives amongst the 16,000 participants at last Sunday's Amsterdam Marathon. Famed to be one of the fastest in the world, the course starts and finishes in the Olympic Stadium, goes under the Rijksmuseum, along the Amstel and through Vondelpark. Tom Needham ducked under the three hour barrier, clocking 2:59:03. Simon Johnson clocked 3:45:18. Fantastic efforts by both!
A record number of 28 Harriers and their supporters made the annual trip to Mallorca this week. The running races in the island's beautiful capital of Palma on Sunday morning formed the centrepiece of the break. The usual hot and sunny weather was, however, replaced by thunderstorms and heavy rain on race day which led to a one hour delay in the events starting. The weather failed to dampen the runners' enthusiasm with some noticeably benefitting from the cooler than normal conditions.
Eight Harriers ran in the half marathon with Will Stewart leading the contingent home in 1:30:53 and taking 100th place. Ryan Barker was next in 1:35:45 with Steve Wilford clocking 1:49:50. Sixteen competed in the 9k race with April Stewart crossing the line first in 39:08 followed by Craig Empsall in 40:07. April, Craig and Hazel Berrett (48:04) all took third place in their respective age groups. All results can be found under Recent Races on the website. Keep an eye out for details of next year's trip in due course.
Great South Run
There were also plenty of Harriers in racing action over the weekend back in the U.K. Heath Reilly and the Cumbers made what is turning into their own annual trip to the south coast to participate in Sunday's Great South Run in Portsmouth. Sarah completed the 10 mile course in 1:05:44, placing third in her age group. Geoff and Heath finished in 1:28:28 and 1:36:28 respectively.
Yorkshire Marathon and 10 Mile
Closer to home, Jonny Lister finished the Yorkshire Marathon in and around York in 3:36:01 whilst Wayne Stevens clocked 1:25:55 in the 10 mile event.
Manchester Half Marathon
Six Harriers ran in the Manchester half marathon. Aaron Bergin was first home in 1:19:25 followed by Joanne Arundale in 1:32:57. Tim Slow (1:48:01), Jack Melia (1:49:21), Ellen Limebear (1:50:57) and Emma Elmerhebi (1:59:22) also wore club colours.
Withins Skyline Fell Race
Away from the roads, five Harriers took part in Sunday's Withins Skyline Fell Race on the hills and moors above Haworth. It was a beautiful sunny, but cold, day for the latest race in the club's Fell League. Conditions on the tops were very soft and boggy, resulting in a number of tumbles. Paul Bateman took maximum points in the men's section, recording a time of 57:45 on the 6.2 mile course with a total of nearly 900' of ascent. Jane Hobson took 10 points in the women's section in 1:12:26. Other Harriers were: James O'Rourke (59:32), Stef Dickinson (1:17:11) and Martin Ellis (1:20:55).