Emily Smith finished 5th in the 3000m Steeplechase at the British Athletics Championships on Sunday 1st July; whilst on Saturday (30thJune) the two teams of Harriers had an excellent tough day covering 103 miles of the hilly Cotswold Way; and there has been outright wins recently by Christian Green at the Quantock Beast 5.7 miles multi-terrain on 1st July and by Zak Hurrell at the Martock 10km road race on 17th June. Read on for news and photos from various events.
Cotswold Way Relay leg 7 gets underway up the steep hill out of Dursley (photo by Paul)
Emily Smith toed the line at the Alexander Stadium track, Birmingham, this past weekend, for her 3rd ever Steeplechase race over 3000m. Emily has now moved up to the senior ranks (from u23) for this season. After an early season taster at the 3000m ‘Chase in Boulder, Colorado in April, Emily had finished 2nd in the British Universities Championships over the shorter 2000m distance in early May before posting a pb of 10.16 for the 3000m 'chase distance at the Loughborough International on 20th May.
At Birmingham she was also after possible qualification for the European Track & Field Championships to be held in Berlin in early August. In stifling heat she lined up as one of nine contenders for the British title and got dropped from the leading group when the pace was taken out slightly faster than anticipated. She managed to claw her way back and was finishing fast on the last few laps to catch others and to finish in overall 5th place in a time of 10.25.
Emily remarks that she learnt a lot from the experience of this Championship race and will take that into her next races. Emily first started training with the Harriers at the Monday sessions when aged 8, winning English Schools Cross-country Championships as a Junior when u13, and its pleasing to see that she is still improving and getting better year by year. For those who want to watch Emily in action at the Championships wearing her Harrier colours you can catch her on BBC iplayer on the Sunday (Day 2) coverage starting at 1.42.40 into the transmission.
Below are photos of Emily in action when competing for Somerset Schools a few years ago; and as an u13 Harrier over 10 years ago at the South of England Road Relays!! (photo by Paul)
Emily has previously, a few years ago, been a member of the Harrier teams at the 103 mile Cotswold Way Relays. What versatility! Each relay leg varies between 7 miles and 12.5 miles and all have significant climbs in them. The latter legs this year also had to contend with stifling heat.
The Harriers entered two teams once again this year, with Team manager Paul Chadwick completing his 21st year when running leg one from Chipping Camden over 19.2km and finishing in 66th place (out of 113 teams) in 1hr 48mins; Oli Frost had a great run for 13th (1.29); Leg 2 (19km) from Stanway House, was taken on by Steve Masters and Justin Thomas who both achieved top-20 finishes in 15th (1.36) and 19th (1.38). Leg 3 from Cleeve Common, over 13.2km, saw Chris Kelsey home in 20th position (1.09) and Rachel Glaisher 31st in 1.10. Chris’s legendary power of recovery were on show after he’d finished the previous weekend’s tough Buttermere Fell Race (22.1 miles with 8,251 feet of ascent) in 7 hours 14 mins.
Oli & Paul, relaxed before starting leg 1 at 7.00am in Chipping Camden; and Rachel(leg 3) with John & Graham after leg 4, with the Team manager. (photos by Nick)
Coming into the team literally the day before was Chairman Graham Goldsmid who ran possibly the toughest leg, leg 4, from Seven Springs (20.4km) with John Glaisher. Graham was back in 34th (1.48) with John a very high 6th in a speedy 1.28. For leg 5 from Cranham Corner, Andy Piper and Laura Darby-Jones gave it a real good go and covered the 18.9k in the heat of the day in 1.42 and 1.49, 44th and 59th respectively. Chris Kelsey’s son Jack was another to come into the teams at the last minute, and for his first ever run at the Relay. On leg 6 he covered the 14km from Ebley Mill, Stroud, in 1.18 (27th) with Andrew Tindal just behind in 1.19 (29th).
Andrew & Jack before leg 6, with Chris who had completed leg 3 (photo by Paul); Team Manager with Nick & Alice before leg 7 (photo by Andrew P)
Leg 7 from Dursley saw Nick Weaving, who had survived a night camping, and Membership Secretary Alice Knight run the 11.6km in 1.10 and 1.25 respectively, positions 46th and 91st. Another tough leg , leg 8, from Wotton-under-edge was left to Mike Bosley and Peter Clothier and they finished in 67th and 74th (2.04 and 2.07). A fellow competitor on this leg suffered from serious heat exhaustion as the temperature guage rocketed.
Peter & Mike before the start of leg 8 (photo by Paul); Andrew D & Mike before leg 9 (photo by Paul)
Leg 9, from Old Sodbury over 14.8km, was left to old hands Andrew Deamer and Mike Rusca with Andrew claiming the highest finish position of any Harrier in 5th place in 1.09 and Mike in 52nd place in 1.28. Andrew, like Paul, is a King of the Cotswolds for having completed the entire set of Cotswold Relay legs over the years. The glory leg this year was left to another newcomer in Damien Pick, and to Pete Darton. Running from Cold Ashton they covered the 15.7km to the doors of Bath Abbey in 14th and 42nd places, in times of 1.15 and 1.27.
Pete & Damien looking good at Cold Ashton before their start of leg 10; The finish at leg 10 - Nick, Pete, Damien and Paul at the doors of Bath Abbey - 103 miles completed!
Overall we think the two teams finished in 15th place out of 66 Mixed teams; and 4th place out of 17 Veteran teams, just 30 minutes off from ultimate glory! We will go again next year – last Saturday of June – let Paul know if you fancy running with us where we aim to put in one speedy team and one other. Congratulations to all that took part and to all helpers on the day, especially Nick Weaving for driving other cars! Contact Nick if you are available for the Parrett Trail relay in October – see Team news tab here.
On the Sunday 1st July, Christian Green had an excellent run to win outright the hilly Quantock Beast multi-terrain race over 5.7 miles in 35.54. Andrew Robinson was next home for the Harriers in 21st place, 46.17; then Paul Chadwick, racing for the 2nd time in the weekend in 27th, (1st V60), 47.31; and then Craig Foley, 34th in 48.14, and Harriet Burr, 50th in 51.01. (136 finishers). Christian is now very well placed in the Somerset Race Series, with Paul & Craig also well up in rankings here. The next race in the Series is the July edition of the Yeovilton 5k Series.
Paul, Christian, Harriet, Craig, and Andrew - all happy after the Quantocks race - with Noah at front.
Also running well over the hills recently was Alex Coombs who finished 3rd in the 5.5 mile, with 1,002 feet of ascent, Beacon Batch fell race on Tuesday 19th June. Alex’s time was 38.27. Next in for the Harriers was Chris Kelsey, 34th (2nd V60) in 45.36; then Paul Chadwick, 63rd, 49.24. (137 finishers).
The previous Sunday, 17th June, was the Martock 10k road race which saw Zak Hurrell win in 35.21, with Neil Biss, 8th in 39.04; and his son u20 George Biss in 52nd in 45.16. (395 finishers).
RAFFLE WINNER : Kate Watson won the signed TeamGB vest - signed by Linford Christie and Iwan Thomas - with all proceeds going to Matt Dorber's London Marathon Charity -the National Animal Welfare Trust. Thankyou to all that bought raffle tickets. below - Kate receives the framed shirt at a Monday junior Harrier session.
Watch Elise & Ollie Thorner competing in the European Youth (u18) Championships for TeamGB
The timetable is up - click on the tab on the right side of the page. Elise in the Steeplechase (heats on Thursday 5th July) and Ollie in Decathlon (Saturday and Sunday 7th & 8th July). Have you read Al's blog about the incedible journey to achieve qualification to these Championships? - Read here.
TUESDAY NIGHT TRAINING PROGRAMME for July & August - now available - as per usual on the training tab at bottom