Race Reports

Race Report 01/12/20

Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers is an inclusive club, with fast or slow, young or old, all made welcome and encouraged. The oldest member, Ian Codling, got even older this week, becoming an octogenarian! His philosophy is, one foot in front of the other, keep going until the end, for as long as you are able until you are forced to give up for health reasons – or lack of motivation! Ian is never short of that. He actually only took up running 20 years ago, following a sporting lifetime of playing, and then managing, football with Thirsk Falcons. He was forced to give up when it became necessary for him to have a hip replacement. He began, as many boys do, kicking a ball about in the school playground, and when he got to senior school, he eventually got into the school team as well as playing for Falcons. At least weekly football continued throughout university, and he turned out for more than one faculty team! When he came back to the area to teach, he was a regular with Falcons and one memorable occasion was a match against the Northern TV All Stars, a team of stars who obviously loved football, and would appear at charity events. They were raising funds for the Thirsk Swimming Baths, which people may not remember was built originally from public fund raising under the enthusiastic guidance of the late Harry Woodhead among others. Another memorable occasion was when Falcons beat Harrogate Town – and look where they are now – in the Harrogate League, and they even won their division an odd time.

Ian took up running during that stage to keep fit during the closed season, and did the Northallerton to Thirsk 10 mile race on a couple of occasions – in one of them, Brendan Foster was an entrant – with a couple of colleagues from school. Little did he know then what a big part of his life running would become, and he is always a regular attender at Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers club sessions. He, with his wife, Marian, would aim to do a race every weekend if possible, and would always look for a race when they went on holiday. They’ve run from the Sidmouth 10k in Devon to the Dyce Half Marathon near Aberdeen, and many points in between. The Oxford Town and Gown 10k, and the Durham one, as well as the Donkey Brae 10k at Aberdour, 10ks at Morecambe and Blackpool in the west, and the tough East Hull 20 in the east in preparation for his first London Marathon in 2004, are among some of them. He’s actually done the London Marathon twice, as well as the Great North Run 5 times, in the days when you automatically got a place for next year if you ran one year. No massive ballots in those days! He was a regular at the Brass Monkey Half Marathon at York, and has done the Thirsk 10 several times, as well as being on the organising committee for a year or two. The Great Langdale Christmas Pudding 10k became a favourite, as did another Cumbrian race, the Ravenstonedale 10k, a quirky, friendly, village race. One very wet year, the roads were flooded in places, and slower runners were almost hypothermic by the finish! A bowl of warming soup after the race was very welcome.

After he did his first park run, this too became a fairly regular slot on the calendar and he clocked up 100 last year, frustrated now that they, along with all other races, are suspended for the time being at least. Fountains Abbey was the favourite, but he has also done park runs in Scotland – Aberdeen and Stonehaven – as well as 2 or 3 in Australia.

Rob Burn’s virtual races this year continue the race theme, covering the Club Championship, and Ian has done most of those, tabulating the results for the club each time. You can be sure that once this pandemic is over, Ian will be back out racing again – heading in particular to New Marske Harriers flat road races in the Redcar area, as well as Fountains Abbey!

Race Report 24/11/20

When David Tervitt came to the club, he breezed in – an absolute bundle of energy! He was born and brought up in Scotland and an illness in his childhood left him in the disabled category, though this did not stop him running. In fact, his enthusiasm for the sport is second to none, and though his communication skills are poor, ladies in particular can expect a warm hug from him – or could, pre covid. When the club had sessions in Thirsk School, David could be relied on to operate the security system to let members into the school, which they appreciated, especially on a cold night, and he would be there for up to half an hour with his cheery welcome. Any club championship race would be sure to see David’s name in the list of participants, and his times steadily improved. Road races, cross country, fell, he would have a go at them all, and fairly successfully at that. He was given the Members’ Member award in 2019.

Little did members know they had a Special Olympian among them, and David has no fewer than 5 Olympic medals! Not many people can say that! He spent some time in a training facility in America, and in 1991, was invited to join Team GB at the Special Olympics in Minneapolis, winning 2 silver and a bronze medal. Imagine his joy and pride in being presented with one of the medals by Arnold Schwarzenegger! He also met up with Don Johnson of Miami Vice fame. Six years later, he was selected to join the team for the Special Olympics in Glasgow, and again came away with a silver medal in the 200m. The football team were a man short, and David turned out for them, playing at both Celtic Park and Ibrox! Once again, he won a bronze medal after the team defeated Belgium in the quarter final.

Being in the right place at the right time is often a matter of luck, and when in Scotland he met up with soldiers, who suggested he applied for a job making furniture at a facility attached to Erskine hospital. He was successful and worked there for 25 years! Since he has been in Thirsk, he is a regular at Thirsk Clock, now Thirsk Community Works, and is available to help with any job that needs doing. He can frequently be seen in their pop up shop in the Market Place, and members passing will be sure of a greeting from David, if he spots them. David can certainly be described as a member who has made a significant impact in the club and we all love him to bits!

Race Report 17/11/20

Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers

This Happy band of runners

Have jobs of every kind.

Insurance clerks and doctors

Reporters, secretaries and

Surveyors come to mind.

Know every single person

Age is no bar to run.

Ninety to eleven

Dare to come along.

Some like fells and country.

Others like the road.

With handicaps and time-trials

Each person finds a mode.

Run always with a fellow.

Be certain of good cheer.

You’re never on your own here

Have company as you run.

Ache now and then for certain,

Rain adds to the fun.

Resolve‘s a useful asset.

Include a pair of trainers – to

Exercise your core.

Races are virtual this year

So come and join for more.


Race Report 10/11/20

Usually at this time of year, a thousand or so runners would be assembling near Ripley Castle for the start of the Guy Fawkes 10, hosted by the man himself on a bicycle!  This year, we had to be content with a virtual version, part of the Club Championship series, to be run over any of 3 or 4 days – where fog was an issue at times!  The route was again along part of the Cleveland way with some return stretches on road, and once more 50+ people were involved, members and some guests.  Matt Jones was on top of the tree this time, having so often finished runner up, and completed in a time of 1.12.01, with Stephan Tomaszewski again close behind, 2nd in 1.12.18.  Evergreen Rob Burn came 3rd in 1.17.50, Paul Peacock, another who usually features high up in the results, 4th in 1.18.10, Gary Bastow 5th in 1.22.00, Gary Wilkinson 6th in 1.22.23, and equalling Alan Simpson with the same time, David Fawkes 8th in 1.25.30, 9th Brett Edgeworth in 1.28.09, and 10th Martyn Coy in 1.28.26.  Other men involved were Andy Butcher, David Tervitt, Pedro Carrasco, Dave Baker, Paul Chapman, Marc Davies, Duncan Fothergill, Geoff Bullock, Jack Fisher, Steve Billings, Paul Van Der Westhuisen, Richard Morrice, Mike Lowther , James Stephenson, Paul Adams, Alan Wikeley and Paul Goacher.  
Trudy Morrice just goes from strength to strength and she was 1st lady, 5th overall finisher, in 1.20.56, with Lorraine Hiles, another who takes some beating, 2nd, and 9th overall in 1.22.27, Esther Harrison 3rd in 1.24.30. with Olivia Mulligan (good to see her running again) in an equal time.  Clare Tempest came 5th in 1.30.03, Helen Ashworth 6th in 1.35.59, Louise Mayfield 7th in 1.37.47, Kirsty Naylor 8th in 1.39.05, Faith Coy 9th in 1.42.57 and Sonja Van Der Westhuisen 10th in 1.43.33.  Other ladies completing the testing course were Jo Hunt, Tracey Lowther, Alison Butcher, Trish Radford, Bev Davies, Christine Burn, Margaret Wikeley, Kimberli Werner, Sarah Goacher, Rosie Gatenby and Liz Stephenson.

Race Report 03/11/20

When covid struck in March, everything came to a halt, including the Dave Parry Winter Fell Series, and it was impossible for series prizes to be awarded.  They say everything comes to he who waits, and Marc Davies finally got his prize last week for winning his age group, based on races held so far.  Well done, Marc.

One good thing which happened in April was the early opening  of the track at Sowerby Sports village to be made use of by villagers for exercise and fresh air when all movement was restricted.  Since then, Harriers have used it regularly, and Gary Wilkinson in particular has been a frequent visitor.  Having completed 32 laps of the 1 km track in July, he decided to tackle a marathon, a total of 42+ laps, which he completed in a creditable 4 hours 31 minutes.  His next aim is to cover 65 laps, which I calculate is getting on for 40 miles!

Members not only run for enjoyment and health, they are keen to encourage friends to run as well, and one person who is particularly adept at this is Rosie Gatenby!  She and Bev Davies have supported their friend, Becca Longster, a previous non-runner, in running 100 k in October, and at the same time collecting sponsorship for Breast Cancer research.  The three of them completed the challenge by running 6 laps of the course at Millfield, Easingwold, last Saturday. 


Thirsk 10 - 2021

Virtual Championship 2021

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Hello club members and friends of the Thirsk 10 road race. We would just like to provide a brief update to inform everybody that for obvious reasons the Thirsk 10 race will not be held in March 2021 however, we intend to reassess the situation in the Spring with a view to holding the event later in the year subject to national and local restrictions in place at the time. We apologise for the disappointment this will undoubtably cause, however I am sure that everybody appreciates that the Covid 19 Pandemic is a fluid situation with rules and restrictions seemingly changing on a daily basis. We will provide a further update in once we have been able to consider matters. Assuring you of our best intentions at all times, keep running and stay safe. The Thirsk 10 Team.