Race Reports

Race Report 23/03/21

Not the Park Run” continues weekly, with thousands of runners sending in their times, and this week 10 Harriers were involved, largely due to the encouragement and enthusiasm of Paul Chapman, to whom thanks for collating these results.  Mike Cropper recorded the quickest time, 22.30, and it’s good to see him getting back into form.  Martyn Coy had a good outing in 23.14, and Duncan Fothergill was delighted with his 24.52, his first time under 25 minutes for a 5k.  Sonja van der Westhuisen did a PB in 25.18, with ever present Gary Wilkinson taking 25.29, Kirsty Naylor 27.40, Sarah Harrison 29.13. Siobhan Woodland with PB 33.24, Sharon Keegan 35.50 and Rosie Gatenby 39.29.

With a bit of luck, Harriers will be able to meet up again on Monday 29th, 7 pm at Sowerby Gateway, carefully socially distanced.  If you want to try out a running club, come along and give it a go.  Runners of all ages, over 11, and abilities are always given a warm welcome, and at least it will be light by then.  A group for beginners will be starting in April – look out for details on the club website.

Race Report 16/03/21

It’s not many running clubs which can name a Poet Laureate among their members, but Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers are proud to do just that and it probably all came about because of covid!  When lockdown began, Olivia Mulligan was advised she was in the “at risk” group and should shield for 12 weeks.  For extra support, she moved into the sanitised bubble of her retired parents’ home in Dishforth village and was face with the question of how to occupy her time.  Olivia definitely has an artistic bent, borne out by the fact that she studied Drama and Creative Writing during her student days at Royal Holloway, University of London.  Now unable to go into work (which is customer facing) how to occupy her time became an issue… Her mother suggested she write a poem each day and that it be displayed on the gate post the end of their drive.  She also left her phone number for villagers to text in suggestions for the next day’s poemAfter her time shielding and writing a poem each day, quite a collection was accrued. Again, at villagers’ suggestions, investigations were made about having them produced in a book.  This duly happened, and Poems on the Gate Post was the result.  Such was the reception of this volume that it came to the attention of BBC Radio York, and Olivia was invited to be their Poet Laureate.  She can be heard at 1.15 pm on that station on a Saturday reading one of her poems, and lookout for her second volume of poems which is currently in production. 
As well as this amazing gift, Olivia is also a superb runner, one of the quickest lady members in the club – at the latest Sessay Swift 6k, in 2019, she was 2nd lady finisher.  Dare we hope that event may be held again this year, on Aug 18th?  With so much uncertainty, we can only hope.
Many apologies to another fast lady runner, Gemma Duffy,  on doing the quickest time at last week’s virtual cross country.  She was listed as a guest runner whereas she is a very welcome and valued new member – along with the many other new members who have been attracted to the club by being able to take part in all the virtual races arranged by the club in the last 12 months.

Race Report 02/03/21

There was another fabulous turnout for the latest virtual Croft cross country round local fields used only by those within a permitted distance for exercise, and with particular attention paid to social distancing.  Runners beyond that permitted distance worked out their own circuit near their homes.  The convoluted 2 lap, 2 mile course was laid out with plenty of markers so it was almost impossible to go wrong, and last minute rolling and cutting made for an excellent surface for running.  Harry the Harriers scarecrow, put together mainly by the ladies, was a fun marshal on the course.
Andrew Price had the quickest time, a superb 25.25 – and he went round the course again later with Matilda, with Paul Peacock 2nd in 25.55, Josh Fothergill 3rd in 26.08, just pipping Matt Jones, 4th in 26.09, Tom Levi 5th in 26.39, Josh Cooper 6th in 27.19, Adam Leigh 7th in 28.17, David Fawkes 8th in 29.48, Joe Lofthouse 9th in 29.48 and Ken Wood 10th in 29.54.
The fastest lady member was once again Trudy Morrice in 31.15, although guest runner, Gemma Tutty did the fastest time of 30.37.  Lorraine Hiles was 2nd in 31.46, Kirsty Naylor 3rd in 33.52, Lyndsy Collins 4th in 34.35, Hilary Coventry 5th in 34.53,  Helen Ashworth 6th in 35.44, Clare Tempest 7th in 36.11, Esther Harrison 8th in 36.29, Louise Mayfield 9th in 37.01 and Sonja van der Westhuisen 10th in 37.03.
Another 70+ members were among the also rans, (along with 23 guest runners,) topping Rob’s target of 100 for the first time.  They include Alan Simpson, Walter Busuttil, Gary Bastow, Paul Chapman, Michael Lowther, Gary Wilkinson, Dave Baker, David Tervit, Gavin Coventry, Andy Butcher, Brett Edgeworth, Richard Morrice, Adrian Saunders, Pedro Carrasco, Rob Burn, Marc Davies, Jack Spence, Dave Wood, Duncan Fothergill, Paul Goacher, Joe Joyce, Sarah Harrison, Andrea Colls, Martyn Coy, James Stephenson, Mike Cropper, Faith Coy, Elliot Readman, Steve Billings, Geoff Bullock, Lyndsay Goom, Sarah Scott, Stephanie Hawkins, Rosie Gatenby, Ken Evitt, Carol Morrison, Joanne Hunt, David Palmer, Tracey Lowther, Chris Wordsworth, Alison Butcher, Phillip Craig, Liz Wordsworth, 12 year old Harry Goom, Hugh Jennyns, Sarah Goacher, Phoebe Yates, Richard Easby, Bev Davies, Rosalind Yates, Margaret Wikeley , Caroline Pearce, Drikus van der Westhuisen, Pat Kirby, Clare Jones, Kimberli Werner, Christine Burn, Ellen Brookes, 11 year old Reuben Coy, Liz Stephenson, Jacob Condor, Sharon Keegan, Paul Adams, Alan Wikeley, Beverley Ayres, Rebecca Longster, Gillian Crane, Ian Crane, Maureen Worley, Kerry Morgan, Angie Weatherhead, Marian Codling (thankyou, Faith) and Soibhan Woodland.  Trish Radford completed the course but her watch ran out of energy before she did !
All in all a superb event, and these virtual races are picking up new members along the way!
In Oct 2004, Paul Sinton-Hewitt organised a run in Bushy Park, London with 13 of his friends so they could continue their sessions together, and this was the beginning of the Park Run movement which has since overtaken the country.  Thousands of runners each Saturday, in normal times, descend on their local 5k Park Run course and have a timed run round it.  These days, you have a bar code which is scanned at the finish, and results incorporated on a central computer before being published on the website. (In the early days it was tap washers and pencil and paper!)  The benefits to health are recognised, and park runs are even promoted in Doctors’ surgeries, with a feeling of well being is certain after a run.  20 countries have taken up park runs, and on holiday almost anywhere, you are likely to find a park run.  Some runners see how many different park runs they can collect, and “alphabet” park runs are attempted – a run beginning with each letter of the alphabet, and one can imagine Fountains Abbey is a must for a run beginning with F.  The National Trust have appreciated the possibilities of allowing runners free access to their grounds at 9 am, to be out by 10 am before the paying visitors arrive, and virtually all runners calling for a cup of coffee and a scone, cake or bacon sandwich!   In fact, the social side is almost as important as the running.  
None of it would be possible without and army of volunteers, and runners are requested to volunteer a couple of times or so a year, with a run director to oversee that side of things, to set out signs, direct runners where necessary, and scanning bar codes and then clearing up  at the end – offering plenty of encouragement throughout.
What a huge loss, then, when covid and lockdown put a stop to all that last year!  It left a huge gap in many people’s lives, and the park run movement decided to set up “not the Park Run” park runs, when runners could do 5k from their homes, time themselves, and submit results centrally, to be published as usual.  Gary Wilkinson was one member who was involved from the start, and he has just done his 50th “not the Park Run” park run!  Well done Gary.  Paul Chapman is another who has taken up the challenge, and his efforts and enthusiasm have encouraged more and more members to take part each week – this week 15 members were involved.  Paul recorded the quickest time, 22.28, with Mike Cropper, beginning to find some of his earlier form, taking 23.59, Dave Baker 24.40, Pete Jackson 24.48, Duncan Fothergill 25.02, Sonja van der Westhuisen 25.36, Gary Wilkinson 25.55, Andrea Colls 26.56. Pavid Palmer 28.09, Sarah Harrison 28.39, Siobhan Woodland 33.54, Sharon Keegan 34.48, Gillian Crane 39.43, Rosie Gatenby 41.36 and Bev Davies 41.50.
What a Red Letter Day it will be if and when Park Runs resume on June 5th!

Race Report 23/02/21

Over the last 30 years or so, Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers have held a monthly, mostly 2 mile, time trial, with a view to measuring progress, and more latterly, also to hold a Handicap at the end of each term.  The winner receives a shield, to be held for one year, and all participants and helpers receive a prize – probably chocolates.  Needless to say, this is a very popular evening in normal times,  with a pooled supper and a very social evening.  This last year, it has all been done “virtually”, with members submitting a time and Duncan Fothergill (who’s good at sums) calculating a handicap.  No social get together, unfortunately, but fingers crossed ………..!
  In the early days of the club, there was a large number of youngsters and a small number of, mainly men, faster runners.  They decided to do a time trial each month, and the competition was strong.  Over the years, the fastest times have been under 10 minutes and on a fast course, on a good night, this is still being achieved.  Gary Dunn is one of the more recent runners who spring to mind.  These days, you do 2 miles from near your home and send in your time, timing yourself, on the last Wednesday of the month.  The wonderful  Sowerby Gateway track is ideal for this, 3.2 km, if you can manage to dodge children on bikes and scooters, sauntering pedestrians, dog walkers, wheelchairs and zimmers – and going on a dull rainy day is best!  Normally, between 30 and 40 people take part, after a warm up session in Thirsk School sports hall, but in these “virtual” days, the numbers can be between 50 and 60 at any time you like on the appropriate Wednesday.
  In normal times in winter, the time trial has been run along Station Road, with street lighting to help along the way, but in summer, Sutton Bank is a favourite and also Wass and Kilburn Woods.  For a few years, the Handicap took place round a farmer’s field, and that farmer happened to have a swimming pool – which certainly added to the social and fun quality of the evening!  Handicaps in Wass Woods very often ended with sociables at Merv Burn’s place, but wherever the venue, the prizes, supper and get together at the end have been a fixture, even if supper was pooled on the back of Rob’s pick-up.
   Do we begin to see light at the end of the tunnel?  It sounds as if it may not be too long before we can all meet up again for club sessions, and we just can’t wait!

Race Report 16/02/21

The virtual races just keep coming because of the enthusiasm of Rob Burn, and grateful thanks from all members for that.  The latest one, the virtual Holme House Prison cross country, a distance just over 3 miles could be run over 4 days, with a choice of route if you didn’t live in and around Thirsk to do the out and back course sorted out by Rob. Two kissing gates in each direction were an added obstacle!  The icy cold weather and rutted terrain with a good covering of snow meant that care was needed, and for the first time for many months, the top ten finishers were all men.  Andrew Price is unbeatable at the minute and finished in a time of 20.11 with Josh Fothergill 2nd in 20.46, Matt Jones 3rd in 21.16, just ahead of Paul Peacock, 4th in 21.16.  David Fawkes, a couple of minutes slower, came 5th in 23.27, Joe Lofthouse 6th in 23.27, Adam Leigh 7th in 23.34, Ken Wood 8th in 23.39, Josh Cooper 9th in 23.46 and Walter Busuttil, finding some of his early form 10th in 23.55.   

Trudy Morrice is usually among the top finishers and this time she was 1st lady in 25.12, with Lorraine Hiles 2nd in 26.06, new member, Gemma Tutty, 3rd in 26.11, Lyndsey Collins, another newish member, 4th in 26.34, Hilary Coventry 5th in 26.48, Helen Ashworth 6th in 26.54, Clare Tempest 7th in 27.33, Kirsty Naylor 8th in 27.54, Sonja van der Westhuisen 9th in 29.20 and Joanne Hunt 10th in 30.33. 

The popularity of these events is borne out by the fact that almost 90 members and guests took part on what were, for the most part, bitterly cold days, with winds for good measure!  Other finishers were Tom Levi, coming back from injury, Gary Bastow, Mike Lowther, Gary Wilkinson, ever improving Richard Morrice, chit chat king Paul Chapman, Brett Edgeworth, Adrian Saunders, Pedro Carrasco, Dave Baker, David Tervit, Marc Davies, Andy Butcher, Dave Wood, Alan Simpson, Mike Cropper, Duncan Fothergill, evergreen Geoff Bullock, Joe Joyce, Martyn Coy, David Palmer, Jack Spence, Andrea Colls, James Stephenson, Steph Hawkins, Paul Goacher, Sarah Harrison, Lyndsay Goom, Sarah Scott, Steve Billings, Tracey Lowther, Louise Mayfield, Trish Radford, Faith Coy, Alison Butcher, Ken Evitt, Paul Adams, Richard Easby, injured Rob Burn, Hugh Jennyns, Sarah Goacher, Bev Davies, Heather Bell, Jacob Condor, Pat Kirby, Sharon Keegan, Clare Jones Drikus van der Westhuisen, Margaret Wikeley, Carol Morrison, Phillip Craig, Gillian Crane, Christine Burn, Liz Stephenson, Rosie Gatenby, Beverley Ayres, Alan Wikeley, (injured?) Esther Harrison, Ian Crane, Kimberli Werner, Maureen Worley, Siobhan Woodland, 11 year old Reuben Coy and Marian Codling.  A mention to 8 year old Matilda Price, who was introduced by her father, Andrew to running on hard rutted ground in a biting wind!  A good fist she made of it, too, finishing in 35.47.

Well done to all our happy band of members, who will turn out in all weathers and whatever conditions to do these races – and enjoy them!

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