Victoria Park 10k

On Good Friday, whilst some intrepid Harriers headed towards the coast for the Folkestone 10, I opted to venture inland to Victoria Park in Hackney for Run Through’s Easter Event. There were 5k, 10k and half marathon options all running various lap combinations round the park. (5k = 1.5 laps, 10k = 3 laps, 1/2 M = 6.5 laps if you’re interested). The route is on tarmacked paths with a mere 38ft elevation gain so pretty flat, therefore in theory good for a fast time.

The Half Marathon started at 9:30am with the 5k and 10k starting at 10:00am and 10:05am respectively. Given the number of different options and competitors, I must say the event was extremely well organised. Pre-race instructions had advised that there may be queues for number collection and bag drop, but I experienced neither. The only queue was for the loos (as always) and actually these moved very quickly. There were marshals on course to direct and remind you how many laps you needed to complete. The water station was well stocked and as each lap was approximately 3k, you were never too far from some water if needed. - Continue Reading -

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Folkestone 10 Miler

With many others now embracing the taper in the countdown to London, just five Harriers made the to trip to Hythe for the Good Friday Folkestone 10 Miler. 

Conditions were perfect… For a day at the seaside! Families had flocked to the coast to capitalise on the upturn in weather in time for the Bank Holiday weekend and, inevitably, the promenade was crowded with bikes, dogs and kamikaze kids! I heard accounts of one bundling into lead lady’s path, sending her flying. It is unclear who came off worse.    The race started with the traditional 3/4 lap of the playing fields, before a routine out and back along the sea front. The turn point is up a short ramp to the Lower Leas Coastal Park, on the approach to Folkestone. This is only notable elevation along an otherwise pan flat route. That’s not to say its easy…    Runners were faced with a modest headwind on the outward leg, however the exposed promenade ensured the full effects would be felt. The late start (11am) saw temperatures peaking on the return leg. With no cooling effect from the breeze, the air felt dead, and those final miles seemed to drag on forever.    I didn’t enjoy this race. I had wanted to… But you can’t have the perfect day every time you pin on a number. I wondered how close to 60 I might be able to get in current form, probably slightly ambitious with the hilly TT I had in my legs from the night before.   I succumbed to usual temptations and raced hard round the field, settling into the second pack as we reached the prom. No one seemed to want to take it on from the front and I was conscious of the pace slipping above the target I had in my head. I ignored race smarts and kicked on solo. I guess there’s only one way to find out.    As I rounded the turn point, I felt a sharp jab in my ribs. I’d been knocked off my bike the week before and was thankful to emerge with just a bump and a scrape. I suspect I’m carrying bruised / cracked ribs and this injury came back to bite me. Hard. I was already at my limit and each deep breath caused my chest to expand / contract painfully. My head was no longer in the game.    I went through mile 7 somehow clinging on to 7th place but my stride kept getting shorter in an attempt to cushion the impact. By mile 8, time was slipping through my fingers and the most I could do was resolve to keep moving forward. Four runners eased past while I endured my darkest moments. This was grim, my worst experience as I runner. Mile 9 was my slowest of the day, what little energy remained ebbing away.    Cheers from the TWH support crew may not have been met with a smile but seeing those friendly faces lifted my spirits sufficiently to grimace and push on to the end. I closed in on 10th place over the final half mile, crossing the finish line just a handful of seconds back. I shouldn’t grumble too much. It was tough out there (largely my own doing) but somehow I still managed to secure another PB!    Official results have just been published (Query submitted: I was issued bib 243)

Kieran Fitzpatrick - Continue Reading -

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Crawley A.I.M. 24hr Race

On Saturday I took part in the Crawley 24 hr race. This involves running laps of the athletic track at the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley. The aim is to run as many as possible during a 24 hour period. The race started at noon, with a finish time of 12:00 on Sunday. For a bit of fun they make runners reverse direction every four hours. Harriers at the Tonbridge track may have noticed me running the wrong way on a Monday evening as practise.

  Unfortunately I’d picked up an injury three weeks before the race, and despite a lot of treatment, rest and ice it rather unsurprisingly came back during the race. I limped round the track for the last few laps to finish with a nice round 200 laps in 8 hrs 41:10.   I wouldn’t normally write a report for a DNF, but this was a race against time and i finished – just a lot earlier than expected, and a long way short of my 200km target.   The race was won by Peter Windross with a superb 567 laps (227.010 km) Cat Simpson was first lady, and second overall with 553 laps (221.435 km)  – a distance which exceeds the qualify standard for the GB team.   Hopefully I quit early enough to have not done too much damage and will be back running very soon.   Full results   David Barker

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Brighton Marathon 2019

Firstly many thanks to all of those who came down to support, my last 3 marathons I have been without support and it really does it really does lift you seeing friendly faces around the course.

Brighton is a bit of a mixed bag, the support is probably second only to London for a UK race and the sections through the town and out to Ovingdean are really scenic. One other plus point of the course is the amount of switchbacks which provide several chances to see fellow Harriers along route. However the last section from 20 miles around the power station is rather soul destroying. This year we also had an easterly wind which meant running uphill to Ovingdean into the wind (which no doubt cost us energy) and the last 5 miles which were straight into the wind (unfortunately not quite what Bob had promised L)! - Continue Reading -

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Oundle 20

On Sunday 17th March Ollie and I went up to Northamptonshire to run the 2nd Oundle 20 mile race. We had entered last year’s inaugral race when there wasn’t a 20 on the KGP list, but the race was postponed due to the Beast from the East and we were allowed to defer our entries. Fast-forward 50 weeks and I found myself with 2 envelopes from Nice Work containing two 20 mile race numbers! With Ollie unable to run the Lydd 20, and me overdue a trip to see my folks, we decided to run.

The course followed a lovely undulating route along very quiet country lanes, taking us through quaint stone-built villages. Support was pretty good for a small race, though my views may be biased by the ever-present support drivers who were crewing for some runners at roughly my pace. We were hampered by very strong headwinds for some sections of the course, though thankfully no fallen trees as we had at Lydd! - Continue Reading -

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Hastings Half

Hastings half is probably the hilliest and hardest road half I have run, it makes the Tunbridge Wells half seem flat! The support was however really good and the route is really scenic; if anyone got a PB on this then massive Kudos! Whilst official results for Hastings claim that only 4 Harriers took part, there is photographic evidence I was there as well.

  • Mike King – 1:28:49 (chip failure)
  • Chris Walmsley – 1:35:47
  • Gemma Stillard – 1:41:19
  • Rose Sawyer – 1:54:25
  • Bryon Taylor – 3:19:02

In the interests of including a wider range of Harrier opinion in the report quotes from Strava:

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Sussex CTS Marathon

On Saturday Mel, Cassie (our Irish Terrier) and I went down to Birling Gap to run the Sussex Endurance life Coastal Trail Series half marathon and marathon respectively.

The marathon starts off by running west over the Seven Sisters towards the country park before heading inland to loop back to Birling Gap. From there the marathon route joins the half to run up to Beachy Head and Eastbourne and then inland back to the start/finish. - Continue Reading -

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Sevenoaks (Knole Park) 10k

Yesterday 5 Harriers made the local trip to Knole Park in Sevenoaks for the 13th annual Sevenoaks 10k, organised by the Sevenoaks Rotary Club. For anyone who has never ran around or visited this park, I highly recommend it. Beautiful woodland setting on national trust estate and if you like to avoid the road there are not many nicer settings! However a few issues running here including mud, hills and a dodging a few deer! Not as muddy as previous years when I have ran here in March, but definitely trail shoes at minimum. The race was very well organised and marshalled and the medal with a stag on it is a must for any collection! If anyone fancies running here in more favourable conditions, the Sevenoaks7 is a sound choice around pretty much a reverse of the same course, taking place in July.

First finisher was Charl Jordaan (unattached) in 37.59. First lady was Claire Day (Tonbridge AC) in 41.28. I was aiming for sub 50 given the terrain but just missed out by 5 measly seconds (I blame the winter cold that I am still trying to recover from). Harriers results below. Credible mention to Tom who was running very well until pulling up when I passed him late on. - Continue Reading -

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London Big Half

11 Harriers made their way to London today for the Vitality Big Half. It’s a fairly new addition to the running calendar, with the inaugural running last year. Run by the same people who organise London Marathon (London Marathon events) it makes for a perfect half in the lead up to a Spring Marathon.

The course is fast and flat, starting just to the North of Tower Bridge. From there it descends in to a rather warm Limehouse Link Tunnel, before emerging on to Canary Wharf. Often this is the part of the London Marathon course where it’s starting to hurt, so it was nice to be running there much earlier in the race with fresher legs. After Canary Wharf we were back off past Wapping and toward Tower Bridge, a stretch certainly made more challenging by a strong headwind.Crossing Tower Bridge, we followed much of the first half of the London Marathon route in reverse, before finishing at the Cutty Sark. As with the Marathon the support was fantastic throughout and there was certainly no shortage of runners to chase. - Continue Reading -

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Dartford Half Marathon

TWH had two representatives in last weekend’s Dartford Half Marathon which took place in damp and blustery conditions, though thankfully not the squalls encountered on the journey over beforehand.

The winner and first M40 was Danny Kendall of Cambridge Harriers in 1hr 13m; whilst first female was Ruby Spencer of Thanet Road Runners in 1hr 33. - Continue Reading -

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Steyning Stinger

Two Harriers, Jon Hodge and myself, completed the Steyning Stinger Marathon yesterday. This is a cross country run through the South Downs between Worthing and Shoreham-by-Sea, which includes four hills (or ‘stings’) up towards the top of the Downs. Weather conditions were a little challenging with rain, gusty winds and a lot of mud!

The event is chip timed so there is no organised start. Provided you’re confident you can complete the marathon within 5 hours you can start any time between 8-8:30am. Otherwise you can start earlier at 7:30am. The course is well signed with plenty of encouraging marshals along the way. Given the adverse weather they were particularly enthusiastic. - Continue Reading -

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2019 Tokyo Marathon

The Logistics

Stating the obvious, Tokyo is long way to go – 5,945 miles from Tonbridge to be precise, 12hours flying time and 9 hours time difference. In 2013 its annual spring marathon became the 6th World Major and therefore on the must do list of anyone aiming to receive a ‘6 Star’ finisher medal which Craig Chapman achieved last year. - Continue Reading -

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