Victoria Park Chase The Sun 5K

In less than ideal conditions (and after a hard pilates class the night before!), Jillian ran the Victoria Park Chase The Sun 5K last night. Although the sun was nowhere to be seen, let alone chased, there was a good turn out for this and the concurrently running 10k race. The course was relatively flat with the last 400m or so on (wet) grass.   The first man ran bare chested (no, it wasn’t Lloyd) with an impressive lead of over a minute on the rest of the field. In order to comply with race regs he attached his race number to his bare chest – ouch!   Jillian was first F45 and second lady overall finishing with a new road 5K PB and F45 Club Record time of 20:50   There were 99 finishers in the 5K race  
Pos Name Gun Chip Gender Category Club
1 CONNOR STRYNKOWSKI 00:15:26 00:15:24 M Senior NONE
10 VIRGINIA SILIO 00:20:13 00:20:0 F V35 Victoria Park Harriers
12 JILLIAN HOLFORD 00:20:51 00:20:50 F V45 TWH
Full results:   Simon Holford  

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Staplehurst 10k

Whilst some were on the club tour on the Isle of Wight, others were running trail Half Marathons and Ultras in the Sussex countryside and a few were even running up mountains in the French Alps, eight Harriers made the rather shorter journey to Staplehurst on Sunday to run the annual 10k. I’m sure many of you will be familiar with this race as apart from it being fairly local it has in the past been part of the KGP series of races.

The race is advertised as being ‘fast and flat’, which apart from the hill between km 6 and 7 was entirely accurate. - Continue Reading -

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Weald Challenge

Yesterday I ran the Weald Challenge 2019 Half Marathon with Harriers Hugh Stephenson, Jane Roome, Luke Edwardes-Evans, Rosie Harris, June Edwardes-Evans, Deborah Stamp and Helen Jenkins.   This is the sixth time I’ve ran this race, it’s not your usual Half Marathon, 75% off-road, closer to 14 miles than 13.1 with plenty of hills, stiles and some spectacular scenery. It heads north along the Wealdway to the meeting point at Blackboys, then returns south along the Vanguard Way back to Chiddingly. Conditions were good considering it’s June, not too hot with all this rain recently.   

Last year’s winner, Dan Stent retained his title and won the event again. These are the 1st Male, Female and TWH times from chip the timing website…not sure how official these times are as the first F finished 11th, just behind me and I’m pretty sure she was not called Steve!

Pos Name Time Club
1 Dan Stent 01:31:21 Vegan Runners
10 Kelvin Desmoyers-Davis 01:44:00 Tunbridge Wells Harriers
16 Sue Fry (2nd F?) 01:48:20 Hailsham Harriers
54 Hugh Stephenson 02:03:52 Tunbridge Wells Harriers
92 Luke Edwardes-Evans 02:16:46 Tunbridge Wells Harriers
162 Jane Roome 02:34:37 Tunbridge Wells Harriers
172 Rosie Harris 02:36:40 Tunbridge Wells Harriers
214 June Edwardes-Evans 02:51:32 Tunbridge Wells Harriers
215 Deborah Stamp 02:51:32 Tunbridge Wells Harriers
217 Helen Jenkins 02:52:56 Tunbridge Wells Harriers
Also, huge congratulations to the Harriers that set off earlier in the morning and ran the 50km edition of the Weald Challenge.   Kelvin   Following on from Kelvin’s report, five Harriers ran in the Weald 50km ultra yesterday. The course starts in Chiddingly and follows the Weald Way up to Kings Standing car park in Ashdown Forest (which is the highest point in Ashdown Forest), whereupon it follows the Vanguard Way back to Chiddingly. It was a beautiful scenic course. I hadn’t anticipated the course being signed, as it wasn’t when I ran the High Weald Challenge a few years ago, hence I had spent the last few weekends recceing the course. There were very detailed instructions to download from the website.   The route was, however, very well signed – impossible to go wrong. There were five well stocked aid stations. A well organised race that I would very much recommend, especially if anyone is looking for an introduction into ultra running. There were 190 finishers. Results below:  
Pos Name Time Club
1 john witton 04:16:10 Sevenoaks AC
37 Tara Taylor 05:20:41 Tunbridge Wells Harriers
52 rob jones 05:36:05 Tunbridge Wells Harriers
80 jon hodge 06:00:49 Tunbridge Wells Harriers
88 simon allford 06:06:54 Tunbridge Wells Harriers
165 rose sawyer 07:24:40
Tunbridge Wells Harriers


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Worthing 10k

Yesterday, I headed to Worthing for a 10k race along the sea front.

I had made a previous visit to Worthing in February for the half marathon and the 10k course is largely the second half of the HM route, with wide, largely flat roads, which go out and back along the front, with a couple of loops mid race. - Continue Reading -

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Beckenham Relays 2019

Ever since I joined Tunbridge Wells Harriers we have always enjoyed taking part in relay races, especially when the event is designed to be all inclusive with everybody of all standards encouraged to be a part of their Club team. The Beckenham relays were probably the first relay I ran in for the Club and it is a testament to the race that some thirty odd years later they still form an integral part of the racing calendar for so many Clubs. Each year everybody turns up bemoaning the fact that the hill at the end of each leg gets steeper and the same lap seems to get longer each time we run it. We still come every year striving to be as good (if not better) as the previous year.

This year, we entered twelve teams of three and I believed that all was going well until last Sunday when some members had to withdraw because of illness or injury. I should therefore like to thank particularly Craig Chapman, Kieran Fitzpatrick and Cathy Gill who ran for their Club whilst not fully fit and Steve Bright who was persuaded to bring his kit with him, even though he was originally just coming along to support (and he made it to the start line with seconds to spare). - Continue Reading -

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Darent Valley 10k

Dear All

Many thanks to the 27 Harriers who came along yesterday, it was great to see some new faces and also a few who have never done a Kent GP event before. For those of you who have not done the Darent Valley 10K, it is pretty challenging with a few cheeky little hills. However the last few km are downhill so you can make back some of your time loss. Full results are below and I think we did have a couple of PBs as well as first time 10K runners as well, Bob to confirm. Also honourable mention to future harrier Dillon Hobbs for finishing in 5th in just over 36 mins. - Continue Reading -

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Pulborough Vineyard Half Marathon

A little further afield than Darent five Harriers June Edwardes-Evans, Rosie Harris, Helen Jenkins, Catherine Kinder and I took part in the Pulborough Vineyard Half Marathon.

Catherine had persuaded us all to enter sometime ago under the premise that there was free cake and wine at the finish. Unfortunately none of us had really read the rest of the route description and thought through what an 8 lapped off road hilly half marathon might be like. - Continue Reading -

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Fox Ultra & Devil’s Challenge

On Saturday 27th May I competed in The Fox ultra – a 60 km circular route around Guildford. The course starts (and finishes) at Godalming and follows the Fox Way which is, for the most part, very scenic. About 30% of the route is on road, which may explain why my legs were so sore at the end. I got round the course in 6:43:52 (11th woman and 72 overall out of 224). It was a well organised event and the course was well signed. There were some very swift times at the sharp end of the field.

Then on Saturday 4th May I ran the Devil’s Challenge. When I entered this event I didn’t take account of the fact that it the two events were on consecutive weekends! The Devil’s Challenge is put on by XNRG and is a three-day, 97 mile ultra marathon along the South Downs Way, passing the legendary Devil’s Dyke valley – hence the name of the event. - Continue Reading -

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Hildenborough Races

18 Harriers made the short trip to the home village of our Half Marathon family – Hildenborough, for their annual race day

This event has a lovely community spirit with race distances for everyone. 1 mile school kids races are followed by a “mass” start for the 2.5, 5 and 10 mile races. As a bonus we usually have several marshal points covered by TWH or Raynet guys that know the deckchair so support is solid all the way around. - Continue Reading -

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London Marathon 2019

For those lucky enough to have run London, you will know there is no event quite like it. A spectator-lined 26.2 miles from Greenwich to the Mall, it’s as much a celebration of running as it is a race. With months of training, early weekend long runs and sleepless nights all leading up to the day itself, thankfully there was no repeat of last year’s heat wave.

The Harriers were out in force, with 20 running and countless more giving up their Sunday to come out and support. A big thanks to Mike Jarvis, for allowing some of us runners on to the marshal’s coach. - Continue Reading -

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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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