Newsletter 2014 – Oct


October 2014

Editor Comment
The last race of the Kent Grand Prix over and the men finally finished 4th , not bad. However the ladies finished the highest ever I believe in 2nd place. Well done ladies and maybe next year they can bring the Ladies Cup to Tunbridge Wells. This month is a bumper edition as I have included the report from Chris Frost who won the ITU World Paratriathlon in Brazil.

Club Runs Training Sessions
The weekly Wednesday evening run from the Nevill, Pre run info starts at 19:30 !!. Allan Cheek our Club President leads the Sunday morning group out from the ‘Running Hub’ departing at 08:30 unless otherwise advised. Monday Track speed sessions – 7.30PM @ Tonbridge School track, parking is available adjacent. Nominal cost of £2. Tuesday night training sessions at Tonbridge are on Wheatsheaf Way off the Shipbourne Road behind the Sainsbury’s Local 18:30 for 18:40 start. The Thursday evenings – circuit training at Rusthall Village Hall start from 19:30 led by Claire Hayhurst. There is a nominal charge to help cover costs (£2.50) Saturday mornings a group go out on Ashdown Forest at 07:30 contact Guy Gracey or Alan Collard for details.
Don’t forget if you are injured or would just like to walk there is also a walkers group that goes out Weds evening from the Clubhouse.

Welcome all New Members
Welcome to all the new members who have recently joined us. Don’t forget to sign up to the email group and we hope you enjoy the club and running with us Harriers. The Wednesday night runs are now back on the dark streets of Tunbridge Wells but there are plenty of them !. We hope we will live up to our name of being a friendly and diverse club. Any queries please ask to be pointed in the direction of a committee member who hopefully will be able to assist.


20th / 21st September (LDWA) event Surrey Hills.
Intrepid June Edwardes-Evans and Jane Roome took part in their second 50 miler of the year. Classified as a “challenge event” rather than a race, participants could set off anytime between 10am-1pm so long as they could finish by the cut off time of 6am the next day. This event deliberately starts late to give entrants plenty of opportunities to practice night navigation. June and Jane set off at 10am from the village of Witley in Surrey with the majority of the 135 entrants. The route was only released four days before the event so that no one could recce it before hand. The route took them over the ups and downs of the Surrey Hills and along some of the North Downs Way – 6900 feet of ascent! Sadly the mist was heavy for most of the day so often the best view to celebrate their climb was that of the trig point. At times they didn’t see anyone else for hours and it felt like they were the only people left in the world, let alone the event. The organisation was superb with purple apron cladded LDWA Surrey volunteers cheerfully leaping up when they arrived at check points and pressing increasing amounts of food and drink upon them as the day faded into the night. Their favourite part was the last night section, although being increasingly unable to differentiate their X-Tracks from their Tracks they miscounted their X-Tracks in a wood and stumbled into a clearing and disturbed a whole herd of deer quietly grazing. After a moment of surprise and no clue where they were moment June’s GPS saved the day and they hacked cross country to find a footpath and rejoined the modern world on a road opposite the very aptly named but unsurprisingly very shut (this was 2am) Merry Harriers pub. With no further navigational issues they made it back to HQ at 02.44 – 16 hours and 44 minutes after they started – to be greeted with a cooked breakfast. First runner home took 11 hours 27 minutes, last finishers 19 hours 43 minutes, 9 people retired. June and Jane reported in all a fantastic event.

28th September 4th Tonbridge Half Marathon
The largest turnout of Harriers for a long time saw 30 men and 12 ladies ran the Tonbridge Half, a challenging and undulating out and back course in brilliant and warm sunshine. This was the penultimate Kent Grand Prix race of 2014, incorporating the Kent Champs. 1,001 runners completed the course.
First Harrier to cross the line saw the return of Nick Leech after a about a 2 year absence in 1:19:19 followed by Craig Chapman in 1:23:25 and then Stuart Shields in a PB time of 1:24:37. For the ladies, Zoe Button was first home in 1:38:34 followed by Nicola Morris in a PB time (4mins) of 1:38:25 and Lesley Mercer in 1:43:08.
A great team effort brought home the following prizes in the race, 1st M60 Steve Barnfield, 2nd Ladies Team (Zoe Button, Nicola Morris, Lesley Mercer), 2nd Mens Team (Nick Leech, Craig Chapman, Stuart Shields).
In the Kent Half Marathon Championship, Gold M60 Steve Barnfield, Silver M60 Mark Taylor, Silver F35 Zoe Button, Bronze F35 Nicola Morris, Silver Ladies Team (Zoe Button, Nicola Morris, Lesley Mercer), Silver Mens Team (Nick Leech, Craig Chapman, Stuart Shields). Harrier results: 13th Nick Leech MS 1:19:19, 28th Craig Chapman MV40 1:23:25, 31st Stuart Shields MV40 1:24:37, 37th Adam Thoroughgood MS 1:25:20, 43rd Matthew ClarkMV40, 1:25:5, 46th Matt Clements MV40 1:25:56, 48th Graham Cook MS 1:26:26, 56th David Barker MV40 1:27:53, 60th Terry Everest MS 1:28:22, 74th Steve Austin MV55 1:30:28, 86th Simon Howden MV40 1:32:51, 89th Michael Tull M40 1:33:18, 99th Mick Barstow MV50 1:33:44, 107th Geoff TurnerMV50 1:33:57, 133rd Michael King MS 1:36:28, 136th Steve Barnfield MV60 1:36:31, 142nd Mark Taylor MV60 1:37:19, 144th Richard Reid MS 1:36:50, 156th Zoe Button FV35 1:38:34, 158th Nicola Morris FV35 1:38:25, 200th Oliver Chappatte MV50 1:40:41, 204th Richard Quartermaine MV40 1:41:00, 222nd Lesley Mercer FV35 1:43:08, 261st Andrew Marshall MV40 1:45:12, 282nd Richard French MV50 1:46:40, 306th Paul Newman MV40 1:46:48, 325th Alex Taylor MS 1:48:40, 330th Paul Murrells MV40 1:49:06, 357th Hayley Larkin FS 1:50:53, 362nd Emma Perry FV35 1:51:33, 364th Ian Nunns MV40 1:51:15, 369th Deborah Stamp FV35 1:51:52, Mark Crowhurst MV50 1:53:27, 398th Stella Richardson FV55 1:53:31, 399th Michael Sharp MV50 1:53:31, 407th Amanda Paver FV35 1:54:19, 483rd Lucille Joannes FV55 1:58:20, 542nd Joan Woodward FV35 2:01:13, 553rd Ana-Maria Green FV45 2:01:56, 662nd Nicky White FV45 2:06:47, 834th Declan Gillespie MV 50 2:19:54, 1002nd Graham Brooks Male 80 3:04:58.
Meanwhile on the same day lone Harrier Philip Buss SM ran the Barns Green Half Marathon he finished 97th in 1:33:32. 1227 finishers.

5th October Cardiff Half Marathon
Two Tunbridge Wells Harriers took part. Sarah Lavender a student at Cardiff University finished in 2175th place 126th in her SF category in a time of 1:39:50. Sarah ran in the half last year and this time was 5 minutes faster than last year. Helen Jenkins came 13459th, 786th in her F40-45 category finishing in a time of 2:29:38.

11th October Swanley Park Kent League Cross Country
With a very wet preceding week and overnight storms combined with a torrential downpour during the preceding U20 women’s race made the normally dry race course at Swanley Park interesting and eventful, with bollards and slippery slopes causing a number of falls in both the senior men’s and women’s races. Mud was king, but it did make it fun on the new, slightly longer course. 27 Harriers competed across the 2 events.
The ladies 5k had some national-level ladies competing, with commanding leads for the Clay sisters of Invicta East Kent throughout the 105 strong field. A new challenger from Blackheath & Bromley pushed XC Captain Alice Heather-Hayes into 2nd F35 and 9th position overall, followed by Pru Clements as 2nd F40 in 19th place and Jeanette White making the 3 to score in 22ndplace.
The 6 to score was made up by Jillian Holford 31st, XC Co-captain Lesley Mercer 40th and Carol Tsang 48th. Finishing the ladies was new member Emma Perry 53rd in her first introduction to the best and worst conditions XC have to offer. The ladies teams finished 4th/16 and 3rd/10 in the 3 and 6 to score categories.
The V70 men’s race also ran alongside the Senior Ladies, with two competing and as usual both were Harriers. Eric Schofield returned to take 1st, followed by Bryon “Spud” Taylor.
The senior men’s 10k had a slightly smaller field of 182 for this year’s first race, A stunning performance saw the Harriers home, with Andy Howey taking 1st M50 in an astounding 38th place overall. The 4 to score followed Andy with Sam Begg 45th, Christopher Wolton 51st and Matthew Clements 67th. The 12 to score (or ‘duodec’) was completed by Edward Steele 72nd, Lloyd Collier 76th, Andy Joad 86th with a strong performance, Matthew Clark 100th, Simon Howden 113rd, Casper Morris 120th, Michael Tull 121st and Mark Taylor 139th (2nd M60) It was also the first time running in the XC League for Andy Page 152nd and Andrew Boorman 168th. The mens teams finished 7th/15 and 6th/7 in the 4 and 12 to score categories.
Ladies: 9th 20:47 Alice Heather-Hayes, 19th 22:42 Pru Clements, 22nd 23:09 Jeanette White, 31st 23:38 Jillian Holford, 40th 24:11 Lesley Mercer, 48th 25:00 Carol Tsang, 53rd 25:22 Emma Perry.
V70 men: 1st 28:29 Eric Schofield, 2nd 39:39 Bryon Taylor.
Men: 38th 37:43 Andy Howey, 45th 38:49 Sam Begg, 51st 39:26 Christopher Wolton, 67th 40:59 Matthew Clements, 72nd 41:14 Edward Steele, 76th 41:32 Lloyd Collier, 86th 42:28 Andy Joad,100th 43:03 Matthew Clark,113th 43:41 Simon Howden,120th 44:13 Casper Morris,121st 44:17 Michael Tull,139th 46:27 Mark Taylor,140th 46:28 Geoff Turner,152nd 49:02 Andy Page,158th 50:48 Michael Russell,162nd 52:40 Peter Richardson,166th 54:11 Ian Wylie,168th 54:57 Andrew Boorman.

12th October Ashford 10K
On the following day 15 Harriers some which had run the previous day at Swanley ran in the last Kent Grand Prix event of the year at Ashford on what was describe as a fast 10k course. Additionally being the last event of the series some of the best runners in Kent were racing. 872 finishers. For the first time in six years the Harriers men knew they couldn’t win the KGP when the race started but were keen to hold their position and managed to hold onto fourth place behind Maidstone Harriers with Orpington Road Runners winning by a clear margin from Thanet Roadrunners AC. The Harrier Ladies however were in a good position and it was whether they finished 2nd or 3rd. In the end it was very close and they just beat Orpington Road Runner into second place by 6 points with the winners Maidstone Harriers some 280 points ahead.
Results: 14th Stuart Shields MV40 36:16 AG PB, 43rd Terry Everest SM 38:18, 47th Matt Clements VM40 38:32 PB, 56th Stephen Woodruffe VM50 39:08, 61st Mike King SM 39:16, 77th Nicholas Reynolds SM 40:14, 114th Pru Clements VF40 41:36,128th Steve Barnfield VM60 42:01, 149th Mark Taylor VM60 43:03 AG PB, 171st Jamie White VM40 43:34, 187th Gareth Vidler SM 43:57, 248th Lesley Mercer VF40 45:58 349th Stella Richardson VF50 48:34 PB & F55 Club Record, 419th Joan Woodward VF40 50:15 PB, 467th Lucille Joannes VF50 51:52.

Club Grand Prix Championship
In this year’s Club Grand Prix based on a performance percentages. Going into the last race of the series in which at least five events have to be run to qualify there were 3 contenders with just seconds between them. At the close one of the three Craig Chapman was unable to run in Sunday’s 10k due to illness, however Steve Barnfield had a stunning run and came from behind to up his percentage and finish second. Steve Woodruffe ran a steady consistent race and bought up his averages to win. The 3rd contender Mark Taylor ran an age category PB but it was just not enough to increase his percentage sufficiently and he finished in 3rd place. Hence the results were 1st Stephen Woodruffe 77.56%, 2nd Steve Barnfield 76.75%, 3rd Mark Taylor 76.09% and 4th Craig Chapman 75.90%, possibly one of the closest finishes for a number of years.

11th October ITU World Paratriathlon – Manaus, Brazil
Report by Chris Frost:
For my last race of the season I booked a long flight to the Amazon jungle in search of adventure and world ranking points. Actually, that’s not true. It was all about the race and the points really. Adventure would have to take a back seat.
With the World Championships done and dusted and the last European race of the season in Madrid in September, it’s fair to say that a lot of athletes were already on a break before pre-season training begins for 2015. There were seven countries represented on the start line in my class, in a field of twenty, but only two other Europeans had made the trip. World ranking points are on offer for the first six places in ITU races, which makes picking up points incredibly difficult, especially in Europe where the fields are the strongest. For me this race represented a good opportunity to earn points in order to get a place on the start line in major races next year.
I flew out on the Tuesday before Saturday’s race in order to get acclimatised as far as possible. The city of Manaus (where England played Italy in their opening game of the World Cup) is known for its heat and humidity. In the run up to the race it was clear that, while the temperature stayed fairly constantly in the low 30s, the humidity could fluctuate very significantly. On the Wednesday morning I tried a loosening run out on the course, with a few race-pace efforts thrown in, and was in absolute pieces after about 3km. Hydration was clearly going to be very important and I crossed off the idea of a sight-seeing boat trip up the Amazon in favour of far less exciting race preparation regime of eating, sleeping and light training in race conditions. I even turned off the air conditioning in my hotel room.
The day before the race they announced that it was going to be on live TV. The consequence of this was that the start time was to be moved from a relatively cool 0700 to a significantly warmer 1045. This was a river swim, but the Rio Negra is so wide at this point that there is no noticeable current and the water temperature was around 28 degrees so no wetsuits. It was a shallow water start just off the ‘beach’ and I ploughed off as best I could in the wake of Marcello Collett the Brazilian Paralympic swimmer, who is the fastest swimmer racing the ITU circuit at the moment and is clearly part-man, part-speedboat! I got myself some clear water and exited the swim without any major mishaps for the 550m run up the beach and then up the winding concrete path into transition. I had practiced this run a couple of times in the preceding days and saw it as a good opportunity to make up some ground on the faster swimmers – which it proved to be and I took back several places from the swim.
Out on the bike, the course was four laps of a long flat drag with a dead turn at either end. The course suited me perfectly and I just got my down on the bars and powered away, gradually reeling a few guys in and taking on fluids to get me through the last leg of the race. As I reached the end of the fourth lap I could see Collett exiting transition and, as there was only one bike in transition when I got there, that meant that I as second. I had PB’d the bike leg, finally getting under 30 mins for a 20km (it was 29:59) and I guessed that I was within around 90 seconds of him going into the run, which meant that he was within range.
As soon as I got out onto the run course I realised how tough this was going to be. It was nearly midday, with little shade and very humid. I just tried to concentrate on keeping my legs turning over quickly and focussed on Collett ahead. However, by the end of the first of the three laps I had pretty much reeled him in, before seeing my number on the run penalty board. I can only guess that this was for going the wrong way around some cones at the beginning of the course. I pulled up at the penalty box to serve a 10 second stop-go penalty and watched Collet pull away again, but had caught him once more shortly into the second lap and then started to look out for the stronger runners in the field to try to work out if they were gaining. Out on the third lap it became clear that, barring Devon Locke moment, I could take the win if I just kept going and I actually managed to enjoy crossing the line for a change, to take my first ITU race win and 250 world ranking points.
My run split (including the penalty) was 20:58, which was well below par, but turned out to be over a minute quicker than anyone else in the field, which suggests to me that my acclimatisation and hydration strategy paid off. I finished around 2:30 ahead of Collett, with the Japanese, Sato, in third. Several athletes collapsed due to the heat, either on the course or in the finish area, which took on the appearance of a disaster zone for a short while!
That’s my last race of the season and I now have a couple of weeks off before pre-season training begins again. I’m looking forward to doing it all again next year.

19th October Amsterdam Marathon and Half marathon
28 Harriers travelled over to Amsterdam to run on this ‘flat’ marathon course and some PB times were expected. On the day for others a flat course was not the best and some found it a tough course on the day as it was windy plus very narrow and restrictive in places.
In the marathon the first Harrier home in a sub 3:10 was James Absolon and only a minute behind was Ed Steele in a PB time of 3:10:53, followed by Craig Chapman in 3:14:52 to make up the first three Harriers home. For the ladies the first home was Nicola Morris in yet another great PB time of 3:33:52 and 31st in her age category. Nicola was followed by Carol Tsang in 3:50:16 attempting her first marathon so a PB time. Maddy Doherty was the third Harrier lady finishing in 4:02:53.
In the Half Marathon Jillian Holford was first home in a PB time of 1:40:42 followed by Cathy Rawling 2:00:55 with the men following V75 Eric Schofield 2:01:10 and John Rawlings in a PB time of 2:19:39.
MARATHON: James Absolon 3:09:42, Ed Steele 3:10:53 PB, Craig Chapman :14:52, Andy Joad 3:17:23, Steve Austin 3:19:45, Simon Holford 3:24:53 PB, Phil Buss 3:25:21 PB, ‎Geoff Turner 3:25:30, ‎Nicola Morris 3:33:52 PB, Mike King – 3:37:33,Ross Woods 3:43:18, Carol Tsang 3:50:16 PB, Colin Ricketts 3:51:54, David French 3:54:59, Sam Joad 3:55:24 (PB), John Bee 4:00:31, Maddy Doherty 4:02:53, Georgina Doherty 4:05:17, Amanda Paver 4:06:15, Deborah Stamp 4:11:36, Lucille Joannes 4:13:12, Reuben Winter 4:16:30, Ana-Maria Green 4:30:30.
‎HALF MARATHON: Jillian Holford 1:40:42 PB, Cathy Rawlings 2:00:55, Eric Schofield 2:01:10, John Rawlings 2:19:39 PB, John Law (ran but no chip time).


19th October Eden Project Marathon, Cornwall
While the numerous Tunbridge Wells Harriers were parading along the 26.2 and 13.1 miles in Amsterdam at, or very near, sea level, a solitary Harrier was alternating regularly between near sea level at the lowest point, and 209 metres at the highest point Helman Tor. In superb conditions for the time of year; mild, light breeze, and generous amounts of sunshine, which made for a very enjoyable day Derek Harrison finished 79th in 4:16:20, and was 2nd M55. There were 230 finishers.

UP AND COMING EVENTS – dates for the diary

Sat 25th October Beachy Head Marathon 2014.
Friday 7th Nov Annual curry night -The Spice on Camden Rd.- limited numbers. See Rosie Harris to book.
Sunday 9th Nov – Remembrance Day Run – Ashdown Forest.
Sunday 23rd Nov. Club Road Champs 09.30.- 5.5 mile run; starts from and finishes at the corner of Frant Road and Forest Road. Come ready to run, club house not available.
Sun 7th Dec – Run Out Lunch – over the border in Sussex.
Wed 17th Dec – Pressie Night & Christmas Lights Run + Fish and chips.
Fri 26th Dec – Boxing Day Run – from Clubhouse.
Sun 28th Dec – Christmas Hash, Ashdown Forest.
Thurs 1st Jan – New Year’s Day Run – from Clubhouse.
NB – No Club runs on Wed 24th or Wed 31st Dec.
Every Saturday – Tonbridge & TW Park Runs @ 9am -see


“The Bus” we have a London double decker bus (A Route Master) which is passed around on club nights to a willing volunteer. The person with the bus sets the route for the Wednesday night. This is open to all, have a go. Guidance for setting a route can be found on the TWH web site or go to Casper Morris will map the route for you on request.

If you wish your race achievements to go into the Newsletter and possibly into the Courier please email the group / post on the Club Facebook page / or email me as soon as possible after the event as the submission deadline is Monday pm latest – please – to enable me to get it to the Courier. Email me at

Familiar cry – Yes I am still on the hunt for someone to take over the ‘tale telling’ for the Harriers as I am starting to get busier and busier with next year’s Lifestyle Kia Half Marathon preparation. Please if you feel you might be able to help speak to me to see what it entails – with no commitment.

Next weekend sees the clocks change – winter is here !?. If you are out running wear something you can be seen in especially on the roads. It is amazing how many run in black and at dusk personally there have been a couple of times when I have only just seen these people in time. Keep safe out there and enjoy those runs.

Mark Taylor.