THE weekend saw a mix of nine road and trail races, and a rogue set of wheels, with some impressive results across the board. 

On the trails, five Harriers took on the We Need To Talk About Chevin race in Otley.  As described by the organiser, this is “simply the worst possible scenario when touring the Chevin”, with the first climb of the 14km course straight up to Surprise View, down and up to the Danefield climb with a final ascent, after a couple of small ones in between, up Miller Lane. 

Dave Robson had a fantastic run taking second place and first in his age category in 1:14:43.  Nick Helliwell was next over the line in 1:22:16.  Despite a painful detour through some brambles Rachel Carter took first place in an impressive time of 1:23:21. John Jackson and Meredith Bailey also had good runs finishing in 1:28:14 and 2:07:12 respectively.   

Sunday saw three trail races of gradually increasing distance.  First up was The Pendulum, an aptly named 11 mile race taking on two challenging ascents in the Cheviot Hills.  Competitors must take on the first climb, returning the same way, and then the second returning again the same way they went up.

  Petra Bijsterveld took on the challenge and completed the race in a fantastic 3:19:32.5.  With 15.4 miles and nearly 1000 metres of climb, the Heptonstall Fell Race offered a great challenge for three Harriers.  The route is over varied terrain including steep-sided wooded valleys, upland pasture and pathless moorland, affording great views across the remote South Pennines.  Matthew Kennedy was the first Harrier home in 2:26:44 taking second place in his age category.  Kate Archer was next in, taking fifth place and second in her age category in 2:39:34.  Alison Weston also had a great run out coming over the line in 3:17:07. 

And stepping up one final distance gear on Sunday, John Hayes took on the ever popular Blubberhouses Moor 24 mile event by the North Yorkshire Long Distance Walkers Association.  The event starts and finishes at Bland Hill taking the Swinsty, Fewston and Thruscross reservoirs, Rocking Hall, Bolton Abbey with a local section over Beamsley Beacon, Round Hill and Ellarcarr Pike and back again.  John had a fantastic race finishing in 3:54 in sixth place and displayed true Harriers’ sportsmanship in stopping two runners going the wrong way…twice.

And so now to the road.  Saturday saw Dick and Helen Waddington venture into the Lakes to take on the Coniston 14 race.  Starting and finishing in the centre of Coniston the route does a complete tour of Coniston Water, with some challenging hills but affording some stunning views across the fells.  Attracting a large field of over 1500 participants this is a popular race.  Dick finished the race in 1:47:23 and Helen came in fifth place in her age category in 1:57:37.

On Sunday, Michael Odell was the only Harrier to take the trip south to the Wakefield Hospice 10k.  A popular race now in its 28th year it’s known for being a great race for seasoned and new runners alike.  Michael had a great race dipping under the 40 minute mark in 39:04, taking fifth place in his age category. 

Next up was the Wilmslow half marathon.  In its 40th year, the anniversary race was as popular as ever with two Harriers taking to the start line.  Run on closed roads with some interesting inclines in the second half, this is a well-supported event and both Ed Hobbs and Emma Sheppard had great runs.  Ed came over the line in a staggering time of 1:09:20 taking 12th place overall, with Emma finishing in 1:39:46, and with those times, both clearly managing to resist the beer available on the route.

 And finally, in her first race stepping up from half marathon distance, Sally Armitage took on the Spen 20, a challenging hilly 20 mile two loop race in and around Cleckheaton.  Despite ignoring her own race plan, and suffering with chronic calf cramps half way through the race, Sally still managed to come in under her target time of 2:20 in 2.18.06, taking second place on the podium.   A great result!

And so to the wheels.  Whilst we don’t normally allow those into our reports, Harrier Christos Tzelis was taking part in the British Duathlon Championships at Oulton Park this weekend.  With an 8.6k and 4.3k run bookending the 38k bike section, Christos used his superb running form at the moment to come twelfth overall, becoming British National Champion in his age category as a result.

And finally, the inclement weather didn’t put off the hardy parkrunners with 35 taking to the weekly events across the country.  There were some superb top ten finishes for Nathalie Gravett-Foyn, Alex Foyn (in a PB time), Jaysson Sawyer, Jane McCarthy, James Horrex, Sally Malir, Adam Gerrish and Samesh Chotai.  The 80% age grading was broken by four Harriers this week:  Jane McCarthy, Sally Malir, Diane Kitchen (in a PB time) and, clearly winding down for the London Marathon, Geoff Howard!  And yet more PBs were achieved by Clare Boyle and Harry Stead.