Upcoming Club Races

We are now 2 races into the 2018/19 Cross Country season and so far we have seen two contrasting races. Waterlogged Ulverston and a very dry and unmuddy Sefton Park. There have been some great performances and excellent debuts. For more on this please see this news story.

https://wiganharriersendurance.wordpress.com/2018/12/01/british-athletics-liverpool-cross-challenge/

A few of our brilliant ladies team in action.

Don’t worry though there are plenty more to come. Another four Mid Lancs League fixtures plus Northern and National Championships!

The next one is this weekend. Hurray!

Cross Country – Saturday 8th December Hyndburn  (no need to register just turn up!)

The next Cross Country race takes place this Saturday 8rd December at Wilson Playing Fields, Hyndburn. If you are a registered club member do please come along, join in and represent the club, we have a number for everyone!

There is no selection criteria, just a club vest is required. The course this weekend is a cracker and a great test. For details of location, course maps and timings please look at http://www.midlancs.org.uk/ Details of the rest of the 2018/19 Mid Lancs League fixtures will be there too.

Northern Athletics Cross Country Championships – Saturday 26th January 2019 at Pontefract Park, Park Rd, Pontefract WF8 4QD (please mail us if you want to do this one!)

We would like to enter teams and compete against clubs from all over the north of England. This year the course is at Pontefract Racecourse but hopefully there will be no hurdles to jump!

14.15 Senior Women 8.05K Competitors 20 years and over on 31st August / 1st September 2018
15.05 Senior Men 12.1K Competitors 20 years and over on 31st August / 1st September 2018

There is no cost to enter and we will be back in time for the Harriers January party!

Please email wiganendurance@hotmail.com if you want to represent the club in this excellent event. For more details see

https://www.northernathletics.org.uk/events/northern-athletics-cross-country-championships/

2019 Saucony English National Cross Country Championships – Saturday 23rd February at Harewood House near Leeds

The 2019 Saucony English National Cross Country Championships will take place at Harewood House near Leeds which was the venue used for the 2018 Northern Athletics Cross Country Championships. It’s a fantastic course and well recommended, don’t miss the chance to do a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!

Please email wiganendurance@hotmail.com if you want to represent the club in the National Championships.

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British Athletics Liverpool Cross Challenge

After October’s rain sodden race at Ulverston it was time for one of the biggest fixtures of the season at Sefton Park. It was the 18th year that the Mid Lancs XC league had taken part in the Liverpool Cross Challenge. Originally the league was recruited to fill out the junior fields and the event has become a popular fixture in the Mid Lancs calendar.

Across the different events there are 37 clubs with entry of 1265 runners. It’s a fantastic way of taking part in a race involving elites. The challenge is usually to avoid being lapped!

The first event at Ulverston saw a Harriers entry limited to just 5 men, this meant that only the M40 team scored points. This meant it was vital we had a big entry and scored heavily. Wigan Harriers certainly didn’t disappoint! 15 ladies and 14 men – an awesome turnout. ⚫️❤️⚫️

Conditions were excellent, Sefton Park has never been so dry, probably too dry as parts of the were rutted. First up for the seniors were the ladies running 8.1 km.

Leading the ladies home was Danielle Brearton who has carried her excellent summer form into the autumn. The strength in depth and numbers meant the Ladies achieved these fantastic results.

The first 3 ladies counted as the A team and came in 6th, the next 3 were the  B team and were 12th. Both are L35 and L45 teams were 2nd behind a very strong Lytham St Annes.

Next up were the Men with 9.8 km of fast racing!

 

Making a brilliant debut to bring the men home was Jonathan Kearsley. Again with strong teams we were able to score heavily.

The first six men counted as the A team and came 15th and with plenty of male runners we were able to score as a B team too in 30th place. M40 were 4th and the V50 were 8th.

A quick scan through the updated results and then a lengthy calculation on how we fared against just the teams in our divisions yields the following provisional results for Sefton. (Polite way of saying I might have slipped an error in). Note 4 best results count (most of our teams didn’t score at Ulverston) so we we need to repeat!

Ladies 2nd place Div 1
L35 2nd place (only 1 Div)
L45 2nd place (only 1 Div)

Men 3rd place Div 2
V40 2nd place Div 1
V50 8th place (only 1 Div)

Well done all, especially our debutants who ran brilliantly. 👣

Next up is Hyndburn on 8th December and yes we have a number for every member!

 

 

 

Warrington Way Ultra Relays by James Pentland

My first ever trail run I entered with trepidation not knowing what to expect. I purchased my first pair of trail shoes at a massive £24.99! I might add the best £24.99 I have ever spent and in true harrier colours.

On the morning of the run I woke up late and in a blind panic. I Jumped in and out of the car every two minutes forgetting my watch, forgetting a flask and forgetting I hadn’t eaten. I settled for the best of McDonald’s bacon roll hash brown and a coffee.

After meeting up with Kelly Withers at CP2 we drove to CP1 to meet with other runners and tag our partners and continue the race. After a short, cold wait I was greeted by Katie Green. I was handed my number and I ran with Jayne Barlow-Salloum who was running strong as part of her duo run. After a gruelling 11 miles across a beautiful countryside the end was in sight. As I arrived at the finish line of CP2 I was greeted with cheers from all the fellow runners and harriers alike.

Questions were being asked who am I handing my numbers to, to continue leg 3 of the run. I was hungry and thirsty, phone calls were being made to seek the runner. It appeared the runner may have got dates wrong, however the race had to continue. I hadn’t fuelled, dressed or trained for anything more than 13 miles especially a trail run. I grabbed a cup of tea and a piece of granola biscuit and refilled my water bottle and offered my services to do leg 3.

All my team mates were very grateful and spurred me on. I continued the run along unknown paths and started speaking to other runners asking to run with them and swapped running stories and experiences. Around mile 14 or 15 I started to flag and felt blisters developing on my toes (damn these new shoes) I was cheered on by umpa lumpas and continued through the niggles of blisters.

As I ran towards the canal I saw a post office, I walked towards the door (yes walked) and thought I need food, I picked up the biggest bag of harribo sweets I could see and a bottle of lucozade sports, I hadn’t brought any money, “oh no” then prompted by the shop keeper, “have you got Apple Pay on your phone” my saviour!! I continued my run and started to slowdown. I was caught up by two runners who asked how I was doing and started to tell me their stories. They were winging there first attempt of an ultra. We became the three amigos, we had loads in common including running the first Wigan Half Marathon, all three of us finished London within 4 minutes of each other this year and then we all ran first Kirkby 10 miler.

As we approached the finish of leg 3 I was contacted by Ian Stewart asking where I was, he was with all the best intentions of meeting me at mile 25 to take over but I was almost complete so he had to rush to CP3 to meet me. As I approached I was never so happy to see another man before, but on the flip side the three amigos had become 2 as I was no longer running with them.

I sat waiting for Denise Riley to finish her leg so I could get back to face HQ, receiving calls from family and Kelly making sure I was ok. I saw Denise arriving then it hit home I’d finished and in my eyes saved the day in more than one way after giving first aid at CP3 until rescue services arrived to a fellow runner that literally ceased up on the spot he rested. We left the tent and headed towards HQ to a satisfactory welcome from all other runners and all the harriers that had completed their runs.

I know I’m not at Harriers that often anymore due to other commitments but I am proud to say that they are my second family. The support we offer each other is second to none.

Did I mention the “massive” budget priced trail shoes I bought. They will most definitely be used again.

Maybe I might join Marsha on the full 40 miles next year?

James Pentland.

⚫️🔴⚫️🏃🏻‍♂️🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♂️🏃🏻‍♀️

The Haribo had a startling affect on James!

Club racing opportunity!

Mid Lancs Cross Country League

The next Mid Lancs Cross Country fixture is the esteemed Liverpool Cross Challenge on 24th November where clubs from the North West compete head to head with some of the best elite runners in the country.

www.midlancs.org.uk

This is a massive event and a great day out. We always try to get as many runners as possible at this one and everyone is welcome. Don’t think “I will be too slow” runners of every ability will be there.

If you would like to run please email Jacqui Jones by 8th November. Email details have been sent out.

As this is a team event, your entry fee will be paid by the club.

Please only enter this event if you seriously plan to compete as entries are non refundable

All athletes will be allocated a race number specific to this event. These will be available for collection in the team tent on the day.

A couple of photos from last year of all those that were ready and dressed ready for action!

 

A trip to the seaside……honest

Saturday 13th October is the magic date! What for? A trip to the seaside for the Mid Lancs Cross Country season opener in Ulverston, Cumbria.

All paid up members are eligible to run, no selection criteria, all welcome. 6 events all part of your membership so don’t miss out!

Ulverston was a new venue last season, first used March earlier this year. It’s a great course to start the season. It’s held on the playing fields and surrounding land of Glaxo. Even after a long winter it was good underfoot, with a few sections of gravel/hardcore so most people wore trail shoes.

Hills? Nope! A few short inclines but we are on the sea side so nothing tough.

The course is quite short so the men ran 4 laps to rack up 5.7 miles.

There’s a decent sized car park a few hundred metres away so all quite convenient.

Refreshments? Yep! We will have it covered every way. Harriers Airpot or Booths coffee shop, either way we will get our treats!

Last March Men’s posse including Simmo without his wig! 😀

ORDER OF EVENTS

Approx Distances
12.30pm u11up to 2K
12.45pm u11 boys up to 2K
1.00pm u13 girls 2.5K
1.20pm u15 girls and u13 boys 3K
1.40pm u15 boys and u17 women 4K
2.00pm u17 men, v70 men and jnr, snr & vet women 6K
2.30pm jnr, snr and vet men 9-10K

Need a lift? Drop an email to wiganendurance@hotmail.com and we will get you sorted. 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻

 

Further Awards News

Volunteers are needed for the Awards Selection Committee. Last year an Awards Committee was set up to discuss your nominations and make fair and fitting decisions to choose the winners.

If you feel this is something you would like to be a part of, please email your interest to wiganendurance@hotmail.com and we will forward onto Lisa Heyes or let Lisa know at training.

Date for your diary.

Harriers Awards Evening Friday 23rd November 2018 at Standish Social Club.

Further details to follow nearer to date. Hope to see lots of you there celebrating our club and the many outstanding achievements.

Details of the Awards up for grabs!

 

 

Can you wing a marathon?

Berlin Marathon by Katie Green

It’s safe to say that me and marathons don’t have the best of relationships. I have just completed my third one and for all three of them I had every intention of getting the training in and doing myself and the club proud, yet for all three something has gone tits up in the run up and messed up the training! This time round was a combination of trying to get the time to do the long runs and having the god awful luck of waking up the day after a physio session and sports massage to find the nerve in my knee was trapped making it nearly impossible to walk as I couldn’t bear weight on my leg. It’s hard enough trying to work full-time time and train as most of us know but when you add in two kids and a husband who works nights its takes stupid amounts of planning to try to get training in for either of us. One day I’ll actually get to a marathon start line and feel confident because the training is there and I know I’ll get round because it’s beyond frustrating when you feel like you keep failing at something that you should be capable of doing better.

I can easily say that out of the three marathons I’ve dragged my ass round so far Berlin has been the best one. The expo was the most random one we’ve been too and they definitely have the strictest protocols on place to make sure there’s no cheating or number swapping. To get into the athletes are you have to present a QR code marathon pass that you get emailed along with a valid form of id, you then have a wristband heat sealed onto you, so there’s no way you’re getting it off without scissors, and then you’re allowed to go get your race number where you need to show another guy your race pass and id. It’s a bit off a ball ache but it does work and keeps things fair! If you go around the city on the Saturday you can watch the first day of the marathon which is a bit nuts and its people doing it on roller blades, these are serious athletes in speed suits with thighs that could kill you, they make it look effortless but I think I’d die on wheels about 5 miles in. It was when we came across the finish village watching this that it all hit home to me what I was attempting to do the day after and I came very close to breaking down, who doesn’t love crying in front of a couple of thousand Germans and tourists :/

Chris is the only reason I made it round this marathon, one because he’s a stubborn muppet who was adamant he was getting me round and two because he gave up his fast race to get me over the finish because he saw how much I was freaking out before we’d even got to race day morning and I can’t thank him enough for that. The night before race day was methodical checking of kit and race belts and obsessively checking the weather reports to see if the temperature was due to cool down any and to keep things fun of course it didn’t. He did his best to calm me down but a broken night’s sleep led to a stupidly early start to the day on Sunday as there was no way I was getting back to sleep. Races away from home can always be tricky, especially when in another country, as you can struggle to do your normal race morning routine but having an apartment made it a lot easier than London or Amsterdam as we had bought stuff in for breakfast so I would be able to eat properly. I am an odd runner as I can’t go out unless I’ve eaten properly, cereal, toast, fruit and a nature valley bar before the race meant I was feeling pretty good for a change. We set off from the apartment towards the race start which was only a mile walk away finding plenty of other runners along the way, I think we got 5 minutes away from the apartment before the first person stopped Chris to ask for a picture ha ha, this continued on through the whole of the race!

This is definitely one of the best starts to a race I have experienced! Who doesn’t love a warm up to some euro trance with a few thousand excited people, they get you really excited and in a good mood to race (even if it’s already 10am and getting warmer by the minute with no clouds in site). We set off at a pretty steady pace though it was a bit cramped for the first 3 miles with lots of weaving around those at a slower pace. Our first experience of the water station points was a little bit of a shock too. They are big on reducing waste so they promote the use of reusable cups or your own bottles but the station was just carnage with plastic cups everywhere and trying not to get elbowed out the way or go flying on a discarded cup! Chris was taking control of the pace as I’d already said I trusted him to get me round so I didn’t have to focus too much on what my watch was saying and I could just feel the pace and decide if it was comfortable or if I needed to slow down a bit. The support during the course was pretty consistent and really gave a boost, there were people cheering everywhere, bands dotted about the course and of course kids ready and waiting to give high 5’s (Chris was definitely targeted by the kids more than the other runners), one of the best atmospheres I’ve experienced at a race so far except for maybe iron-man.

We were pretty steady on pace up till mile 14 even including a pee break, though my hamstrings on my right leg had been tight since the start of the race and they just weren’t letting up. About mile 15 the tightness had managed to creep up into my glute and spread round to my quad and the pace started to drop. Chris was trying his best to coach me through the pain but stopping to stretch off just wasn’t making a dent in it so I ended up taking advantage of the on course massage though it would only help for about 3 miles. After that everything just fell apart for me really, I was hot, queasy and dizzy and my muscles were screaming at me. Being stupid and stop starting meant that they were seizing up and making the pain even worse. I felt so crap and knew that my actions were causing Chris’s legs to start seizing up too which was just making me feel worse. I had tried to make sure I had kept well hydrated and I took my salt sticks with me as these are amazing at keeping away muscle cramp but if you don’t do decent training for a marathon it will all fall apart at some point. I’d had to walk as I felt that bad even with Chris jogging backwards to wind me up and distract me I just couldn’t bring myself to get back into a stride. I stopped again at another massage point hoping to get some life back in my legs.

I spent the last 10k of the race desperately trying to run/shuffle/ hobble anything that wasn’t walking and it took everything I had to keep going but I still felt like I had failed as I caved in yet again and had to walk. We were so close to getting me a pb but I just let myself down in the end, I came so close to crying out of frustration and exhaustion but managed to sort of hold it together thanks to Chris just hugging me and keeping his arm around me while walking. There are points during a race where you usually see a loved one or family and those happy tears just force their way out, you can’t stop it it’s like sheer relief at seeing them and you usually look like a complete tit but its going to happen and in those last two miles it happened for me. Walking hand in hand with my husband who had tried his best to get me round a marathon I was petrified of, him trying his best to cheer me up and convince me I hadn’t failed or let him down after he gave up his chance at a good time to help me and I just couldn’t help it. Its points like this, especially if you’re a couple who both run and don’t usually run together because one of you is a bit crap and the others a speedy bugger, that you realise how much they really do love and support you. As we rounded the last corner and could see Brandenburg Gate I decided I had to have that one last push as I had never walked over a finish line yet and I wasn’t starting then, it was slow and hurt like hell but it was just so nice coming up to the finish line with Chris holding my hand making sure we finished together. I’m looking forward to seeing the race pictures when they finally come through as it will either look really sweet and romantic or really stupid with us holding hands during a marathon, no matter what though I finished the damn thing.

I can safely say I still feel like I let myself down massively with this race but my mentality is getting better, I had originally set out with the intention of not having a pb as my main goal ( it would be awesome if it happened but not the most important thing). The main thing I wanted was to get through a marathon and not have my knee give out on me or for it to go tits up. Well, it did go a bit tits up as I just fall apart in the heat and my poor training led to my muscles rebelling against me but at least my knee held up!! The physio exercises are definitely helping and I have one more marathon left to go next year at Manchester and god help me I will get round it, and train properly even if I have to give the sandbaggers permission to bully the crap out of me into going out for the long runs!

 

2018 Awards

This is a copy of this evening’s email for the lazy people who don’t open mails!

That magical time of year is fast approaching, yes folks we are nearing the season of goodwill to fellow runners, that special event, Harriers Awards Evening. For those of you who are new to the club we ask all Harriers members to put forward nominations for the following categories. The categories are as follows (in no particular order):

Up to 10 mile race – Male and Female.

10 to 20 mile races – Male and Female.

20 to 26.2 mile races – Male and Female.

Ultra events – one award for either a Male or Female.

Most Improved Athlete – Male and Female.

Cross Country Athlete of the Year – Male and Female.

Athlete of the Year – Male and Female.

To decide who should receive them, the Selection Committee need YOUR help (especially as the club has over 100 members now). Can you please do this by making nominations for any or all of the categories. This could be by nominating another club member or yourself – please don’t be modest as some races (especially Ultra events) do not appear on Power of 10. In your nomination please add a sentence or two about why the athlete should be considered e.g. for the race distance awards, it could be “it’s a PB”, “it was done in horrendous weather”, “it was the first time at that distance”, etc. Adding the date of the event and the events name would be useful for the selection committee. Only races completed between 1st October 2017 and 1st October 2018 will be considered. Nominations will close on Monday 22nd October 2018. Any nominations after this won’t be accepted.

Rules

For the individual distance awards, the athlete must have been a paid up member at the time of the race. For the Athlete of the Year and Most Improved Athlete, they must have been a paid up member from January 2018. Please also note that your submission will be for consideration by the Selection Committee for an award, and not a vote towards it. Could you please make just one nomination per award but feel free to make nominations in as many categories as you wish. Could all nominations be sent to Wiganendurance@hotmail.com before the deadline.

 

Cross Country Chronicles

Darker nights, morning frost, chilly days, falling leaves are all a sign of the changing seasons but also a clear sign that the best season of the year is rapidly approaching….Cross Country Season!

Cross Country is a fantastic opportunity for Endurance runners to work on core and leg strength, speed endurance as a building block for Spring Marathons or Road Running. A few renowned runners you might have heard of such as Paula Radcliffe, Mo Farah and of course John Heyes all developed their skills on the Cross Country circuit before going onto to be global stars.

We even manage a smile sometimes….

Wigan Harriers compete in the Mid Lancs Cross Country League. Six fixtures split by a Christmas break which take us all over the North West region.

How does it all work?

Well team work is the key. For the men the first 6 runners to finish count as the A team, next 6 the B team and so on. For the Ladies it’s the first 4 for the A team and so on. Come 10th 10 points, 50th 50 points, the team with the lowest points come first. Still with me? Good…How you do as a team is compared to 7 other teams in your mini league. The Ladies are in Division 1 and the Men are in Division 2 so beat all the teams in your league and you get 7 points.

if you didn’t follow the previous paragraph don’t worry you simply run as hard as possible, time is irrelevant just beating as many people is the key!

There are Vet leagues too so there is an opportunity for everyone to chip in and contribute to the team effort.

Over the years dozens of people have run Cross Country for Wigan Harriers and we need you to follow in this great tradition. Having incomplete teams gets you nil points so we need plenty of runners. Any registered Harrier can run, how fast or slow you think you are is irrelevant, we need and welcome everyone.

The fixture list has changed slightly from when it was first published.

2018/19 Fixtures

13th October 2018 GSK Sports Club, Ulverston

24th November 2018 Sefton Park, Liverpool

8th December 2018 Wilson Playing Fields, Hyndburn (changed date)

12th January 2019 Towneley Park, Burnley

9th February 2019 Leigh Sports Village

2nd March 2019 Cuerden Valley

Sometimes the course can have a few rain puddles but don’t worry we have never lost anyone in the swamp.

An afternoon of hard racing means a treat is often well deserved so coffee and cake is virtually obligatory! Cafe or our own supplies, we like to cover all the bases!

If 6 races aren’t enough for you? Don’t worry we can do the Northern or National Championships but we can save that for another edition of The Chronicles! 😁

Here’s a few more of the team photos from last year, come and join us!