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. 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻

 

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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!

Laura’s first Ultra…

My First 50 mile Ultra Marathon

GB Ultras Pennine Barrier 50 mile Ultra Trail Marathon

15 hours 9 minutes

About 2 years ago I met this bloke at my running club who was training for a 200 mile ultra marathon from Southport to Hornsea. As I ran with him I asked a couple of questions about how that worked…….when do you eat?…..when do you sleep?………what if you get lost?…… Anyway I ran for a while listening to him go on and on about ultra running, as I left that evening on my car ride home I couldn’t help but think ‘crazy idiot, who runs that kind of distance, I’ll never run further than a half marathon’. A year later and a half later I ended up engaged to the crazy idiot and embarking on my first 50 mile ultra marathon.

We’d talk all the time about various ultras and I crewed Ian a little bit at his second 200 mile Ultra. Seeing the grit and determination of these runners as they push their body to the extreme to see just how far they could go was a truly inspiring experience. There were absolute machines that completed it in 47 hours……….are they even human? To the back of the pack that wanted to see just how much their body could take……..I will never ever forget Julie Valentine’s sprint finish…….sprint finish! At the end of 200 miles!! And 100 hours!!!! SPRINT FINISH! To the DNF’s of people that had given their all but could no longer continue, which was heartbreaking to see just how devastated they were………the fact they’d actually done 140 odd miles is just astounding anyway.
It really got me thinking, if these people can do 200 miles I could surely give a 50 mile a go. I decided since I love the mountains and hiking I’d rather do a nice picturesque ultra with the odd ‘hill’ and before I knew it Ian had signed me up for Pennine Barrier – that was a surprise email, let me tell you! Now bear in mind this was 7 months before the race and I’d not yet run a marathon. So that was first on the agenda, you need to have completed a marathon to compete in a GB Ultras event…….. So training began for Manchester marathon in April. With Manchester completed next was to focus on Pennine Barrier.

I joined on the recce run the week after Manchester – this was planned to be 13 miles (ish) on the Saturday and 26 miles (ish) on the Sunday. My thought process was that if I could do this weekends recce the week after completing my first marathon, then I’d feel like I could at least attempt Pennine Barrier.
The recce was fantastic – led by Emma Marks and Matt Rushbrook – 2 of the GB Ultras ambassadors, they were there to offer help and support along the way – not just about the route but also about kit and other bits of training that would help with the actual race.
I should also mention it was made super special because on the first day of the recce Ian proposed to me at the top of Malham Cove, which now gave the race a really extra special feel.

As race day approached I was rather surprised that the feelings I was getting were that of excitement rather than actual nerves. I was quite happy for that though!

We travelled to Malham on the Friday night to register for the race and it was at this point the nerves kicked in, pretty much as soon as I saw the gantry in the showfield. At this point I was really glad I’d volunteered at previous events and made friends with quite a few of the GB ultras family, as they assured me all would be fine and I’d smash it and Ian would look after me. We collected our numbers – Ian got his usual number 15 (yes he’s a regular) and I was issued 115, a very nice touch from the RD’s.

I had a surprisingly good sleep the night before the race and after registration a bit of the excitement came back. Race morning prep went without a hitch (I even made the brews in the hotel!) and we were at the start line ready to go. Chatting to others at the start and it became clear I wasn’t the only one taking on my first ultra today – glad to see I’m not alone for picking an extremely hilly course for my first one!
Before I knew it we were off, the first part of the course will forever be my favourite for reasons I mentioned above, and off up Malham Cove we went!

We kept a nice steady pace and it was great to see the runners leading the pack on the out and back section at mile 3 – so glad this was at the start and not the end. And say hi to friends on the course.

Malham tarn was lovely and quiet and just like a Harry Potter set. Then came the first climb up fountains fell, as we slowed a little we were over taken by a couple of runners……but never mind this was a (ultra) marathon not a sprint. And the slower pace at this point really help the steady pace maintained towards the end of the race. The run down the other side of fountain fell was just what I needed, it relaxed me into the race a bit……and I could see the first checkpoint. I’d managed the first 11 miles!

Now I’d been looking forward to the first checkpoint after Nicola Bruce had advertised all over Facebook that her famous spanakopita would be there. Imagine my disappointment to find it had all been eaten!! Only kidding Nic, there was plenty of other goodies to keep me going.

A mile after checkpoint one we finally arrived at the base of our first peak pen-y-Ghent. A nice easy one to break us in. We were soon up and over. It was on the way down from pen-y-gent that I started to notice just how many people were doing the three peaks that day, the majority of them completely oblivious that anyone else was on the trail.

I wasn’t looking forward to the next bit, the trail from pen-y-gent to ribble head viaduct, I’d done it on the recce and thought it a little bit dull compared to the mountains, it went by quite quickly however and we soon approached the second checkpoint.

A quick bit to eat and water top up and we were on our way again. Whernside was next and is by far my least favourite of the climbs, it just goes on, and on, and on. By now there were hundreds of people on their own 3 peaks challenge and the biggest challenge I found was getting past people, we got stuck behind one family and before I knew it there were about 50 walkers also stuck behind them. After what felt like an eternity we finally made it to the top! The descent went a lot quicker and I picked up my pace knowing we were nearing a proper toilet and an ice cream shop! We had about a fifteen minute break at the shop but I didn’t want to sit down for fear of not getting back up again. We were just over half way with our last climb looming in the distance – Ingleborough.

We had a quick stop at checkpoint three then headed to our final (ish) climb. Most people I speak to really hate the Ingleborough climb but for me it’s my favourite. It was my third time up this peak but the first time I’d actually have a view at the top so I was quite excited. There’s a long staircase to climb before getting to the base of the actual climb, and once we’d past this bit it was nice to see Race Director Wayne there checking on how everyone was doing and to take some pics of course!

On to my favourite bit – the scramble up Ingleborough. It’s a steep fast climb and you make it to the top way quicker than Whernside. Unfortunately the descent isn’t so fast and it feels like an eternity before you get to the signpost that tells you it’s still 2 miles to Horton-in-ribblesdale and our next checkpoint. Well I’m pretty certain whoever calculated that distance was completely wrong! The 2 miles were never ending and I was starting to get hungry (and hangry) and needed the toilet, I really hated these 2 miles. As we headed into Horton-in-ribblesdale I nearly missed the check point as I was so focused on getting to the toilet, thank goodness for the lovely lady who yelled me back. At this checkpoint I had a real good moan about how long the last 2 miles had been and how much my legs were starting to hurt. We took the opportunity here to roll our legs out a bit with the roller Ian had brought along, and I moaned some more. Those poor volunteers just had to listen to me moan, and they were so lovely about it.

We headed off again and stopped at the toilet just up the road. I don’t really know what happened in there but I came out fully refreshed and ready to tackle the last 15 miles. Jelly beans in hand onward we went. Back up, yes up, pen-y-gent………..well half way up to go back down the other side to checkpoint 5, the last one! The climb is really steep, steeper than I remembered but it wasn’t too bad knowing the checkpoint was just on the other side. Checkpoint 5 reached and I’ve never been so happy to see fresh oranges, I ate lots. Then back on our way for one final climb back up fountains fell.

The whole way round this race all I’d done is comment about how I couldn’t believe people were going to do the 100 mile race, they would get to the end of the 50 miles, turn round and go and do it all again. I am in absolute awe of anyone who attempted this, let alone finished……… This leads me onto a conversation we had on the way up fountains fell. There were four of us in a little group and I asked the question – if you got to the end and someone said they’d give you a million pounds to carry on and do the 100 would you do it? There were some very strong words spoken and a definite no was the answer for 3 of us, after thinking about it Ian decided he would do it again………..as I’ve already mentioned he is a crazy idiot.

We made it up fountains fell and with relief were happy it was all down hill from here on! With about 8 miles to go to the finish we saw the first 100 mile competitor coming towards us……..they’d finished the 50 and were 8 miles back into the 100! And we’d still not finished 50!!! In all I think about ten people passed us on the way back out, seeing them have the energy and determination really spurred me on to the finish. About a mile and half from the finish we saw Shelton who had attempted the 100 but decided to turn back and he ran the last part of the race with us. No offence to Ian, I love him to bits but it was nice to have some different company for a bit. We passed Janet’s foss and had a quick photo, it’s just so beautiful, then onto the finish only a mile away. In the last couple of miles we’d overtaken a few runners, but some were starting to catch us back up again, I was determined they were not going to overtake us.

As we came out of the wooded area you could see the finish, I was slightly ahead of Ian and Shelton and all of a sudden I realised I was actually going to do it, I was going to complete 50 miles. Well that was it, I started to have an emotional moment and this continued for the last half a mile to the finish. I was so proud of myself, and not at any point did I want to push Ian off a mountain, though I think at times he probably thought about pushing me off one. It was the best feeling ever to finish and to see friends at the finish line too was amazing. We finished in 15 hours and 9 minutes, collected our medals and tee shirts then headed to the marquee for tea and soup……….possibly the best soup I’ve ever tasted.

 

Pennine barrier was definitely a challenge for my first ultra marathon but it’s a beautiful route and superbly organised by GB Ultras, I got to run it with my favourite person in the world and share the experience with friends along the way. It’s safe to say I’ll be back to do it again next year without a doubt………………. Did I mention – I’m an Ultra Runner Now!!!

 

 

 

Closing dates for upcoming events

It would be great to have a fantastic turnout for both of these events. Please take note of the closing dates and make sure you email wiganendurance@hotmail.com if you wish to run.

 

Road Relay Championships – Sunday 25th March 2018 at Birkenhead Park Wirral

CLOSING DATE TO LET US KNOW IF YOU WANT TO RACE WEDNESDAY 14th MARCH

Test yourself against club mates and represent Wigan Harriers against clubs from all over the north of England.

A belter of an event open to all registered Harriers. We compete against teams from all over the north and we try to enter as many teams as possible. It’s 6 legs for the ladies and 12 for the men and the distances are either 8.5 or 4.3km. It would be fantastic if we could have a big turnout for this event. Cost is £8 per runner. Please email wiganendurance@hotmail.com if you want to represent the club in this prestigious event. For more details please see https://www.northernathletics.org.uk/events/northern-athletics-12-6-stage-road-relays-championships/

 

Masters Road Relay Championships – Saturday 28th April Sutton Park Sutton Coldfield Birmingham

CLOSING DATE TO LET US KNOW IF YOU WANT TO RACE THURSDAY 5th APRIL

Club outing to race teams from all over England in a beautiful setting.

Another relay event but only open to the oldies! Anyone over 35 can compete, the number of legs depends on age category. It’s a great event in a fantastic parkland setting. Please email wiganendurance@hotmail.com if you are interested so we can see what sort of numbers we have.

Many thanks for your support.

Upcoming club events

Cross Country – Saturday 3rd March Ulverston

The next Cross Country race takes place this Saturday 3rd March at GSK Sports Club, Ulverston. If you are a registered club member do please come along, join in and represent the club. There is no selection criteria, just a club vest is required. The course this weekend is either short spikes or trail shoes so a great opportunity for those people who have yet to try one, don’t be shy, give it a try! For details of location, course maps and timings please look at http://www.midlancs.org.uk/

Road Relay Championships – Sunday 25th March 2018 at Birkenhead Park Wirral

A belter of an event open to all registered Harriers. We compete against teams from all over the north and we try to enter as many teams as possible. It’s 6 legs for the ladies and 12 for the men and the distances are either 8.5 or 4.3km. It would be fantastic if we could have a big turnout for this event. Cost is £8 per runner. Please email wiganendurance@hotmail.com if you want to represent the club in this prestigious event. For more details please see https://www.northernathletics.org.uk/events/northern-athletics-12-6-stage-road-relays-championships/

Masters Road Relay Championships – Saturday 28th April Sutton Park Sutton Coldfield Birmingham

Another relay event but only open to the oldies! Anyone over 35 can compete, the number of legs depends on age category. It’s a great event in a fantastic parkland setting. Please email wiganendurance@hotmail.com if you are interested so we can see what sort of numbers we have.

Wigan Trail 10k – Sunday 13th May 10.30am

This is the club’s very own trail race which we hold every year in Amberswood Nature Reserve. Many of you have helped previously as course marshals, first aiders, car park attendants, course markers, registration desk and it’s important we have your help again please to ensure it’s another first class event. Please let us know on wiganendurance@hotmail.com if you can help with marshaling duties. Thank you!

Don’t forget you can follow us on twitter @wigan_runners or like the Endurance facebook page @wiganrunners. If neither of those float your boat then sign up to follow the website wiganharriersendurance.wordpress.com and you’ll get an email as soon as there are any updates. Three great ways to stay in touch! Often last minute details regarding training will be shared via facebook or twitter.

Please continue to send in your race times, photos or race reports so we can share your successes throughout the club. Every week Chris Green will be collating these results so it’s important you let him know!

Cheers, happy running!

Northern nutters!

Northern Athletics Cross Country Championships over the years have delivered some very trying days out. Slushy icy snow, heavy mud, hail stones have been just a few of the interesting conditions “Mother Nature” has thrown at us!

Did this cause our four Harriers any delay in signing up? Hell no! They were on it “like a tramp on a kipper”!

The setting was in the parkland grounds of Harewood House just north of Leeds. A quick google on the morning of the race confirmed the venue as being rather posh with a very large open parkland estate.

After a decent journey the four Harriers managed a rendezvous in the car park. No mean feat as a thousand cars, trees and plenty of grass don’t lend themselves to be very good indicators of where you are! It was also useful that although we were in the middle of nowhere there was actually a mobile signal!

We then attempted to work out what the course was like. This proved to be a tough ask as the course for the men was two laps of 6k each, rather long for a warm up. We contented ourselves with just getting a flavour of it and figuring out the start and finish areas.

In essence the course was rough open grassland with a few swampy areas. As usual the more heavily trafficked areas had cut up a little. It twisted and turned over a vast area of the estate managing to take in plenty of climbs. It certainly seemed like it was going to be breezy in the exposed areas (the whole course!!)

We watched the start of the ladies race. The photos don’t do justice to either the spectacle of hundreds of ladies charging across a field or the toughness of an UPHILL start!

After not really enough time for a decent warm up it was game on for the Senior Men’s Race 12k, 2 laps. 😁

Newcomer to the fold was Rick Rose-Coulthard. Rather impressively wasting no time in getting involved and representing the club at Cross Country. Rick was joined by three Cross Country stalwarts…Mark Morgan-Hillam, Kevin Edwards and Mike Harris. It promised to be an interesting battle, Kev and Mike certainly felt like they were lacking a surname in the fight!

Mike nearly missed the start after undergoing an emergency last minute dash to the portaloos! At least a few fast strides were managed as warm up getting back to the start line!

The men do the full course which is the outer perimeter of these pretty coloured loops.

Rick shot off at the start and took an immediate lead among the Harriers. The  course was fantastic but tough going in places. There was some mud, spongy grass, breezy exposed areas and hard climbs. It was however constantly changing in character which kept things interesting. Rick maintained a decent lead throughout the first lap, hundreds of runners means it’s often hard to see your clubmates out on the course. Lap two really closed things up. Mark was creeping up on Mike with Mike in turn closing in on Rick. With a couple of miles to go it was really hard to call how the Harriers order would pan out. Meanwhile Kevin was having a fantastic run picking his way through the field.

With about a mile to go Mike got in front of Rick and by the time of the switchback hill climb it was easy for the three Harriers to see each other! Mike  was desperate to avoid any “sprint finish shenanigans” against younger legs ran hard downhill. Mark ” Week long taper” Hillam-Morgan finished strongly to bag third spot with Kevin nowhere near where he feared he might be – “The back” Those dozens of Haigh parkruns meant Kev was strong for those cheeky climbs!

Out of 761 finishers our guys were…

336rd Mike Harris 52:08

345th Rick Rose-Coulthard 52:25

362nd Mark Morgan-Hillam 52:44

660th Kevin Edwards 1:03:58

As you can tell from the after race photo we were well pleased with ourselves. A tough 12k but satisfying nevertheless. The event was a trial run for holding the National Cross Country Championships in 2019. It was definitely a thumbs up from Wigan Harriers and we should definitely make sure we enter teams next year! A great day out was then rounded off with the Harriers party night! Happy days! 🍺🍷🎟🎉