Knowsley Active Challenge 10-6-14

Race Report by Mark Glynn:
winnersI have been encouraging colleagues to take take part in this event for 4 years now. This former Corporate Event has evolved over the years to be a family friendly challenge to encourage people from the local area to get fit and active. Teams of 4 must have at least 1 lady and the race is run over a fast flat course within the grounds of Knowsley Hall with the fastest aggregate time winning the team prize. Continue reading

Wigan Trail 10k Photos

IMG_1435Was it only a week ago we were enjoying the blazing June sunshine at Amberswood for the Wigan Trail 10k and 2.5k?

There were more than a few nervous Wigan Harriers from the organising group ahead of the races as our pre-entry total for 2014 was double the number of finishers for 2013! The event has gone from strength to strength over the pas few years with an incredible 240 runners taking on the challenge this year. would the course cope with the numbers? Would the registration go desk manage the numbers? Thankfully we overcame a few niggles here and there all went well on the day and we had yet another super day out on the trails.

Despite the record attendance we were delighted to hear so may runners continue to comment on the friendly atmosphere of this event. The Wigan Trail 10k aims to cater to both the hardened club runner and the first timer and anyone in between. The mix of entries this year seemed it suggest we are still managing that balance. It is also very pleasing to see that almost 50% of our runners were ladies.

We did have a slight hiccup with our medal supplier for the 2.5k but a huge box of sweeties came to the rescue and we hope there wasn’t too much disappointment. We hope to be in touch with our 2.5k runners shortly.

The Friends of Amberswood provided invaluable support trimming back some of the foliage out on the course as well as joining in with our own volunteer marshals from Harriers. We are also indebted to our friends at Sweatshop for providing our race day numbers. It looks like we may have to increase our order next year!

As promised we have a selection of pictures available for free download. Just follow the links below:

Wigan Trail 10k 2014  –  More pics courtesy of Phil Bland 

Hendersons End Fell Race Report 2014

henimageWell that was that the strap line for this week’s challenge. It was billed as 6 miles with 800 feet of climbing but having completed it I can confirm it was 7 miles with 1,200 feet of climb, so a reasonable mid-week workout!

Winter Hill is a popular training venue for many of the Harriers but it’s not often we race it, usually preferring to include it in a more sedate Sunday run.

Well here’s a brief synopsis of the route, start at Upper Barn, up past Pigeon Tower to the Pike. From there back down and then up again to Two Lads Cairn and then all the way up to the trig point beyond the masts on top of Winter Hill. We were then sent across more boggy moorland before returning to Two Lads and back down. Not content with the beasting our legs had been given we were then sent up the Pike again before descending the most hazardous and direct way down the hillside.

Showing his fell running credentials and bringing the Harriers home was Steve, who managed to survive the midge storm whilst he waited for the rest of us.

9 Stephen Nicholls. 54.15
17 Chris Burgess. 56.42
18 Mike Harris. 56.59
39 Kevin Edwards. 61.15

Big shout out to Darren Middleton and his daughter for their support even though they probably lost a couple of pints of blood to the afore mentioned insects!

Harrock Hill Series – Race 1 2014

The last mid-week of May was the big daddy of them all – Harrock Hill Race. This race has more hills, sometimes more mud and always more cows than any other mid-week race and is a particular favourite of a few of the Harriers.

Last year this race was bathed in sunshine on all four occasions but this time the forecast had indicated we were likely to get wet and only get to bathe in mud. Thankfully the rain eased off and a great turnout of ten Harriers toed the uphill start line.

Andy Kaufman had suffered plenty of earache from Becki for his shoddy performances throughout May and was looking to make an improvement in his finish, even making an effort to turn up early.

Amongst the ten were three first timers – Mark Rogers, Daniel Richardson and the Harriers Athlete of the year Gary Wane. I’m sure they were bored of hearing all the Harrock tales by the time the race started but I’m sure by the end of it they had a few of their own.

In an attempt to save us from the marauding cows the organisers had arranged for us to divert and run around the edge of a couple of fields. It was an interesting sight to see two marshals attempting to hold back 30 cattle, bravo to them!

The course itself was muddy but runnable, nature and farmers had decided that we needed a few extra obstacles – we were given more stiles and a tree that was probably around during the Civil War before it fell across our course. Most runners struggled to climb over it but Andy Eccles used his Korean War training to crawl underneath.

Harrock is a favourite of Coach Waddy and so in the later stages Mike Harris was glancing nervously over his shoulder expecting a late charge from either of the two Daves.

Finishing in pole position for Harriers was the developing legend that is Andy Kaufman in a spectacular first place. Such was Andy’s margin of victory he had time to stop and pick up his daughter Erica and carry her for the last 300 metres of victory. Andy was later to admit that it is unlikely to be his usual finishing routine.

Tales were then exchanged over a cool pint whilst we waited for the results. Mark was worried he might have missed out on a box of veg but Becki Kaufman reassured him that nobody looked older than him in the first five home – almost comforting!

It was a brilliant showing from the team.

1. Andrew Kaufman       34.08
6. Mark Rogers  36.25 1st M45
26.Mike Harris       39.33
28.Dave Waddington    39.41
33.David Collins    40.02
47.Andy Eccles    42.01
48.Jayne Taylor    42.11 1st L50
62.Gary Wane.     43.50
84.Dan Atkinson    45.55
127.Shona Taylor   52.13

You had to be present to collect your prize, a few of the guys had to go early otherwise Harriers would have collected four boxes – enough to open up a soup kitchen. Here is Andy and Mark proudly displaying their prize veg.