The Accidental Harrier….

The Accidental Harrier

For anyone thinking of joining a running club the thing that seems to cause the most worries is “will I be quick enough to keep up” quickly followed by ,”they’ll all be fitter than me”. We aren’t all super fast, born-to-run, hyper competitive athletes at Wigan Harriers. In fact you may struggle to find anyone who fits that description in the Endurance Wing. We are wide mix of runners from vastly experienced to new, fast to slow and everything in between.  Don’t believe us?

Well have a read of Part One of Melanie Wanes story of how and why she ended up a Wigan Harrier: Continue reading

Hawkshead Lakeland Trail 17k – Grahams Report

It was an early start to the day as myself and better half Sandra headed to Hawkshead for a spot of marshal duties ahead of this years’ Lake Trails event. We had both signed up to man a checkpoint with Sandra on duty at  the water station for the day, and me covering the 10k race before heading back into Hawkshead of the 17k race.

Not only had the Lakes endured several days of persistent rain in the week preceding Hawkshead, but a plague of hailstones had also descended on the Friday night to paint the fells white and add to the tricky logistics of putting on an event of this scale.  Organisers had re-arranged the start/finish arrangements in an attempt to find what Event Director Graham Patten called, “the only patch of dry ground left in Lakeland!”. A special bus service was also  laid on to get runners in and out of the village to alleviate parking congestion. Continue reading

Hawkshead Lakeland Trails 2013 – Mikes Report

The Hawkshead Trail Race is where running started for me, three years ago I casually said I would do it as part of a work fund raising event. Ever since it has remained a consistent fixture in my running calendar and this year would be my 4th entry.

For those of you not familiar with these events they are both well organised and supported in a beautiful part of the country and well recommended if you want to run off-road. Continue reading

Fleetwood 10 2013 – Shonas Report

This week’s ST report: Fleetwood 10m

My first 10 mile – probably the hardest race I’ve run yet and the first where I’ve tried to use any sort of tactics. Fleetwood’s a pretty bleak port town when the rain’s driving horizontally through you. The starter described it as “a bit draughty” – I’d hate think what “a bit fresh” or “might be coming up a bit of a gale later” would feel like. I guess living on a sand bank stuck out into the sea gives a different perspective on things! Some folk kitted up but then blew like sails – I opted for aerodynamic skin but I swear there is a lot less of it now than at starting due to the (wet) sand blasting along the way. Continue reading

Harriers Round Up

It has once again been a busy few weeks for Wigan Harriers with the races coming thick and fast at this time of year. Along with cross country events at Leigh and Towneley Park, the black and red vests have been on display from The Great North Run, to the  Northern Relay ChampionsipsSt Helens and Consiton.

Over the past couple of weeks we have also seen club members taking on the Berlin Marathon, Rivington Pike Half and Full Marathons, the Ormskirk 10k and the Macclesfield Half.

On 30th September, Julie Platt was on International duty in Berlin for her second marathon of the year. Julie recorded a stunning 3:17:17 PB at London earlier in the year which may have been enough for most people in a season! Julie reports a crowded start which prevented her getting into her stride for the first few miles. She also had to contend with a friendly European runner who thought it would benefit them both to run together. With his target time of 3:25, Julie managed to give him the slip to run to her own schedule!

Julie passed the Half Marathon point in 1:36:05 putting herself on a PB smashing 3:12 pace. Far from fading in the second half, her 5k splits continued to fall until she ran her fastest of the entire race from 35 to 40k. Consistent pacing and effort have typified Julies recent Marathon efforts, and with a perfectly judged positive split Julie crossed the line at the Brandenburg Gate in 3:11:34 to shred her PB. It puts her performance in perspective that she was the 105th woman over the line from nearly 8000 female finishers! Even more impressive is that this placed her an incredible 14th in her age group.  Well done Julie from everyone at Wigan Harriers.

On the 30th September Kevin Edwards took on the Macclesfield Half as his last outing before the upcoming Preston Guild Marathon. Kevin wasn’t aiming to break any records for once, with his target being to run a consistent marathon paced 7min mile effort throughout. This he achieved in style, and still managed to finish in 6th place in his age group in 1:30:35. Kevin says he was pleasantly surprised to find the route less hilly than expected. He can be pleased with 56th place from 804 starters.

The Rivington Pike Half Marathon on 7th October saw Junior Club Coach Stuart Holding running a fine effort over our local hills. Stuart covered the 13.1 trail miles in 1:56:14 to finish a fabulous 95th out of 321 starters.

This year organisers also put on a full distance marathon for the first time, and our own Gary Wane was amongst 57 brave souls to take on the challenge. Gary was keeping a good pace over the tough terrain, finding the off road experience to his liking. With bright sunshine all day weather conditions were perfect for running, but the course was wet and muddy throughout. This heavy going began to take its toll with 4 miles left as Gary found tired legs struggling over marshy ground. He managed to push on through the pain and record a Trail Marathon PB of 5:18:10 for 38th place.

Shona Taylor rounded of a busy month of cross country and road relay duties for the club to push her 10k times in Ormskirk on the weekend of the 7th October. The race was well supported by local clubs, but the start still suffered from a little congestion due to a few “non-runners”. It is an indication of how high her standards are at the moment that Shona counts herself slightly disappointed with 5 seconds off her PB! With the way her running has been progressing over recent months it is clear that her times will continue to tumble.

Run the Bridge Halton

Darren Jackson was one of over 780 runners who raced over the iconic Runcorn Bridge in the 13th running of the event this Easter Sunday. This swift 5 miler was a perfect way to begin his London Marathon taper, although he wasn’t expecting a blistering time after a heavy 45 mile training week.

A loose shoe lace at 1.5 miles cost a few seconds to stop and tie, but despite this Darren still finished in an fabulous 54th placs just 5 seconds off his existing 5 mile PB. This years time of 32.46 represents a massive performance over last years 37 min on the same course.

Wigan Harriers Road Running Endurance Group

This is a new blog set up to provide information relating to the newly formed Wigan Harriers road running group, part of Wigan and District Harriers & Athletic Club.

We have been in existence for approximately 12 months and now have regular groups meeting most days.  Our main meetings are Tuesday & Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings but if those times aren’t convenient then there are smaller groups meeting throughout the rest of the week.

We cater for all abilites from beginner to expert.  We have members from 13 years old to 60+.  Our sessions are taken by qualified coaches and they are free of charge.  We can help you get fit for your first 5K, provide a bit of company & security on your training runs or try to help you smash your marathon pb.  Whatever your experience and ability we will be able to help you improve.

Please e-mail for more info and to find out when and where we’re currently meeting as this does change throughout the year.

Check the Training Times page to find out what sessions are planned this week.