Petzl Night Runner by Karen Moorfield

Petzl Night Runner

2nd weekend in January means only one thing…. UFO’s! Well that’s how the race is sold but actually its the Petzl Night Runner Rivington 10K.

Cold start again for the second year in a row but sadly no snow this year. It had been forecast earlier in the week and I had been really excited about running in whiteout conditions but in the end is was not to be, it was very wet underfoot but thankfully the rain held off for the race itself.

7pm start meant us arriving at Rivington School an hour before for a standard mile warm up which turned into two followed by the compulsory briefing under the start gantry. Warren of course ushered me up to the front with my usual protestations of “ I can’t start up here with all these, I will slow them down.” I think Warren’s reply was along the lines of well don’t let them go past you. Following the countdown we were off, a downhill start (for at least 20 meters) and then a relentless energy sapping, leg trashing, uneven underfoot climb of approximately 2 miles. Now I know what your all thinking reading this, that bit has just sold it to you.

Next the flat bit along where the pigeon tower is and I’m sure most of you may well be familiar with how rocky and uneven the path really is and how that makes it just as challenging as the ascents and descents. It’s not flat for long before the route takes you up around the back of the Pike, thankfully not up to the top, that was my mantra at this point “ at least it’s not to the top, at least it’s not to the top.”

It’s a decent descent then back to the road past the Dog Kennel’s before a sharp left onto the footpath which then climbs all the way up to the top road and for those not familiar with the area, that’s the road that leads to the mast. On this climb I was aware that I was 3rd female and this particular stretch is one which Warren has had me spend many a training session doing. Warren’s theory being that this is good Mont Blanc and Lakeland 50 training. It was also fantastic training for this race, as whilst I did not close down on the second female I was happy to pass a number of runners on this section. Usually when training when I hit the road I have a breather for a few seconds and a quick look back at where I have come from but not in the race, no time to stop I had to head up the road before turning back off to the left onto the footpath up to the Two Lads.

This section from the road up to the Two Lads and then back down to the Dog Kennels has seen me fall a good many times on both races and training runs. Last June on a warm, dry, clear, light summers evening during the Henderson’s end race I fell face first scrapping all my shoulder which still had the scar a month later on my wedding day much to my Mum’s annoyance, but at least the dress covered it. In fact that is clearly a life long scar as its visible today. We had done a training run just over a week before during the day when the ground was thick with ice. Now I bet your thinking I slipped, which is logical but when I fall it aways seems to be spectacular. My foot went through the thick ice breaking and as my leg went down into the deep bog the broken ice pitched up and my knee slammed into the edge of it. This time I had to do it in the pitch black with just a head torch for company and it’s really hard to get used to running with a head torch so that you’re not blinded by your own breath bouncing off your beam.

I headed up to the Two Lads and carefully down to the Dog Kennel’s, sorry guys no tumbles on this occasion it passed easily and without incident. Once I hit the Dog Kennel’s I knew it was a straight descent back to the school and I could pick up some time. The two thirds is no technical trail as the terrain is uneven to say the least but you know your nearly home when hit the smooth tarmac for the final downhill just before the finish. It is on this part i was flying in fact the stats show that I managed mile 6 a second faster than Warren (I’m sure he understands that I have to get that point in). I over took the second female on the road descent and as I rounded the corner at the bottom i could then see the first female as I got closer to her she spotted me and accelerated off, I tried my hardest and finished strong but I had nothing left when I crossed the finish line.

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As it’s a chipped race on corrected times I finished 3rd female overall. I’d like to be able to share with you my prize for coming 3rd but it was cold and more importantly I had a homemade lasagne waiting for me at home that I had slaved over earlier in the day and that was now on the top of my agenda.

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I finished in a time of 01:01:16 which was 7 minutes faster than last year. Warren finished in a time of 57:31 which was 2 minutes faster than last year. This is always an epic race from Epic Events and well worth a go to get you out of your comfort zone. As for UFO’s I’m sure they were out there up on Rivington but I couldn’t see as I had my head down focusing on the terrain.

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This is a race for everyone, just check it out, Epic Events even encourage fancy dress so even if you just wants something that is fun but a bit different then this is definitely a race to consider.

2017 important dates

As 2016 is drawing to a close it’s an ideal time to remind everyone of some important dates in 2017. All these events are open to all club members, no selection required! 🏃🏻

Don’t forget we also have the last three Mid Lancs Cross Country events to come.
https://wiganharriersendurance.wordpress.com/fixtures/cross-country-fixtures/

Saturday 28th January
Northern Cross Country Championships
Knowsley Safari Park.
£7 to enter.

Saturday 25th February
National Cross Country Championships
Nottingham Wollaton park
£7 to enter.

Contact Steve Nicholls to enter both of the above events.

Sunday 19th March
Wigan Half Marathon and 5k
If the buzz around town is half as good as the 10k then it will be another two cracking events. Sign up to be part of the Harriers massive!
http://www.wiganhalfmarathon.co.uk

Sunday 26th March
Northern Athletics 6 and 12 Stage Road Relays
Right on our doorstep…Haigh Hall.
http://www.northernathletics.org.uk/events/northern-athletics-12-6-stage-road-relays-championships/

Sunday 7th May
Wigan Trail 10k
Our very own race is back again, spread the word!
Marshal or race make sure you are there. 😊
https://wiganharriersendurance.wordpress.com/amberswood-trail-race-series/

 

Guys 10 Mile Road Race by Mike Harris

I first remember hearing about this race a few years ago when Dave Waddington ran it. Guy’s 10 mile race, who’s Guy I wondered, must be famous to have his own race?

Guy’s Thatched Hamlet is a hotel and restaurant in Bilsborrow north of Preston. Flat terrain leads it to being excellent running territory.

10 miles, a very interesting distance. Do you treat it as a 10k and try to hang on, maybe pushing your performance to the limit or run it as a fast half marathon, training up for the coming marathon season. Which ever way you look at it, I’ve always considered it as a good start to marathon training season. An indicator of where you are at, after an autumn of racing.

2015 was cancelled due to flooding and so my entry was rolled over into 2016. A calf problem had meant I tried to defer but it wasn’t possible so being too tight to waste a race entry, racing was on!

I car shared with fellow Harriers Darren Jackson and Bozhidar (Bobby) Kasabov, both in excellent form so it was shaping up to be a good showing for Wigan. Also racing was Danielle Brearton but unfortunately Danielle didn’t manage to make the photo call.

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The course is out and back with a loop that takes in the outskirts of Inkskip (a good half in January) returning back to Bilsborrow.

It was a very cold day but otherwise pretty good race conditions.

My plan was to run 6.20 miles and see whether I could maintain it. Bobby as expected took the lead for Harriers, running initially with some caution but gradually upping the tempo and getting into a racing battle with a few other men. I was joined for company by Darren for the first 4 miles. The race could be categorised as miles 1 -4 easy, 5 – 7 some effort and 8 – 10 hanging in the best I could. It was obvious I was still be punished for a lazy summer when I got to the last couple of miles.

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Still I stuck it out for a 73 second PB in 64:33 and was joined in the PB club by Bobby in 62:40, Darren with 65:30 and Danielle 74:14. A fine outing for Wigan Harriers yielding a full set of PB’s, an excellent morning’s work.

 

Save a life!

A short message from the secretary of the Mid Lancs League that we as a club compete in both track & field and cross country events.

The second Mid Lancs League defibrillator Training Course is taking place 7pm – 9pm on Tuesday 17th January 2017 at St Saviour Church, Bamber Bridge, handily placed just five minutes from J29 of the M6. The same tutor, Dawn Taylor of Rossendale First Response, is taking the course and I can say from personal experience that she is an excellent instructor and the course is very worthwhile.  There are 20 places and the fee to cover room hire is £2.

A poster giving the full details is attached and I would be grateful if you can publicise the course to your members.

Defibrillator training

Thank you.
Dawn

Be bright and keep safe!

We often remind people of the importance of wearing a high visibilty top or bib for training and the reason for that is it’s not safe to run in poorly lit areas without one. Unfortunately there are too often media reports of runners or cyclists being injured or killed whilst out on the roads. Please take the issue seriously and get yourself a high vis bib (means you can wear it over anything) and stay safe on all your runs!

Many of you also have flashing lights and head torches, anything that helps you be seen will help keep you safe.

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As for Harriers sessions it’s mandatory to wear one so please make sure you always do. Please do not be disappointed to be asked to a leave a session if you don’t have one as it’s not fair to other runners, pedestrians, cyclists or motorists so be bright and stay safe.

Thank you for your support.

Cuerden Valley Cross Country

This Saturday sees the 2nd fixture of the Mid Lancs Cross Country League take place at Cuerden Valley Park in nearby Bamber Bridge.

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Although the area for club tents is sloping (lol!) we aim to take the tent and flag to claim a small portion of Lancashire for the day.

Cuerden Valley course description

You will notice there is a choice of car parks, all around the perimeter of the park.  The nearest is the one off Berkeley Drive (this is the main car park for the park). If this is full you will be directed to one of the others.  If you are arriving late it may be better for them to head for one of the other car parks.  Clayton Green Asda on the east has a large car park and it’s now possible to use the car park of a closed down hotel; Pines Hotel 570 Preston Road PR6 7EB.

Not sure whether you are ready for this then take a look at this article for some encouragement.

What’s it all about?

We need at least 12 men and 6 ladies so everyone registered with the club is welcome to join us. Coffee and cake to follow!

If you want any further advice then ask the coaches at training.

Cross Country….what’s it all about?

It’s a question I’m sure you all ponder at every opportunity!

I looked up the definition of Cross Country running and courtesy of Wikipedia I got the rather interesting statement below.

“Cross country running is a sport in which teams and individuals run a race on open-air courses over natural terrain such as dirt or grass. Sometimes the runners are referred to as harriers (dogs).

It appears Wigan Harriers were born to be Cross Country runners!

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Don’t be surprised to be stalked by a team mate…

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In recent years World Cross Country Championships have been dominated by the East African countries but you only have to look back a generation and see the results dominated by well known British names such as Ovett, Coe, McLeod, Foster, Radcliffe to name just a few.

Sefton Park 2015 aka European qualifying event, a tad muddier than normal.

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Cross Country was always seen as a fantastic opportunity to build strength and fitness prior to the track and road season. Indeed there has been recent clamour to include it in the Winter Olympics. The lower leg is worked hard coping with the varying surface. The undulations and changes in pace give a fantastic cardio boost to training. Finally coping with the slippy slopes and muddy patches really work the core and boost strength. To summarise it gives you a total body workout!

One of our finest in action on a favourite course of many, Hyndburn.

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To cope with this terrain it’s to best to wear Cross Country shoes. These are usually inexpensive compared to road or trail shoes, time it right and buy last year’s colour for greater cost saving.

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The shoes normally have four or five spikes that can vary in length from a few mm up to 15mm. Long spikes look savage but do a fantastic job of keeping you upright on a steep muddy bank. Just don’t forget to change to shorter ones on occasion so you don’t do this to them!

Cross Country combines elements of team and individual performance. Clubs are arranged in leagues and each runner clocks up points. 1st place is 1, 100th is 100 points. For the men it’s 6 runners per team so first 6 count as ‘A’ team next 6 as ‘B’ etc. Usually for the age classes it’s 4 counters. For the ladies it’s three per team in all classes. This gives the opportunty for all runners to make a contribution. In a normal race your time is important but in XC it’s all about your position. Many Harriers have been seen to throw themsleves over the finish line to gain a place and it’s not unusual to see teams split by a single point. It’s often a buzz when the results come out to see how it’s all panned out. If that’s not enough the team position counts in the league. Grouped typically in a league of 7 you want your team to finsh ahead of the other 6. Just to confuse things the scoring is now the other way round 7 points for 1st place. (Points make prizes!)

Look at that smile from a XC first timer! Can’t guarantee snow for every race.

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A medal earnt from a XC season is a highly prized reward for a whole season’s efforts, small bling they might be but richly deserved.

Wigan Harriers compete in two leagues.

Mid Lancs – 6 fixtures, 3 before and 3 after Christmas.

2016 at Towneley Park

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2016 at Rossall School.

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Red Rose – 4 fixtures, all before Christmas.

Not enough for you? Don’t worry we also usually tackle the Northern Championships and the National Championships.

2016 Northern Championships Witton Park…it was hell on earth! We were not smiling afterwards!

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2016 National Championships at Donnington Park

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2016/17 Season opener on an excellent Chorley course. Stream crossing, muddy ditch, woodland, steep climbs, it had them all…

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Sunny Leigh…no mud!

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What’s to come?

Mid Lancs
29th October 2016 Cuerden Valley Park
26th November 2016 Sefton Park,
14th January 2017 Towneley Park
11th February 2017 Rossall School
4th March 2017 Leigh

Red Rose
29th October Witton Park (Seniors should do Mid Lancs please).
12th November Leverhulme Park
3rd December Rossendale

To run for the club you just need to be a member and have a vest, nothing more, no selection criteria. Just turn up and run your heart out. You’ll love it, I promise you or your money back!

 

Manchester Half Marathon

A fantastic race report from one of our newer but very active members Caroline Brown.

My Manchester half experience nearly didn’t start at all… as despite thinking we had left in plenty of time (we clearly hadn’t) and having bought our car park ticket in advance, only useful if you are actually there in time… we decided after getting changed’ Houdini style’ in the car, that the only thing for it was to dump the car and run – all 2 miles to the start (a good warm up I admit) with my poorly friend Sandra in tow who was clearly suffering with a bad bout of flu. Arriving just as the gun was sounding and still needing to find a bush for the customary pre run wee, we decided to just join the back of the pack and set off in the lovely northern rain, after all the name of the game for me was to complete challenge 15 after the hectic week I had had, anything else would be a bonus.

After the heat of the Lisbon sun two weeks before, the rain was a welcome relief and reminder that autumn had well and truly arrived whilst I have been busy trotting round the globe for work. The support all the way round the ‘out and back’ route (see I am learning the terminology) was amazing and the lovely flat course helped to keep the jet lag at bay. My mind and body felt good and for the first time in ages I didn’t need to have a word with myself to keep my feet moving, I actually started thinking how lucky I was to have had the chance to run around the Formula 1 track in Abu Dhabi earlier that week and the amazing experiences and people I have met along this crazy, charity challenge journey.

At mile 5 I took my gel, swilled my mouth out with water and spat it out – yes me I SPAT!, once I would have thought it gross… well not anymore:) The advice and words of wisdom from my friends Bobby and Darren were ringing in my ears and keen not to repeat my recent mistakes at GNR and Lisbon I carried out their instructions to the letter. Amazing I hear Bobby say – she actually listened! At mile 8 I had a welcome shout out from some work colleagues and at mile 11, our very own Sarah Edwards and Ian Stewart were there having cycled all the way to Manchester to act as the Harriers cheering squad to encourage us all homewards.

Unable to see the watch due to the rain, I guessed I was somewhere under 1.50 having overtaken the pacer on route but pleasantly surprised to finish in 1.46.12, the fastest I have run since April – even if as Rachel Naylor and I saw from the text on my phone from Stuweb, I had according to them just completed the Erewash Triathlon in that time … which would have been an amazing achievement as I swim like Miss Daisy! Having rescued my poorly friend who had heroically managed to get round and seeing some of my fellow harriers after the finish, (having missed them at the start due to my late arrival!), I pondered on my soggy long walk back to the car that I felt so proud to be part of a club that saw so many people run PBS yesterday and that never fails to support each and every one of us all competing at different levels with individual goals.

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I felt strangely emotional to be part of the Harriers gang – although I would still never call myself a runner…but I can honestly say that without Harriers help especially Jacqui and Jayne, I would never have completed 11 half’s, a marathon and 6 other races so far this year as part of ensuring I complete my 16 in 16 for ABTA Lifeline. So roll on the last epic challenge 16 in the Benidorm half next month with some of the Harriers gang, work colleagues and friends, I can’t promise to race it (I know a cardinal sin ;( but I am likely to get over excited, emotional and talk a lot! – who me I hear you cry!) But… I can promise to truly enjoy it and who knows if Darren and Julie P have anything to do with it, I might have to keep up this running lark and renew my club membership in 2017 – having previously competed for my country in another sport, I knew I would enjoy the training and racing side but who knew that I actually would learn to love running along the way! So it’s off to Madrid on Thursday and yes I have already checked out whether there is a park run – does that mean I’m hooked? #NOWWERUN

Grab yourself 10 free races!

The website has now been updated and has the fixtures for both the Mid Lancs and Red Rose Cross Country Leagues 2016-17 season.

All registered Wigan Harriers have already been entered into these leagues. Please make sure you keep your Mid Lancs number as this is used at every race apart from Sefton Park.

Six ML and four Red Rose fixtures await you!

Cross Country fixture list link

You might have the company of some these fine people!

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