This gallery contains 16 photos.
This gallery contains 16 photos.
2018 was a fantastic year for Wigan Harriers Endurance however you choose to measure it. As a club we competed in all the major events, Road Relays, Cross Countries both league and National, Marathons home and abroad, Wigan 10k, Wigan Run Festival to name but a few. Black and red vests were everywhere with plenty of prizes won!
May saw another brilliantly attended 10k Trail Race at Amberswood, thank you to all who helped and raced it.
Endurance membership numbers remained at all time high and it was great to see new faces throughout the year. We of course lost a few people to illness, injury, retirement, home moves and other clubs. We wish everyone well and hope you stay healthy.
Our members achieved some tremendous performances over 2018 with many “PB’s” ticked off. More importantly if you review these photos then you will see that in addition to staying fit they also had a great time with friendship and camaraderie all the way! 😊
Now grab a drink and have a look back at 2018. They aren’t in order so expect the odd surprise. If you click on the first one you can view them as a slide show. I’ve tried to include as many as possible!
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?
The Haribo had a startling affect on James!
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
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 email@example.com and we will get you sorted. 🏃♀️🏃♀️🏃♀️🏃♀️🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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.
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!!!
A team of ten people spent many hours analysing club records, race reports and nearly 30 sets of nominations from fellow members to come with the list of award winners for 2017.
Everyone involved in the process realised how difficult it was to split the performances apart, there were many excellent results and all the categories were highly competitive. All Harriers should feel proud of their 2017 race results regardless of whether they won a prize.
The awards will be presented at our party on the 27th January at the Bellingham Hotel.
Please make sure you support the winners and come enjoy a great party!
Up to 10 miles
Male – Chris Burton
Chris ran a superb PB at Southport Mad Dog 10k in February, knocking 1:28 off his best to register 37:12.
Female – Pauline Taylor
Pauline ran a brilliant time of 57:29 at the Cheshire 10k in March, taking 42 seconds off her previous best set in 2016. It was a great improvement.
10 – 20 miles
Male – John Heyes
John showed his improving form by improving his best set in May at Liverpool of 1:59.03 down to 1:44.13 at the English Half Marathon at Warrington in September.
Female – Katie Green
Although not an easy course the English Half was a happy hunting ground for many Harriers. Katie ran an excellent 1:48.21, taking her PB down from 2016 level of 1:55.54.
20 miles – Marathon
Male – Chris Burton
Chris topped the 2017 Marathon rankings with his run at Liverpool Rock and Roll Marathon in May. He took 10:17 off his 2016 performance to register a new PB of 3.09:44.
Female – Karen Moorfield
Manchester was where Karen took a mighty 16.33 off her 2016 run to gain a new PB of 3:27.58.
Ultra (Just one winner – male or female)
Julie dug very very deep and completed the 200 mile Southport to Hornsea Ultra Great Britain in August.
Cross Country (2017 calendar – split across two seasons)
Male – Mike Harris
Ever present throughout all Mid Lancs, Northern and National Races, Mike finished as highest placer Harrier in the Senior Men’s league & scored in every race for the A team continuing the form into the 2017-18 season.
Female – Jayne Taylor
Jayne bounced back from illness to finish the 2016-17 season strongly before pushing on further in the 2017-18 season with two top ten finishes in the over 35’s category and a couple of 1st L55 finishes.
Most improved Athlete of the year
Male – Chris Green
With significant PB’s at both 10k (1st sub 40 mins) and Marathon (a massive 10 mins off his PB) Chris had a pretty spectacular year!
Female – Rachel Simm
Rachel smashed new PB’s at both Half Marathon (massive 48 mins!) and 10k (13 mins) in a fantastic year of improvement.
Athlete of the year
Male – Chris Green
Not content with battering his PB’s at 10k and Marathon, Chris also managed to successfully complete IRONMAN. 2017 was a green year!
Female – Karen Moorfield
As well as obliterating her marathon PB, Karen utilised her endurance training to smash the Lakeland 50 in 11:43, a superb run.
Congratulations again to all our winners!
The Mersey Tunnel 10k is a unique event as far as 10k races are concerned. Not only is it point-to-point race where you start in Liverpool and finish in New Brighton, but you run through the Kingsway Tunnel where one of the 2 tunnels is closed off to traffic which is the race’s major selling point. I did this race for the first time last year and really enjoyed it. After hesitating over whether to enter again due to a holiday not long prior to the event, I decided it was too good of a race to miss, so duly signed up for it once again.
I made my way to Blackstock Street on the outskirts of Liverpool City Centre where the race would start and dropped off my bag into one of the baggage buses that would drive ahead of us to New Brighton. In the days leading up to the race it was forecasted heavy rain, so although not ideal I figured I’d be dry for the first few miles at least whilst running through the tunnel. Alas, it turned out to be dry, so it’ll be interesting to see how long it stays that way.
Before I knew it, 9.30am came about and the race began. We snaked our way down the emergency access road, did a 180 degree turn at the bottom and into the Kingsway Tunnel. As we descended the tunnel, there was nothing more surreal than hearing the sounds of hundreds of runners pounding their feet on the ground instead of the roar of cars. The pounding was occasionally broken up by someone shouting “OGGY, OGGY, OGGY!” and everyone shouting “OI, OI, OI!” back.
At about 2km the tunnel flattened out as we reached the bottom. It was only flat for a short while before the uphill incline to the Wirral side began – all 1 mile of it! For those who know me from training will no doubt affirm, I actually enjoy some of the hill sessions we have at Haigh Hall in the summer months and Coppull Lane when the nights draw in, so it was time to put my enthusiasm and training into practice! Although the incline isn’t that steep, because it’s constant it can be tough to maintain the pace, as I found. What perhaps didn’t help was that it was warmer down in the tunnel than I remembered from last year. Nonetheless, I past the 3km mark, went round the bend and before I knew it I saw broad daylight in the distance. I pushed on and made it outside; however the hill running wasn’t done yet. I had to carry on up to the top and then another 180 degree turn before the toll booths up another emergency access ramp, onto Oakdale Road and flat land. Hooray!
After turning onto Oakdale Road, there was the most welcome sight of a water station. I grabbed the bottle and ran for a few hundred yards attempting to drink as much as possible before dropping it. I carried on past the 4km mark and onto Dock Road towards Seacombe. I was already drained after the tunnel section and the forecasted rain had failed to materialise which I had been banking on to cool me down. I ploughed on towards the 5km mark and turned onto the Promenade alongside the River Mersey by Seacombe Ferry Terminal which I would run along all the way to New Brighton.
I was half-expecting some sort of breeze to cool me down a bit in the absence of rain, but annoyingly this was behind me, so I ploughed on and reached The Ferry pub in Egremont where the second of 2 water stations was situated. I grabbed a bottle and raced past the 7km mark. The beauty of this race is that the route along the Promenade is that it’s mostly flat, but alas I was lacking in energy to take full advantage having used most of it in the Tunnel. The benches may have looked an appealing proposition, but I gave my head a wobble and reminded myself the “tough” bit was already out of the way, I had done these distances before and there wasn’t that much of the course left to run, so I ploughed on and past the 8km mark.
Soon enough I was entering New Brighton and I past the 9km mark – not far to go! I headed towards Fort Perch Rock, turned left to skirt the lake and saw a long straight stretch with the finish line just about visible in the background. I pushed myself a bit with the cheering crowds encouraging us for the final few hundred meters and before I knew it, I was crossing the finish line!
It was a tough race because of the mile long ascent up the Kingsway Tunnel and, in my case, it hadn’t helped that I had done no running for 2 weeks during September as I was on holiday in Spain. Nonetheless, I was satisfied with my time of 48:16 which was around 2 minutes quicker than my time from last year.
The Mersey Tunnel 10k is a unique race and it’s a good test of your abilities to maintain your pace up a constant incline and a flat route. I fully recommend it to anyone, particularly if you’re looking for a challenge or want to do something that’s a bit different from other 10k’s. It’s one of my favourite races on the calendar and I look forward to hopefully taking part again next year.