Harriers on Holiday

There are fewer races during the holiday season. Probably because people go on holiday. And there are fewer people writing about races during the holiday season, because they go on holiday too. So my apologies go out to anybody who did actually race in the past couple of weeks while I was away on holiday. As long as it’s on Strava, it happened and it exists, you don’t need to read about it on the club website.

What I do know about, probably because our old friend the Magic Results Fairy posted on the club’s Facebook page, is that the latest club league race took place on August 6th at the Bearbrook 10k, near Aylesbury. This race starts and finishes at Aylesbury Rugby Club before looping through Weston Turville, Wendover, Halton and then passing close to RAF Halton, before a fast finish downhill back to the rugby club for about the last 3k.

For probably the first time ever, a search on the official results page yielded a list containing exactly the same 8 people that appear in the photo posted on the club page by Martin Storrie. So we can be fairly confident (although you never know) that nobody will indignantly shout about being “ignored” or “missed” in the results. Maybe everybody is finally learning to spell “Gade Valley Harriers” correctly when they enter races, who knows?

Count them 1…8

One thing that didn’t change was that Matt Ashby again led the Harriers contingent home. This time he finished 8th overall in a time of 35:09. Whilst most mere mortals would consider this a triumph, he was slightly disappointed with the time, having felt that he never really got into rhythm, and, moreover, was gutted that “a bloke that I’ve been racing against a few times recently” overtook him on the rugby field right at the end. Club captain Kim Morgan was the first Harrier female across the finish line. She finished in 51:03, just outside the top 100 overall finishers, 5th in her age category.

Men’s club captain Andy Wells also enjoyed a strong race. He finished in the top 20 overall, 4th in his age category. Steve Newing wasn’t far behind, finishing in 41:23, whilst Merlin Allan (6th in his age category) and Trevor Normoyle (47:39) also finished in the top 80 overall. Susie Ivin wasn’t far behind Kim Morgan, finishing in 51:57 to be 7th in the same age category, while Helen Cook produced possibly the run of the day, completing the distance in 53:09 and winning her age category.

On the weekend of 12th and 13th August, there wasn’t much racing going on, at least not that I was made aware of. There was, however, a reasonable contingent of 10 GVH runners who clearly weren’t on holiday, taking on the Gadebridge Parkrun on Saturday morning. Amongst other strong performances, Michael Linden excelled, bagging the coveted First Finisher spot, in 19:39. Elsewhere, Gareth Tucker ran strongly to finish 2nd overall at Aldenham Parkrun while Helen Terry led home a group of 7 GVH athletes at St Albans Parkrun.

So, obviously Mary finished second?!?

On a solo mission on Sunday 13th August was James Birnie, having been stood up by a fellow runner, (you know who you are) who is clearly finding the motivation to train through the summer for an autumn marathon hard to come by (I did warn you!) James travelled to Caldicott School, near Farnham Royal in Bucks, for the Burnham Beeches Half Marathon. This race came highly recommended and lived up to its billing as it wound around and through the beautiful ancient woodland of Burnham Beeches. James managed a respectable 1:28:06 (“particularly carrying my extra 8 pounds of holiday weight”), finishing 14th overall and 6th in his age category.

Burnham Beeches Crew