Back to racing!

On the hottest day of the year, Saturday 17 July, four Harriers took on the challenge of the 50th Welsh 1000s fell race which starts on the coastal side of the A55 near Abergwyngregyn and finishes on the summit of Snowdon after climbing the 5 of the 1000 meter peaks of Snowdonia. The route was often over open pathless ground and included several hard scrambles. In the heat there were 66 runners (around 25%) who had to retire with heat exhaustion, cramp or injury. All the Harriers successfully ran the same distance of over 20 miles and and climbed almost 9000’ even if they all had to summon extreme willpower to finish in the conditions. With the race finishing on Snowdon the runners then had to run or walk back 4.5 miles to Llanberis to collect their commemorative T shirts and find their cars.

In the long Long Fell Race Brett Jones finished 53rd in 06:24:21 followed in 99th by David Baugh in 07:16:41 and Peter Lester-owen 136th in 08:26:10. In the Long Challenge Race which started earlier in the day David Jones was 12th in 08:40:37.

Vic Belshaw took part in the second of the English Fell Championship Counters 2021 – Alderman’s Ascent on Saturday 17 July , this time in the West Pennines. This was a 5 mile course with over 1400ft ascent. Ladies went off at 11.00, which included fellow club runner Emma Collins, and men at 13.00 on a fast relatively short course although on the warm side. Another head to head race in the V60 age category (29 in total). Vic repeated his fourth race position from the Blencathra race finishing in 53:50’s, with Emma finishing in 59:33’s.

Sunday 18 July saw two Harriers run the 2021 ALDI Chester 10k . This fast course starts from the iconic Chester Racecourse and heads north-west out of the City along wide roads allowing runners to rapidly settle into race pace, then passing close to the picturesque village of Mollington, before returning to the heart of Chester City centre passing the historic Victorian town hall and Medieval Cathedral, before finishing on Eastgate Street with a spectacular backdrop of the Eastgate Clock. Joseph Welch had an early start being in the 7.45am wave of runners, however this did not make the conditions any easier! Shaun Hughes set off in the 10am wave start time and was the first runner through to the finish line. Both finished in impressive times with Shaun Hughes being the first Harrier home in 00:36:35, and Joseph Welch following in 00:40:04.

Also running Sunday 18 July seven Harriers entered the 2021 Nick Beer 10k. This popular annual event always attracts many hundreds of runners of mixed ages and abilities from across the UK, and beyond, to enjoy the scenic splendours of a hilly but picturesque course around the Great Orme. Starting and finishing on Llandudno promenade, opposite the Imperial Hotel, this was the 29th annual run to help commemorate the life of a well-known former local athlete, Nick Beer. Owen Conroy was first Harrier home in 00:46:08; Bob Neale was next with a time of 00:57:02, closely followed by Kate Wilson in 00:57:03; Ian Jones, Julie Roberts and Helen Davies were not far behind finishing in 01:00:01, 01:01:27, and 01:08:08 respectively, with Jessica Jones being the final Harrier home in 01:22:53. All great times in very hot conditions.

On Sunday 25 July, 4 Harriers ran the Helena Tipping Wrexham 10K. This is a fast and flat rural 10k starting and finishing close to ‘The Clubhouse’ Wrexham Industrial Estate. This race is in memory of Wrexham AAC member Helena Tipping. There were excellent performances by Mel Morris as 2nd W45 (43:48 PB), Emma Collins 1st W55 (44:36), Rhian Griffiths-Jones (47:44), and Lee Evans (50:01 PB). Lee was in her first 10K race and clearly destined for higher things.

Running was not enough for Denbigh Harrier Gareth Powell who took part in The Castle Howard Middle Distance Triathlon in Yorkshire on Sunday 25 July. The Castle Howard Middle distance (1/2 Ironman) triathlon started with a 1.2 mile swim in the Castle’s murky lake, followed by a 56 mile bike ride through the scenic Howardian hills (about 15 miles from York), to be finished by a hilly cross country 1/2 marathon (13.1 mile) made even more challenging by the summer heat. It was a very well organised event in a beautiful location. Gareth’s finishing time was 6 hours 48 minutes.

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