2023 kicked off with a very successful Run For Fun programme culminating in a parkrun in Prestatyn at the end of the 10 week programme. 9 people finished the course. Thanks go to Caroline and all the Run Leaders for their dedication to the programme.
January 2023 also saw the Club very successful in the North Wales Cross Country Championships winning 3 out of 5 of the senior team prizes – the Senior Women’s Team ( Eleanor Ashcroft, Katy Baugh, Emma Collins, Ceri Diss), The Master’s Women’s Team (Emma Collins, Ceri Diss, Mel Morris ) with Emma and Mel winning their age-categories , and the Men over 65’s team ( Simon Nixon, Dave Pass, Fred Jones) with Dave Pass winning his age category. The Senior Men’s team were also third overall ( Tony Wood, Glen Price, Huw Williams, Owen Conry, David Baugh, Duncan Jones) .
This year’s N.W. X Country Championship was a similar story, with a few new names of improving runners and new members added to the hall of fame. 7 Junior Harriers and 17 Senior Harriers took part. New member Joanne Henderson was 2 nd overall in the women’s race and first F45. Emma and Mel won their age categories once again. Tony Wood won a Silver medal in his age category with Menai, Huw Williams, Dave Pass and new member Mark Watling winning Bronze Medals.
The Senior Women won Silver (Joanne, Eleanor, Emma, Sian Pritchard).
The Masters’ Women won Silver ( Joanne, Emma , Lee and Mel)
The Men over 65 won Silver ( Mark Watling, Simon Nixon, Dave Pass ).
February 2023, was, also, a successful month for our cross country runners in the North Wales League with the Senior Men being promoted to Division 1 and many individuals winning medals in their age category.
The story is the same this year with many individuals in the running for medals next month in Oswestry …
In March Catherine Tudor Jones and Eleanor Ashcroft were selected to represent North Wales in a 20 mile road race in Knighton with impressive results. Catherine also won as North Wales 10 km Champ in her age category F40 two weeks ago, in the Twin Piers Race. Tony Wood, Lee Evans and Menai Baugh all won Bronze Medals in the North Wales 10 km Champs .
Club nights are very popular… with many runners of different abilities, running in groups on Monday nights. This session is very sociable and inclusive. Thanks again to Run Leaders Bob Neale, Sarah Bayliss, and others who are not run leaders Peter and Alison Lester-Owen for supporting runners on these evenings. There were also social, off-road sessions held on a Wednesday evening in the Summer organised by Dave Spencer .
When the clocks move forward, Tuesday nights mean speed work with David Baugh on the school fields, and efforts on the hills on the roads around Denbigh when the nights draw in. Again, the sessions are very well attended, sometimes with 20+ turning up.
Friday evening is a social run evening with interesting off-road routes conjured up by Peter-Lester Owen, followed, sometimes with a pint and curry in the pub. There was also a Saturday morning run followed by breakfast at Weatherspoons organised by Peter and Alison. Menai and Anwen also organised a social run in the Summer to the Vale Vineyard ….. to taste their wine. The run back was quite a bit slower than the run there!
Mel Morris organised a social run inDecember up Lady Baggott’s drive finishing with a curry and pint in The King’s Head. Social events like this bring us all together and help us to get to know each other better. In December also, we had the Club Johnson’s Handicap race which was won by Mark Watling and Anwen Brown. After the race members enjoyed a buffet lunch prepared by The Harriers at The Hummingbird/ Y Colibryn ( courtesy of Harrier Daniel Shraibman.
April is the time for marathons …. and Eleanor Ashcroft and Rebekah Mary ran in the London Marathon this year with impressive results. 4 Harriers ran the Manchester Marathon, also, in impressive times – Catherine Tudor Jones, Jack Corney, Helen Davies and Abigail Swainston running her first ever marathon, and Helen achieving a PB …
May saw 7 Harriers (Gareth Jones, Duncan Jones ( First in age category) Lee Evans, Peter-Lester-Owen ( 2nd M60 ) Liza Francis, Alison Lester-Owen, Jane Emlyn Jones competing in the tough Llangollen 10 km race, in glorious sunshine.,
May also saw 11 Harriers ( Daniel Jones, David Baugh, Katy Baugh, Sioned Griffiths, Mel Morris, Emma Collins first F60, Victoria Whitehead, Peter Lester-Owen, Emily Retallik, David Owen-Jones, Menai Baugh run in the classic mountain race, Râs y Gader , up Cadair Idris.
On a warm Sunday in Chester, 5 members of the Harriers (Abdul Pasha, Bob Neale, Ian Jones, Abi Swainston , Hayley Scott) ran the Chester Half Marathon, again, with impressive results
Emma Collins, Menai Baugh Tony Wood competed in the North Wales 5 km Champs in the Llanrug 5 km road race ,with Emma and Menai winning as North Wales Champs in their age-categories .
Emma Collins, Menai Baugh, Catherine Tudor Jones and Tony Wood competed in the Helena Tipping 10 km road race in Wrexham with Emma wining her F60 age category.
Emma Collins, Menai Baugh, Tony Wood and Simon Nixon ran in the North Wales 5 mile road running championships in Holyhead .. all 4 coming home with an age category medal Emma and Menai winning as North Wales Champs in their age categories and Tony and Simon winning second in their age categories.
Emma, Menai and Elen Baugh ran in the Mid- Cheshire road 5 km with Emma and Menai representing Wales in their age categories .
7 or 8 Harriers ran The Cardiff Half Marathon in September with another group running The Coed y Brenin Half Marathon in October ( sorry, unable to find results on line to name the Harriers).
Iwan Evans and Dave Passe ran the Abergele 10 km in November.
There was a fantastic representation of 7 Harriers for The Eryri Marathon this year .. Eleanor Ashcroft ( running her second marathon in two weeks finishing Eryri in 3:34!) Huw Williams, Catherine Tudor Jones, Mari Williams, David Jones and Peter Lester Owen ( both having run it tens of time before! and Jane Emlyn Jones runningit as her first ever marathon ..
9 Harriers ran the Conwy Half- Marathon – Iwan Evans, Eleanor Ashcroft, Sophie Toogood, Lee Evans, Gareth Jones, Chris Evans, Brychan ap Geraint, Liza Francis, Jane Emlyn Jones.
Spring and Summer are the seasons for fell racing although, there is one, carzy race on the Clwydians in January, The Horse, of which Dafydd and Rachel Evans and Huw Williams are the masters .. winning the mixed team every year. One of the first races of the season in Moel Lus in April saw 8 Harriers soaked to the skin before the race had even started! Despite the weather there were many prizes won by the Harriers. The rain seemed to be a common theme throughout the Summer with fell races. The Ponderosa race and Maesgwm Muddle were extremely wet races. Even the Snowdon International Race was washed out and the course had to be altered because of the gales and the rain. Many other races were run and prizes in age categories and records broken by the Harriers . Many medals were also won by the Harriers in the North Wales Fell running championship series. The Women’s Overall Winner was Joanne Henderson with the ever- improving Katy Baugh as the third overall winner in the North Wales Champs. Emma Collins won her age category and Peter-Lester-Owen was third in his M60 age-category.Also, in our midst there is a fell runner Joanne Henderson who is an overall Welsh Champion in 2023 and an age – category Welsh Champion! Joanne Henderson has also, represented Wales twice last year in mountain races ..in the Snowdon International Race and a mountain race in Italy. Joanne was selected to represent Wales in the Masters International Cross Country in Glasgow as well. She was joined there by 4 other Harriers who were selected to represent Wales too Emma , Menai, Tony Wood and Dave Passe .. .. the most to be selected for one International competition, ever, in the history of the Club.
9 adult Harriers – Emma, Mel, Victoria, Sian Pritchard, Menai Dave Passe, Tony Wood, Mark Kelly, Glen Price and 4 Junior Harriers also ran in the mud and rain in the Inter – regional Cross Country competition in Newtown with Emma winning first in her age-category and Menai winning gold as a member of North Wales’ over 65’s team and Victoria Whitehead and Mel Morris silver medal winners in the over 50’s North Wales team.
Our off-road Club Summer Handicap Series – The Noel Morris series – was won by Liza Francis, with John Davies second and Lee Evans and Bob Neale equal third.
Denbigh Harriers have also strongly supported Rhuthun Parkrun and other local parkruns during the year. Many Harriers volunteer as well as run at parkruns ensuring that others can enjoy this amazing phenomenon which gives runners of all abilities a chance to run every Saturday morning.
The Harriers excel in road 5 km races, parkruns, 10km races , half-marathon races, marathon races, fell races, moutain races and, even, ultra races with Jeni Richards running a 47 mile race in the Lake District called The Lap , Daniel Jones running all the way around the coast of Anglesey in 3 days… a total of 135 miles. Iwan Evans an the Ultra Tour de Mont Blanc 34 mile race in The Alps and, incredibly, Emily Retallick for completing, on the 4th September to the 9th September last year, 220 miles /354 km of The Dragon’s Back Race over 6 consecutive days of running over Wales’ highest mountains accumulating 57,000ft / 17,000meters of elevation from Conwy to Cardiff in the world’s toughest mountain race, The Dragon’s Back Race..amazing!
We have a very strong Junior section .. 35 members enjoying twice- weekly running activities. Many of them are active and experience success in school athletics and school cross country races and the North Wales League and Championships cross country races. 4 Junior members have represented North Wales in the Inter -Regional Competition in Newtown. One Junior Harrier is a Welsh Champion, winning his race in The Urdd Cross Country. Another was second Under 20 years of age in the North Wales 10km Championship the other week at the Twin Piers Race . Thanks goes to the Coaches David and Elen Baugh and Assistant Coach Katy Baugh on giving them experiences and training and ensuring tha the Club prospers for many years to come.
There is no denying, Denbigh Harriers is a friendly, inclusive, sociable, active, successful, progressive Club.
Apologies to anyone who has been left out here … it’ is difficult to keep track on all events and races.