Roads, XC and fells, at home and away, result in great personal achievements for Harriers
The weather of late hasn’t been the most favourable for any kind of training let alone spring marathons but that didn’t deter Dan Jones, Gareth Edwards or Philip Hayes from taking up the starting line. Dan & Gareth lined up in Manchester for the Greater Manchester Marathon, with for Dan a target of a PB set following his first marathon last October at Chester. In a well-paced race with great conditions and support, a PB was more than achieved – 8 minutes off his last race, Dan completed the marathon in 3:09:46. Gareth had a fantastic run too, building on his recent 20 mile race at Wrexham, to complete Greater Manchester in 4:11:41.
Further afield in sunny climates with little time to acclimatise and a tough race being made tougher by the heat, Phil Hayes finished the Paris Marathon in a time of 3hr 46mins and a PB.
Parkrun races this week were also home and away. Heavy rain and a muddy course made Wepre for something more akin to a fell race given its climbs – it’s already one of the UK’s toughest Park Runs. Vic Belshaw took 2nd in 21:39, with daughter Ceri coming in 12th in 25:20. Sarah Bayliss made up the trio of Harriers with a new course PB of 28:12.
Just down the road in Conwy, another father and daughter raced with David Baugh 27th in 20:55 with Elen 76th and 12th lady in 24:04. Over in Etna, Italy and another parkrun more akin to a fell race, Martin Cortvriend took 4th 24:00 with Vicky Cortvriend 15th and 5th lady in 37:02
Earlier in the week, many of the weekends racers were on other courses. David Baugh was out running the Joe Brown’s Midweek Fell Series race in Abergwyngregyn on Tuesday evening, this time with wife Menai. David decided to make things harder than necessary, accidentally starting at the back of the field, before overtaking whilst working his way up the 2.5 mile uphill before thoroughly enjoying the 2 mile fast downhill, finishing 38th out of 103 runners in 37.30. Meanwhile Menai ran uphill strongly and stormed downhill to finish in 83rd position in a time of 46.53 – winning first prize in her age category.
Back in Denbigh, it was the first race of the Noel Morris Handicap Summer Series. This race pits club members against themselves, the handicapper and each other across a series of monthly races with the culmination of the best 5 performances for each runner leading to their final score and place in the series. This first race is always hardest for the handicapper, with winter training performance not always offering the best insight into performance on the day. The race was won by Tony Benton 23:27, stealing the race 50 metres from the line from Anwen Brown 28:06 coming back from injury and just ahead of Kate Wilson 27:09. These three will pay for their success with harder handicap times next month. Elsewhere in the field Steve Gadd 21:39, Sharon Griffiths 36:46 and Mari Jones 42:57 ran their first handicap, hopefully the impromptu shower and mud hasn’t put them off.
Sunday saw a few harriers in disguise, racing in the Border League Road Series for their second claim clubs at Mold. In a lovely morning for the penultimate race in the series , the hilly 5 mile course compromised of a top class field. Emma Collins 37:09 continues to lead her category and increases the gap. For the men, Craig Jones had an excellent run finishing in 31:42, followed by great runs for Vic Belshaw in his second run of the weekend and third of the week 32:22 and Tony Benton 36:37.
Greater Manchester Marathon Dan Jones PB 3.09.46, Gareth Edwards 4:11:41
Paris Marathon Philip Hayes PB
Joe Brown Midweek Fell Series – Abergywngregyn David Baugh 38th 37:30, Menai Baugh 1st FV60 83rd 46:53
Parkrun Wepre Vic Belshaw 21:39, Ceri Belshaw 25:20, Sarah Bayliss PB 28:12 Etna Martin Cortvriend 24:00, Vicky Cortvriend 37:02 Conwy David Baugh 20:55, Elen Baugh 24:04
Noel Morris Handicap Summer Series 1st Tony Benton 23:27, 2nd Anwen Brown 28:06, 3rd Kate Wilson 27:09, 4th Huw Williams 22:45, 5th Vic Belshaw, 21:18, 6th Phil Hayes 23:02, 7th Sioned Griffiths, 26:41, 8th Emma Collins 24:14, 9th Tony Woods 19:49, 10th Sali Powell 26:55, 11th Steve Gadd 21:39, 12th Mat Jones 24:43, 13th Paul Goffey 26:28, 14th Ruth Crowther 38:33, 15th Sharon Griffiths 36:46, 16th Bob Neale 28:30, 17th Diane Roberts 39:23, 18th Katy Baugh 27:30, 19th David Spencer 30:38, 20th Mari Jones 42:57.
Borders League Craig Jones 31:42, Vic Belshaw 32:22, Tony Benton 36:37, Emma Collins 37:09