Author Archive: Mark Bower

Kiveton Park Cross Country, November 2019 – Lynn Hutchinson

‘Twas my 3rd year doing cross country and this morning I’ll be honest, not sure if anyone could tell but I really wasn’t feeling it! Adi chapped the door so there was no going back! Off to pick Jo up then on our way to Kiveton park.

When we got there we were the first club to arrive. Not my finest hour attempting to make small talk with Keith Binney asking him where we pitch the gazebo as I was stood right beside the club tents sign!  I’ll not repeat what he said!  The rain came down even harder as I stood and watched Adi & Jo walking the area trying to establish the driest spot, really!  To be fair the gazebo flew up in record time and we were soon sat and spooning in no time  (Jo & I for those who haven’t seen Adi’s photo!).

The first harrier on the start line was young Lucas Sydney, and what a run and finish!! Super Syd!! Due to the awful conditions and needing to get her boys dry and warm they were off with a final swoosh of her Pom poms & great harrier shout out.

As midday approached the rain was getting heavier and after reluctantly taking outer clothes off it was time to sort my head out and us 6 girls headed to the start line with just enough time for a quick pic (thanks Kenny) .  The course had been shortened due to the flooded crossing point (thank goodness) ’cause boy was it tough. So much mud and it got worse with each lap, as we finished lap one I said to Jo that I felt sick and thinking I was going to lose a trainer in the thick mud Jo said something like (the polite version) “have we really got another 2 to do”.  Then off she went, a power house!! Us ladies had super support from the gents, I distinctly remember Christ Watson cheering me on with a wry smile looking at the state of me!  A third way round my final lap the chaps set off, with every slurpy step I awaited for them to catch me, then the super speedies were tearing past me, luckily I only had a short distance left then round the last bit to the finish line.  A cuddle with Tara & Jo followed by a wash in the puddle, a quick jumper and bobble hat donned, sausage roll (thank you so much Neil Costigan) and cuppa in my very cold hands we were off to cheer on the guys.

They were awesome, 4 long ridiculously muddy laps lead home by Mick P (on fire)! All harriers safely finished then Claire wanted a dip in the flooded crossing so Adi obliged and off they went for a dip, crazy!! Such amazing team spirit, ’tis the reason we do these crazy things.

As per usual we were the last club standing, Heather kept Mr Binney happy with a cake.  We’d seriously contemplated abandoning the gazebo (only kidding) however it was a struggle to collapse, poor Adi with frozen hands and Jo and I ‘trying’ to help (me with more giggles of hysteria than help) the gazebo was finally manhandled back to the van.

What a day, it started with me sooo not wanting to run, to omg I love this club and so glad I did it!!! Thank you Danum Harriers you’re all fab!!

Thursday 21st November – 5.6 Mile Run (R10)

This Thursday it’s the 10th (and final) route in our road series (R10), a 5.6 mile run South from the Dome, around the western side of the lake and onto the Red path. We run down the Red path and onto Bawtry Road via Checkstone and Dunniwood Avenues. We then head back down Bawtry Road to Stoops Lane, where we turn off and make out way onto the White path and home via Hall Cross.  It’s an anti-clockwise route.  As always, feel free to download the gpx file for the route using the link under the altitude graph.

As it’s ‘only’ 5.6 miles it’s ideal for step up Thursday for anybody feeling the need, although please bear in mind the lack of light and the slippy conditions underfoot if you do consider stepping up. The forecast isn’t looking too bad so please come and join us at the Hub – 6:20 for warm up and 6:45 for the main event.

Leaders and paces.
G1 – Simon R. 7:30 – 7:45
G2 – Mark H. 8:00 – 8:15
G3 – Jo D. 8:30 – 8:45
G4 – Amanda L. 9:00 – 9:30
G5 – Neil C. 10:00 – 11:00
Intro – Adi.

As always can we just ask that runners do all they can to help the group leaders such as following directions, not creeping ahead – unless cleared by the leader to do so, and traffic awareness. On these dark nights its difficult for the leaders to keep an eye on all of their flock so at road crossings, junctions etc. please run responsibly and take care of each other if you do see any hazards, plus please wear bright visible clothing if possible. And if you do feel the need for a headtorch then please feel free, the majority of the route is pretty well lit but there are possibly one or 2 spots where it may be of benefit.

Total distance: 5.66 mi
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Chase the Moon 10k, November 2019 – David Hayden

So last night (13th Nov) I did the ‘Chase the Moon 10k” at the Olympic Park in East London – one of the perks of staying away a lot I can check out local runs and races. Runthrough are the organisers – I did a “chase the sun” about 18 months ago which was at the same place. Anyway last night was my first attempt at seeing what I could do after what feels like a long absence – and have I got a 10k in me that can beat my time from the Caistor Sting in the Tail 10 K on July 7th this year, where Harry my ex hernia made himself known – I have cried with emotion at finishing a run before – but never ever with pain – don’t want to go back there!

I also wanted to do a run without any ‘pressure’ – don’t get me wrong I love being a Harrier – but the fact I could run where nobody knows me and there is no knowledge of my previous form really appealed – and could I do a time that would be acceptable to me at the up coming Donny 10k…. (however that didn’t quite go to plan- bumped into someone who recognised the top – shouted “Donny boy” and then told me he ran with Nicola Wilkinson on a weekend – didn’t catch the guy’s name as I was at the time coming out of the loo as he was going in…

The race was a joint 10k and 5k – about 500 runners in each race – both start at the same time – four laps around West Hams stadium and the Acelor Mittle tower and across some of the canals – the evening started off cold and the moon came out before the start of the run spot on cue. The route was a flat course – ideal for a pb – way off that thought! The start was staggered in terms of anticipated finish times – I had told myself under an hour – I was over an hour at Caistor – my pb last year at Donny was 46 something – knew that was unachievable in my current state – but beating Caistor was a start on my recovery. However – I couldn’t resist – went in on the under 55mins – already my plan coming undone!!

The first two laps were great – felt so good to be running at a fairly decent pace – although way off anything I was doing this time last year – 27 mins for the 5k – impressed with that thank you – then the rain started on the third lap – and towards the end – was joined by a fellow runner keeping my pace – and slowly got suckered in to keeping in step – she sped up – so did I – I absolutely loved the last lap – really felt good and strong – she pipped me at the last 50 meters – but I didn’t care – it was worth it – the clock said 51m 48 – so pleased with that – in fact ridiculously pleased with it… we shook hands thanked each other and then went off to get the medal water and other goodies including a big bag of bath salts! Pity the hotel room had a shower and not a bath – could have used them!!

The rain stopped as I headed back to the tube and the hotel I am staying at in Wimbledon – I felt really good – the legs ached – and that felt good to know they had been used – the niggles I am still feeling post operation behaved and I am having a bit of trouble with my left big toe – that behaved too! I check the results – chip time 50 min 28 seconds – whoop whoooooo and 199th out of 442 finishers and – get this 3rd – THIRD in my age category – having that!!!

I have missed not going to the club – really missed it – work and fitness keeping me away – but looking forward to Donny 10k and Edwinstowe meal – and finding ten pictures that Amanda Lane has challenged me to – not had the right state of mind to respond to the challenge – but I will have another think about that after last night…..

If ever you are in London – check out the RunThrough series of events – they are a good atmosphere and some brilliant places!

Club Relays Report, Saturday 9th November

Well a great time was had by all this Saturday at the inaugural Club Relays in memory of popular local runner Michael Wakefield, who sadly passed away whilst running Doncaster parkrun in 2016.

The Harriers competed against several local clubs in a total of 22 teams, including Doncaster Athletics Club, Doncaster Tri and several others.  The cold November weather didn’t dampen the atmosphere and all clubs had a good turnout for this inaugural outing for what hopefully will become an annual event.

We managed to field a team that came second overall, leading to our first ever club trophy!  Three of our pairings also got medals in their category, so all in all a successful result for the club and one which should inspire us on to bigger and better things!

Final Team results from ‘Michael Wakefield Relay Trophy 2019’ were:

  1. DAC (9) – 82:20
  2. Danum (15) – 88:40
  3. DAC (4) – 90:35
  4. Ackworth (5) – 93:02
  5. DTC (1) – 93:40
  6. Manvers (11)- 94:20
  7. DAC (7) 94:55
  8. Gainsborough & Morton (20) 96:55
  9. Fitmums & Friends (17) 97:27
  10. Danum (3) 98:22
  11. DAC (6) 99:35
  12. We Can Run (18) 99:56
  13. Askern (19) – 100:00
  14. Thorne Trotters (16) 103:40
  15. Danum (14) 106:30
  16. DTC (8) 107:20
  17. Manvers (10) 111:15
  18. Ackworth (13) 115:05
  19. DAC (2) 115:30
  20. DTC (12) 115:50
  21. Fitmums & Friends (21) 127:00
  22. Fit Rovers (22) 127:30

Harriers at the Club Relays

You can check out all the photos from the event on the photos page of the website.

Manchester Half Marathon, October 2019 – Mark Benger

Awesome race on Sunday at Manchester Half, felt really proud to be a Harrier out there.

The support from the locals was fantastic with Jelly babies on supply constantly!!

The rain was making its usual Manchester appearance pre-race but fortunately it gave way at the start…

Started off with the usual fast pace before realising if I don’t slow down I may not make this, then settling into a nice but steady rhythm but still knowing I could go quicker if I needed to… Like GNR the first 4 miles was weaving and dodgy people until everyone started to disperse…..

Had to stop at 4 mile for the loo which must have put me back a minute or two but at that point I really didn’t care🤣.

At about 10 mile I passed a bloke from my work who beat me at GNR by 14 secs and still up to Sunday hadn’t let me forget it….. Game on!! Seeing him was just the boost I needed!! Bye Bye John 🤣

Energy gel at the ready I dug in for the last 3 with a time I’d have been happy at parkrun with..

As I’ve told everyone I crossed the line with a 12 minute PB and beat John by 10 minutes🎉!! A little wobbly at the medal handout but I knew everything I had that day was on the Manchester tarmac…

Still not seen John at work yet but I’m waiting.

Massive thank you to you guys and the encouragement you give me!!

Thank you!