Author Archive: Mark Bower

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Latest Update – Club sessions resumed under strict guidelines

As most members are obviously aware through the Facebook group, club sessions have resumed under strict COVID-19 guidelines (outlined below).

For anybody looking to join the club, we are now beginning to welcome new members, so if you want to register your interest please feel free to contact us using the menu link above and we will reply with details of how to come along and try us out.

Current advice from EA can be found here.  In a nutshell it’s as shown below:

Return to activity infographic

COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) CLUB STATEMENT

Your DHRC committee have decided to take pro-active steps to ensure our members and families are aware of what to do regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Since the risk level in the UK has risen and given the news of the spread of the virus to Europe we felt it was important for the welfare of our members and families to be open and support each other. It is Important that our families and members take the spread of the virus seriously and we do all we can to prevent it spreading further and putting others at risk. Please check the following pages for the latest updates:

English Athletics guidance: https://www.englandathletics.org/athletics-and-running/news/coronavirus-statement/

General guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Local guidance: https://www.doncaster.gov.uk/services/health-wellbeing/coronavirus-covid-19

Current country status: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Travel Advice: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus.

With regards to club activities, we see no reason to suspend any club sessions at the moment, but we strongly advise you all to follow general guidance and that you do not come to sessions if you have any flu or virus symptoms as detailed in the links above. Please also avoid personal contact (and please don’t be offended if others refuse contact) and sanitise your hands before and after where possible. Please also be aware and follow any guidance issued by any of the facilities we use.

If anyone has been to any of the areas that have been classified by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as an ‘all but essential travel’ destination, then please do not attend sessions until 2 weeks after returning to the UK and have no symptoms. Please do get in touch with the Club Welfare Officer (Caroline Greening on secretary@danumharriers.co.uk) so we can talk any of this through with you and follow the advice given in the links above. Look after yourselves and each other.

KMR #12 – Braithwell Boxing Day Race, December 2019 – Ben Hales

A vintage series

Nowadays you usually get to register online for races.

Yes, you pay extra for the payment technology, their marketing campaigns and another T-shirt you’ll hardly wear, but it’s simple and convenient and that’s the modern way to do things.

On the other hand, these twelve events are so old fashioned. They’re barely advertised and there’s no clothes giveaway. You have to fill in a piece of paper then hand over cash in a pub function room.

There’s certainly no chip timing. At this one they get the local farmer, decked in his best tweed to set runners off with a shotgun.

Last year’s Braithwell race was my first KMR experience. Naturally I ended up running most of this year’s series.

The events are informal yet traditional – organised by runners for runners. It’s a great buzz to come together as clubs to run with and against each other over varied routes and terrain. And there’s usually a buffet afterwards.

2019: Danum’s vintage year

The Harriers are developing a strong reputation in this tournament – Simon Raynor won his age category trophy in 2018 and this year Mick Plant had already won his before this final race had begun.

Series prizes are awarded by category for runners attending eight races or more. Dave Langford just had to turn up and clock eight to leapfrog the competition to win his, which he duly did.

I was on course to effectively come third in my category. There’d be no confirmation, no announcement and no trophy, but the chance to imagine stepping onto a podium was enough to spur me on to put in a strong effort.

The race 

Me, the indomitable Langford, series stalwart Plant and the indefatigable Raynor, recovering from cold, met at the Butcher’s Arms and soon found ourselves at the front of the huddle at the start line. A blast of the shooter and down the road we went, then over the trail section. Langford led, with Plant in pursuit, and Raynor following me.

After the off-road section it was a descent on tarmac into Stainton then an uphill slog for the rest of it. A few people passed me, but I saved enough energy for a burst at the end to retake a handful and knock nearly two minutes off my last year’s time.

Then it was back to the Butcher’s for drinks and trophies. Hope to see even more Harriers at next year’s series!

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!!

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!