“It was -2 and windy, I ran in my Woodstock Harriers hoodie as it was so bitterly cold. The course is amazing yet only a handful of people turn up to this event. I won! That’s 2/2 wins at this parkrun, will have to train for the treble in the summer….”
Hook Norton Christmas Canter – Sunday 15 December
Simon and Rob both had an excellent go at this challenging yet beautiful Christmas run around the fields of Hook Norton. Simon just missed out on the top 10 which we’re sure he’ll make next year!
Well done to all those who took part at Cirencester. A good turnout for both teams again which is great to see. Jess produced a brilliant performance coming 5th overall in the women’s race. James also had a good day out coming 2nd V40 in the men’s race.
EnduranceLife Dorset Ultramarathon – Saturday 30th November
Georgette Broughton gave a terrific performance over this 34.5 mile ultramarathon with 8,645 ft of total ascent. (see her report below)
Time: 08:10:00 7th female
Number of finishers: 130
The 35 mile EnduranceLife Dorset Ultra is, quite simply, unique. This is the only location on the planet where, in a few short hours of trail running on the Jurassic Coast Path, you will travel through a few million years of earth time – all with the ocean has a glorious, blue, backdrop. But yes, those years are represented in hills…
I probably ignored the section the on the website that marked this event as ‘Level 5’ (the highest) and ‘extreme terrain’, and (being originally from the Midlands) remained blissfully ignorant of the geography of Dorset. This race was HARD. Over 35 miles, you climb an elevation that is greater than Ben Nevis and Snowdon combined, with its own mix of suitable scramble (up and down), mud, and beach running. But, as my fourth EnduranceLife Ultra, I wasn’t too surprised. These events pride themselves on their craggy coastal paths, and this was no exception. As the last day in November, there was a cold sea-wind, though it remained blissfully dry. The first 8 miles featured rolling downs, not too dissimilar in terrain to Woodstock and the surrounding area, before the big ascents started. The middle portion was just a scramble up and down, before Brandy, Hobarrow and Kimeridge Bay gave my calves and quads a little respite – and a chance to consistently run! One thing I love about the EnduranceLife events is the camaraderie amongst the mid-pack runners. You pull each other through, share snacks and, for this route, pull each other out of the mud. But, returning back to the hills for the second time (it was, more-or-less, a figure of eight run), I was starting to feel the effects of exhaustion and struggled to get enough fuel in as I approached the last section. The last check-point is, teasingly, at the finish, and I had never been so glad to see a pint of coke and a doughnut as I was before embarking on the last 6 miles. This was one of the best parts though – I’d fallen in with five other solo runners, and we dragged each other up and over the last 1000m ascents and through to the finish. I was, quite honestly, just pleased to finish in daylight! However, crossing the line as 52/130 (7th female) in 08:10hrs was the icing on the cake.
So, next time you’re running up William’s Hill, consider that at least you didn’t have to do that for 35 miles!
Eynsham 10km – Sunday 24 November
David Watkinson ran a brilliant PB whilst Simon Tucker ran a debut 10K for the Club. Jess Webb has a great race finishing 2nd lady and Rachel Masser both finished second in their respective age groups.
Daniel Smith made an encouraging debut in the Woodstock vest finishing 30th from 49 starters.
Senior & Veteran Men
An excellent turnout for this season’s inaugural race saw James Bolton leading home our team of 12. There were useful debuts by Simon Tucker and Ian MacLeod. Unfortunately Harry Earl had a bilious attack during the race and was forced to pull out.
17 James Bolton (V40) 32:18
88 Dave Cantwell (V50) 35:39
94 David Watkinson (V50) 35:48
115 Hans Price (V40) 36:42
164 Rob Webster (V50) 38:27
166 Kevin Game (V40) 38:33
189 Simon Tucker (SM) 39:14
202 Ian MacLeod (SM) 39:51
238 Carey Gray (V60) 41:45
250 Andy Pike (V50) 42:06
277 Neil Preddy (V50) 44:23
300 Adrian Smith (V40) 46:26
Winning time: 30:07. Number of finishers: 345
Senior & Veteran Women
Despite losing Jess Webb early on with a sickness attack the remaining team of 5 all ran well with debutante Georgette Broughton making a promising start.
Roger Bradley and Jess Webb ran in the popular Great South Run on Sunday. Jess ran in the elite women category against some top athletes.
Jess Webb 20 1:04:13
Roger Bradley 1376 1:15:22
Winning times: 46:58(men) / 51:38 (women)
Cologne Marathon – Sunday 13th October
Typical Jake style he went off too hard and suffered from Mile 19 onwards. He’ll do the sub-3 one day.
Jake Harrison – 508 – 03:28:36
Munich Marathon – Sunday 13th October
Adrian ran the Munich marathon on Sunday, despite it being a toasty 25 degrees he managed to still finish in a great time.
Adrian Smith (V40) 2244 4:13:31
Oxford Half Marathon – Sunday 13th October
It was an extremely wet day for a half with heavy rain all day. Nevertheless, Rob L and Rich took on the water! Rob finished in a respectable sub 90 minutes after a long injury recovery. Rich volunteered for pacing duties and paced runners to a 2.30 finish.
Rob Linell (V45) 192 1:28:31
Rich Gibbs 2:30:16
Chester Marathon – Sunday 6th October
Rachel Masser took another 8 minutes off her previous club record and finished 2nd LV45 and 12th female at the Chester Marathon.
Rachel Masser (V45) 3:12:40 2nd V45
Cardiff Half Marathon – Sunday 6th October
Paula Booth travelled to Cardiff to do the Cardiff Half and finished in a brilliant time of just over 2 hours.
Paula Booth (V50) 4801 2:00:37 2nd V40
Hanney 5 – Sunday 6th October
Despite James’ injury and Dave’s recent illness both clocked creditable times and were given valuable support by Dan and Adrian whilst Susan sliced over 4 minutes from her 2018 mark.
Jake’s first ultra: 53km across the Swiss Jura finishing in beautiful Geneva.
Jake Harrison 41 06:16:54
Woodstock 12 – Saturday 14th September
James Bolton completed yet another impressive victory giving him an amazing 8th Oxon Road Race Grand Prix victory in a row. Rachel Masser also put in a strong performance to take 2nd overall female honours whilst the evergreen Andy Battye missed out on 1st V60 honours by just 3 seconds.
Cotswold Trail Half-Marathon – Sunday 1st September
Lucy, Ralf and David Watkinson took on the challenging Cotswold Trail Half at Sudeley Castle. Ralf reports: It was a very challenging course over constantly changing mostly rough ground. I don’t think there were any flat sections at all! Having said that it was a good race and well organised for its first year.
David Watkinson 25 1:44:45 3rd V50 Ralf Arneil 80 1:58:10 Lucy Dunn 149 2:07:29
Mota-Vation race 5 – Stratfield – Thursday 29th August
Report from Mike: It was another disappointing turnout at the final Mota-Vation race with one V40 and seven V50 male participants plus Lucy Dunn our sole female. Congratulations to James Bolton, who finished 4th on the day, taking 1st V40 series honours. Dave Cantwell, on holiday in Australia, earned the series 3rd V50 prize.
Dave Cantwell ran the rolling Isle of Wight Half while visiting family. Despite the challenging course he finished 19th overall and 3rd V50; when asked at the finish by his son-in-law if he would do it again, Dave replied ‘NO!’
For the 5th time in a row in an Oxford Road Race Grand Prix series fixture, it was the evergreen James Bolton who crossed the line first. Leading from the start and holding off a strong challenge from Bedford & County athlete Andrew Headley, James clocked a useful 16:03. Second Claim athlete Jason Barry also impressed and there were personal bests from David Watkinson, Simon Tucker & Lucy Dunn.
Ralf ran the local Parkrun while on his holiday in Poland, taking the international win for the Harriers! Ralf’s report:
Augustow parkrun is a small event but in an amazing location. The course runs alongside a lake and is essentially two out and backs from a central start/finish. About twenty people turned up. After a welcome from the race director we were off. The run started at 7m/m and happy in third we started to go up a gentle hill to the first turn at 1m. On the hill, without changing effort I had moved into first and was now, after 0.5m, into unknown territory. I went round the turn and was maybe 25m in the lead. Great, I think? Are they going to catch me? Did I go off too quick? Doubts and more doubts crept in. Back down the hill and through the start I just ran, oddly with no-one in front, and had no idea so just thought to keep on the pressure and not do anything silly, didn’t dare look back. The second turn came at around 2.4m so I got a look at second place. He was still 25m behind. Oh no, I was hoping for a bit more of a lead. Right, this is it, decision time….do you want it or no? Decision made I ran back as fast as I could manage, kept it at full tilt. This was my first and probably only shot at a win, might not happen ever again, not going to give it up; 800m on the Marlborough track, last bit of pyramids, one more hill, dig in, etc – just used every reference I know to give it everything, 400m straight line to the finish – it’s going to happen just don’t fall over. Arms! Breathe!….. Woah, I just got given the 001 token and a ‘congratulacja!’ Ha, done it, no-one can take this one away from me now, nice. To put this into perspective, I know 20:33 isn’t setting the world on fire for a 5k but I’m over the moon to take this win. Pick your battles, choose them wisely and don’t give up!
Hooky 6 – Sunday 4th August
Well done to the three Harriers who took part today in what was another disappointing turnout for the Club. James bagged yet another victory by over a minute leading from gun to tape; Neil ran his usual strong race and it was great to see Mel racing for the first time in 5 years.
12 Harriers competed on the hard double loop Combe II course battling the heat. James took second place and 1st v40. Dave C ran strong to finish 3rd V50. David W had a very strong run as did Dan E. Well done to all for turning out in tough conditions.
A slightly depleted Harrier team raced on the yellow brick road (path) of Didcot on Sunday. The unstoppable Mr Bolton took another race win, finishing 27 seconds ahead of 2nd place. Dave finished 3rd V50 just 17 seconds behind the 1st V50 place.
In form James won the race overall by over a minute, Jake had a strong run to finish in the top 20, followed closely by Dave Cantwell who finished 1st V50. Lucy, Paula and Sue were our ladies finishers of the 8 Harriers that traveled to Thame. The results on the site have a rouge finisher in first place meaning all of the places are 1 out.
11 Harriers turned out for the first Combe Mota-Vation. The hot weather in the day persisted through the evening, making the tough course just that little bit tougher! There are some anomalies in the results (Leo not even appearing!) so please do check your result.
Otmoor Challenge Half Marathon – Saturday 8th June
There was a good turnout of Harriers running and supporting at the Otmoor Challenge on Saturday; despite the packed week of racing and threats of rain (the actual race was during a particularly sunny spell!). Dave got the 1st V50 trophy (second year in succession) and Richard Dunbabin took the 2nd V60.
Andy Battye ran a strong race to finish only 16 minutes behind the leader and a huge 5 minutes ahead of 2nd place V60.
Andy Battye: 1:38:05 (22nd)
Winning times: 1:22:59 (men) / 1:34:26 (women)
Number of finishers: 115
Town & Gown 10K – Sunday 12th May
6 Harriers took on the Oxford Town&Gown 10K on Sunday. Rob was our first home, just ahead of Jess (a brilliant 3rd female overall!). David Watkinson and Ralf also had very strong runs with both grabbing PBs, and Ralf edging closer to sub40. Delphine put up with Cyrus along the route and finishing together in just over the hour.
Rachel Masser, the women on a mission to re-write the records clocked another club LV45 record at the Chalgrove 10K, finishing in 39:51!
Mota-vation race 1, Charlton-on-otmoor – Thursday 2nd May
14 Harriers turned out for the club at the first race of the series. The heavy ran in the afternoon thankfully hadn’t affected the course too much; and the threat of rain throughout the evening certainly couldn’t dampen the spirits of cheer support Sue and Sonnie. James finished in 2nd place and 1st V40, despite leading for almost all of the race he was caught in the final stretch. Dave finished 3rd V50 with another competitive run. There were notable performances from David Watkinson who grabbed maximum points in the handicap competition; and Sarah and Leo, each collecting 21 points. Everyone ran strong and did the club proud. Hopefully the next race at Bletchingdon will be warmer!
Rachel Masser ran a steady race at London, although not her quickest time she said that she enjoyed the event and still managed to take 18 minutes off the LV45 Club record, finishing in a fantastic 3:20:48!
Ackworth Half – Monday 22nd April
Andy Battye ran the Ackworth Half Marathon on Easter Monday over an undulating course in Yorkshire and clocked 1:39:00 for 52nd place.
Maidenhead Easter 10 – Friday 19th April
James Bolton had a terrific run at the Maidenhead 10, finishing 5th overall (of over 1,000) and 1st V40 in a time of 55 minutes dead.
County Road Relays- Sunday 14th April
Our veteran men’s A team held on in a tight finish with Headington to take gold.
James Bolton gave us a great start with the 2nd fastest leg of the day whilst Jason Barry, Dave Cantwell, Hans Price and Rob Linnell all did their bit in maintaining a lead. It was down to anchor man Rob Webster over the last 5.2K leg to hold off Headington’s Richard Skilbeck which he did comfortably getting home some 27 seconds ahead.
Rachel Masser ran the 2nd fastest leg of the day in the LV45 category with Sarah Dawson, Paula Booth and Sue Cantwell all giving valuable support in the Veteran Women’s competition finishing in 6th place.
Due to an unfortunate family accident whilst on holiday, Adrian Smith was unable to make the start so that our veteran Men’s B team was incomplete.
Richard Dunbabin ran the Paris Marathon finishing in an excellent time of 3:38:05.
Brighton Marathon – Sunday 14th April
Lucy battled tough headwinds during the last few miles, but still managed it in to add another big marathon to her CV; finishing sub 4 in 3:56:51 at Brighton.
Manchester Marathon – Sunday 7th April
Ralf capitalised on his hard work and dedicated training at the Manchester marathon on Sunday; running a 6 minute PB to finish in 3:23:20.
White Horse Half – Sunday 7th April
James took the race on from the gun and was never challenged winning by just under a minute to secure his second victory in the Oxon Road Race Grand Prix Series after 2 events. He is also the County Half Marathon Champion. Dave Cantwell beat his friend and “arch enemy” Rob Storey to take 1st V50 Open and County Honours. Hans Price showed that he is coming back to form whilst good support was received from Leo Brooke-Little, Neil Preddy and Zoe White our sole female representative.
Liz O’Farrell ran the Treehouse 10K over in Cholsey finishing in 60th place and in a time of 47:09.
Bath Half Marathon – Sunday 17th March
Neil Preddy ran the popular Bath Half in 1:42:14 at the weekend.
Banbury 15 – Sunday 17th March
James Bolton posted an early victory in the first Oxon Road Race Grand Prix event of the year at Banbury with a very creditable 1:25:24 to win by almost 3 minutes. Dave Cantwell did his usual back-up job to secure a 2nd V50 placing whilst there was further support from Ralf Arneil, Leo Brooke-Little and Dan Eisenhandler.
British Athletics Cross-Challenge (10.8km) – Saturday 9th March
Representing Oxfordshire in the British Athletics Cross Challenge over 10.8K at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough, James Bolton finished as 5th scorer from a team of 9 with the first 6 runners to count. James achieved an excellent 3rd V45 position whilst Oxfordshire were placed 21st from 32 competing teams in the 6 team competition and 8th in the 9 team contest. Team manager John Ashton believes that this is the most competitive cross-country competition of the year as it comprises mainly elite county athletes.
James Bolton, Position: 179th/293 Time: 38:01 (winning time 32:44) Age category: 3rd V45
Oxon Cross-Country League Race 5 Report – Henley Showground
This new venue for the 2018-2019 cross-country season proved to be one of the toughest for years, perhaps only rivalled by the brutal Wittenham Clumps courses of old. A mixture of slippery, uneven tracks and severe hills put everyone to the test and all 13 Harriers battled through gamely. James Bolton and Dave Cantwell took overall competition honours with James securing the V40 title and Dave taking 3rd in the V50 group. Sadly both men’s and women’s teams seem to be facing relegation due to poor attendances but, hopefully, we can address these shortcomings next time round.
Oxford Cross-Country League – Race 5 Results
MEN – Winning Time: 36:53 Number of Finishers: 250 Team position on the day: 9 th in Division 1 Overall position after 5 events: 9 th in Division 1
WOMEN – Winning time 34:32 Number of Finishers: 150
Team position on the day: 10 th in Division 1 Overall position after 5 events: 10 th in Division 1
James Bolton and Dave Cantwell were in action again this week being joined by Olympian Sarah Kerswell. Running on tired legs James and Dave performed admirably and Sarah, competing over the half marathon distance for the first time in almost 10 years, set a new personal best.
Report & Results – Bramley 10-mile – Sunday 17th February
A small but tenacious band of Harriers travelled to Bramley to take part in the popular 10-mile event achieving some excellent results.
James Bolton finished 4th overall taking 1st V40 honours whilst Dave Cantwell continued his excellent form to earn the 1st V50 prize. It was great to see Hans Price in racing trim again whilst Neil Preddy put in his usual dogged performance.
Lucy started the 20-mile but felt unwell after lap 1 and pulled out.
OXON XC Round 4 Adderbury – Sunday 3rd February 2019
There were a few stand out performances from the fourth round of XC at Adderbury. Lucy finished in a fantastic 35th place, James finished slightly higher up than usual in 7th, and Dave grabbed a brilliant 2nd V50 spot in 43rd. Neil and Dan finished strong close. Kevin and Adrian definitely did not fall over. Our Men’s team finished 9th in Division 1 on the day and remain in 9th in the league. Our Ladies team also finished 9th on the day and are 10th in Division 1 overall. Well done to all!
OXON XC Round 3 Shotover – Sunday 6th January 2019
It was a revised Shotover course for the third OXON XC race, which combined the County Champs. The conditions were favourable; mild and fairly dry, with only a small amount of heavy mud in the wooded section – most unusual for Shotover! James was our first man back in 3rd V40 position and 15th overall. Lucy was our first lady back in a great 60th place. It was great to see a good number of Harriers turning up for this one!