As this was my first race ever I’ve been given the dubious honour of writing up our “race report”. The race participants were Annie, Kerry, Jill, Julia, Tracy (new recruit to club) and myself.

The race took place on Sunday 15th October and went up hill and down dale (or it felt like it to me). Since the race was on a Sunday, we thought we’d better get there in good time. So we went on Friday! We can now recommend excellent accommodation and a good curry house. The annual beer festival was taking place Saturday night so we felt it only right to suss it out. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a bit of an occasion for the “lonely hearts club” and after a swift drink we left them to it.

On the race morning it was noted by other competitors that Settle Harriers are not seen “up this way” very often. I felt quite anxious about my performance in the race as I had a Settle vest on. The race itself had quite a few hills in it. Obviously we knew Richmond to be a bit hilly but just when you thought you’d come to the last hill another one was waiting, and it was another climb to the finish.

The ladies team after the race

The results were approx. as follows: Annie at 47 mins, she collected 2nd prize for fastest V40 (we were very proud of her). Jill and Tracy came in at a more than respectable 55 mins. Julia and Kerry were just over the hour by 18 seconds! They’re determined to remedy that next year. I came in… a little bit later (shall we say not quite the last runner but nearly). Annie asked me how I’d found my first race and I think I told her I hated it and would never do it again. I’ve since had time to get over it and now I’m ready for our next weekend away. I hope we still stick to a 10k as I know what to expect now! A brilliant weekend was had by all and we’re definitely going to do it again.

On a serious note, to anyone out there who doesn’t run but wants to, I’d strongly recommend coming out on a Monday night with everyone. It’s a great way to get started as everyone is very encouraging and supportive. They’ve really given me the confidence to think I can run more that just down the street. Most Monday nights they all “drag” me round, as I still find every run a challenge, but I can honestly say I’m starting to improve. So if you’d like to come with us please do so you’d be more that welcome.

Di Horsfall

What a race, what a route and what a lot of mud!

The Haworth Hobble is 32 miles of beautiful Bronte country and starts with a run up the cobbled high street past the parsonage. We soon also passed Top Withins, which is alleged to be the inspiration for Wuthering Heights. Despite its accumulated ascent of about 4,800’, the Hobble is very runnable and the first 15 or so miles were fast. There was an impressive field of runners with the British Athletics team using it as a trial race before the trail championships in June (the winner finished in an astonishing 3.54hrs!). Needless to say, I didn’t see any of them and just kept my head down and did my own thing, which was mainly to try to stay on my feet and not keep slipping over on the wet stones and in the bogs.

The route takes you along parts of the Pennine and Calderdale Ways taking in some gorgeous windswept moorland and numerous reservoirs. Curlews and lapwings were calling and it felt springlike despite being a bit damp and unbelievably muddy. Rachel Hill was running as a pair and passed me looking strong at about the 9 mile mark. About twenty miles in you get two major ascents and those felt tough. I was feeling sorry for myself on the climb to Mankinholes and then some friends passed me who had done the high peak marathon the weekend before. I knew they’d still be recovering and yet they were chatting away and didn’t appear to be suffering at all. It was nice to see them and it gave me a kick up the bum to try to crack on. The next cp was a bit of a godsend, there were two bottles of whisky on the table and as I arrived I was offered a glass so I necked it and it didn’t half give me a boost. I felt positively cheery and with a fire in my belly I headed for the ascent to monument at Stoodley Pike. Unfortunately the fire went out as I started the climb and it was a matter of just getting my head down and grinding it out.

I almost cheered at the top and with wobbly legs I made an effort to get running again. We went down a killer hill coming into Hebden Bridge followed by some demon stone steps out of it and then up to Heptonstall, my quads were really complaining now! That was followed by lovely woodland at Hardcastle Crags which helped to keep me distracted & around this point I struck up conversation with another runner and we ended up chatting for most of the rest of the race which really helped to keep me pushing on and stopped me thinking about the hole in my sock, my aching knees and my sore toes. We had another steep climb to tackle and more beautiful moorland before catching a glimpse of the last reservoir before the finish. By this time I was feeling quite happy and relieved to know we were nearly home. Coming back into Haworth was brilliant and people lined up along the route to cheer us on. I’d started the race thinking I’d be happy just to finish it and so I was really chuffed to find I’d done it in 6.13hrs. It’s the longest I’ve run since my reactive arthritis after the Lakeland 100 in 2015. It was great to see so many familiar faces in the hall. I met up with Brian again and was delighted to find that he’d had a great run finishing half an hour quicker than the previous year (when he’d been getting over his pericarditis). Let’s hope this is the stepping-stone to more long distance adventures and a year of good health and good running.

2017 Settle Harriers Results:

Rachel Hill (with Tony Wimbush) 5:53:53

Brian Stallwood 5:58:22 (2nd M60)

Hester Cox 6:13:09

David Alexander 6:42:50

Laurence Ormrod 6:44:57

 

NB Photos are courtesy of Dave Woodhead at woodentops.org.uk

Some six Harriers took part in the Pendle race last Saturday. I saw Mark W and Tony T at the start (and certainly, not thereafter), whilst I did not see Adrian W, Mark R or David A apart from sighting a distant Harriers vest at one point.

On the way over, I thought that we’d be relegated to the bad weather course as happened last year, since it was raining hard and also cold. The idea of “two laps round a muddy field near Barley” was a gloomy one, so I was delighted to find that the organisers decided to go ahead. It was colder over in Lancashire (the weather not the people) and snow was on the ground even in Barley.

Once away, we climbed quickly into quite deep (though not crisp and even) snow. By the time we got to the top (for the first time of many), it was about 20cm deep and it was snowing quite hard with a cold wind blowing. Some runners seemed to get by happily with shorts and vests, whereas I was more in the overcoat and muffler camp up there. As my wife kindly pointed out when I mentioned this later on, “that’s because they were going fast, dear”. How the leaders of the race broke trail I cannot imagine. On the occasions when I stepped out the muddy rut in the snow along which everyone followed, it was hard work just for a few meters to pass someone. I see the first three were within half a minute of each other so maybe they shared the trail breaking then had a sprint finish…well done guys.

 

I am sure most of you know this race. I had done it before but had mis-remembered how many times you drop to intake wall level before trudging back up to the top. So just when I was congratulating myself on being on the last ascent, I realised to my chagrin that the final and steepest one lay ahead. Doh! Oh well, I drew on my resources of motivation and managed to haul myself up. Over on that side of the hill and on top, the track was now just hard packed snow with no sign of mud, so it must have been getting colder. I managed to pass a few runners who were having problems with grip and practically on all fours to pull themselves up, and I arrived on the top for last time with no-one else in sight ahead and in mist. I took a bearing and counted paces here since the last thing I wanted to do was follow the wrong set of tracks back down the far side of Pendle. Happily, it soon looked like the M6 again, and then back to the finish.

Mark W was first Harrier in a cool 3h 9m, and Tony was just over 3h 30m. I managed 4h 9m which was a fair bit slower than I thought I’d done before. However, that feeling is one of “deja vu all over again” these days, although in fairness to all runners, the conditions must have made a rather slow race. The Harriers acquitted themselves well with everyone finishing in the tough conditions.

Loz

Haworth Hobble 2016 or “My First Ultra”
 
A cool and bright start on Saturday morning was pretty much the best you could hope for a 32 mile race across the moors and lanes of Bronte country. After an unceremonious start 300 odd runners made their way through the cobbled streets of Haworth and onto the Wuthering Heights of Top Withens. “Don’t go giddy at the start” had been the words of advice I’d received from an experienced hobbler and I trotted out keeping pace with Rachel Hill and Mark Rogerson just in view. Single file over the stone flags to the first of many reservoirs was fine by me at this point.
 
Checkpoint 1 came up after an hour and not needing to take on any supplies I left Mark and his mate Michael and carried on up to Gorple Stones catching up with Rachel. There is a great descent down a gravelly track here and feeling good, and a need to crack on, opened up a bit and it wasn’t long before I found myself on the ‘Long Causeway’, a horrible drag of exposed main road. The route then takes a turn through some farms where, after squeezing through a stuck gate and clambering over a fence, it is clear that the landowners would rather not have anyone on their land!
 
Checkpoint 4 for reasons unclear, provided hot-dogs. Neither having the time nor inclination to ask if they provided a vegetarian alternative, I grabbed some broken biscuits and went on.
The route now follows the Calderdale Way to Todmorden. The combination of wet weather, more wet weather and many pairs of feet had dissolved the path into a slippery soupy swamp. A couple of runners in front of me came to grief, including John Oz who was nursing a bloodied knee as I passed him into Todmorden. After a brief chat I learned Tony Thornton was up ahead and I wondered if I’d catch him.
The YHA at Mankinholes hosted checkpoint 5 and the much rumoured whisky made an appearance. Despite it being a single malt Dalwhinnie I declined, and made my way up to the monument.
It’s a stiff climb up Stoodley Pike and here I got the first niggles of cramp. A quick stretch and refuelling at the top helped to put it at bay but I knew it would be back soon.
The steep tarmac road down to Hebden Bridge is not pleasant on the quads but fortunately this is soon replaced by the lung busting stone steps and steep road up to Heptonstall. The cramp was really kicking in as I descended at an annoyingly slow pace to New Bridge and checkpoint 8. I was with a group of five or so runners whose collective wheels had fallen off and we to and fro-ed as each of us had a burst of energy or relapsed into pain.
 
Now in survival mode I was getting through water fast so had to refill at checkpoint 9 before ‘Top of Stairs’. Washing down a gel and some more broken biscuits I felt a little better and pushed on down the lanes to the ‘welcome’ sight of Penistone Hill.
 
On the last climb up Moorside Lane a distant figure appeared and, closing in revealed itself as Tony! After a flying start he’d absolutely smashed it, but was now paying the penalty in cramp. We hobbled along together across Penistone Hill and managed to accelerate down the hill into Haworth. Past the church and then time to play ‘dodge the tourist’ as I clattered down the high street to the finish at the school. Tony came in just seconds behind.
 
A cracking day out and very pleased to have completed my first official ‘ultra’!
 
31 Mark Wildsmith 5:19:18
32 Tony Thornton 5:19:25
76 Rachel Hill 5:48:03 (7th F)
78 John Osborne 5:48:36
160 Brian Stallwood 6:23:56
212 Mark Rogerson 6:56:30

6 Settle Harriers escaped from the floods and managed to get to Nunroyd Park (near Leeds) for the last of the 4 West Yorkshire Cross Country fixtures on Sunday 6th December.  The weather has been less extreme in this area than here but conditions were still very muddy indeed.

Really well done to the 3 juniors that ran – Dougie, Oscar & Seb.  These 3 have completed 3 of the 4 fixtures so get a placing in the league along with Oliver Sampson who took part in the first 3 fixtures.

In the ladies race Carol ran well to finish as first W50, which meant that she took the award for 2nd W50 over the the series.  Grace also had a great run to finish as 9th Under 20 on the day and 7th overall in the league for that age category.

Jan was our lone representative in the senior race & produced another good run to register a league placing for having done 3 of the races.

Well done to everyone that has everyone that has taken part in the league this season.  After a racing break for Christmas, the Kendal Winter League starts on Sunday 3rd January !!

The Settle placings were…..

U11 Boys:  22nd Douglas Segger-Staveley 7:20; 50 Oscar Wulf 8:20

U13 Boys: 16th Sebastian Segger-Staveley 13:32

Senior Ladies : 30th Carol Evans 24:51 (1st W50); 46th Grace Jeffrey 26;29 (9th WU20)

Senior Men : 145th Jan Wulf 51:30 (M40)

League placings to follow……………….

 

Andy

Sorry for the delay in getting this report out, but the results weren’t published until last weekend and I was busy over Easter.

Considering it was a Club Championship race, it has to be said that the Senior turnout was disappointing. There were a number of factors for this; it was the start of the Easter holidays, the weather forecast was atrocious (although, in the end it wasn’t too bad) and it is a long drive from Settle.

Six Juniors ran, and judging from the times, there was a sprint finish between Oscar and Sam in the U12 race. The Junior courses might have been short but they were also very steep, so well done to all our Juniors for finishing a tough race.

U14
8 Sebastian Segger-Staveley     11.46
14 Emily Carpenter                      13.56   (5th Girl)

U12
13 Douglas Segger-Staveley         09.10
26 Ben Greenep                             10.03
36 Oscar Wulf                                  11.04
38 Sam Greenep                              11.05

In the Senior race, it was the Ladies showing the Men how to run. First back was Sally, with Steve taking maximum points in the men’s Club Champs. Another good run from Sabrina and also from Helen who was 2nd LV50. I was the last Settle finisher; Steep rocky descents are not my cup of tea and it showed. However, my spirits were soon revived when Steve’s car “broke down” outside the Eagle and Child in Staveley on the way home!

Seniors
62 Sally Handford    38.10  (11L)
71 Steve Moor           39.52  (14 V50)
74 Sabrina Gilby        40.36  (12L)
82 Helen Greenep    43.42   (2LV50)
86 Chris Beesley        45.03  (8V60)

Having only joined Settle Harriers last September, this year’s KWL was a new experience for me and so I thought I’d have a look back over the series. I can’t mention everyone who ran as it would take far too long and I would be bound to miss someone, so this is a very personal look back.

It started back on January 4th at Scout Scar which is a nice course and the weather was kind. But I had run the Club Christmas Handicap the day before and I did struggle a bit towards the end. Still one down, eight to go. At this point I should explain that I never had any intention of running at Whitestones, Fairmile or Barbon as I knew I had to be down south those weekends, so my aim was to race the other nine.

The following Sunday at Firbank, the weather was not kind. Gale force winds and pouring rain. But the race was short and the wind was behind us going up the hill on each lap. The way home saw the first of several trips to the Barbon Inn. As my late father used to say, dehydration is a serious problem.

Sunday January 18th was the home fixture at Giggleswick. It was also my 63rd birthday, and true to form there was lots of snow on the ground. I had one of my worst races, really struggling on the second lap, but I enjoyed my birthday pint in the Harts Head afterwards.

I missed Whitestones on the 25th, so my next race was at Birkrigg on February 1st. This was my favourite race of the series, and I had a great battle with Steve and Annie. Each time we went up a hill, I pulled away, and each time we went down the other side, they came past me. This happened three times and on the last descent Steve just pipped me to the line. A good day was rounded off by meeting up with an old friend for lunch in Brigsteer.

Two weekends down south meant my next race was at Sedbergh school. The weather if anything was even worse than at Firbank, and the three lap course was very heavy going. This was to cost me dearly as in our hurry to get warm and dry afterwards, I didn’t warm down or stretch and by the following Wednesday, my left hamstring was not happy. As a result I missed both Cunswick and Cautley, which meant I had to do both the last two races if I wanted to complete the series.

At Oxenholme the weather was kind and the course was testing but runnable. I took it fairly steadily on the first lap to test the hamstring  but pushed it on the second lap. No ill effects, so on the 29th I turned up at Elterwater and duly managed to complete the series despite my dislike of rocky descents.

I have enjoyed the racing (mostly) but for anyone training for longer events, a series of short races on a Sunday lunchtime is not ideal. My highlight was Birkrigg and my low points were the second lap at Giggleswick and the descent at Elterwater. My thanks to all the Settle Harriers who have encouraged me during the series, despite the fact that I am old and slow, and my particular thanks goes to Brian and Steve, my travelling companions; your friendship and support are much appreciated.

The following Settle Harriers completed the series (minimum seven races)

Sally Handford                         5th Lady

Sabrina Gilby                            10th Lady

Jo Wulf                                        12th LV40

Jill Gates                                       3rd LV50

Brian Kennedy                            3rd V50

Steve Moor                                  16th V50

Chris Beesley                                7th V60

 

Near perfect conditions saw nearly 1500 runners que up start this one. Oz had done me the favour of finding me a late entry in yet another road race in close succession, (as Andrew has already probably rightly pointed out to be part of some late winter madness).

After a mile or so of watching our feet in the crowd, and John had caught up after missing the start whilst tying his shoes, we began our move up through the throng. Once John got into his stride it was all I could do to keep up with him, and up to mile nine that’s about how it went, John pulling away on the hills and me just about catching up again on the descents. In the end I found myself for once in front and for the last three miles or so just managed to stay there with John a constant 50 yrds behind (I had to ask him afterwards as I daren’t look).

In an extremely competitive (Settle Harriers) race I came in 63rd in 01:29:35 and John, knocking 2mins of his last year’s time, came in 74th in 01:30:05.

Actually this road running thing isn’t that bad……..Nurse, where do we keep the straight jackets!

See you on the hills,

Brian