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Recent events. 21st May

21st May – A roundup of recent events. By Darren S

A few weeks since the last update, so here’s a bumper one, with loads happening in the last few weeks.

A quick mention of the beloved monthly pub run, which was from the Boat at Cromford at the end of April. A great run, with chips and drinks in the pub afterwards.


Club Run, The Boat Inn Cromford

Saturday 4th May saw our own fell/trail race extraordinaire Ruth Keeley take on the 18km Stavely Lakeland trail race, which she finished in a fantastic 1hr 38.

Bank Holiday Monday – 6th May – was the Great Northern Run, a half marathon set in Mickleover, taking in the surrounding country lanes and eventually joining the former Northern railway line.

5 Harriers took place, with an astonishing 3 top ten finishers! A podium finish for David Heslop in 3rd place with 1.21.56, Thomas Moulder in 5th with 1.26.00, and David Horton in 10th with 1.28.03. Amazing!! Adrian Fowler breezed the sub 2hr finish with 1.53.41, and Keely Allen finished with a fantastic 2.08.21.

7th May was the Ilkeston BDL summer league race. A relatively flat 5 mile race around the trails surrounding the Pewit golf course. Fantastic turnout for the Harriers, 32 in total. The usual suspects did not disappoint, with Ed James, Joe Parkin and Shaun Bott taking 19th, 20th and 22nd overall place (did you run together lads?) with times of 28.38, 28,40, and 28.52 respectively. Shoutout to David Horton who managed 32.23 despite running a half marathon the day before!! Top female finisher? No shock…. Ruth Keeley with 33.07. Well done to Helen Morley (34.10) and Louise Rowley (34.54) in 2nd and 3rd.

10 May – Ambergate fell race. A ‘bumpy’ 6k run through Ambergate Woods.

12 may – 3 races this day! David Dentons Peat Pit woods fell race saw Ashley Flint finish 4th overall. Meanwhile Sinfin 10k took place, with that man again David Horton (whom I’m convinced is a machine) taking 33rd overall position with 41.06. Horsley 4 mile race also took place this day.

15 may – Shining Tor fell race. Very popular fell race (it sold out, much to several Harriers disappointment). Andy Paisley ran it – and in his words – “Four harriers at the Shining Tor fell race on a lovely Wednesday evening. Didn’t stop en route for a photo this year, too busy trying to keep up with Ashley. Top 10 for Ed, top 50 for Ashley and Andy, and a good debut in the Goyt Valley for Richard. Sorry you missed it Alan. Even managed to catch some of the footy on the way back, what an evening”

The Elite Shining Tor Fell Crew

16 may was the Tansley Hill race. It’s Hilly…and it’s in Tansley. So the name is genius really! 3 Harriers took part…. Ruth Keeley (46.29) Louise Rowley (47.27) and Andy Stubbs (50.34)

18 May was the White Peak marathon + half marathon – great write up from David Horton at the end of this update. Also this day was the Mount Famine fell race. I’d heard the stories about how brutal it was, and they weren’t exaggerating. A crazy start sees runners scramble through trees and brambles up a steep bank, before hitting the trails…and then climbs. Lots and lots of climbs. 1800ft in total over a 5 mile run.

Simon Fisher was top male with 57.08 with Ruth Keeley top female with 1.02.52

19 may was the Carsington 7+ race, 7.76 mile lap of Carsington Water. Much hillier than you’d expect, with often uneven surface make this one a challenge. Shaun Bott took a podium finish, in 3rd overall with 48.24, fantastic!



Shaun. 3rd


Below – David Hortons words on the White Peak Marathon.

The White Peak Marathon was on my list of must-do races for a while, and last year I got myself organised and entered it. 26.2 miles, all downhill, and with no traffic, no tight bends nor runners in Scooby-do outfits. What could go wrong? As it happens – just about everything. It was unbearably hot, I was unprepared, and I ignored my own race-plan. Lots of walking happened. This year I was back to prove to myself that I could do better.
The ride on the 1960s double-decker bus (top floor, obviously) was a novel start to the race, and reminded me of my primary school days, with 72 excited overgrown schoolchildren clutching their bags on their knees and downing brightly coloured sweet drinks. Once the driver had advised us that we could adjust the aircon by sliding open the high-level windows, we were off to Thorpe for the start. The race start was low-key – think man on step ladder, with the sole instruction “Go”. I quickly settled into a pleasant pace with Andy Marsden alongside me. Stephen McKnight started further back, with the intention of taking this one at a sensible pace, as it was his first marathon for a good few years. Andy had a slower pace than me in mind (we’d discussed it on the bus), and so after the first mile or so, he dropped back a little. I tagged on to a couple of useful looking runners for a few miles, but having learned from last year, I let them go, and I ran the remainder of the race largely alone.
The rest of the race was uneventful, and the scenery, although beautiful, was lacking in variation – field, farm, sheep, field, farm sheep etc etc, and the limestone gravel/grit running surface was a bit draining. I was also reminded that the route is far from flat, and I found myself thinking only of getting to the top of the Incline at Middleton Top, from where I knew that it was downhill all the way. The C19th railway engineers had done their best to soften out the hills with cuttings and spectacular embankments, but nevertheless, there remained a lot of uphill drags.
I kept expecting to hear the distinctive lope of Andy’s stride behind me, but it never came, and by the time I reached the Cromford Canal out-and-back bit, I knew that he wasn’t going to catch me. As he beat me by about 20 mins last year, I reasoned that I deserved this one. The last mile was hard; it was dead flat, but just seemed to go on and on, and I was immensely relieved to finally see the finish. I’d used everything I had, but the reward was a PB by a minute and a half. Andy also got his PB, and beat his 3:30 target. At the time of writing, I don’t know how Stephen did, but he seemed to be in the right frame of mind, and I’m sure that he’ll be pleased with his result, and I guess a PB himself.
Several other Harriers ran the sister race, the White Peak Swift Half, with 3rd place for Helen Morley, and a posse ran the Mount Famine Fell Race today. No doubt we had some park runners too. It was a lovely day for racing, with no wind and reasonable temperatures.

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Weekly Round Up 27-28th April 2019. By Cat J

After the rain & gale force winds on Saturday, Sunday 28th April was cool, dry & still with a tiny bit of sunshine. Perfect running conditions!

The most local race on offer was the ‘Wirksworth Incline.’ 6 Harriers participated with Ruth Keeley finishing as 4th lady, and David Horton 24th overall (closely followed by Ashley Flint.) Great running also from Richard Hickling (who finished 2 minutes and 44 seconds faster than last year!) Nicky Owen & Andy Stubbs.

Further afield, Ed James was very glad of the more favourable weather compared to last year, and finished his 5th consecutive London Marathon in an extremely swift 2 hours 48 minutes!

Lawrence Cox raced in the Dragons Lair 10k, whilst Jo Coates, Clare Cooper, Andy Naylor & Ant Merchant ran in the Dark & White Peak Spring Series race at Tideswell. Well done to Clare for achieving Silver time for the first time!

Excellent running everyone, keep it up!


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Weekend Roundup : Part 2

By Darren S

It was a weekend so packed that the update comes in two parts!

Aside from the other events mentioned by Cat previously, Harriers were involved in three different marathons on Sunday 14th April.

First up, the Paris Marathon, which sees 50,000 runners take to the streets of the glorious French capital. it’s a flat, fast and very scenic course which boasts glimpses of world famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame cathedral (sob…) and the Place de la Concorde. It truly is a superb event.

5 Harriers took part. Josie Lockwood ( 3.33.42 – a PB!! ) , Dan Clark (4.08.00), Rachel Clark (4.07.59) – Rachel you beat your husband by 1 second well done!! ,Annie Sloane (5.27.17), , Tara Buckley (5.46.23). Well done all.

The Boston Marathon (UK) boasts the “flattest marathon course in the country” – but don’t they all say that?! Starting in the lovely port town of Boston, Lincolnshire (most famous for the ‘Boston Stump’) the route heads North East towards Wrangle, and loops back for a glorious finish back in Boston.

In the words of Helen Morley, who took part –

“Basically running around cabbage fields in high winds. I have to say that the winds were energy sapping and the route was a bit dull but the plentiful water stations were manned by the friendliest Marshalls I have ever encountered and were so supportive. I have to say the last six miles I found the easiest I have ever had in the marathon I can only guess I wanted to get away from those bloody cabbages”

Cabbages or no cabbages, Helen Morley managed a superb 3.27.12, with Helena Houghton achieving a PB with 3.53.34.

Finally one of the most beloved marathons in the country, the Brighton Marathon. David Horton has done a fantastic write up below, so I’ll just proceed with the results,

David Horton got a magnificent time of 3.25.33. Nathan Fowles finished in 4.12.21, well done!

And David Hortons write up –

How to spend three and a half hours in Brighton

Twenty-three thousand runners all milling around aimlessly (or in the loo-queue) and who do I see coming towards me, but the Harriers’ own Nathan Fowles. After a short chat, I head off to find my wife, Justine, who’s joined the coffee queue for me. After downing the legal drug, I make a beeline for the start pen, where who do I find, but Nathan, looking his usual quiet, confident self. He’d spent the night before in a lovely Airbnb on the nearby seafront, whereas all we’d been able to find was pretty dire room in flat on an estate in the outer reaches of Hove adorned with a plethora of “thou shalt not…” messages. Not great prep, although we’d managed a meal in a rather excellent and authentic Italian run by a patriarch who looked just like the Mafia boss from the Italian Job.

The start is a steady uphill, and I soon lose sight of Nathan, and I struggle to catch the 3.30 pacer with his pink balloons attached to his waist. Once I join the gaggle of runners around the pacer, I zone out and settle into a comfortable 4.50/km pace. Without realising it, I slowly pull away from the pacer, and find myself running with two locals who know the route well – “keep on the right side here, because the camber’s a bit pronounced on the left”. This sounds insignificant, but when you’re running as unprepared as I am, every subtle advantage helps the ankles. I stay with these two for most of the race, and even make an effort to catch them after I stop for a wee.

The support through the centre of town is tremendous, and even on the far ends of the course there’s a great deal of enthusiasm from the side of the road.

A stiff easterly breeze (probably the same one that the ladies in Boston had to contend with), isn’t a great problem at this stage, as the field is still bulky enough to provide some shelter, and I let others take the brunt of it. Nevertheless, the turn at the far eastern end of the route comes as a relief, and I enjoy the feel of the wind between my shoulder blades, and smile as I pass 2 rhinos and a large pair of testicles heading out to the turn. The half-way point is right in the centre of town, and I think that it seems a long time coming, although my 1.41 split is pretty well what I hope for. The next third is pretty uneventful, with continued noisy support from locals and many and varied bands (rock, brass, drum, rap) spurring me on. I’d been provided with a running vest from work with my name on it (they paid for my entry – thank you Philips Healthcare), and the continuous “Come on David” shouts are a real help to me. For a long time I think that I must be running alongside a popular local runner called David, but a quick chat with those around me established that I was the only David.

By the far west turn, I’ve still not caught Nathan, and as we approach the loop around the power station I’ve not seen him pass the other way, so I reason that he in on the loop, and therefore perhaps 2 or three minutes ahead. The wind is ferocious after the turn, and as the field had spread out there is little shelter to be had. I feel good, and able to push the pace into the headwind, but this means I’m unable to take any advantage from shelter. Many runners are obviously struggling at this point, and there are several reduced to walking or stretching their calves against the sea wall. At the start of the race my calves were still taut after the recent Derby 10k and BDL, and I’ve so far been careful not to push it too much, as the last thing I need was to have to pull-up with cramp in the final 4 miles. I start to very gradually increase my pace, and once back to where the crowds were the most vocal along the promenade, I decide I can afford to give it what I have left, managing a 4.30/km pace for the last mile.

The overhead time-clock is counting down the gun-time towards 3:30 as I approach, and it spurs me on to try and beat the clock to the line. I just manage it, and I finish with a 3:25 chip time. I’m quite happy with that, but most happy that for the first time ever, I’d stuck to my race plan.

I expect to see Nathan at the finish, and it was only later that I realise that I must have passed him somewhere around 25k. He had a tough 2nd half, and I’d been too zoned out to notice his Harriers vest.

The route was varied, the atmosphere was tremendous, the staff cheery and helpful, and the finish on the sea-front was lovely. I intend to be back there next year, but this time, I’ll book some nice accommodation in plenty of time. In the meantime, I’ve got the White Peak Marathon to look forward to next month, when I have a score to settle with a Mr Marsden.

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Weekend Roundup : Part 1

…by Cat J

Sunday 14th April was an extremely busy day in the race calendar! So many harriers representing the club in the UK and over the channel in Paris.

For those that didn’t fancy one of the many marathons on offer, there were lots of other brilliant races to choose from.

The most local was the Peats Pits Woods race, hosted by David Denton. A short but suitably challenging off road race. This was well attended by the club, and several harriers achieved stand out results. Ruth Keeley ran a super speedy race and was first lady back. Ed James claimed 3rd place overall. Andy Paisley, and Mark Beighton also placed in the top ten with some equally impressive times.

A little further from home, Laura Jane Cummings represented the club at the Sheffield half Marathon. A hilly course but with great views of the peak district, the friendliest atmosphere she’d ever encountered at a race, and great support. Emily Cartwright also completed a half marathon, at Rutland Water.

Clare Cooper and Debs Spendlove completed the Lakeland trails 16K Hawkshead Trail Race. An off road route taking in panoramic views of Lake Windermere and the surrounding peaks of the Coniston Hills, the Langdales and most of the Lakeland fell. Although the route was challenging and included the mile long, near vertical, killer climb of the ‘Coffin Trail’ they both highly recommend it!

A superb weekend of running and that’s not even all of it…!

Well done everyone!!!

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Update 10.4.19

Recent update. By Darren S

Race season is in full flow! And the Summer BDL league is back (more on that in a moment).

The Derby 10k is always a hugely popular event, and this year was the biggest yet, with over 4800 runners registered.

At least 20 Harriers were there, and some fantastic results were recorded. Shaun Bott finished in a superb 25th overallplace with a 10k PB of 35.46. Andrew Marsden and David Horton also recorded sub 40 minute finishes. Louise Rowley was fastest female Harrier and 21st female overall with a PB of 42.14.

The Greater Manchester Marathon saw 5 Harriers cross the finish line to glory. Lily Brickman and Nathan Brickman both finished in 3.52.46 (what are the chances?) Helen James with 4.14.27 and Kelly Wigley with 4.38.16 (A PB I believe, Kelly). Kudos to Ant Beardmore who was using Beer to celebrate his PB of 3:14:20 too! Well done all.



The beloved summer BDL races are back, kicking off with Teversal. A relatively flat, fast 4.6 mile trail run was tough on the legs after a weekend of racing. A fantastic 31 Harriers showed up (and several injured Harriers with some great support….and biscuits, thanks Cat), official results are pending but Ed James cracked the top 20 in 20th place, Joe Parkin finished in 23rd place. Full results to follow at

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Weekend Update 16/17 April

Weekend update. By Darren S

This weekend saw some really tough races, and of course some gritty Harriers performances!

Let’s face it, a fell race in the Hope Valley with 1500ft of climbing would be tough enough in perfect conditions….but with hail, mud, rain and high winds….even tougher. Nevertheless, 11 hardy Harriers took on the challenge. The Wolfs Pit fell race was the first of ten events in the ‘Gritstone’ 2019 series. Joel Paisley finished 12th place overall, in 46.16, with Ed James cracking the top 30 with 49.03. First Belper lady (and 6th lady overall..!) was Ruth Keeley in 57.15.

6 Harriers took to the roads in Nottinghamshire for the Notts 20. Some were marathon training, some just fancied the challenge, and 20 miles is indeed a challenge. Helen Morley (2.32), Helena Houghton (2.50) and Rachel Clark (2.58) managed a superb sub-3 hour run, and Keith Chandler (3.27) Kelly Wigley (3.38) and Tara Buckley (4.07) also recorded good times.

Finally an Ultra Marathon which makes my legs ache just thinking about it – the Hardmoors 50. A 50+mile trail ultra in the North York Moors, again – in good conditions this would be a serious challenge, and on Sunday, good conditions it certainly wasn’t. Add in the 6500ft ascent, and it becomes a real tough feat.

Wendy Amis completed the course, and Clare Cooper completed a hugely respectable 31 miles, before the bad weather scuppered things. Well done both.

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WHEN: 2 nights Fri 13th & Sat 14th September 2019
WHERE: YHA Grinton Lodge, Swaledale (DL11 6HS) North Yorkshire Dales
PRICE: £80 per person which includes accommodation for 2 nights, breakfast x 2 and evening meal x 2

Thanks Alan Billington for adding a link on the Harriers webpage under the shop menu called ‘Grinton Lodge Harriers Weekend’ – you can make 1 full or 2 part payments (which add up to £80) by clicking this pay pal button and entering the value of what you would like to pay as the quantity e.g 80 for £80 – then please post a comment on here to say paid thank you.

This is a stunning location with beautiful trails to explore so what are you waiting for secure your place asap.

Once we have numbers and everyone who would like to come has paid further posts will follow about car shares/dietary requirements etc. But in the meantime if anyone has any questions feel free to post on here or message me – thank you. Happy booking 🙂

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