XC takeover? Weekend report

Settle in and have a lovely read of all that’s been going on this week. I’ve had to make precious little up as we have a grand celebration of running from the dirt of XC (3 of them), to the pristine(?) tarmac of Wilmslow and some stuff about a fell race that I have no idea what happened in, and there are no results yet.

SEL XC Match 2 at Heaton Park

Thanks to Frank Fielding for writing out a fantastic report on the SELCC this week. You’ve probably all seen it on Facebook, but I thought I’d put it here for posterity.

As we head into proper winter, and after a week of cold/wet/windy weather, it was a forecast defying dry day, at a heady 8 degrees at Heaton Park to welcome the Glossopdale type 2 fun crowd.
First up were the junior races featuring Caitlin and Josie Swan in their respective age groups. Can’t find their exact placings in the preliminary results but I think Josie finished third and both crested the tape with smiley faces to show the pure joy that running can bring…..or was it the thought of an impending visit to the ice cream van???? The girls enthusiasm for cheerleading rubs off on the rest of the group and keeps the mood light. Did I mention their fashion advisory role? Apparently, it’s cool to wear the Glossopdale bobble hat, but if the bobble is missing, the wearer is regarded as a bobble murderer (not a lot of people know that).

Numbers were down to two for our senior ladies but Kirsty Sharp and Nicola Pennington represented us well. Kirsty had to dig deep on the final climb to secure a creditable second place finish. Nicola continued to gain more valuable XC experience and weighed in with some excellent photos of the men’s race.

The men’s race was next and we had a decent turnout of seven runners, Shaun Phillips, Steve Crossman, Pete Daley, Phil Swan, David Chrystie-Lowe, Frank Fielding and Simon Toole.

Shaun was was quick off the mark and held off Steve by 40 seconds. Scrap of the day involved Pete, Phil and David with only 30 second gaps. David turned on the turbo on the last lap and lamented that the race had to end so soon as he was rapidly closing down on Phil. Frank was next (definitely, not lamenting the end), then Simon who was nursing a poorly knee, but happy to get round.
Welcome brownies from Shaun, for all at the finish, pleasantly completed the proceedings, with smiles and crumbs all round.

Placings and times:


Josie Swan 3rd in the U17 category
Caitlin Swan 4th in the U13 category

Senior ladies 105 runners

2 Kirsty Sharp 2nd 30:29
61 Nicola Pennington 39:55. 10 L45

Senior men. 172 runners

24 Shaun Phillips 39:55
31 Steve Crossman 40:36. 1st V50
90 Pete Daley 46:46. 13 V50
95 Phil Swan 47:14. 7 V45
101 David Chrystie-Lowe 47:47. 4 V60
121 Frank Fielding 49:45. 3 V65
139 Simon Toole 51:57. 23 V50

Kong Mini Mountain Marathon

The final fell race of the champs, so I am informed- and it was a well run affair. I have no idea who took part, apart from the photo evidence of Dave Hogg, and hearsay that Zoe, Rachel, Nick Ham, John Stephenson and Kasia might well have been there. Beyond that, all you’re going to get is a gallic shrug and a “muh”? from me as no-one has told me nuffin. dave kong

Wilmslow Festive 10k

Thanks so much to Jeroen for sending this is so that I didn’t have to make up stuff sounding like I know stuff about competitive road running…..
PBs galore at Wilmslow Festive 10K

Including those not registered as GH, there was an excellent turnout in Wilmslow for this year’s Festive 10K. Oh noooooo, not Festive, it is only November, I hear you say (and indeed, I have heard it said and written). But wait till you see the medal.counted no fewer than 14 Harriers lining up for a sold-out event with some 4000 runners. Although the forecast was quite good, it certainly did not look festive early in the day. But as it turned out, the conditions were near perfect for running, coupled with a course with PB potential and the results was….. plenty PBs and some fierce battles.

One battle was settled early on though. Steve Knowles ran away with not only first GH but also an impressive 2nd V45 and a PB to boot. Gave credit to the sessions on Tuesday for his achievement but we may never see him again as he has achieved his life’s ambition of a sub-36 10K. I hope not!

The next place was a much closer affair that seemed to be between Steve Page and Harry Hawkins but it was Steve Knight who overtook both at around 6K and never gave up his place. Harry, looking round on the finish line to see where Steve Page was, thought he had triumphed in a battle of wills. They were never separated by more than a few seconds and indeed, Harry crossed the line in front by 1 whole second. Sweet revenge for Steve though when the results showed he beat Harry on Chip Time by 3 seconds. It was a huge, 2 minute PB for Harry though.

Next in was Mike Greenhalgh, running with his brother. Not sure if he achieved a PB but he was closely followed by Coach J in what could be described as an age-grade PB (and 11/185 V55). Very surprised to find Craig Leith finishing 1 second behind. Clearly disappointed he did not catch me, he did beat me on chip time.

Cheryl Stitt never expected a PB, coming back from injury niggles but was delighted that she more than achieved her goal of breaking 49 minutes followed by Tony Hillier in his fastest 10K of the year (so far?). Not far behind were Wendy McMahon and Wioleta who ran, yet again, another PB. Only 24 seconds later did Nicole Pennington cross the line. I do not know if this was a PB but there is a story somewhere in there about her, Tony Hillier and some of Tony’s notorious Push-Ups. Come on, either one of you, spill! Marieke Galgenbeld (try pronouncing that one, Brits) aka Wheeldon had more excuses about her performance than even I could think of but did not need any of them as she too ran a more than 2 minute PB. And the final Harrier to cross the line was Laurie. She had the best, and only really acceptable excuse, she really was not well but desperate for the Reindeer medal, she dragged herself out of the house and completed her 10K. Maybe the best effort on the day?


Yes. What a medal.

Full results (all chip times):

Steve Knowles 35:45 (and 2nd V45)
Steve Knight 36:44
Steve Page 36:52
Harry Hawkins 36:55
Craig Leith 41:01
Mike Greenhalgh 41:16

Jeroen Peters 41:37
Cheryl Stitt 48:16
Tony Hillier 49:00
Wendy McMahon 50:37
Wioletta Wydrych 52:00
Nicola Pennington 52:24
Marieke Galgenbeld-Wheeldon 53:39
Laurie Barlow 1:11:39

Lancaster Contingent XC

Thanks to Paul Peters for this missive:

Hey guys, reporting over from your Lancaster contingent at the Liverpool Cross Challenge yesterday. Paul P

For those that don’t know, the British Cross Challenge is like the nationwide XC league, so I was stood 5 meters away from Ben Conner and Alex Yee on the start line, aswell as countless other top names (not sure the latter appreciated me excitedly saying “damn is that Alex Yee” in the crowd as he turned and stared at me blankly).

Anyway, that gap quickly grew as the race started, and I tried to settle into a rhythm as the course tried to unsettle my rhythm. T’was a very muddy affair and the thick mud was up and over my achilles going round the first half of each lap. As always the support round the course is awesome, and it really is one of my favourite races, getting stuck into a proper mudfest without worrying about tarmac crossings and hard tree roots.

After a (maybe overly) steady 2nd lap I started picking it up and started to claw my way back to my teammate in front, but as we entered the last 500m straights he had the legs that I was missing and kicked away, leaving me eating his mud. Still I picked up one extra spot on the last stretch to finish 131/625 (up from 190 last time). Also managed to beat a few local Lancaster fellas I vaguely know, who I’ve never beaten before, so I’m calling it a successful day!

If it doesn’t clash with other leagues next year I’d fully recommend it to anyone keen for some XC!

Toon XC

And just to compete the Peters hattrick of send ins, Emma was not to be out done (in fairness, she was actually the first one of the 3 to send me an email)- and sent this in, again despite not quite wearing the right coloured vest,

Although I was in Toon colours this weekend I feel left out if I don’t email about my racing!

After 2 cancelled XC meets, yesterday was (finally) the 2nd XC race of the North East Harrier League. We ran at Aykley Heads in Durham.Emma

It was a good going mud bath the whole way following a lot of rain the past few weeks. Really started to feel it during lap 2 and the final hill had me implementing my ‘fell runner walk’ technique to the test as I tried not to drop too many places.

Finished 24th/385 and was 3rd counter for Tyne Bridge Harriers. With another team mate finishing 25th just behind me that put us 1st team overal! Really happy with my run and the overall results, just a reminder that I need to get back to Glossop for some real hill training!

We do have a strange handicap system here where a finish in the top 10% will bump you to a ‘faster field’ that starts 2:30 after the main field. So I will be joining that at the next race and seeing what happens…

Dark and White Trails

Just a quick confirmation that Lucy Wasinski was indeed the overall female winner of the Dark and White Trails series this year! Woop! Get out the party poppers! Nice one Lucy.


Thanks to Lynne for sorting me out a parkrun corner….


On home turf we had a swarm of harriers in Manor Park. Catherine Cleary was the only one to bag a PB this week, closing in on the 25min mark with 25:10. She certainly shot off at the start so was on a mission – congrats. Caity Rice took first finisher and therefore first female this week, and a couple of minutes later Mark Davenport grabbed 5th place. James Johnson doesn’t have GDH as his club but his mum Sarah does and was running with him; she was pipped to the finish line and James also secured a PB this week.

….and Away

Jonathon Haggart was away this week celebrating not just his birthday but his 100th parkrun – congratulations – and what better place for the celebrations than the home of parkrun, Bushy. Nice one Jonathan – how was it with 1328 runners?! A bit busier than Glossop.  Elsewhere we had Nick Ham at Woodbank; Tony Hillier at Hyde; the Munday clan were in Pontefract; Tracey Robinson at Marple (securing an all time parkrun PB, well done (was it Cecil assisted?!)); Mark Ollerenshaw skipped over to Skipton; Paul Gatley was at Fleetwood Promenade; and taking top spot for furthest travelled this week goes to Emma Rettig taking 8th spot overall and first female at Robertson parkrun near Cape Town, South Africa…..was the attraction to this particular parkrun because the course is round a winery??! Well done everyone.

If you’re wanting a parkrun time to count for the club champs remember to get your fastest feet down to Glossop in the next few weeks. I believe you need to have your time logged before the Christmas party, leaving only 2 or 3 chances to improve on your time in 2019.

Other Stuff

Tuesday sessions are going strong.

XC Webbinars are going strong and muddy.

People are still out and about getting lost on the bi-weekly Frostbite TT courses.

All details end up being on the facebook page. If you don’t know what they are, ask someone.

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