Captain’s Report – December 2020

Captain’s Report – December 2020

December has seen what we hope is a return of more races, if only the local ones, with the Chilly Hilly being both the first and last race of the year for some.

Ryde 10m has been scheduled for 7th March 2021, but with entries limited to 200, make shore you enter ASAP if you haven’t already.

Ryde Harriers have scheduled their cross-country races for the 24th & 31st Jan and 7th Feb, you will need to pre-enter these events, as there will not be any entries on the day like normal.


Results for Goodwood Half Marathon 6th December

Will Newnham                  01:13:06 (14th Overall)

Sunday 6th December saw a return to competitive racing for many after the second period of lockdown and this opportunity came for my debut race in the red Ryde Harriers vest.

Goodwood motor circuit was the venue with them hosting various races from 5k, 10k, Half, 20mile and full marathon. A crisp chilly morning welcomed all runners from various clubs across the south of the region and new runners alike, and each were set off in their respective races in groups of 4 every 10seconds.

My target had been to run a fairly swift half marathon after a large chunk of training completed and multiple disappointments of cancelled races including the London marathon.

With the staggered starts I found myself a bit further back at the start than I would have liked so started fairly quickly of the line to try and establish myself within a small group, this was easier said than done as the track was already busy with marathon and 20mile runners, so settled at picking off runners ahead on the 5 laps of the circuit to be completed.

The back section of the course was into the wind and slightly uphill and was the toughest part of the circuit, but conditions stayed dry and I went through 10k well ahead of my anticipated pace (34:27).

The miles of training were obviously paying off, as I felt good moving through the miles and weaving through the busy track, and at some points having to move quite wide as it got a bit more congested as the waves of 10k were set off.

I finished strong on the final lap, picking up my fastest miles in Miles 9/11 and 13, and pushed through to the line to pick up 14th place and a huge PB in 1:13:06. A great marker for myself and a big confidence boost in the training I have been doing, and can now look forward to adding to some good team results for the harriers in the new year.

It was a well organised day considering the new restrictions in place to put on such a large event, and I would recommend the future events there in February and April if people want a fast course over the distances. (Especially a very fast 5k, as there was a slight error from the lead bike which resulted in the 5k being 300m short!)

(Report by Will Newnham)


Results for Limitless Trails Half Marathon Du Mulled Wine 5th December

Sasha Levrier                     03:39:21

Tom Brading                       03:39:22


Results for Chilly Hilly 20th December

Thomas NEWNHAM        1:03:08 (1st Overall)

Gary MARSHALL              1:03:38 (2nd Overall)

Adam TUCK                       1:03:50 (3rd Overall)

Will NEWNHAM              1:05:40 (5th Overall)

Trevor MCALISTER          1:16:27

Ken OATLEY                       1:18:40

Graham GARDNER         1:19:22

Gillian JOHNSON             1:22:02 (1st Lady)

Peter YOUNG                   1:25:00

Rod TAYLOR                      1:30:28

Ken BEAK                            1:30:45

Roger MERRY                    1:31:32

Bryan JONES                     1:32:02

Emma WHEELER              1:34:25

Rachel POWELL                1:37:17

Liz PARKES                         1:39:49

Samantha FANCOURT   1:40:28

Elaine PARRY                     1:40:28

Alistair GIBSON                 1:43:13

Brian WARREN                 1:45:58

Jo TUCK                               1:47:00

Caroline DALL-WHITTALL 1:55:23

Michelle MARTIN            1:56:21

Reniera O’DONNELL      2:04:45

Alison CRITCHLEY            2:04:50

Louise CARVER                 2:05:38

Henrietta GODDARD     2:05:38

Laurie WOODFORD        2:05:44

Keith RUTH                        2:10:32

Diana SWYERS                  2:10:34

Carolyn RUTH                   2:10:39

Hayley TUTTON               2:12:47

Pippa SHARP                     2:14:40

Catherine YOUNG           2:17:00

Nat Jane ROSE                  2:17:54

Beth HOLLOWAY             2:27:35

Louise WILCOCK              2:27:35


Chilly Hilly:  An Unprepared Runners Perspective, by Hayley Tutton

As seems to have become a bad habit in my life I wasn’t what could be described as prepared for the Chilly Hilly. The race does what it says on the tin; it’s chilly, it’s hilly and it’s also 10 miles. I hadn’t run 10 miles since the summer and was also only two weeks back from a six-week break, not only from running but all exercise. So, I was of course a highly tuned athlete when Sunday dawned.

After spending 5 minutes wondering why my alarm clock was going off, a very rare occurrence these days, I then sat down to a highly nutritious run ready breakfast before putting on the kit I had selected the previous evening. Okay correction, I drunk two cups of tea in quick succession and pondered if there were any excuses I hadn’t used recently to avoid running. But alas I had promised fellow Harrier Laurie I would store some kit in my car so the deal was already done.

I found my number, number 69 of course, and kit first time, which I took to be a good sign of things to come, however on getting into the car I realised I had forgotten my running watch, and if it’s not on Strava it didn’t happen right. Finally ready to go, I realised I had a problem, google maps was telling me I wouldn’t reach the car park at Rapanui until 10:22 (yes having lived on the Island on and off for 39 years I still use Google maps), I had promised to meet Laurie at 10:05. Second issue, I didn’t have Laurie’s number so it was a Facebook call (handsfree) half way across The Downs to come up with a new meeting plan. By this time the adrenaline was kicking in and I had forgotten all about the fact I had missed that nutritious breakfast.

Arriving at the Sports Centre at 10:21 I put my best damsel in distress look on, (ladies if you haven’t perfected this yet you must, it’s essential, life can be so much easier trust me), and managed to bag a parking space at the centre. With hindsight I am truly sorry to those that had a 2 mile walk to the start, and I of course am aware that if everyone breaks the rules, we are all screwed but please be proud of me for being keen to make the start.

So, with Laurie’s stuff stashed in my boot I told her to go to the start, I knew I was still not yet prepared. I spent a few minutes making sure I had my number, went for the essential loo stop (too much tea again), and then I was ready. But of course I wasn’t, Garmin had been left in the car and so back to it I went, (see the method in parking close). Sprinting up to what I thought to be the start, and which I later realised to be the covid vaccination centre, I felt something was not quite right, and glancing downwards I realised I had forgotten to put my running shoes on; simple mistake I thought, so back to the car it was.

Eventually reaching the start with all my running kit on, but still trying to wrestle with the safety pins on my number, I explained my predicament. It was now 10:34, I had missed my start time and the organisers quite rightly were not impressed. You know that email we all got on Sunday evening thanking us for adhering to the rules and being at the start in a timely manner, I am afraid I was the exception. There ensued a discussion which largely went like this, ‘number 69 is here’, ‘yes 69 she’s late’ etc etc. I was really feeling the pressure of this number by this point. Eventually it was suggested I start with the elite at 11am, however I was not keen. I do have morals and respect for the organisers despite my tardy behaviour and I didn’t want marshals out till dark waiting for me. And so, it came to a decision from someone called Chris. Heading over to ‘Chris’ I rearranged my damsel in distress look and prayed ‘Chris’ would be a forgiving person. However as I got closer to ‘Chris’ I realised ‘Chris’ was actually ‘Lucky Lewis’ and luckily for me I had been quite helpful to him that week helping out with Ryde 10 entries and so the deal was done. Chris not only gave me my very own start time he also helped me pin my number and gave me helpful advice about my running pack, which he seemed to assume I had never worn before! (Facemasks were worn at all times during this interaction).

And so, at 10:40 I was off and what a strange feeling that was. I had of course no idea where I was going, I knew we went over Tennyson at some point, but the lead up no clue, and with no runners to follow it felt rather lonely from the off.  Thankfully I was still running on adrenaline and with the first mile mainly on roads I knew I couldn’t whim out, (not when people can see you), and so put my best I am a runner stance on. I apologised to each marshal I saw and before reaching the marshes I had said ‘sorry I am the late one’ around ten times.

Then a beautiful sight in the form of Arielle, the 10:30 wave back marker who after receiving the message of number 69’s predicament had waited for me, and what a lovely lady she was. Many of us have been back marker or have run slower to aid another runner and none of us can overlook how hard that is. It was a cold day and she had come back for me; it was a lovely thing to do and also demonstrated how well organised this race was.

Arielle and I set off from the marshes and were soon approaching the nemesis of this race; the long hard climb up Tennyson. As usual for me a mile or so in to the run my calf was playing up and so we tackled Tennyson with jog, walk intervals with Arielle remaining cheerful throughout despite me suspecting she was keen to go faster.

Halfway up to the monument another beautiful sight was in front of us in the form of Nigel and Rosie Eldridge. Rosie ringing her bell in the manner of ‘Ring my Bell’ by Anita Ward and Nigel taking the lead on photography. What a lovely treat that was in an otherwise supporter free race.

And then it got really exciting. I had been looking over my shoulder during the Tennyson climb anticipating the elite runners who started at 11am and what a treat it was. Suddenly we saw them and very unusually for an off-road race, they were running as a pack. The energy and power coming from these guys was electric and truly inspiring. They were tackling the hill like I would sprint around the track and it was brilliant to see the eventual 1, 2, 3; Thomas Newnham, Gary Marshall and Adam Tuck, (all Harriers), in the pack. Feeling truly inspired I turned to Arielle, who said, ‘we’re never going to run like that’, and momentarily my bubble was burst, until that is, I realised the girl was talking sense and it was in fact much nicer to walk, jog and enjoy the views in the progress!

Summitting Tennyson we were treated to a downhill which I used to my advantage and tried to demonstrate to Arielle that I could actually run. I was feeling pleased I could still run if I am honest, I hadn’t tackled a proper hill for a number of weeks.

As we pressed on, we both enjoyed the scenery; the fit 11am runners that were now streaming past us as well as the beautiful views of the needles and beyond to Bournemouth. Passing us on the hill was Will Newnham and Trevor McAlister who both put in a fantastic run, finishing in 5th and 17th place respectively.

On the relatively flat part of Tennyson, we were then passed by Gillian Johnson who was an impressive 26th place and first lady. Next to come was Pete Young. Now it’s always exciting to see Pete running at his best, but I think we both felt somewhat inadequate in our younger years being passed so easily by Pete. What a man he is.

And so, it continued. We had a brilliant opportunity to interact, very briefly with the faster runners, that on a normal race we would be lucky to see the behind of at the beginning of the race. If there is one good thing to come out of this year, staggered race starts has to be it. We had the joy of seeing Ken Beak, Bryan Jones and Rod Taylor stream past us and in the manner of good polite Harriers they were all kind and encouraging.

So back to my race; upon reaching the Needles turn off, I finally felt like I had warmed up and now had ahead a beautiful ¾ mile downhill. I relished that downhill section, and actually started running properly!  Arielle was still with me at this point but I could see she was thinking ‘what has got into her, I thought we’d be jogging the whole way’. And approaching the climb to Headon Warren I got my reward, I had finally caught the back of the 10:30 start and had a brief chat to Louise Wilcock and Beth Holloway as I passed them, Louise said she was struggling but she looked strong and went on to put in a very respectable time over a tough course. And so, it was time to say goodbye to back marker Arielle, I can’t tell you how appreciated back markers are, and I feel we are really privileged to have them. I think if we were to mention this to some of our more mature members they would scoff at the very idea!

The rest of the run was fairly uneventful. I enjoyed seeing Rachel Powell and then Sam Fancourt and Elaine Parry pass me, all of whom put in great runs. By the time I reached the downhill from Headon Warren, I was running well and enjoying the more technical terrain. The only other issue I encountered in my day of an unprepared runner, was when I glanced at my watch at the top of the final descent from Golden Hill Fort. Despite looking at my watch on several occasions during the run I had failed to really look. It turned out in my haste I had done up my watch so tight that the circulation to my hand had now been cut off and my hand was swollen to double its usual size. I readjusted my watch, ignored my now unusable hand and made my way to the finish like a real runner.

(Report by Hayley Tutton)