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Steve 2nd in World Mountain GP

- 5th May 2008
Steve Vernon on the Grand Ballon

Steve Vernon kicked of his World Mountain Grand Prix Series at the Grand Balloon in North East France on May 1st.

The race was over 13km and climbed over 2,000 metres to the summit.

Steve has been preparing for the race by doing long hill reps on a treadmill in the Triangle Gym at the Moorside Hotel in Disley. The treadmill work definately paid off for Steve in his first mountain race for over two years.

Taking the race out early he was only caught in the last 3km by eventual winner Emanuel Meyeat of France who had 21 seconds on Steve to win in 61-34, Steve finished on 61-55 with German athlete Timo Zeiler 62-14 in third.

Next he will race in the Grand Prix in two weeks time in the Swiss Alps.

Steve started his hill running season the previous week in the Mow Cop Killer Mile in Staffordshire on the Thursday night.

In cold windswept conditions Steve motored up the hill in 6-26 to win by over 35 seconds from Sale athlete Chris Hayes.

800 metre runner Ben Styles, now based at St Marys UK Endurance Centre in Twickenham, showed a return to form over the distance with a 1-52.9 at the British University Championships in Grangemouth, Scotland at the weekend.

Ben was just edged out in his semi to finish third by the narrowest of margins only point five of a second.

He will next race at the BMC meeting on May 31st at Sportcity to try and break the magical 1-50 barrier.

Senior Northern League

Stockport’s senior team in the Northern League were narrowly beaten into 2nd place by Leigh Harriers, just 8 points behind.

Performance of the day must go to Andy Nixon, almost lapping the field in the 5,000m to set a hugh personal best with 15-03.5

Thanks to everyone who turned out to compete or help.

Athlete of the Month Award

April’s Thompson Brothers Athlete of the Month is Kate Fisher from the Monday Beginners’ Group. She has shown great commitment and endeavour this year and continues to improve. Well done Kate!

Northern 6 Stage Road Relays, Catterick

Report: Phil McCann - 28/4/2008

Northern Relay team

Stockport Harriers’ women again made it to the Northern 6 Stage Road Relays but under some trying difficulties.

The event which is normally on a Saturday was changed to a Sunday with the venue only being confirmed 6 weeks before. With many of our women unavailable run due too marathon preparation which was only a week after the relays.

We then had the follow-up with the usual scenario of injuries and illness. We then had to approach others who were available on that last week and for some who had not run in a relay before. The frustrating thing is that some within the club would say 'Yes' then 'No' a few days later.

On the Sunday we all met at the town hall with the weather forecast of sleet and snow ahead. With Maureen and myself using our cars we had a fairway to go to travel up to Catterick and with limited time. We had just left Stockport when Maureen's car was hit by another but thankfully the damage was only minor and those who were with her they were just slightly shaken. After details were exchanged we managed to get under way again and made the event with just enough time to register and get 1st leg runner Rachel onto the start line.

The clouds were gathering and by the time the 4th leg runner was away it began to snow slowly then becoming a blizzard. However Stockport Ladies went about it in the right manor and never gave up showing grit and determination.

Rachel Shepherd took on the challenge of running the first leg to hand over to Yvonne. The course being undulating was well marshalled being on the army camp. Rachel Follows was on 3rd leg and managed to just finish as the snow began to fall. Maureen on 4th leg ran hard to get to the finish before it really started to open up. Then finally Julie on 5th leg braved the wind handing over to Donna on 6th leg who suffered the worst of it.

At the end it was time to pack things up and get into the warmth of the cars and journey back to Stockport. The event attracted only a small number of teams due to the timing of the event it being so close to London and it showed with many runners not there. Most of the teams as you would expect came from the North East but for us who travelled we made it worthwhile finishing 26th team out of 35 the results below.

Many thanks too everyone who was able to run and to Donna and Rachel Follows who on the last minute filled the gap to at least get one team there. For those who were left disappointed with the 2nd team being short they would be given the chance at the Nationals

Stockport Harriers 26th 2:13:14
Rachel Shepherd (29) 20:07
Yvonne Williams (26) 20:25
Rachel Follows (28) 23:24
Maureen Willkins (28) 23:05
Julie Fairclough (28) 22:52
Donna Brackenridge Jones (26) 23:21

National 6 Stage Road Relays, Sutton Park, Birmingham

Report: Phil McCann - 28/4/2008

National Relay Team

It was always going to be difficult having to enter teams not knowing who would be available due to many in the marathon. But after consultation we started with maximum 3 teams entered and it slowly began to materialise the we may struggle. London came and went and we lost many due to the usual illness and injury and also those who had not recovered. We worked hard but with limited time and we still got together 2 full teams and yet with a few days left it looked like we may have the final 3rd. But it was not to be so we settled on the two.

Toni McIntosh travelled from Scotland to be with us and proved her worth by running the fastest time for Stockport Ladies on this course. Previously it was held by Jenny Knass in 18-20 but Toni smashed it running 17-10 and with our highest 1st leg position of 14th. There were so many things too mention so I will just say to Toni, Emma, Kaysliegh, Helen, Rachel and Vicky the A-team and also to Tracy, Belinda, Maureen, Marie, Julie and Donna the other A(B) team well done.

For many it was the first time in the 6 stage relays and for those who had run before they all ran personal bests. They all travelled to event by mini coach which proved much better than in cars with everyone able to get to know each other as well as acting as team bonding exercise. The teams were selected just perfectly and everyone gave it their best and along with the excitement generated it was incredible.

As I was unable to get there due to work commitments I was proud of everyone and thankful for Vicky acting as team manager and Maureen the operations manager. The teams overcame and conquered worked together and were able to put up my tent up as required! Overall we finished 30th and 47th out of 58 teams the results are below many thanks to you all for turning out and for making this another success.

Stockport Harriers 'A' 30th 1:59:11
Toni McIntosh (14) 17:10
Kaysleigh Greenham (29) 19:57
Emma Hampson (25) 18:31
Helen Garner (28) 20:40
Rachel Follows (28) 21:48
Vicky Barrett (30) 21:05
Stockport Harriers 'B' 47th 2:15:11
Tracy Sloane (58) 22:18
Belinda Wells (52) 21:34
Maureen Willkins (50) 22:33
Marie Kay (49) 23:07
Julie Fairclough (48) 22:49
Donna Brackenridge Jones (47) 22:50

Blackpool Half Marathon & Marathon

Report: M - 28/4/2008

With a 9:00am start it was an early wake up call for the Harriers who ventured to Blackpool on a wet April morning. Those of us who were kindly driven there by Lee Barratt arrived to see the previous night’s stag and hen parties walking home.

As Blackpool is a flat and traffic free course they were rewarded with many new personal bests. So many I am not sure who to mention first. However this must go to  James Scott-Buccleuch who in the full marathon took a staggering 20 minutes of his best to record the stunning time of 2:48:51, excellent running James!

In the half first Harrier home was Lee Barratt in a best of 1:21:29 closely followed by Lee Wilkinson in 1:21:38, next was Steve “Forest Gump” Jones with not only a personal best of 1:22:13 but a 10 mile best on route, just two weeks after his stunning London Marathon run.

The fast improving John McCabe was next lowering his best set at Wilmslow to 1:26:39, with Tom McNally clocking 1:28:46 – though 19 minutes slower than his PB Tom was delighted with this run as it was his first half marathon for over 20 years and only 18 months after completing chemotherapy.

Blackpool Half Marathon
23 Lee Barratt 1:21:29
24 Lee Wilkinson 1:21:38
27 Steve Jones V45 6 1:22:13
43 John McCabe 1:26:39
55 Tom McNally V40 8 1:28:46
424 Richard York  V40 60 1:52:45
716 Jenny McCarthy  L35 34 2:11:02
846 Peta Walsh  L45 31 2:27:30
Blackpool Marathon
13 James Scott-Buccleuch 2:48:46
82 Derek Ivnes 3:07:08

Harriers enjoy a successful training weekend

Report: Dave Turnbull - 25/4/2008

Harriers enjoy a successful training weekend

Twenty-five athletes from the Harriers’ endurance squads held a three day residential training camp at St Mary’s Mount College in Spinkhill, Derbyshire as part of their preparation for this summer’s track season.

It was down to business as soon as we arrived early Friday evening with a 45 minute run along the many trails that surround the college.

Saturday morning was an 8am start for a 35 minute run followed by massage if you wanted, then breakfast.

After that it was into the gym for warm-up routines and hurdle drills.

In the afternoon the squads used the new 6 lane track for the main session of the weekend.

For most of the senior squad it was feet-up and time for a bit of a rest after tea, the juniors weren’t having any of that and went for an hours football on the floodlit all-weather pitch.

Sunday morning was an early breakfast and extra hour to digest before embarking on a 90 minute run along the trails from the college, and down into Rother Valley for a run around the lake and back. Which still left time for the afternoon session involving an aqua jogging session or weights.

St Marys Mount College

All-in-all a great weekend, especially for our younger squad members who coped extremely well with the extra training and could probably have fitted in another game of football!

Coaches Mike and Pete Nixon who were in charge of the under-17 men were delighted with the attitude of the youngsters.

They both agreed that the juniors have benefited hugely from seeing at first hand how our senior squads cope with the rigours of hard training.

Coach David Turnbull said, “I think the seniors wished they still had the powers of recovery the juniors had! This is the second time I have been to St Mary’s with a squad and we have enjoyed it both times. Everyone trained hard and it was a new experience for some of the younger athletes, but you always learn from new experiences.”

The big benefit of St Mary’s is that there are no distractions for the athletes, and there aren’t many locations where you can do that. You have everything at hand at the college, gyms, pool and track. Also, the athletes are able to get a massage after training which is very important on training camps.

The grounds in the college are good for grass sessions and another big plus is that on the long runs you don’t have to run on an inch of concrete as the trails from the college run out into the Rother Valley along the grit stone trails.

We intend to have another camp in the autumn and even possibly before then as we can concentrate our efforts even more in this kind of environment.

London Mini Marathon


Aimee Aikin and Olivia Wild both competed the event for the first time

Report: Pete Torrence - 16/4/2008

While all eyes where on the London marathon last Sunday a group of seven junior members of Stockport Harriers represented Greater Manchester in the London Mini Marathon, the race was over the last three miles of the full marathon course finishing on the Mall.

In the boys’ 11-12 years Richard Hindley had the best result of the day finishing 2nd in a time of 16.59 from a field of 180 athletes.

In the girls’ 11-12 years age group the Harriers had two athletes taking part, Olivia Wild and Aimee Aikin both making the event for the first time with Olivia just taking the honors in 17th place in 19.19 and Aimee just behind in 21st place in 19.32.

The 13-14 years boys’ saw Jack Nixon have a great run to take 28th place in a time of 16.50.

In the last girls’ age group the Harriers had Bryony Pearce and Luci McLoughlin who both ran well, Bryony coming out on top to take 28th in 18.22 and Luci just strides behind in 31st in 18.32.

The 15-16 year-old boys’ race Michael Cook kept up the Harriers showing to finish in 33rd place in 15.30.

London Marathon Results
Ladies Elite Marathon
89 KERRIE WOOD W40 15 3:05:55
107 SARAH LOMAS W25 23 3:08:14
Main Marathon
591 JAMES CORDEN M35 154 2:52:50
641 PETER ROGERS M40 125 2:53:52
662 STEPHEN JONES M45 57 2:54:10
1224 TONY AUDENSHAW M40 267 3:01:55
1592 PAUL JOHNSTON M30 311 3:07:22
2365 COLIN FINNEY M40 524 3:14:54
2457 DEREK IVENS M45 369 3:15:49
3380 SEAN WHEWELL M40 728 3:24:25
3790 SIMON HEYS M50 274 3:27:16
433 VICTORIA BARRETT W40 94 3:30:30
527 SAMANTHA THOMAS W30 90 3:33:35
5609 GERRARD MOSS M55 152 3:39:39
741 SALLY KEIGHER W35 154 3:39:41
6407 WILLIAM BOOTH M40 1272 3:44:27
1382 ELIZABETH BOWEN W40 261 3:53:50
1469 KATHRYN WARD W40 271 3:54:49
9088 SIMON HILTON M60 150 3:57:40
1828 NICOLA LOGUE W40 339 3:59:14
1866 ROSALIND MANN W50 116 3:59:42
2105 JAYNE LAWTON W35 419 4:03:26
2109 RUTH LEE W40 384 4:03:34
11888 MICHAEL THIRSK M50 871 4:11:57
5390 JANE OHARA W35 964 4:42:55
14528 ANTHONY WARD M45 1911 4:26:15
5176 RUTH PAYNE W35 934 4:40:37
6237 GILLIAN THOMPSON W45 629 4:52:08
19126 PHILIP MCCANN M50 1429 4:56:24