Sunday, 29 April 2007

The longest Highland Fling ?

Just in - news from PT on a long-running story from the mountainous west:

On Saturday April 28th Harriers Ian Beattie and Phil Tipping took part in the Highland Fling ultramarathon along with approx 70 other people.The race takes place over the first 53 miles of the West Highland Way and so it starts in Milngavie and finishes in Tyndrum.

The day itself was a wonderful sunny day with a light following breeze from the south east and clear skies the whole way with great visibility. The race started at 6am from Milngavie railway station after the shortest briefing possible. " The only rules are there are no rules !"

Ian and Phil were in part using this race as build up to the full West Highland Way race on the 23rd of June. However this is a fantastic race in itself and was superbly organised by a very friendly group of people and was a big enough challenge in itself. There were checkpoints at Balmaha, Rowardennan, Inversnaid and Derrydaroch Farm. Water was provided and runners had the opportunity to have bags taken to each checkpoint for food etc.

Ian and Phil had very different races. Ian ran strongly the whole way delayed only by some cramp and finished in the top 15 with a time of 10 hours 36 min.
Phil was less well prepared and after a fast first 20 miles slowed significantly to finish in 12 hours 24 min.

There was a great welcome for all the finishers with lots of people enjoying the sunshine and making all the runners feel special as they crossed the finishing line. Each runner received a medal and a nice bottle of champagne. I have no idea how all this was achieved for an entry fee of £10 but it rivals our own 10K for value for money.

All in all a great day out in the Highlands.

Friday, 27 April 2007

Kinross 10k

Three Harriers made the trip to Kinross on the evening of Thursday April 26th. Conditions were good for running - bright but cool - and the race was well attended as ever.

Official results are not yet available but on unofficial timing Gordon Morrison finished almost a minute faster than last year in 44.59, Pete Gaylor ran just under 46 mins and Liz Mestecky turned in a provisional PB time just under 47 minutes.

Official results are now here. There were 190 finishers, led by Paul Arcari of Kilbarchan in 32.57. Official times and places for Harriers are Gordon 45.00 and 73rd place, Pete 45.52 and 86th, and Liz 47.00 and 98th.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Strathearn Harriers Club Championship

Following on from the club survey and discussions in the committee, we have decided to have a go at organizing a club championship. The idea being to try to encourage participation in races as well as providing an objective basis for awarding annual awards for performance. The winners of the men's and women's competition will be awarded their prize at the annual club dinner early in 2008.

The format we have come up with is intended to recognize:

1) Participation

2) Performance

3) Age

The scoring system is slightly complicated so as to be as fair as possible, but I'm sure we'll get the hang of it.

There will be 8 races designated as club championship events. In addition you can take part in any Marathon and any Long Hill Race.

1. Participation
3 points will be awarded for participation in any of these 10 events (so if you run in all 8 races and do a marathon and a long hill race you will score 30 points) .

2. Performance
You must compete in at least 5 of these events to qualify. Your best 5 scores will be counted. Scores will be calculated based on your time relative to the winner of the event. The formula is as follows:

2- (your time/winner's time) x 10

e.g. if we take Adrian's time at Lochaber: 3.43 = 223 minutes

2- (223/155) x 10 = 5.6

Any performance which is over twice the winner's time will unfortunately score zero.

3. Age
Your performance score is then multiplied by your age category based on the following categories:
Men: M30, M40, M50, M60
Women: W25, W35, W45, W55

E.g. 1.
If you are male, 37 years old and scored 8 points based on performance your score would be multiplied by 1.3 to give 10.4 points.
E.g. 2.
If you are a 47 year old woman you would score 8x1.45=11.6 and so on.

The races we have chosen are, for the most part, local and a mixture of road and hill races. They also correspond well with the races mentioned by you all in the survey (See race calendar for details):

1. Dumyat
2. Kinnoull
3. Knock
4. Auchterarder (Lang Toon) 10K
5. Brig Bash 5 mile
6. Comrie Fun Run
7. Pitlochry 10K
8. Glen Clova Half Marathon
9. Any marathon (note: only one marathon to count)
10. Any Long Hill race such as Stuc a Chroin, Jura, Pentlands (note: only one to count)

Just to let you see how this will all work I've had a go at a league table based on recent Marathon results and we have an interesting situation developing!

1. Adrian Wake: 3 participation + (5.6 performance x 1.5 age) = 11.4
2. Ian Beattie: 3 + (5.9 x 1.4) = 11.3
3. Vic Johnstone: 3 + (4.7 x 1.5) = 10.1
4. Eric Sidebottom: 3 + (4.1 x 1.6) = 9.6
5. Simon Wake: 3 + (2.1 x 1.4) = 6.0

I hope you will all be supportive of taking part in the championship. It's really only intended as a bit of fun and a way of focussing our participation at races.

If you have any suggestions or comments then please do add them!
Extra: We've added a "Joker" for remote Harriers to help mitigate the disadvantage of distance. If you are based over 50 miles from Crieff, you can substitute for any one of the named races above a more local race that is 5 miles or longer and run under Scottish Athletics or equivalent rules.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Forthcoming races

The race season is upon us and several good races are coming up in the next few weeks. It would be great to see a good representation of Harriers in these (Gordon has put further info about these and other races on the club's calendar):

1. Kinross 10K - Thursday 26th in the evening - (good, flat, fast course around a country park with no traffic)
2. Stuc a Chroin - Saturday 5th May - as tough as they come this is 15 miles and 5000 feet of climb
3. Dumyat Hill Race - Weds May 9th at Stirling Uni - a nice wee hill race - a bit tougher than the Knock and Kinnoull but not a bad one to have a crack at if you want to get a taste of real hill racing.
4. Kinnoull Hill Race - Weds May 16th - A relatively easy hill race, which undulates around Kinnoull Hill on good surfaces and without anything too steep.
5. Knock Hill Race - Weds 23rd May - A good, fast, local hill race which winds around the Knock a couple of times before a headlong dash through town to the finish at the rec.

So brush the cobwebs off your club vest (or if the moths have done their worst you can get a new one from Liz for a tenner) and get out there and race for the club!

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Mixed fortunes in the Marathon

On Sunday 22nd April, while Adrian Wake, Vic Johnstone and Eric Sidebottom were enjoying near ideally cool and calm conditions at the Lochaber Marathon, the brothers Wake (Simon and Adam) were struggling through record temperatures in London.

Adrian (picture here courtesy of Lochaber AC website) and Vic both achieved their objectives of sub-3.45 and 4 hours respectively with Adrian coming home in 3.43 in 158th place out of 402 finishers and Vic just 14 minutes behind in 221st. Eric finished in a time of 4.06 which made him second vet 65 in the race and 255th overall. Particular congratulations to Vic for setting a P.B. by over 4 minutes and getting below the 4 hour mark for the first time.

Meanwhile, down in London, times were generally down as a result of 23C temperatures and bright sunshine. While the blue skies were good for the thousands lining the streets, it made life very tough for the runners. Both brothers finished in times that were well below their potential with Adam finishing in 3.28 and Simon in 3.47 after running with cramp from 16 miles onwards.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Want to improve your Mountain Navigation?

Will Manners is running some training in Mountain Navigation in Glen Clova on June 9th, and is offering other Harriers the opportunity to take part, free of charge.

He'll even throw in transport from Crieff to Glen Clova - what a nice man!

If you are interested, contact Will at

Allan Mooney at Grangemouth 10K

Well done to Allan Mooney at the Grangemouth 10k. Allan, running for the club for the first time, posted an encouraging time of 41.41 finishing in 127th place out of a big field of over 675 runners suggesting that his target of sub-40 looks very do-able later in the season.

Monday, 2 April 2007

The Harriers effect at the Edinburgh Half

Well done to new member Graham Martin who, on Sunday, sliced more than 10 minutes off his half marathon time posted at Forfar just 6 weeks ago in recording an excellent 1.51.31 (vs 2.02.32 at Forfar). This despite some truly awful and gruesome pre-race preparation including various pieces of surgery resulting in sleep deprivation, enforced starvation and hardly any training.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Ian Beattie breaks 3 hours at Zurich Marathon

It would appear from the results (and subject to confirmation from someone whose German is better than mine) that Ian just nipped in under the three hours at this years Zurich Marathon held on Sunday 1st April. His finishing time of 2:59.40 saw him home in 359th place out over more than 4000 finishers. From his split times it looks as if he ran extremely consistently with each of the 4 10k splits in 45 mins give or take a few seconds.

A more accurate and detailed report can be found on his own blog: WHW Runner: Zurich Marathon.

Watch out for other Harriers marathoning this Spring:

London: Simon Wake
Lochaber: Adrian Wake
Edinburgh: Phil & Karen Pass and Vic Johnstone

Let me know if I've forgotten anyone...