Press Report 18th December 2021 from Nick Budd
The Harriers round up of racing from November covers a wide range of disciplines including road racing, trail running, cross country a gruelling fell run and an even tougher long distance ultra-run.
Saturday 18th December saw a big turnout of Harriers at the fourth and final NSCCL Cross Country Race. The men’s team entered the race sitting second behind Staffordshire Moorlands but comfortably ahead of South Cheshire in Division 2. Whilst overturning Staffordshire’s lead was unlikely, the team were keen to make inroads into their lead and, more importantly, snuff out any faint hope Cheshire had of catching up and denying the Harriers promotion to Division 1. The ground for the race around Betley Court Farm was remarkably dry even after the recent storms although the weather was a tad on the chilly side.
Tom Fellbaum was the first Harrier back for the men finishing 20th in 29.26 out of the 182 runners. He was followed by Antony Allen, 37th in 30.41, Bryan Lomas, 44th in 31.09 and Tom Walker 51st in 31.43. The 1st four runners score for the team in Division 2, giving a score of 159 on the day comfortably eclipsing Staffordshire (193) and South Cheshire (194 points) thus securing 2nd place and promotion. There were, however a further nine Harriers running, and Chris Moss was the 5th Harrier back in 73rd place in 33.17, closely followed a few seconds later by Stuart Rider, 75th in 32.21, Tom Howarth (making his cross country debut for the club), 81st in 33.49, Andy Roberts 97th in 34.51, Adam Powell 98th in 34.55, Jack Sargeant, 140th in 38.10, Nick Budd, unofficially 152nd in 39.24 (the club’s charman yet again proving he has difficulty getting dressed properly as he had put on the wrong race number and didn’t appear in the official results), Nigel Poole, 169th in 42.32 and Dave Taylor 181st in 51.17. Both Poole and Taylor were making their first appearances in the race series.
For the Women there were only three Harriers running as the team were out of contention for any awards. That didn’t stop some strong performances from them and Jo Moss was 36th out of the 129 runners in 22.29 over the 5k course followed by Gill Armstrong, 64th in 24.57 and Georgie Budd, 70th in 25.31.
Special mention has to be given to both Jo Moss and Bryan Lomas who showed great consistency and endeavour over the four races which saw Moss pick up the award for 2nd place in the F50 race category overall and Lomas pick up 1st place in the M50 category. Congratulations to both.
On the Sunday after, there was a gentler social event, with a fancy dress Christmas run around Twelmlow and Goostrey which was open to Harriers and friends from other local running clubs. Despite the cold weather, there were still quite a few who capped the runoff with an ice cream from Bidlea Dairy!
Going back earlier into December there were a lot of Harriers out running over the weekend of the 11th/12, possibly because there were four separate races from the club’s winter competition taking place.
The first on the 11th was a “repurpose” of the Congleton Parkrun on Saturday morning with 11 Harriers taking on the three laps of the mere. First back was Tom Fellbaum who finished 4th overall in a time of 18.50 follwed by Stuart Rider, 7th in 19.21, Jack Sargeant, 23rd in 21.41, Charmaine Wood, 27th in 2.47, Nigel Poole, 50th in 24.21, Kelly Hurlestone, 52nd in 24.45, Michelle Birdsall, 57th in 24.57, Mark Tilstone, 58th in 25.07, Sue Blake, 64th in 25.38, Anna Howarth, 67th in 26.00 and Jackie Moss 89th in 27.22.
Also starting at 9.00 on Saturday 11th was the Tatton 10k Santa Run and there was a solitary Harrier amongst the 468 runners. Tom Conibere finished 45th in 44.28.
Tatton was also the venue for a second 10k race on Sunday 12th, this time the trail Tatton Yule Yomp. Of the 1296 runners Georgie Budd was the first of the four Harriers home finishing 229th in 55.22, followed by Terry Dykes, 524th in 1.05.50 (just missing out on a top 3 placing in the M70 category), Sarah Higgins, 600th in 1.07.46 and Elaine Statham 1075th in 1.22.03 who also came 1st in the F70 category.
The final race was the popular Litton Christmas Cracker Fell Race. The course this year had been heavily remodelled with a new route for the first half and an enforced revised river crossing in the second half due to the recent storms making the usual river crossing completely impassable. The 7.8 mile, 1575’ ascent race still retained its brutal climbs though, with the final major ascent allowing the runners to pick their own scrambled route up to the trig point on the top of Wardlow Hay Cop. This didn’t stop Tom Fellbaum, running in his second race of the weekend, storming from the back of a staggered start to overtake the majority of the 194 runners to win the race in a time of 58.11. Tom had almost a half hour wait to cheer the second Harrier back, Phil Dawson, 98th in 1.27.08 who was then followed by Nick Budd 111th in 1.29.06, Sarah-Louise Proudmore, 154th in 1.36.15 despite a couple of tumbles on the extremely muddy course, Suzie Roscoe in 158th in 1.38.40 and Dave Taylor 176th in 1.48.53.
Finally, just a reminder there will be the usual gentle Boxing Day off-road 7.5 mile run up the Cloud starting at 10.00 from the Tennis Club. The social run is open to club members and friend alike.
If interested in joining us, there are official club runs on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday all setting off from the Congleton Tennis Club. The club is always keen to see new members whether you are a speedy racer or more of a social runner. So, if you are thinking of thinking of joining then just come along to one of the regular/ club runs for a few weeks and try us out for size; you will be made to feel more than welcome with no obligation to join. You can find full details on our Congleton Harriers website: Congleton-harriers.co.uk. You can also connect with the club on Facebook where details of club activities are posted regularly.