Newsletter July – September 2019

Hello All!

We’ve decided to try something new to keep everyone up to date with whats been happening in the harrier community, this is the first of hopefully many newsletters from us, please have a read through and if you’d like to contribute to the next one, or have any suggestions please contact Sarah Jones or Lucy Preston.


Chair Paul Ravening
Co-Chair Sharon Davis
Treasurer Adam Coates
Secretary Kirsty Armstrong
Run Leaders Jason Mather

Sarah Jones

Run Co-ordinator John Williams
Park Run Liaison Sophie Hill
Social Media rep Lucy Preston
Social Secretary Matt Green
Charity Rep Gill Cameron



Kate Beavers

Gill Cameron

Adam Coates

Natalie Coates

Fran Cole

Sharon Davis

Sarah Jones

Jason Mathers

Sam Quinnell

Paul Ravening

Les Reed

Lana Smith

Dez Thompson

John Williams



Thursdays – Abbotswood Loop (approx. 6 miles), group run with run-backs (we’ll change to a new route in late December)

Handicap 5K – Thurs 7 Nov

Tuesday schedule:

Week 1 Set Routes no pacers (3, 5 and 6 miles) – 17/9, 5/11, 7/1, 18/2

Week 2 Effort training – 24/9, 12/11, 14/1, 25/2

Week 3 20/20 followed by social at the Wagon – 1/10, 19/11, 21/1, 3/3

Week 4 Set routes with pacers (3 and 5 miles) – 8/10, 26/11, 28/1, 10/3

Week 5 Leapfrog (approx. 4 miles) – 15/10, 3/12, 4/2, 17/3

Week 6 Meet and Retreat – 22/10, 10/12, 11/2, 24/3

Special Tuesday runs:

29/10 – Halloween fancy dress run (approx. 4 miles)

17/12 – Xmas Fancy dress run (approx. 4 miles)

24/12 – Daytime mince pie and mulled wine/hot blackcurrant run (10k – short dog)

31/12 – Daytime prosecco/soft drink alternative (!) run (10k – long dog)



Harriers have been taking part in so many events recently, it’s impossible to list them all so here are just a few:

Cheltenham Challenge

A tough trail half marathon, but the Harriers did us all proud.  There had been a lot of rain leading up to the event, and boy was it muddy!  Not sure what was harder, running up the hill, or sliding back down!  But a great event none the less.

Bath Marathon – 18 August

Well, this event was the result of a great deal of extremely hard training from a group of Harriers, who were out doing their Long Runs every Sunday, as well as getting the mileage in during the week. Their efforts paid off, as they ran over the finish line as MARATHON RUNNERS.

One of the Harriers described it as a well organised event, with a staggered start meaning that there were not too many runners on the route – of course the downside to this is that, after a while, it can feel quite lonely as you could be running for long stretches on your own.  The route was beautiful, but the steps and hills were hard going. The marshals were very supportive, and there were some friendly harrier’s faces along the way.

One Harriers couple got ‘haribo married’ along the way, but were quickly ‘haribo divorced’ as they both ate the sweets!

Severn Bridge Half – 25 August

This is a lovely road route.  Race HQ, and the finish line, is on the Welsh side of the bridge.  Start is on top of the bridge, and you run towards England, around a few lovely villages, and back to Wales!  FAB medal and a T-shirt….but there is a nasty hill at about mile 7 (its nickname cannot be repeat here, but it’s an apt description)

Cotswold Trail Half – 1 September

Stunning run, and as the name suggests, it’s trail.  This is the first time this event has been held, and there were a few glitches within the first mile or so with queueing, but the rest of the route more than made up for it.  Probably not one for a PB, but well worth it.  And again, a FAB medal.

Chippenham Half – 8 September

All on roads, and flat(ish) – apart from a slight incline at about mile 11, but you’re so close at this point, it hardly matters!  Well supported, and marshalled.  Nice little medal, and a long-sleeved running top.  Plus a BBQ and a bar at the finish!

Great North Run – 8 September

What an event?  One Harrier said that they had never experienced anything like it, and it is a day that they will never forget.  Other runners were very friendly, and photos/messages on people’s vests were very emotional.  This harrier has always run for themselves, but are now considering using running to advantage others and run for a charity.

It was a little scary at times, with so many runners, and the ground being littered with bottles, but this was a small price to pay for such an amazing course.  They found the atmosphere amazing, and was buzzing when they crossed the finish line.

And to top it all – fish and chips on the beach!

Glos Sports ‘Clues for Shoes’ – 11 September

A few of us took to the streets of Gloucester to take part in ‘Clues for Shoes’. A great event organised by a local sports shop.  It was a lot of fun, running around the city answering clues and taking selfies with the trainers.  This is a regular event, so if you missed this one, there will be other opportunities.

Apperley Quarter Marathon – 22 September:

A number of Harriers entered this one, including several superstar mini Harriers in the kids race.  Great local event through the countryside, friendly marshals, the most incredible unique hand-made medal, and SO MUCH free cake at the end – what’s not to love.

Run Disney – 20th – 22nd September:

Two of our lucky Harriers visited the most magical place in Europe to run, Disneyland Paris hosted its annual Magical Run weekend which comprised a 5km, 10 km and Half marathon as well as a number of children’s races. The weekend was a race experience like no other, despite the early starts (leaving the hotel at 5:45 am anyone?). A whole host of Disney friends from Mickey and his pals to the Disney princesses were on the course to cheer you on and even time for a quick photo. An expensive race, but a truly unique running experience.

Cheltenham Half – 29 September

So, leading up to this event, all eyes were on the weather forecast!  Heavy rain the night before, and predicted to get worse during the event.  But, despite a short shower when we were waiting to start, it was perfect running weather, cool, a little damp, but no rain (despite what Gloucestershire Live said!)  As this is a local event, and a first Half for a lot of Harriers, it will always be special. The support was just amazing for the entire route (even the last two dreaded racecourse miles.) So many jelly babies and ‘touch for power’ stations.  One Harrier commented on the number of truly inspirational people running for charities, in memory of loved ones or those just on their own personal challenge to get to the finish line.  There were a few in fancy dress; Spiderman, Batman, Buzz Lightyear, Woody and even a yellow dinosaur and a pantomime horse (to name but a few).   One Harrier ran with a young lady who was sadly running her last race due to a condition affecting her bones.  It was this lady’s birthday, so runners all sang happy birthday to her as they ran along.  Another touching scene was at the finish line, when an elderly gentleman who had finished the run (beating a Harrier, I hasten to add!), was presented with his medal by a young volunteer.  The elderly gentleman asked the young volunteer to lean forward and he placed the medal over the boys head and thanked him for volunteering – a real touch of class!

And to top it all off – free pizza at The Stable, or free meal at Wagamama!

BTS – 6 weeks throughout the summer

Well, where do we start with this one!  Talk about competitive nature kicking in!  A group of us took to the streets on foot or on bikes to gather as many points as possible.  It was all very tense towards the end, but we did it – we won!  The prize was £250, which we donated to Hillview Primary School.  And the most awesome thing is that the school is putting this money, along with their prize money (highest average score) towards a small running track on their school field!


Experience of marshaling the Cheltenham Half Marathon (Zoe Wheelwright)

‘A few months ago, it seemed a good idea to give up a morning in return for warching a few Harriers and my brother run the CHM, and also secure myself a place at the 2020 event.  However, when the alarm went off that morning at a silly time, and I saw the rain, I started to have 2nd thoughts!  But a promise is a promise.

Our briefing started at 0730, and I didn’t finish until 1315, so it was a long morning, being being a marshal gives you a fascinating insight into what happens behind the scenes.  The project manager in me was impressed with all of the pre-race information, and how you actually go about organising a half marathon.

I had wrongly assumed that most of the radio calls would be for medical back-up, but from the moment we went live the calls were coming in about members of the public trying to drive along closed roads, or arguing with marshals,  I was impressed at  how seriously the organisers took the safety of the runners, and that they ensured all routes were clear before the event could start.  Abuse also came my way from people trying to drive onto the Racecourse, and as a volunteer that’s really not what you need, but again the organisers provided back up when needed.

The real reason to be there was to offer support, it was great to see so many Harriers, and I was very proud to see my brother go speeding by.  I was most grateful that nobody was ill on my patch, and that the rain held off.

There is a great deal of responsibility to being a marshal, and I can honestly say that it is far easier to pay the money and run, than it is to marshal an event! But I do feel that the experience has made me a better runner, as I appreciate other marshals and have a better understanding of what goes on to enable an event to happen.’



Following the success of the C25K, Jason continued to take people from 5K to 10K.  This is a write up from one of the runners:

‘Having completed the HH C25K in July, I signed up for the 5-10K 8 week course with Jason.  As with the C25K, the sessions were friendly, and catered for all abilities.  I won’t lie, I am not a fan of sprints, laps or any kind of ‘efforts’, but I understand how important these sessions are in order to improve speed, stamina and performance.  Unfortunately I missed a couple of sessions due circumstances, however, I was able to slot back into it easily.  Jason provides the group with a training schedule (‘homework’), which is useful.  I am really glad that I did the course, as it has massively improved my speed.  I started the course with a 29:46 5k race time in July, and have just run a 27:46 Park Run!

I would recommend this course to anyone who can run 5K, and is looking to progress further.’

Huge well done to all of those that took part, and also a massive thank you to Jason!



As well as regularly supporting the three local Park Runs, volunteering and running (Glos North, Glos City and Kingsway), Harriers have been doing a bit of Park Run tourism, including Burnham, Cornwall, Pomphrey Hill and Swansea (plus others).


Sunday 27 Oct – 10 Pin Bowling, keep an eye on FB for more details



Quite a few Harriers took part in the 5K Charity Gin Run on 22 Aug 2019.  This was a great event, a lot of fun, and gin (or soft drink!) at the end of every Km.   But most important of all, it raised £252 for the Harriers charity of the year; the Superhero Foundation.  Plus we were honoured to have Jamie McDonald come along and take part!


Have you ever thought ‘what I really need is a new Harriers water bottle’ – well fear not,,.£4 will get you a Hucclecote Harrier sports grip, valve cap, 500ml bottle – and all money goes to the club to help fund our run leader training.  Message Adam Coates if you’d like to buy one.

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