Windermere & WestEnd

It’s been another busy week for the Hermitage Harriers this week with three separate events taking place.

The first event to ‘kick-off’ was the Brathay 10 in 10. Caroline and Craig Johnson headed north to Windermere to face the ultimate running challenge - 10 marathons in 10 consecutive days. It was not Craig’s first time completing the 10 in 10, he took part in the event in 2013 but this time his new bride, Caroline, joined him in facing the marathon challenge. Despite the inevitable wear and tear on their bodies and Caroline being plagued by nausea, they both crossed the finish line for the final time on Sunday afternoon. They celebrated their success in traditional hard-core fashion - with a dip in the icy cold Windermere Lake. Craig’s best marathon time over the 10 days was 4 hours, 25 minutes and 16 seconds with Caroline’s best being an impressive 5.07.38.

The couple were joined by some fellow club members for the final day including two marathon first timers: Zoe Sewter and Rob Wells. Rob had jokingly told teammate Craig that if he ever competed in the 10 in 10 again he would join him for the final marathon. So, when Craig signed up for the challenge again, Rob got training. After months of training, Rob laced his running shoes up for his big day and ran an outstanding race to finish in 5 hours, 2 minutes and 32 seconds. Harrier Zoe Sewter also chose this challenging but beautiful course as her marathon debut and flew around the scenic route in a fantastic time of 3.45.58. The first-timers were joined by experienced marathoner James Willoughby who ran his sixth marathon and finished in 11th place with a time of 2.57.32.

Whilst the marathoners were sampling some off the best hills the Lake District had to offer, 31 Harriers were taking in the Leicestershire countryside as they competed in the final fixture of the LRRL Winter Road Racing League. The ladies team finished strongly, securing both an A and B team at the event. The A team consisted of Bonita Robinson, Mia Weston, Katie Wright and Hannah Wheeler. Robinson flew around the 8 mile route to finish as 12th lady in 56 minutes and 50 seconds. Teammate Mia Weston also snuck in with a finishing time of under an hour with her time of 59.55. The team was completed by Katie Wright who finished in 44th position with a time of 1 hour 2 minutes and 13 seconds and Hannah Wheeler in 45th place with her time of 1.02.05.

For the second league race in a row, the Harriers fielded enough ladies to secure a B team too! Katie Wheeler (1.04.06), Sarah Kendrick (1.07.04), Judith Brand (1.10.28) and Jodi Nicholson (1.12.23) all ran exceptionally well and put the club in a very strong position.

As always, the men’s team were on top form with three of the club’s athletes finishing inside the top five and eight men inside the top 45 finishers. Matt Adcock claimed 2nd place with his time of 44.30. Teammate Tony Woodward wasn’t far behind him and raced over the mat in 44.55, giving him a new five minute PB and 3rd place overall. Gavin McDermott put in an outstanding performance to finish in 5th place with a new 8 mile PB of 45.52 and claimed 1st place in the vet40 category. The trio were joined shortly afterwards by Paul Gregory who ran a fantastic time of 47.20 and Darren Weston who clocked 48.01 - smashing his predicted time by a minute and a half. Shaun Coulton and Joe Henson were next home for the Harriers with times of 48.11 and 48.45 respectively. Pete Armstrong completed the team after he delivered an 8 minute personal best with his new time of 49.13.

Club athletes celebrated many successes during the race outside of the official team places. Darryl Johnson set yet another PB, taking almost 5 minutes off his previous best with a time of 1.06.27. Judith Brand and Jodi Nicholson both took around a 3 minute chunk of their former times to set new PBs of 1.10.28 and 1.12.23 respectively. The club welcomed back three members from injury: Matthew Dumelow, Tracey Hegarty and club coach Mark Perry. All three runners were happy with their performances on the day - especially Dumelow who set a new 8 mile personal best! Caroline Townsend was on top form and ran the race almost exactly to her predicted time.

The next fixture for the club sees the Summer League races get underway with Swithland 6 which takes place on Sunday 7th June