Halifax Hariers
Halifax Harriers Athletics Club - Est. 1888


Katrina has been a member for 40 years


Forty years ago a 12 year old girl belonging to a rugby league playing family came down to Spring Hall to try out the local running club and on 6th February 1978 Katrina Oddy was elected to Halifax Harriers to begin 40 years unbroken membership.

Throughout her teens Katrina competed many times as a junior both for the club and in the English schools where she competed 3 times in cross country and twice on the track.  Katrina also represented English Catholic Schools on numerous occasions in Europe. All this in spite of a serious leg break occurring during a 1500m race which required a pin in her thigh bone, after which Katrina managed to resume her high standard upon recovery.

As an adult Katrina turned out for the club in many road racing championship events, during this time she was regularly one of the strongest Halifax Harriers runners. She was also a part of some very strong road relay teams through the 80s and 90s when Halifax Harriers had a particularly high standard of runners with excellent strength in depth.  She also continued to compete strongly at cross country regularly finishing at the top end of the field.

During her veteran years Katrina has continued her success on road and cross country, on the road she has regularly won her age group at various races through her 40s and now as a vet 50. Over the cross country she dominates the West Yorkshire league age group rankings and after taking the WV45 crown regularly she remains unbeaten in the WV50 age group.

Katrina has also shone on the track which she returned to a couple of years ago after a 30 year absence. She is the current Yorkshire and Northern WV50 800m champion and last year finished 5th in the National Championships at 800m. Last year she was ranked 10th at 800m and 9th at 1500m in the womens V50 category nationally.

Well done Katrina!



Report By Raymond

At the Dewsbury 10k, Simon Johnson broke a long standing Halifax Harriers record for the M50 age group.  Simon’s time of 36:14 eclipsed Geoff Cumber’s record of 36:18 set in 2001 by 4 seconds.  After the race Simon was heard to say ”I don’t know where that performance came from.”

The Dewsbury 10k is held on the first Sunday in February each year and continues to grow in size each year.  This year it attracted 1,200 runners.  Halifax Harriers were well represented with 27 members on the start line.  The race starts and finishes on Dewsbury ring road, close to the market.  The route is along Bradford Road out towards Birstall and then returns the same way.  There is a slight incline going out, but a welcome gentle descent back to the finish.

The first three men back for Halifax Harriers were led by Simon Johnson 36:14 (2nd M50), David Ingle 39:19 and James O’Rourke 39:35 (PB).  Geoff Cumber was a clear winner of the M70 age group in 43:13.

Rachael Beaumont led the ladies home in 42:26 (PB) followed by Hazel Berrett 46:41 (3rd F55) and Sally Shacklock 46:56 (a PB by 5 minutes).

Other runners for Halifax Harriers who set PB’s were:  Will Carver 41:51, Tim Baxter 42:46, Nigel Taylor 45:11, Peter Matthews 45:25, Sophie Baxter 50:38, Andrea Ackroyd 50:40.

Other runners for the club were:  Mark Crabtree 41:14, Will Stewart 41:14, Marc Rocheteau 43:24, Richard Palethorpe 43:51, Paul Hopkinson 45:38, Daniel Ryan 46:53, John Moore 48:16, Kezia Mulhall 48:32, Margaret Deacon 48:53, Martin Ellis 51:58, Virginia Lewin 57:52 (2nd F65), Martin Haigh 58:48, Susan Hall 59:18 (3rd F65), Kirsty Carver 63:50.

Meltham 10k


Report by Nigel Taylor

It was April Caufield who continued to earn the plaudits as four Harriers joined a field of 300+ in this increasingly popular 10k race, whose inclines seem to go on for much longer than the course 200m ascent suggests.

A brief downhill charge from the start line quickly turns up the first hill as the race skirts the village of Meltham, an all too brief flat section providing a chance to recover from the early race enthusiasm ahead of a short sharp uphill which stretches the field out before easing off somewhat, but whilst still climbing constantly up into the ever bleaker hills.

Unusually for a Sunday morning, no light aircraft were to be seen as the route edged past South Crosland Airfield, but the reason for that soon became obvious, as runners emerged from a sharp left hander into a face full of oncoming gale, thankfully the rain which had been threatened stayed away.

The first real downhill stretch of the course appearing now was a welcome respite, albeit still running into the wind, but as the course passed the halfway point skirting the edge of Blackmoorfoot Reservoir, the challenge of yet another double uphill section followed, taking runners up to the course altitude peak after leaving Holt Head. That this peak was reached after nearly 5 miles meant only one thing….all the incline running that had been banked was due to be repaid in the infamous finish to this race, which sees runners barrelling at full pelt for more than a mile steep straight downhill, with the finishing line (after a brief reminder that we were here for the uphill challenge!) being witness to many stories of “I just ran my fastest ever mile”.

A well organised race with an old school feel to it, there was a twisted pride being taken in the award ceremony that the two Mountain Rescue Units had been stood down with “no hyperthermia reported this year”, this is definitely one to add to the calendar to blow off any remaining Christmas cobwebs ahead of the quicker spring races.

April’s winning time of 43m10s (including a shoelace pit stop), seemingly hardly affected by either wind or hills, leaving the second placed lady almost a minute in her wake is indication there’s much more to come from her this year, whilst other Harriers Nigel Taylor (53m07s), Nigel Corns (55m06s) and Geraldine Roby (59m12s) will be reasonably pleased with their performances.

April wins two in a row


Report by Raymond


Twenty Halifax Harriers ventured over the Pennines for the Inskip Half Marathon which starts and finishes at the former Royal Navy Airfield of HMS Inskip.

With rain and sleet falling before the start of the race, conditions were miserable and the runners huddled together while waiting for the start.   The sleet continued for the first couple of miles before easing for a time.

April Caufield had a fantastic run to finish as first lady in 1:25, almost 10 minutes faster than her time last year.  Andy Wiggins was just in front of April and first man back for Halifax Harriers.


Four Halifax Harriers tackled this tough race, with April winning again in 43:10. The other three from Harriers were Nigel Taylor 53:07, Nigel Corns 55:06 and Geraldine Roby 59:12

Harriers travel to Lancaster and Charlie shines


Report by Simon

A squad of Harriers traveled to Lancaster to run the first of a series of monthly  5k's and on a flat course some good times were posted. First home for the Harriers and 1st in the race was 15 year old new recruit Charlie  Spencer in a new pb of 17.18 and he outprinted fellow Harrier Will Smith (v40) 17.19 into 2nd. Other Harriers were Liam Spencer 7th (v40)  18.55 and Laura Knowles (U17) 12th  21.12.

Charlies teammate in the u17 squad Harry Johnson won his first race in a senior event by winning the latest Halifax Park run in a time of 18.24 which surpassed his previous pb by 45 secs. 

Isabel wins Yorkshire Vest


Report by Simon

Halifax Harriers travelled to Ripon to compete in the annual Yorkshire Cross Country Championships within the grounds of Lightwater Valley theme park. The course was certainly a roller-coaster ride of up and down the park on what proved to be testing ground.

Star of the day for Halifax Harriers was U17 Isabel Castelow who finished in a fantastic 8th place, just within the top 9 finishers requirement to represent Yorkshire later in this month’s Inter Counties Cross Country Championships.

Isabel’s achievement is very impressive as she has another year in the U17 age group.  Next races for Isabel are the Northern and National Cross Country Championships. 

Virginia breaks F65 record


Report by Raymond


The Myerscough 10 mile race was promoted by Garstang Running Club.  This race was formerly called the Guy’s 10, but had this year to be moved down the road to Myerscough College due to a clash with other events at Guy’s Thatched Hamlet.

The race started with a mile loop round the College grounds before passing through the local countryside.

Halifax Harriers had 17 runners at the race which was run in mild and still conditions.  The first three runners back for the club all set PB’s.  David Ingle led the way in 1:06:49 (3rd M55), first lady back for Halifax was Rachel Beaumont 1:10:30 (3rd F45), closely followed by Will Carver 1:10:36.

Virginia Lewin set a new club F65 record of 1:31:43 (2nd F65).

Other runners for the club were:- Marc Rocheteau 1:12:36, David Broadley 1:13:47, Robert Hick 1:16:12, Nigel Rigg 1:16:25, Paul Hopkinson 1:16:26, Sally Shacklock 1:22:03, PB, (2nd F35), Margaret Deacon 1:23:03, Michelle Broadley 1:26:02, John Moore 1:28:04, Jonny Lister 1:31:58, Martin Haigh 1:33:26, David Parrington 1:33:33, Susan Hall 1:38:27 (3rd F65).



Report by Raymond

18 Halifax Harriers took on the Preston 10 mile road race from Hutton near Preston.  The race comprises of two laps, starting and finishing at Hutton Grammar School.  The route is relatively flat on a mixture of quiet roads and dual carriageways.  The conditions for the 560 runners were ideal, sunny, 4 degrees C and windless.

Once again, Sarah Cumber showed what a good runner she is by leading all the club members home in a new F45 club record of 1:02:32.  Sarah finished as third lady and first F45 just behind second lady Sarah Jarvis of Barlick (1:01:44).  The ladies race was won by international runner Helen Clitheroe from the host club in 59:38.

First man back for Halifax Harriers was the fast improving Michael King in a PB of 1:03:18.  Will Stewart, also with a PB, finished in 1:06:28.

Geoff Cumber was the M70 age group winner in 1:11:05, with Raymond Hall second in the M70 in 1:15:45.  Susan Hall was placed second in the F65 age group in a time of 1:37:28.

There were six other Halifax Harriers members who set PB’s at the race.  They were James O’Rourke 1:09:44, Keith Lemon 1:14:06, Hanni Fisher 1:14:54, Daniel Ryan 1:17:41, Margaret Deacon 1:20:50, David Parrington 1:33:15.

Other runners for the club were Marc Rocheteau 1:13:29, Paul Hopkinson 1:14:05, Nigel Rigg 1:14:48, Jonny Lister 1:20:17, John Moore 1:26:46, Martin Haigh 1:36:31.

This weeks races



The New York Marathon is one of the world’s most popular races, and is a demanding course, particularly in the last miles through Central Park.

Halifax Harriers Cathy Dawson showed how good a runner she is when finishing as second F50 in a time of 3:07:00.  This time broke the club record for the age group by an amazing 25 minutes.


Once again, Halifax Harriers had a strong team at the 32nd running of the Leeds Abbey Dash.  Ideal running conditions greeted the field of 8,900 runners, it was cool and sunny with almost no wind.  As always when there is such a large field it takes a long time for all the runners to cross the start line on Wellington Road, but with wide roads most of the time there was sufficient room to run at runners chosen pace.  The race heads out to Kirkstall Abbey at the 5k point, before returning back to the finish on the Headrow in front of Leeds Town Hall.

The first three men back for Halifax Harriers all ran 37 minutes and were only separated by a few seconds.  Niall Smith led the way in 37:26, followed by Paul Booker 37:52 and Stephen Rainbow 37:54.

Halifax Harriers first three ladies were led home by April Caufield 39:11 with Johanna Sutcliffe just behind in 39:42.  Rachel Beaumont followed in 42:52.

Other Halifax Harriers runners were:- Michael King 38:48 (PB), David Ingle 39:23, Will Stewart 39:59, Will Carver 42:14 (PB), Keith Lemon 43:10 (PB), Geoff Cumber 43:18, Richard Palethorpe 43:44, Marc Rocheteau 44:01, Paul Hopkinson 44:21, Jenny Hopkinson 44:26 (PB), David Johnson 45:17, Wayne Stevens 45:44 (PB), Hazel Berrett 45:44, Nigel Taylor 46:04, Daniel Ryan 46:07, Raymond Hall 46:15, Nigel Rigg 47:46, Jane Hobson 49:45 (PB), John Moore 51:13, Sophie Baxter 51:28, Janine Thompson 53:33, Martin Haigh 54:46, Deborah Kirkbride 55:33, David Parrington 56:07 (PB), Kirsty Carver 57:49, Susan Hall 59:48, Audra Naylor 1:00:32. Monica Gallagher 1:03:02.

Bronte Way


Report by Ryan

Five Halifax Harriers athletes took on the Bronte Way fell race on Sunday (29 Oct)

The event takes runners from the start at Wycoller Country Park, around 7½ miles, through gorgeous and scenic countryside overlooking valleys and by reservoirs, along the Bronte Way path.  Eventually coming down to Bronte Bridge and waterfalls and ascending to the moors above Haworth, finishing by passing the parsonage and a final short, steep ascent up the cobbles into the centre of Haworth and the Fleece pub at the finish.

A glorious sunny morning saw entries on the day surge so much that organizers ran out of numbers and had to delay the start 30 minutes to register everyone!  Around 300 runners took part.

Once started the race saw Joe Dale of Victoria Park Harriers take the victory ahead of Ian Holmes of Bingley.  A fast time of 54:20 despite muddy, slippery terrain across the moors.

First back for the Harriers was Ryan Barker.  Although struggling on the muddy and boggy sections Barker made time on some of the longer trail and harder tracks to finish in 63rd place, 69:25.  Following closely behind- Simon Gelsthorpe (92nd 72:21) made good time across familiar tracks and finished strongly.  First Halifax lady Rachael Beaumont had a great run finishing 124th in 76:38.

Sarah Sladdin finished 222nd 95:04 and Martin Haigh 264th 1:51:12.  All finishers were rewarded with a pint of nice beer at the finish as well as soup to help recover.

Next race on the Harriers fell league will be the Stoop fell race on 17 December.

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