Halifax Hariers
Halifax Harriers Athletics Club - Est. 1888


Double Success at Malham


Report by Steve

On Saturday, two Harriers, Sarah Kidd and Steve Sladdin, competed in the second event in the Maverick X Series. The event is designed to test your resolve and take you to the upper limits of your abilities. We entered this race in honour of fellow Halifax Harrier, Elizabeth Sanderson, who loves the fells, but unfortunately can’t compete due to a heart condition. The race began at Malham Tarn, a glacial lake 1,237ft above sea level making it the highest lake in England.

The route took in some incredible locations such as Gordale Scar a limestone ravine that contains 2 waterfalls and has overhanging limestone cliffs over 100 meters high, an eye catching amphitheatre called Malham Cove, and of course the tremendous views provided by the Yorkshire Dales on a beautiful, crisp, sunny day. The route was challenging and with it being an early event in the calendar the conditions were pretty testing. The descents from the peaks were incredible, lung busting experiences and the climbs were unforgiving, particularly the first climb up the steps of Malham Cove after a hair raising descent and the final climb up fountains fell (2,192 ft) which was knee deep in snow and lasted a mile or so, before reaching the summit.

The race was an incredible test of stamina. Neither runners expected to win the event, however, Steve was neck and neck with another runner from Sussex. At mile 22, he decided he wanted to go for the win, knowing he is good at descents, he took his chance on the last 5 mile and made a gap of a mile or so, which gave him ample time to secure the win in 4 hrs 31 min 57 seconds. Kidd, who has never run an off-road marathon was anxious from the outset at the prospect of a 27 mile off road race, however she proved that she has the stamina, gut and determination to compete off-road just as well as road and secured first lady back in a time of 5 hrs 40 mins 12 seconds.  



Report by Raymond

On a busy weekend for Halifax Harriers, the Cumbers both broke club records at the Thirsk 10 mile race.  Sarah’s time of 62:35 was a F45 record and Geoff’s time of 68:30 was a M70 record.  They both won their age groups with Sarah finishing as 2nd lady.

At the Trimpell 20 mile race in Lancashire which follows paths and cycle tracks along the side of the River Lund, 5 hardy Halifax Harriers completed the race as part of their training for Spring marathons.  First back for the club was Andrew Wiggins 2:21:04 and Johanna Winks was 1st F40 in 2:24:18.  Rachael Beaumont broke the F45 club record with a time of 2:36:41.  Paul Hopkinson and Margaret Deacon ran the race together finishing in 3:01:09 and 3:01:32 (PB) respectively.

Closer to home was the Bradford Epilepsy 10k which starts in Centenary Square and runs along Canal Road almost to Shipley before returning back to Bradford.  It was a damp day with some wind on the return leg which slowed the runners. 

First back for Halifax Harriers was Watson Peel 38:13, followed by David Ingle 39:40 and William Stewart 41:13.  First lady back for the club was April Caufield 42:17 (PB), an excellent run in those conditions.

Other Halifax Harriers runners: Michael King 42:09, David Johnson 42:38, Nigel Taylor 48:31, Nigel Corns 51:07, David Parrington 60:12 (PB), Susan Hall 61:18.




Report by Raymond

Halifax Harriers started their Race Challenge League for 2017 with a trip to the west coast for the Sweatshop 10 mile race.  This is a two lap race run along the promenade from Bispham.  Though it is classed as flat there still is a few short inclines along the upper paths to tire weary legs at the end of the race.

First back for the club was Bryn Barker making a welcome return to the racing scene after a lapse of almost eight years.  His time of 66:11 secured him 2nd place in the M55 age group.

April Caufield continued her spell of excellent performances with a time of 68:52 (PB) as she finished as 5th lady.

Hazel Berrett, who has just rejoined the club after last running for Halifax Harriers almost 40 years ago as a junior, was in splendid form finishing as 2nd F55 in 74:19.

The ladies team of April Caufield, Hanni Fisher and Margaret Deacon won the ladies team prize.

Other runners for the club were:  Robert Hick 71:55 (PB), Will Carver 73:33, Kevin Lusk 73:40 (PB), Mark Crabtree 75:24, Hanni Fisher 75:26 (PB), Jonny Lister 77:42 (PB), Nigel Rigg 79:02, Nigel Taylor 80:45 (PB), Margaret Deacon 83:05 (PB), John Moore 88:32, Deborah Kirkbride 92:42, Kirsty Carver 96:49 (PB), David Parrington 99:08 (PB), Susan Hall 99:53 (1st F65), Chris Kirkbride 1:46:20.



Halifax Harriers Annual Dinner and Senior Presentation Evening at the Imperial Crown Hotel, Halifax was a sell out this year with members eager to celebrate the achievements of all their friends.

Mark Gaughan, Halifax Harriers Club Chairman, presented the awards to all prize winners.  It was his honour to select recipients for two of the awards.  The Pearson Endeavour Trophy was presented to John Moore, he travels all over the country and abroad competing for the club and always shows enthusiasm in all the races he competes in.  The Chairman’s Trophy was presented to Victoria Midgley for all her work over the years helping out at races and organising social events.

This year there was a special award presented to Cathy Dawson in recognition of her achievement in becoming the 2016 ITU World F45 Duathlon Champion in Spain.

Each year, the club has both Fell and Road Race League Challenges.  The ladies fell league champion was Elizabeth Sanderson and the mens champion was Joe Crossfield.  The Road Race Challenge is split into 5 divisions, with prizes for the first 3 in each division.  Division A winner - Mark Crabtree, Division B winner – Johanna Winks,  Division C winner – Kezia Rooke, Division D winner – Margaret Deacon, Division E joint winners – Kirsty Carver and Susan Hall.

Other trophy winners:-

  • Most improved 10k winner – Jane Hobson 
  • Under 20 men cross country – James Habergham
  • Senior men cross country – Michael Gaughan
  • Female Veteran cross country – Katrina Oddy
  • Male Veteran cross country – Ryan Barker
  • Burnsall Cup – ladies – Sarah Cumber
  • Burnsall Cup – men – John Whitlow



Report by Raymond

At the Hot Toddy 10k there was a brilliant win for Halifax Harriers April Caufield on this testing course.  With bib number 13 you do not expect things to go your way, but April could have no complaints about her performance with a winning time of 45:23.

The race starts with two laps of Central Vale Park at Todmorden before a climb of 200m up Ewood Lane, Siggnet Lane and Parkin Lane to the 4k point at Sourhall.  Then there is a long descent back to the finish in the Park.  It is on this descent that some time can be recouped for that lost on the original ascent. 

The race attracted a field of 140 runners, much lower than its heyday when it was run at Christmas time.

Other runners for Halifax Harriers were William Stewart 44:03 and Virginia Lewin 62:49 (2nd F60).

New man shows the way


Report by Raymond

The Huddersfield 10k is described as undulating ‘Yorkshire Style’, which in fact means there are quite a few ups and downs.  The first of the ‘ups’ is a long drag from the start at Lockwood Park through Armitage Bridge and Netherton to South Crosland at the 4k point.  The route then has a further 3 ascents of varying length before a steady drop over the last 1.5k to the finish.

The race was a sell-out with almost 600 runners turning up on the day for the challenge.

Halifax Harriers new member Paul Booker showed his potential when finishing as 6th male in 38:28.

Last year’s ladies winner from Halifax Harriers, Johanna Winks, 41:59, had to settle for 2nd place on this occasion after being outrun by Fiona Davis from Rotherham Harriers who finished 10 seconds in front of her.

Other runners for the club were Matt Kay 42:49, Will Stewart 44:02, Carol Willgoose 53:14 (3rd F55), Nigel Corns 55:23, Virginia Lewin 62:16.

Liversedge Half Marathon, 12th February


Report by Raymond

Miserable weather greeted the runners in the testing Liversedge Half Marathon.  Halifax Harriers had eight runners taking on the challenge in cold, wet weather with sleet and snow making the tough half marathon even more of a challenge.

The race starts with a steady pull up to the M62 and then it’s a fast, steep descent into Bailiff Bridge.  The route then follows Bradford Road almost into Brighouse, before climbing to Hartshead Moor Top at 10 miles, and then it’s back into Roberttown for the finish.  Fast times are hard to achieve in the race in normal conditions, but this year it was just a relief to finish and get warm and dry again.

First back for Halifax Harriers was David Ingle 1:31:33, closely followed by Will Stewart 1:33:05.  First lady back for the club was Hanni Fisher 1:45:23 with Janine Thompson four minutes behind in 1:49:49.

Other runners for the club were Simon Lea 1:41:02, Margaret Deacon 1:54:52, Chris Burrell 2:01:07, Lucie Fenton 2:01:30.

Dewsbury 10k


Report by Raymond

The Dewsbury 10k this year had a large field of over 1000 runners.  Even though the day was cold, conditions were good for the race as there was no wind.  The race starts and finishes on Dewsbury ring road close to the market.  The route is on closed roads along Bradford Road to Birstall and back the same way.  Perhaps not the most interesting of routes, but, with only a slight incline on the way out, some good times can be achieved.

Dewsbury Runners apologised after the race for the turn point being in the wrong place resulting in runners having to run an additional 200m. This meant that many runners were denied PB’s and those that did achieve PB’s did remarkable well in the circumstances.

Halifax Harriers had 25 runners at the event and were led home by Michael Gaughan in 35:55.  He was followed by David Ingle 38:55 (PB), a great improvement on his last year’s time of 43:25.

First lady back for the club was Johanna Winks 39:16 (4th F40) followed by Cathy Dawson 40:31 (2nd F45) and Rachael Beaumont 43:42 (4th F45).

Geoff Cumber, in his first outing as a M70, comfortably won the age group in 41:43 and set a new club record for the age group along the way.

PB’s were also set by Will Carver 43:09, Kevin Lusk 43:56, Hanni Fisher 45:30, Andrea Ackroyd 50:41 and Kirsty Carver 56:13.

Other Halifax Harriers runners were Simon Johnson 39:38, Will Stewart 41:29, Mark Crabtree 41:30, Mark Gaughan 44:08, Nigel Taylor 45:56, Paul Hopkinson 46:15, Daniel Ryan 46:28, Dene Townend 47:34, John Moore 52:09, Chris Burrell 53:03, Jenny St Romaine 55:27, Virginia Lewin 56:56, Susan Hall 59:38 (3rd F65).

Inskip Half Marathon


Report by Raymond

Two dozen Halifax Harriers travelled over the border into Lancashire for the Inskip Half Marathon which starts and finishes at the former Royal Navy Airfield at HMS Inskip.  The race attracted over 400 runners to this flat course on quiet country lanes passing through Great Eccleston, Little Eccleston and Eldwick.  With a cool, dry and almost windless day, numerous PB’s were set by club members.

First back for Halifax Harriers was Andrew Wiggins 1:25:29, closely followed by Johanna Winks 1:26:53 (1st F40 – 3rd lady).

PB’s were set by the following runners:- David Ingle 1:28:09, April Caufield 1:34:55, James O’Rourke 1:36:20, Will Carver 1:36:40, Marc Rocheteau 1:37:21, Robert Hick 1:38:24, Paul Greenslade 1:40:20, Jonathan Lister 1:42:28, Hanni Fisher 1:42:47, Jennifer Hopkinson 1:43:02, Margaret Deacon 1:52:44.

Other runners for the club were Paul Berry 1:27:32, John Whitlow 1:28:42, Mark Crabtree 1:30:54, David Nutton 1:35:56, Rachel Beaumont 1:37:35, Kevin Lusk 1:38:19, Janine Thompson 1:53:22, Chris Burrell 1:55:59, Deborah Kirkbride 2:02:12, Jenny St Romaine 2:02:13, Paul Hopkinson 2:02:14, Sally Shacklock 2:06:35, Susan Hall 2:12:11 (1st F65).

3 Harriers gain Yorkshire selection


Report by Simon

On a fine day and with conditions underfoot relatively firm and dry compared to previous wet and muddy years, the Halifax Harriers young contingent set off to prove to Yorkshire that the Blue and Yellow colours were there  for serious business.

The U13 girls was the first race to go with 11 girls competing enough to make up 3 full teams unheard of in County races for Halifax. Elise Horner ran her first race at U13 level and even as the race was ready to set off Elise turned up at the start without a number and just managed to set off as the gun went.  Sophie Hall ran superbly and lead  the team home in  14th place . The A team finished 5th team with  Sidone Malcher Akesson 29th and Emma Mitchell in 33rd. The B team finished 9th overall with Iris Palmer 34th,Verity Clements 36th and Elise Horner in 40th. The C team finished 17th out of 25 teams with Rachel Hobson 48th Caera Oneill 50th and Isabelle Bloom 57th. Lucy Johnson finished 75th and Isla Holman 93rd. Well done to all girls and what a squad - keep it up. What strength in depth we have going forward.

The U13 boys had a squad of 7 with the A team finishing 6th team but only 2 points off getting a bronze team medal. This was hugely down to a magnificent run by Jude Baldaro who just missed an individual medal by only 4 secs  to finish 4th. A fantastic run from start to finish he got stronger and stronger as the race progressed. Jude now goes forward to represent Yorkshire in the Inter Counties later in February. Jude was backed up by James Johnson 29th and James Howard 35th. The B team comprising of Elio Beesley 43rd and Danny Baxter 44th were backed up by Ned Hughes in 58th to finish in 14th place. Ben Russell finished a very creditable 66th place. 

In the U15 girls race Lucie Hall also gained County honours for the Inter Counties in Loughborough by finishing 6th overall a fine performance and she is certainly getting her strong form back. Isabel Castelow  also finished a good16th place and was backed up by Jessica Russell in 52nd place to finish 6th team overall.

The U15 boys finished 5th team overall with a great run from Max Burgin in 6th place supported by Ewan Wheelwright in 18th and Harry Johnson in 34th. Eddie Martin completed the harriers contingent finishing 46th  Max has also gained County honours and will represent Halifax for Yorkshire alongside Jude Baldaro and Lucie Hall.

In the U17 age groups Watson Peel ran a very respective 30th place Lucy Mills 31st and Freya Wheelwright 32nd in the corresponding girls race.

In the Senior Ladies race Katrina Oddy finished 42nd overall but 2nd in her V50 category. 

Ryan Barker finished 129th and Mark Gaughan 250th in the Senior Mens race.

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