Newsletter – OCTOBER 2003



Visit us on our Web Site at


This Newsletter is typed under Word for Windows 95. Please let Franny have your reports on disk.

Or you can email them directly to me at and


SUN. 2nd LORDSHILL 10miles
SUN. 16th GOSPORT half-marathon



A busier month with the start of the cross-country season and also quite a few members taking advantage of the local road races held recently. A fine second team place was recorded at the Fleet 10k where Craig and Aaron made their senior debuts on the road.

Congratulations to Dave Vosser and Dorothy Wicke on winning the club half- marathon titles at Hardley where thanks to Dave’s chivvying, we managed to complete a men’s team.

Thanks to us receiving the wrong date for the Hayling 10, I have had to rearrange one of the club championships otherwise it would have meant holding two on the same weekend. Therefore the ten-mile championship remains at Hayling on November 30th (PLEASE NOTE THE NEW DATE) with the club cross-country championship now being held at the final league fixture on FEBRUARY 7th. This will be on a new course at Wimbourne in Dorset courtesy of Hamworthy Harriers.

Victory over Newbury by 146 points to 212 in the run round the Harrow Way 10k run that replaced the old Andover to Newbury relay. Well done to Geoff and his team for organising this event.

I have been unable to update the consistency league this month due to the fact that I don’t ,as yet, know the individual placings for the Farley Mount XC fixture. If you have any results, for any races, could you please let me have a copy of them of failing that then please leave them on the notice board.

Christmas is approaching and plans for the Thursday before Xmas party and also the Xmas lunch are in hand. Please check the notice board for further details.

AND FINALLY….. Dark nights, light or reflective kit please.

Driving down the lynch I almost collided with a senior club member, who should know better, in dark kit. No names but can every one play safe and set a good example to our junior members.


Due to safety concerns with the road crossings at Dellands and at the bottom of Overton hill the club committee have decided to discontinue the Village handicap course. This is a sad course of action and sees the end of an event that has been held three times every winter since the late 1970’s. Therefore the Foxdown course will be used for all races this winter.

The opening race of the season saw (unsurprisingly) a clear victory for one of our juniors. Aaron continued his improvement with a 64 second PB to climb 20 places on the all time list to 39th place. Paul was next home but as I had not set his start time for this race he actually started a lot earlier than he should have. The results have been corrected thereby giving second place to Cath who had chased Paul all the way round but could not quite get past him. She clocked her fastest time since March 1999. Third place went to that old handicap bandit Steve McNair with Craig narrowly missing his PB in fourth.

Fastest on the night was Jamie with Aaron second, Craig third and Dave Vosser fourth.

1 A.HARRIS 31.39 11.08 20.31 2
2 C.WHEELER 32.22 10.24 21.58 6
3 S.McNAIR 32.48 6.55 25.50 16
4 C.WILLIAMS 32.51 11.46 21.05 3
5 M.VARDY 32.53 10.09 22.44 9
6 D.VOSSER 32.54 11.48 21.06 4
7 E.SANDALL-BALL 32.57 6.06 26.51 19
8 J.JONES 32.58 13.55 19.03 1
9 G.DUNCAN 33.04 10.09 22.55 10
10 D.MAUGHN 33.08 11.24 21.44 5
11 A.DENNISON 33.09 8.38 24.31 14
12 R.RIDLEY 33.28 10.09 23.19 13
13 G.ENGLAND 33.36 10.33 23.03 11=
14 D.WICKE 33.39 4.32 29.07 23
15 J.REED 33.42 9.00 24.42 15
16 B.LADE 33.44 GO 33.44 27
17 A.HARTLEY 33.55 10.52 23.03 11=
18 H.HEAP 33.56 7.21 26.35 18
19 E.SMITH 34.11 3.49 30.22 25
20 P.WHEELER 34.13 12.08 22.05 7
21 E.TILBURY 34.24 8.21 26.03 17
22 K.VALLIS 34.46 12.37 22.09 8
23 M.WEST 34.48 5.21 29.27 24
24 G.CLOKE 35.05 7.38 27.27 20
25 N.CLARK 35.22 7.21 28.01 22
26 J.HODGE 35.55 8.27 27.28 21
27 M.BROWN 37.08 6.06 31.02 26

Hardley Half Marathon race report 19th October 2003. from Dave Vosser

Eric Tilbury took the honours at the second Hampshire Road Race league race of the season at the Hardley Half Marathon. This is a challenging race, made more difficult by a stiff breeze, which starts In Hardley and takes in the sights of Exbury Gardens, Lepe Country Park before heading back via the edge of Fawley Oil refinery. Eric comfortably took first place in the over 60’s section of the race finishing 107th overall in a time of 1hour 33minutes 43seconds.

First home for the Harriers was Club Captain David Vosser who finished in 18th place and 4th in the over 40’s section just dipping under 1hour 19minutes. Greg England, who ran particularly well in the previous weeks Hampshire Cross country league, continued his run of good performances with a time of 1hr24min11secs to finish in 36th place. Richard Francis was the third man home for the Harriers in 83rd spot. David Titcomb knocked over 3minutes off his previous best time recorded earlier this year at Bath by finishing 113th in 1hr34min26.

Dorothy Wicke, the only lady representative for the Harriers, running in her first ever half Marathon was pleasantly surprised with a sub 1hour 50minute time to finish in 203rd place.

These results plus all other Harriers results and fixtures can be found on the clubs brand new web site:


David Vosser 1hr18m59 18th 4th V 40
Greg England 1hr24.11 36th  
Richard Francis 1hr31.31 83rd  
Eric Tilbury 1hr33.43 107th 1st V 60
David Titcomb 1hr34.26 113th  
Dorothy Wicke 1hr49.58 203rd  

Fleet 10K 19 October 2003 from Geoff

Ian Ford accompanied by Mark Simcox, Aaron Harris and Craig Williams, competed in this race in windy but good conditions. For Aaron and Craig, this was their first attempt at a road race at this distance, and having Ian and Mark to tow them along at a sensible pace was of great benefit.

The group stayed together for the first 3Km, but by halfway Ian and Craig had pulled away in 3rd and 4th places respectively with Aaron and Mark some four places down. In the last kilometre both Ian and Craig lost ground with Ian recording 35mins 28secs to win the over 40 category, and finish 5th overall. Craig Williams finished 7th in his first ever outing at this distance in a very creditable 35mins 55secs, Aaron Harris was 11th in 36mins 55secs and Mark Simcox was 12th in 37mins 11secs.

In the team result Overton finished second just behind the host Club Fleet and Crookham AC. Nearly 600 runners finished.


A perfect morning for running round this testing 10k course with several runners including it as part of their long Sunday morning run. First home, and by a long way, was Jamie who broke the course record set last year. Mark ran very well for second ahead of Dave Vosser with Dave Maughn showing what an asset he could be in the cross-country league fourth. Keith Vallis was next ahead of the slow starting Keith Clark and the first junior back who was young Mark with a very promising run over a course that was longer than he must be used to.

The big match up was again between ET and Dave Titcomb (fast becoming known as the ETDT show) Eric again got the upper hand but only a few yards split them as they rejoined the Harrow Way before Eric used his experience to pull clear in the latter stages. Splitting these two were myself (training run…..Honest) and Blissy (recovering from injury) and James Reed. Helen had a very good run to finish first lady with John keeping a comfortable margin over Steve with Ian completing the male interest. Gwynetth and Moira had little between them at the end to round off a good-sized field of 31 runners.

Over the 5k course Madeline had a clear margin over JT and Claire.


1 M.VOSSER 29m 29 sec
2 J.THOMAS 30m 58 sec
3 C.BOYLE 33m 37 sec


1 J.JONES 35m 11sec 17 M.BLISS 43m 56sec
2 M.SIMCOX 37m 35sec 18 J.REED 44m 08sec
3 D.VOSSER 38m 03sec 19 D.TITCOMB 44m 11sec
5 D.MAUGHN 39m 24sec 20 H.HEAP 46m 24sec
7 K.VALLIS 40m 27sec 23 J.HODGE 49m 51sec
9 K.CLARK 41m 13sec 25 S.McNAIR 50m 44sec
14 M.VARDY 42m 33sec 29 I.VOSSER 54m 19sec
15 E.TILBURY 43m 19sec 30 G.MacLAUGHLIN 57m 58sec
16 R.FRANCIS 43m 44sec 31 M.WEST 58m 00sec

31 Finished.

The Great North Run 2003 – My Story by Audra Dennison

Background – In February of this year after the last X-C at Bournemouth, I came home and threw away my spikes in disgust. “I won’t be needing them again, I thought”. I was so disappointed with my run and realized that if I was going to continue this sport, I needed an aim for the summer. I decided on the Great North Run as I had always wanted to run it – having missed out ten years ago, when Denny/Mark my better half (whose that you may ask!!) and I both entered. I had a thigh strain back then, which prevented me running and since then I had said I would do it one day. So I entered on the internet and did not tell Mark I had entered for some time!!

Training – I started training in June following Peter Elliott’s schedule, which was to get me around in sub 1 hour 30, which I felt I could achieve. How wrong I was!! The training seemed easy enough, maximum weekly mileage was only 41-42 at the peak, this involved doing one extra speed session a week and increasing the miles. However, it was, running six days a week, instead of the five I have been used to since having the children which was my biggest challenge, and I have to admit I did struggle with this for quite a few weeks.

Looking back, I should have done more long runs and more races, but I have to be happy that I stood on the start line feeling confident, having done 4 months of reasonable training without getting injured. Those who have known me for some time know that in previous years this would have been impossible!!

The Journey – What can I say except that it was a “nightmare” – just ask Mark!!

Due to a wedding we could not travel up Friday in the day and after exploring all modes of transport we decided to drive as this gave us more flexibility on our return journey. We drove part of the journey Friday evening and part Saturday, total time in the car 10 hours, for a journey, which should take 5. The problem on Friday was an accident on the M1, which closed the motorway, but we had already joined it and the diversion at the next junction was 2 miles away.

I was driving, and Mark kept falling asleep. Each time he woke up we had hardly moved!!I remember at one point thinking I should have taken Greg’s advice, which was to take the train!! I won’t repeat what Mark said, but he suggested that when we get going we should head for home. As you can imagine, I was not too pleased and it was not an ideal start to the weekend, but there was nothing we could do.

Although I had a headache and felt tired all day Saturday, I tried not to panic and thought I at least had another nights sleep before the race. Due to our late arrival on Saturday, we missed out on the activities down at the Quayside, by the time we got there, the junior races had finished and they were clearing away, but it was great to stand underneath the Tyne bridge which the following day I would be running over. What a magnificent sight.

I can’t say enough how much I was looking forward to running. I was not nervous at all, I had begun to get nervous a few weeks before when I received my number for the Elite Women’s start, but once I was there I was really excited about this race, which I can honestly say is the best half marathon in the world.

The Race Day

The journey to the race was ok, I had been there before, but once we were there, we made our way to the Elite start. There did not seem to be any other “elite” women around, which worried me slightly, but now I realize we had just arrived early and some did their warm-up outside the barriers. The area beyond the start was where the real “elite” were gathered. Paula, Sonia, Kath Bailey to name a few!! I warmed up by myself, beyond the start where the race begins, the road was clear, it was very quiet and it was a beautiful sunny morning, ideal conditions for running. At this point I had forgotten about our journey up here and did not feel tired, I felt ready for the race. Only the odd athlete came by, Sonia O’Sullivan, Tulu and Adere. Back at the start more “elite” athletes appeared, which made me feel more at ease.

After chatting to some of the other women, it turns out they were thinking the same as me, “what an earth am I doing at the elite start”?!! We all agreed, though that we were in the right place and we may not get the chance again to run with such a class field. Some of the women were asking me what time I had run this year (I have only ever run one half and that was ten years ago!!) and what time I was expecting. To be honest, I was relieved to hear some of them say they would be running 1.35 – 1.40 as I knew I would be quicker than this. My worry was that I would be left at the start, because I knew it was quick and I didn’t want to go off too quickly.

When Paula and Sonia were being introduced, it was a magical moment and I realized the field of athletes I was stood with were World Class, nothing could ever match this, I thought.

As the race got underway, I was relieved I did not get left at the back, but the pace did seem quick, but relaxed, even so the first mile, I ran in 6.13, but it is downhill. Going over the Tyne bridge was fantastic, the crowds were cheering and it felt like the adrenaline was pumping at this stage, but soon after came a short incline and I thought not a hill already. Nothing had prepared me for so many inclines!! I knew there was a climb from 3-5miles, but this was tough all the way or so it seemed.

I was lucky enough to run most of the race with another girl, whose pace seemed to match mine. She was not trying to race me, and I was not trying to race her, I just thought if I can stay with her, we would pull each other round and it worked for a while.

I went through file miles quicker than at the Overton 5, and under seven minute miling although this was not difficult as I had had a poor run by my standards, but even so this did give me a lift, but it was not PB stuff and I knew at this point that it would be tough if I was going to run sub 1 hour 30. Between 6 and 8 miles I felt I was running freely and at a good pace, the crowds were shouting “great running girls” and I knew that these men were probably runners who knew their stuff and appreciated that we were running at a good pace.

Even at 10 miles I was just under seven minute miling, but at this point I really tired and there was a real climb here which slowed me greatly. I still don’t know why I slowed so much, I may have lost some concentration, because this was where my friend went ahead, but I could not hang on.

The last few miles were tough, the last mile I managed to speed up along the seafront, but it was too late to dip under the 1 hour 30, but I was fairly pleased with my run. This was where the crowds really made some noise, it was brilliant.

Having crossed the line, I was relieved to be in one piece still, as throughout the last year my knee has played havoc whenever, I have run on the road, especially distance running, so this was also pleasing.

I have now achieved one of my aims, to run the Great North Run, and it was an experience I will never forget, but in some ways after the finish it was just like another race, I was already thinking and planning how and when I am going to improve my time, and what races I can achieve this, so it looks like my enthusiasm for running is back again, which is great.!!

My aims now are to improve my 10km time and aim for a PB over half marathon in the Winter/Spring next year. I was only two minutes off my PB for half marathon whereas I am about four and a half minutes off my PB for 10km at the present time, so the half marathon is my best bet for a PB, except the marathon and no I am not going to do the Marathon!!!

I hope this inspires others to take up a challenge.


Committee Meeting 20/10/03

Present G. Cloke, M. Dennison, J. Jones, C. Wheeler, P. Wheeler, G. Mclaughlin.

Apologies N. Clark.

Matters Arising.

1)Sponsorship, Still no news Gwyneth to make enquiries.

2) Paul and Mark to buy tape and signs.

3) John Hoare to apply for permit for Combe Gibbet.

4) Overton 5 Still waiting final payments, to go into club account.

Treasurers Report

Income £463 94

Expenditure £1,431.70

Current £104.97

Reserve £1,946.08

Secretaries Report

1) Nomination for Vice President U.K. Athletics, proxy vote needed. Committee decided Tanni Grey-Thompson.


1) Lap Top for club Jamie to find out about the cost to the club.

2) London Marathon club entries sent for.

3) Southern League, £64.16 sent from Bicester for joint event.

4) Road Race League, Clashing with Hants XC have made attempts to change but had no success. This issue was brought up by club members.

5) Christmas Party, last Thursday before Xmas.

6) Christmas Lunch December 21st . Deposit paid £150. Cost for meal £15, this will be at the Golf Club., After the cyclists race.

7) Harrow Way race Maps to be produced for runners if needed. Tea and biscuits after.

8) Geoff to purchase a medicine ball for training and small hurdles, prices needed first.

Meeting closed at 9.15 p.m.

Date of next meeting 10/11/03

A LETTER FROM MONROVIA – 8th October 2003 from Mike McMahon

As I promised you all in the August Newsletter that I would provide a “Letter From Monrovia”, I had better put pen to paper and honour my commitment. I will be honest and tell you now that I am in fact writing this article from the relative comfort of Freetown, Sierra Leone, having left Monrovia, Liberia a few days ago. Nevertheless, by using extracts from a diary which I have kept throughout last month, I hope that I can give you a “feel” for life in one of the world’s poorest countries after 10 years or so of almost continual civil war. On current planning, this will be my final “Letter” from this part of the world, as I would hope to be safely back in UK sometime during the next couple of weeks.

I finally flew to Roberts International Airport near Monrovia on 8th September ready for a 7 week deployment before returning to UK via Freetown at the end of October. My role has been to assist with the preparations for the transfer of authority from the in-place West African peace force (ECOMIL) to the UN, which was achieved successfully on 1st October. At present, Liberia is governed by an Interim Government which has been in place since early August after ex-President Charles Taylor handed over power and went into exile in Nigeria. On 14th October, the Interim Government will be replaced by a more representative National Transitional Government, which will guide the country, with help from the UN, to democratic elections in two years time. This two week intervening period is critical to the long term success of the new UN Mission, as all the warring factions are using it to ensure that their influence is maintained throughout the process. Whilst the UN has about 3,500 peacekeeping troops in the Greater Monrovia area, it will be some weeks before any meaningful military presence can be deployed elsewhere in the country. Outside of Monrovia, the various warring factions have their fiefdoms and rule through fear, with much looting, raping and localised violence, despite them all signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement some months ago. If the stabilising impact in Monrovia is an indication of the UN’s success to date, the arrival of more troops and their deployment to other “hotspots”, can only be of immense benefit to the majority of Liberians.

Although the facilities available to the UN staff that are here are improving gradually, conditions are very basic; we are housed in a brick built building with cold running water, power and shelter. Our office is our bedroom; I share with 5 others who are all working on the logistic aspects of the preparation. This is great for team building and really discussing the “nuts and bolts” of the challenges which face us, but some hot water, a decent bed other than a camp bed and food other than a UN ration pack would be a help! In short our task has been to have an Interim Mission HQ (civilian and military) fully operational by 1st October (Transition Day – T Day).

Right up to the “11th Hour”, the designated HQ building was not functional (no water, basic office furniture, communications and IT equipment) and the infrastructure support facilities (accommodation, ablutions etc) were virtually non existent. In Monrovia there is no point in throwing financial allowances at the military staff and expecting them to find their own accommodation in the first few weeks; it simply does not exist. There are, quite rightly after the tragic murder of UN staff members in Iraq, serious concerns regarding ensuring that adequate security measures for staff are in place. After 3 days of almost continuous work, a small group of us (military and civilian) managed to at least convert one wing of the building into very basic accommodation and get a couple of offices established. Nevertheless, without running water, any form of air conditioning etc, life for the first few days was challenging to say the least! One day at about 6.30pm I measured an outside temperature of 29.8C and an inside temperature of 31.2C; not something that the average European can endure for too long without a break! I was fortunate having been in this area since January, but even I found it difficult to cope with the heat and the humidity. The vast majority of the other temporary staff officers have just arrived direct from Scandinavia; you can imagine the effect the climate is having on them.

As well as setting up the basic infrastructure for the Interim HQ, one of our other key tasks was to visit all the ECOMIL units and assess their capability, especially in respect of what logistic support they would need from the UN come T Day. Since these units deployed to Liberia in late August, their logistic support has been provided by the US State Department who are using a contractor. To say that the degree and quality of the support was anything above a basic subsistence level would be a lie. Highlights: there was no capable medical support; basic drugs were either in short supply or not possessed by some units; the volume and frequency of distribution of water was insufficient; the type and quality of rations were inappropriate for the tastes of soldiers from this region. On 12th September we traveled about 2 hours northwest of Monrovia through Kakata and Totota to see the Battalion from Guinea-Bissau which had been deployed about two days earlier. Their main location was a former education college which had become a temporary home to several hundred Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The Battalion had not been provided with any rations until 24 hours after their arrival; they could not cook those that did arrive as they had no cooking equipment; water was also scarce. We also visited their most forward deployed company just north of Totota. At this location we passed on whatever food and rations we had! Thankfully, when I returned to this unit a few days later, they were being provided with much better support.

In spite of all these challenges, the soldiers were doing an excellent job; they had provided much needed reassurance and security such that many of the IDPs felt able to start the trek north again back to their original camps. The road between Kakata and Totota was full of IDPs making their way north and back to their original camps, which they had fled during the four days worth of skirmishing in the area a week previously. A very good sign, but an equally pitiful sight. I managed to speak with a couple of family groups and got the impression that they had been “on the move” on many occasions over the past 10 years or so. I was mobbed by people when I produced a few packets of hard tack biscuits.

Whilst in Monrovia we were working 15-18 hour days and the ‘dormitory’ conditions meant that unbroken sleep was a definite luxury. The longest stretch that I had was probably 4 hours. At least since my return to Freetown, my routine is a little better. I have been assisting with the training course for the permanent HQ military staff who will deploy to Monrovia at the end of this week. Their two week course has enabled this disparate group of people, drawn from all corners of the globe, to get to know each other and do some of their initial long term planning with a degree of confidence. Myself and others, based on our experience “on the ground” in Liberia, have been able to paint a realistic picture of what they can expect over the next few months. Nearly all of this group, and a second batch to follow, will spend 12 months in Liberia. Whilst they will see their working and living conditions steadily improve, I do not envy them during the first few weeks!

Needless to say, although the past few weeks have been the most demanding and tiring I have experienced for some years, I am glad to have had such a unique opportunity to be involved in setting up a new UN Mission from “scratch” in one of those countries we hear so much about in the media, but never expect to actually visit. I have taken many photographs to remind me of the places and, above all the people, both in Sierra Leone and Liberia, and will, in one sense, be sad to leave, but in another very relieved to have survived in pretty good health! I very much look forward to autumn and winter in the UK and returning to running in the Hampshire countryside!


For the benefit of our Track and Field athletes here are the 2004 Southern League dates. Please note that the League is under re-organisation and there may well be less teams in our division next year. As a result there may only be five matches. If this is the case the last date will not be used. But at this stage please keep it clear with all the rest. I will update you when more information becomes available.

May 1st

May 22nd

June 26th

July 10th

July 30th

August 14th



A small gathering of intrepid Harriers made it to Farley Mount Country Club for the first fixture of the season. It was a lovely sunny day, and in spite of the short steep hills on the course there was a distinct lack of mud, and all in all a fairly pleasant race ahead of us.

As I was gasping for breath half way around the first lap, I was somewhat deterred to hear two women behind me having a chat.

“That sun’s a killer” said one

“I can hardly see where I’m going”.

Apart from the fact that they could actually race this course and discuss the weather, at least it put my mind at rest that every cross country event I turn up at is NOT doomed to gale force winds and torrential downpours.

Congratulations to Craig and Aaron for placing so well in their first event in the under 17 category, and to Ester Privett running her first ever League race in the under 13 Girls category.

Also a special thanks to Helen for her encouraging yells on course and for Nicky for collecting our sweaty numbers at the end. A great start to the season.

Well done everyone.


Position Name Mins Secs Category
35 E. Privett 10 53 U13 Girls
6 C. Williams 21 24 U17 Boys
8 A. Harris 22 02 U17 Boys
29 A. Dennison 20 19 Ladies
39 J. Hills 20 43 Ladies
68 D. Wicke 22 02 Ladies
76 L. Sandal-Ball 22 24 Ladies
111 E. Smith 25 04 Ladies
112 M. Vosser 25 08 Ladies
47 D. Vosser 33 22 Men
106 G. England 36 42 Men
122 M. Crawshaw 37 26 Men
144 K. Clark 38 18 Men
163 A. Hartley 38 55 Men
174 G. Duncan 39 21 Men
211 E. Tilbury 41 19 Men
213 D. Titcomb 41 25 Men
223 S. McNair 42 17 Men
234 G. Cloke 44 08 Men
241 J. Hodge 46 01 Men

Pictures are on the Website in the results section

Comments are closed.

Privacy Policy