It’s been a strange year and it’s clear that the club has been an important touchstone for many of us. A huge thanks to Harriers, coaches, committee and parents. We’re immensely proud of the way everyone has responded to the challenges.
It’s clear that the balance of a can-do attitude together with a respect for the Covid guidelines have enabled us to adapt our training sessions appropriately and keep going over the year (with breaks for the lock-downs).
- Juniors – Special thanks to coaches & KA’s that have allowed us to provide activities for the younger Harriers.
- Tom’s Group – It’s always impressive to see the dedication Tom and his athletes bring to their training, and how they’ve adapted over the last 9 months.
- Seniors – Thanks to Jon and his group of coaches that provided both virtual and real-life sessions and kept us fit and motivated.
- Social runs – The Saturday and Sunday trail runs have adapted and continued with new size and meeting guidelines, which has helped to provide social connection and exercise in the open air.
To ensure we could comply with Covid guidelines, we adopted the Meetup app meaning we could preregister Harriers for activities, managing group sizes and ensuring we had contact details in case of infection. An unexpected bonus is that new runners have found us via the app and we’ve had several new joiners.
Although the Sportshall Season was cut short by the virus, a massive thanks to Pippa, the coaches and the 30 Harriers that competed in the fixtures before Lock-Down. It is lovely to see our juniors getting such fun from competing as a group and we’re now regularly competing on a level footing with other clubs where our juniors are winning or getting placed in their age category.
Our women capped off an amazing XC season by being crowned champions of the Oxfordshire Cross Country League. As well as Sophie Lloyd individually winning the League, it was clear that the camaraderie provided a strength and depth that was unbeatable. It’s an incredible result for one of the smaller clubs to win Division 1, achieve 3rd in Division 2 and 7th place in Division 3!
Our men’s team achieved 9th in Division 1. A solid result, and it’s clear that we have the athletes to compete when XC returns.
Teddy Hall Relay
This fabulous team race was as popular us usual. With 16 Harriers wanting to run on a Wednesday afternoon from the legendary Iffley Road, we had 4 teams competing. A great afternoon for us all was capped by Ruth Fisher, Alex Briscoe, Becky Hodgson & Andrew Bailey winning 1st External (non-college) Team.
White Horse Half Marathon
A huge thanks to Jacqueline, Neil and the Half Marathon team who moved decisively to ensure a difficult situation was handled really well. Scheduled for the 5th April, just a few weeks after the lock-down, the White Horse Half is a huge deal for the club. Apart from the massive team effort that goes into putting it on, it’s also the main fund raiser for the club.
The excellent management and communication seems to have left a positive impression with the entrants. The majority of runners nominated to donate their entry fee to charity rather than the refund alternative they were offered, which raised almost £4,700 for local charity, Wantage and Surrounding Areas Covid-19 Support Group.
Track & Field
Sadly, the 2020 athletics season fell victim to the virus. However, with the news of the vaccine, we’re hopeful for summer 2021.
Ridgeway Relay was held under lock-down, no prizes and just for the glory. With 39 teams and 89 miles split into 10 legs, it proved as popular as ever!
An amazing day with 40 Harriers running and 4 teams
- WHH Thoroughbreds won overall with an extraordinary average pace of 6.40 min/miles over 10 legs & 89 miles
- The ‘WHH Amazons’ were the first ‘mostly women’ team with an impressive average pace of 7.47 min/mile
- The WHH Super-Vets were 17th overall and 2nd Vet team.
- The WHH All Stars had a fab result, climbing 5 places from last year.
Special thanks to Alex de Hotot, mission control, who kept all the teams motivated and informed on their positions throughout the day.
A massive thank you to Jonathan and Sharon who quickly adapted the road league to motivate and give us loads of challenges through 2020.
An impressive 57 Harriers took part in the virtual races! Congratulation to Alex Briscoe, Simon Leech, Anna Bedford and Rachel Whiting who won their respective categories.
Other noteworthy achievements included Jac Hall climbing doing an incredible 10,383ft of vertical ascent in 72 hours, Dawn Ealey doing her first Half Marathon and Alison Osborn-Roberts doing her first Marathon.
Alex and Jonathan worked hard to adapt and keep our social events fun & relevant, including a quiz & awards in December.
Jonathan delivered a coup by persuading Courtney Dauwalter, Winner of the Moab 240 and Ultra star, to talk at our Zoom social in May. We extended the invite more widely to include other local running clubs and had over 200 watch and raised over £400 for British Red Cross charity.
It’s been an extraordinary year, and the club’s finances have taken a small drop. We are fortunate that the committee have built up our reserves with two considerations 1. in case of a cancellation of the White Horse Half Marathon 2. to invest in club facilities.
The club remain in a strong position and plan to invest in coaching, training and competitions in 2021 and beyond
A huge thanks to all of those that have contributed to the club over 2020 and apologies to those that didn’t get mentioned by name.