Having come back to running and marathons five years ago after a 25 year break, Tom Hooley took part in the Royal Parks Ultra 50km on October 12th.  He arranged a place via the neuroblastoma charity NCCA UK, which helped save the life of a little girl now at St Edmund’s School, where Tom teaches, and then set about raising money and putting in the training mileage.  He prefers to run only 2-3 times a week, making the best of long back-to-back runs each weekend and then doing military fitness and resistance training midweek to keep core and body fit.  Add, when possible, a more-serious-than-social Harriers’ Thursday run with the ‘geriatric fast group’. (Blame Craig for that description!)  His longest back-to-backs in the last two months pre-race were 10+11 miles and 13+14 miles, with a short taper before tackling the route of the sadly discontinued Green Chain navigational marathon in SE London, with a friend for company over the 27-28 miles, and including a 30 minute pub stop on Plumstead Common.  Here a very generous landlord and customers saw his NCCA charity vest and chipped in generously.  The final month leading up to the ultra-race was spent first resting, then running medium-distance mileage, with the last quarter of some runs done at a faster pace for variety and interest.

On the day of the ultra Tom says he had to stay focused on keeping the pace right down to 9:30 min/mi in order to stay fresh and avoid hitting the wall in the later stages, when the pace would otherwise seriously start to falter.  The route took in Hyde Park and finished in Bushy Park at Teddington. In between, a lot of the route followed the south bank of the Thames, with forays into three other royal parks.  A funny moment was when a toddler picked up armfuls of autumn leaves and threw them at him with a gleeful cry!

Tom hates gels and so he relied on peanut butter sandwiches, crisps, and raisins for energy through the event.  The last 50 minutes between full marathon and 50km finish were hard but Tom soon felt OK again, meeting his marathon running buddy Helen at the finish for the marquee meal laid on by Royal Parks and taking a good walk round Bushy Park to keep from seizing up before the drive home.

Any plans for another ultra?  A bit early to tell… maybe Downslink 38 miles next October, where the snack stations have real party food!

With the help of generous donations the target funds for charity (£1,000) were easily reached – in fact exceeded by a £600 margin.  Finish time for the race was 4:56:48 chip time, with a position of 122nd out of 334.  A consistent pace for a first ultra, and within Tom’s target of five hours.




Home » Chilham Castle and Kent Fitness League

Chilham Castle and Kent Fitness League

Melanie Georgiades

At the Chilham Castle 5K, two course records were broken by the first and second runners.  Yiannis Christodoulou obtained second place in an excellent time of 22:52 and was closely followed by Chris Isherwood in fourth place in 25:31.

Also, at the Chilham Castle 10k, Stephen Hobbs gained an outstanding time of 44:43, sprinting his way to second position.  Although he found the course tough, he thoroughly enjoyed the race.

At the first Kent Fitness League race, the Harriers men came eighth overall, with Tom Purnell, Tom Millard and John Matthews coming within the top 20 positions.  However, the Harriers women had an even more outstanding result coming third overall with thanks to Barbara Wenman coming within the top 10.

Canterbury Harriers - Chilham 5 & 10k

Yiannis and Steve at the Chilham 5K and 10K

Home » Ashford 10K and Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon

Ashford 10K and Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon

Tom Purnell of the Canterbury Harriers sped into third position in 34:45 at the Givaudan Ashford 10K, also leading him to win the Kent Grand Prix Championship 2014.  Also gaining PBs included: David Waite (40:06), Colin Kent (40:17), Gemma Hiorns (49:36) and Lea Burnett (1:01:56).

At the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon in Aid of the Brooke, Tracy Furminger gained an outstanding time of 1:37, racing past the singer Ellie Golding.

RPF Half Marathon

Tracy Furminger at the RPF Half Marathon

Ashford 10k 2014

Canterbury Harriers performing admirably at the Ashford 10k

Home » Tom Millard Sprints to a Sub 3 Hour Position at the Bournemouth Marathon!

Tom Millard Sprints to a Sub 3 Hour Position at the Bournemouth Marathon!

Melanie Georgiades

Tom Millard of the Canterbury Harriers was on top form at the Bournemouth Marathon, achieving 14th position out of 1,968 runners!  His outstanding time of 2:51:50 means that he now joins the elite runners.  Tom explained how he trained for 12 weeks, going up to 50 miles a week at the peak.  He aimed for a sub 3 hour result, as he stated that he had “never run more than 20 miles” and was “blown away by the result”.  When asked what he would do differently next time, Tom was clear about “eating more carbs!”.

The terrain included roads, promenade and piers throughout.

Joyce Shamedje posted an excellent result in the same marathon. Her outstanding time of 3:14:53 was the fifth fastest posted by a lady, a phenomenal achievement. She did so well that she won a cash prize – go Joyce!

Bournemouth Marathon Canterbury Harriers

Joyce Shamedje races to 5th lady in the Bournemouth Marathon.

Home » Good Results All-round

Good Results All-round

Melanie Georgiades

The Berlin Marathon led to a record braking finish for Dennis Kimetto but also Nathan Bradley achieved a PB of 3:48:21.  Nathan’s PB was an excellent 26 minutes quicker than his previous marathon time.

Mark Cooper gained a good result of 1:34:47 in the Ealing Marathon, followed by Paul Keen’s debut of 1:57:50.

At the 9th Folkestone Rotary Half Marathon, Jennie Gardner made her debut in 1:45:07 and a PB was gained for Alex Davis of 2:37:15.

Home » The Ladies Fair Well Against the Gentlemen

The Ladies Fair Well Against the Gentlemen

Melanie Georgiades

At the Wingham 10K, the Harriers sprinted towards exceptional results.  Tom Millard gained an excellent third position and second male in 37:21.  Sarah Maguire also gained an outstanding result of 42:48, gaining second lady and in Abigail Mackinnon-Austin’s debut, she achieved third lady in 45:11.  Penny Birchall was the first Vet 50 in 48:35, whilst Joanna Brazier accomplished a PB in 55:39.

Wingham 10k 2014

Harriers making an excellent start to the Wingham 10k

Wingham 10K

Tom Millard Racing into 3rd in the Wingham 10k











At the Podplus Ashford Summer 5K Series, Anna Fisk obtained first lady as she dashed her way to a top 20 position in 22:53.

The Track Athletics Canterbury 5000m resulted in an overall win for Tom Millard, achieving the title of ‘series champion’.  Tom Purnell obtained a great result of second position in 16:26, achieving a PB.  Simon Jones was not far behind in third position and obtaining a PB of 16:32.

Track Athletics 5K

Track Athletics 5K.
Race 2nd place Tom Purnell, Race 3rd place Simon Jones. Race Series Winner Tom Millard.

Home » A Week of Outstanding Results!

A Week of Outstanding Results!

Melanie Georgiades

At the Rye Summer Classic Series 5K, Canterbury Harriers’ Simon Jones gained an excellent second position in 16:54, achieving a PB.

The Charing 10K led to three PB’s from the Harriers ladies: Beth Burnett (48:51), Fiona Craig (56:50) and Lea Burnett (1:02:11).

At the Fosters Law Kent Coastal Marathon, Adam Cowper-Smith gained an outstanding bronze medal for the Kent Champs Vet 50 and a PB in an excellent time of 3:24:22.

Fiona Tester raced to 3rd Lady Vet 35 in her club debut for a half marathon for the Harriers at the Fosters Law Lent Coastal Half Marathon in 1:45:32.

Tom Millard gained a top ten position at the Cheshire 20 Miler in 2:09:00, bringing him in good stead for his marathon training.

Finally, at the Great North Run, Adam Stokes achieved a PB in 1:18:31 and Nathan Bradley achieved another PB for his yearly collection, running in at 1:43:10.

Home » The Monday Marathon

The Monday Marathon

Melanie Georgiades

At the 5K Track Athletics Canterbury, Peter Hogben came back after time-out from an injury in second place with an excellent time of 16:44, also achieving a PB.  Joe Thomsett followed in fifth position in 17:39 (a PB) and Jacob Hussey in 18:50 for his debut on a track event.

Only one Canterbury Harrier entered the Mel Batty 10K, however they were well presented with Barry Hopkins achieving a top ten position and PB of 39:23.

Finally, the Canterbury Half Marathon, completed on a rainy Bank Holiday Monday, led to excellent results for the Harriers.  Simon Jones sprinted to third place in 1:17:54, followed by Thomas Purnell in fifth place in 1:19:28.  The first female Harrier to cross the finishing line was Sarah Maguire, in a great time of 1:33:32.