The Hatterall Hammer 17/02/18

Posted: February 20, 2018 in Uncategorized



Yes, we all felt the earth move on Saturday. What fun! But Kev, our ever willing tail runner didn’t find it amusing.

“They don’t build mountains like they used to,” he complained. “These beggars crumble and shake soon as you put your foot down. Then I get into trouble with the runners in front for causing too much vibration and up-draught. Sometimes you can’t win!”

Certainly not when you’re tail runner, but all power to Kev for his help on the day and to the great crowd of Couriers and friends who turned out to make the race such a success: Sheryl, Bev ‘Vid’ Bishop, Brian, Russ, Carol, Sky, Ben, Dave, Hazel and daughter and to Mike Blenkinsop, whose presence alone at a race ensures an atmosphere of calm and professionalism. I hardly need add how much Clive and Tracy did to make the event happen..recceing in advance, setting out the signage, doing the finish tunnel, marshalling at the top (Tracy), recording (Clive), prize presentation (Clive). Thanks are also due to Jonathan Phillips the landowner who started the race and to Vasile, Maria and their team who provided a warm welcome and a fine spread at the Old Pandy Inn. As ever, we are grateful to Alan McCardle of the St Margarets Cider Company for supplying his potent bottled Herefordshire. Sweethearts like the Gunners did particularly well with a Valentine presentation edition to add to the statutory M70 prize (that was Gary). Don’t drink it all at once guys. You don’t want the earth moving again.

And to the race. In lovely temperate conditions, Andrew Tuckey from Bridgend, a 2.36 marathoner, dominated the field with his powerful climbing, exactly equalling the record set last year by Sam Gregory. The women’s race too had quality at the sharp end as Helen Brown, former British Champion, took the win, finishing high up the field. Another performance that cannot go without mention was that of Mike Fawcett who, after a few years of being plagued with injury, has found in his fifties that ultra-running in the toughest conditions is just the thing to recondition the body. At the Hammer he was an amazing 5th. What a battle it might have been if legendary M50 Mark Palmer had been running!

There was also a strong showing from the Couriers: Jake, who has progressed remarkably, adding strength to his speed through the season since joining the Club, started cautiously but tore through the field to finish 20th out of the 75 starters. Not far behind was Naomi, in a rich vein of form now she has a strong training group at Warwick University, finishing in 23rd and 4th woman, in the process taking the prized scalp of no less a fell man than Mike Link, who was 12 seconds down on her in 24th. There was a magnificent run too from Suzette Botha, doing her very first fell race. She is clearly a natural climber and was up with Naomi at the summit. She lost a few places coming down but still finished in a fine 35th spot. If she is available for the Summer Off Road Series, she could be a great addition to the team. A little way back were Richard Wall wearing the Couriers’ away Caribbean strip in 54th, one place up on Nigel who ran the whole race with huge grin on his face. “This was fun compared with what Sheryl puts me through on the road. That’s what I call ‘hammering’,” he said.



2018 Hatterall Hammer Results

Posted: February 18, 2018 in Uncategorized

Well done to all those intrepid hill lovers that raced through the earthquake!

Results via the link below.

Huge thanks as always to Couriers together with their friends and family who yet again made this lovely event happen ūüôā

No doubt a blow by blow race report from Steve will follow very shortly……..

Hammer 2018 Results

Congratulations to all the following – as well as those who pushed them hard – on their performances right through the winter season.



1. Ross 87

2. Matt 79

3. Jake 76



1. Amy 30

2. Kerry 18

3. Becky 16


Awards will be presented at the AGM on Thursday 22nd February at 8.00pm in the Leisure Centre.

Please note that the ALISON COOKE CUP (for females) and the DAVID PREECE CUP (for males) are to be awarded for the first time on a similar basis for performances in the four off road summer league events together with the County 10 mile road championship to be held in August. Medals again for the top three in each competition, I hope, to be presented before the start of the winter season.



With just next Sunday’s Presteigne fixture to go, leading standings in the Courier winter cups are as follows. As a reminder, the male WOODFORD GREEN CUP competition works like this, 20 points for first Courier, 19 for 2nd and so on in each of the 5 cross countries, each individual’s points being added together to determine his total. It’s the same for the JOHN NORTON TROPHY for the women, with 10 points the max in each race. Medals for top 3 in each competition, to be presented with the cups for the two winners at AGM.


1.Mike 72

2.Ross 69

3.Jake 61

4.Matt 59

6.Ben 55

7.Tim 51



1.Amy 30

2. Kerry 18

3. Becky 16


First of all, it’s great to see the new names in the lists. Added to the above, there is also Barry Reynolds who after his fine NYD 10K, had a superb run at the Rotherwas fixture, leading for a good while and finishing a close second to speedy Tim Iveson. The course suited him better than Croft, but even there, in the mud, he was a remarkable 6th but beaten by Matt on that occasion. Ross too has run well and is the leading junior man in the League. Further up the age scale, Tim has been performing brilliantly, dominating the V55’s, as trying to hang on to Eliot and co in training bears fruit.

We have the potential to do well in the women’s team comp. but have not always managed to field a full threesome. Amy is around the top 10 and Kerry would be in line for a V35 medal if she’d managed to do more races. Becky has also been well up and at Rotherwas the team was 4th. Taking account of the winning team at the NYD10K, Roxanne, Naomi and Sheryl it’s clear we potentially have a strong pool of female runners.

In the men’s team event, we’ve been inconsistent, managing 2nd at Rotherwas but as low as 7th at Monkhall. We’re 4th overall now but could improve with a good turnout at Presteigne.

Finally, please do publicise your results on the blog. There’s nothing like the first hand account of races to inspire and motivate teammates!


2018 Couriers Race Promotions

Posted: January 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

Please check out our upcoming 2018 race promotions to be held as usual over Fell (Hatterall Hammer) and Road (Couriers 5km Series).

Click on the dedicated tabs above for further details and see you there!



It now seems a long time back when we¬†started the season at this venue and absolutely dominated¬†the opposition to take our first steps towards a compelling¬†men’s team victory in the Series. We were well down on such¬†a performance this year, being 5th in the men’s race and 6th¬†in the women’s. However, this marks a significant step up¬†from last season when we barely scraped a male foursome and¬†had no female team.. This time, we had two men’s teams as¬†well as a women’s. Just a pity we were missing a number of¬†our top performers though there is time to claw our way up¬†the table with four fixtures to go, beginning at Croft on¬†November 12th.

Under fine autumn skies, with a light¬†breeze, the women’s team was led home, over this demanding,¬†but always interesting course, by Amy Smith (10th out of 72)¬†who has been trying to coach her old dad into a bit of form¬†over the summer. She was superbly backed by Kerry, fresh¬†from a fantastic low 1..46 clocking in the Cardiff¬†Half, in 19th and 2nd V35. Like the returning Becky, making¬†her comeback after illness to register an impressive 42nd,¬†she wasn’t an admirer of the course. But neither looks too¬†unhappy in the photos already on Facebook, do they (unlike some of the men!) ?

But the tough course, with getting on for 1000 ft of climb in the 6 + miles,nicely softened by Welsh rain, suited our first two men down (or should it be up?) to the ground: the new streamlined Matt had a great run in 3rd out of 118 while Mike Link, who has been training in wellies and flip-flops and by running up and down ladders, showed his legendary hill strength by finishing 17th and 3rd V45, just getting his nose in front of speedy young Ross crossing the line in a very fine 19th and 1st U20. Sadly these three had to wait for Steve to close the team in 46th and 2nd V65.

Just behind was new signing Jake Underhill who¬†medalled impressively in the summer County Track Champs, but found his searing pace compromised on the wet, hilly¬†terrain. The same was probably true of another debutant, ex¬†400m hurdler, Ben Skinner in 62nd. Ben has his sights set on a marathon next and I’m sure we’ll see him and Jake moving¬†up the field as the season progresses. Kev’s race (69th)¬†was, he complained, “ruined by duff pre-race information.¬†I was told it was pretty flat so I brought my speed legs which¬†proved totally unsuitable after a fiery start.” But didn’t¬†he notice all the hills above the campsite? “Of course,¬†bloomin’ did,” he said, “but I thought they were just¬†scenery. When it comes down to it, I suppose I haven’t¬†adjusted from all me summer track work. Whatever the¬†scenery, track circuits are lovely and flat, mostly, except¬†for the steeplechase barriers.”

It was great to have Neil Lewis back on¬†the comeback trail, finishing 112th. He is trying to return¬†to racing shape and what dedication……he finished his¬†first shift on the farm at 9.0 a.m. and was then back on¬†duty at 2.0 p.m. after the race. That is triathlon in the¬†true sense of the word! Not far behind was a third new¬†recruit, Dave Cameron in 115th. Dave is making a return to¬†running, no doubt inspired by his son Ross’ brilliant¬†progress and wife, Karen’s encouragement. Neil and Dave are¬†another two I tip to be moving up the field soon. Keep the¬†training going, boys. The next course (Croft Nov 12th) is¬†pancake flat. According to Kev.


Brecon 10 Peaks 2017

Posted: October 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

Read Naomi Prosser’s account of her amazing 36 miles over the Beacons!

The Brecon 10 Peaks is a 50-mile race visiting the 10 highest peaks in the Brecon Beacons. I did the short course which substitutes three of the peaks with three smaller ones to make a 36-mile course. The weather on the day was OK, it was generally pretty good although sometimes windy and wet, but the visibility was good which makes navigating the mountains much easier. This was my second time of completing the race and having recced the course within the last few weeks I was pretty confident of where I was going and hardly had to look at my map, saving some time. I also had a top supporter in my mum who met me at all the checkpoints to cheer me on.


Apart from the first six or so miles I ran the majority of the race alone, sometimes passing people on the descent and being passed on the ascent. Although I had been walking all the uphill sections I had the intention of running the last inclines once I got close to the finish, but by then I could do no better than walk up even the smallest. Even so I managed to gain on the lady ahead, taking one final energy gel before I was noticed and we set off racing down the mountain. I managed to move up to third but lost that again once we reached a muddy section where I struggled with traction, catching up again once we hit some tarmac to joint 3rd at the bottom of the descent. One final push for the final half mile and I managed to hold onto 3rd place and finish in a little over 9hrs39. Fifty minutes faster than my previous time.


It was the most exhausting race I had ever done but 24 hours later that was forgotten and I was already planning for next year. Now to try and beat my time or do the 50 miles?


Couriers Comment: Fab running Naomi ūüėĬ†