Thursday, September 6, 2012

September 5k Results

Last night saw Ryan Twa establish himself as a dominant force on the 5k circuit with a maiden victory, a massive PB and a gun-to-tape win.  Twa staked his claim early on and pulled out a big gap over Blaine Penny in second, with the rest of the group (many of whom had done a 36k mountain run 2 days earlier) bunched behind.

On lap 2, Jeremy "I only turn up for the beer" Deere joined in to help pull Ryan to his ultra fast time and Jeff Krar joined in to help Blaine close the gap.  But the gap stayed and Ryan finished in a super fast 16.10.  Blaine was 2nd (17.03), Captain Morgan third.

The photos (with expert analysis from Bob Banks) should be here:!447

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Moose Mountain Trail Races

Last weekend saw the Harriers take on Moose Mountain yet again, this time in the annual trail races which are an exceptionally well-run event.  There are three distances (42k, 29k and 16k) and the Harriers had representation in all three.

Adam Kahtava showed endurance beyond his locks with a fine second place finish in the marathon.  Adam was only minutes behind the winner and was catching him by the end.  Just another half mile...

In the 29k Jody Draude took the title with ease and in a super fast time (about 2:14 - we are waiting to see if it is a course record).  Jody was sporting a manly cut on his cheek at the end of the race - it looked like a shaving cut but he maintained it was as a result of a tumble down the hill at some point in the previous two hours.  Carl Pryce was not far behind in second place.

In the 16k Duncan Marsden overcame a monumental lack of fitness to retain his title.

Good running by all. 

Don't forget the BVH 5k on September 5.  Scott's buying the beers (honestly!) 

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Big Weekend

This weekend was as special for the Harriers as Super Saturday for the Brits. 

It started with Blaine Penny defending his Canadian 50 mile title for the third year in a row.  An amazing performance.  This is what he had to say about it:

One of the toughest races of my life at Iron Legs 50 miler yesterday. It was 30 degrees, I had 2 bouts of diarrhea, stomach shut down at 40 km, puked at 50 km and unable to eat for the last 30 km, took a wrong turn at 60 km (added 3 extra k...
ms), got back on course only to go backwards :( and my worst bonk ever in the last 5 km.

I have to say I somehow found strength I never knew I had (thanks to Evan once again) and managed to keep running to cross the finish line. I defended my Iron Legs title for the 3rd year in a row (just barely) and am officially the 2012 50 MIle Canadian Ultra Marathon Champion. I think I am retiring from racing ultras after this one!

Many thanks to
Jamie Nott and his army of volunteers for a great race and looking after us in the heat. Special thanks to Tim Watson for hooking me up with an IV to pour some life back into me!

Also, huge contrats to
Phil Villeneuve and Simon Donato for setting a new course record in the relay.
See More

He'd swap it all for a win in the BVH 5k though.

Then on Sunday we had the Edmonton marathon.  Darcy went for a Sunday morning stroll and came home in 6th with a 2:45 posting.  Incredible.  Scott "I'll never do a marathon" Jensen (aka The Oracle) posted a 2:51 on virtually no long runs.  Great running guys.

Not to be upstaged, Frank (71.56), Jeremy (72.18) and Jody (74.38) put in a great showing in the half. I've promised not to mention that they all got "chicked" twice.   I reckon we must have won the team prize there.

A good weekend.

Friday, August 10, 2012

BVH Annual Trail run

Some videos from Blaine:

and Adam:   from last Monday's trail run.  The heavy-looking guy is Ryan...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

BVH 5k - August 2012

The hot weather brought out the crowds, flocking to see their favourite BVH stars battle it out over 5k.  At times the scene resembled the Tour de France with crowds on both sides pushing for a glimpse of Jensen or a flash of Twa and barely enough room for the runners to get through.  At least I think they were there to cheer us on and not to watch Shakespeare in the Park.  One lady in particular gave us all a warm glow when she encouraged us on with a shout of "Get off the public footpath!" 

The race had some quality in it.  A group  of 7 quickly got away and looked magnificent.  Entering the last lap this was down to 3 and with about 800m to go it was between Deere and Bickley.  One was clearly suffering more than the other.  Into the final straight they were still neck and neck (like that Chicago marathon - you know the one) until finally Bickley's 800m speed showed through and he pipped Deere to the post.  I will not ruin Ed's day by telling you which Bickley won.  (Although the phrase "Bickley sandwich" was used at the end to describe the race).

To the actors who had to compete with my bike bell and shouts of "Runners coming through": I doth apologise.  To the girls who spoke to us at the end: See you next time!  To the lady whom we apparently inconvenienced by all of half a second: Happy Christmas.  To anyone who wasn't there: Did I mention I'm going to the Olympics?

The results I managed to get were:

1.  Brad Bickley - 16.05
2.  Jeremy Deere - 16.06
3.  Captain Morgan
4.  Spencer
5.  Travis Cummings
6.  Ryan Twa
7.  Scott Jensen
8.  Jody Draude - 16.32
9.  Frank Woolstencroft - 16.58*
10.  Darcy Bell - 17.26
11.  Felix - 17.41**
12.  Jason Reed - 17.55
13.  Bob Banks - 18:00
14.  Kevin Lindland - 18:03
15.  Adam Kahtava - 18:19
16.  Ed Bickley - 18:54.

*Having done a half Ironman on Sunday (see that, Haddow?!)
**All the way from Ontario having done a hills session just before the race.

Monday, July 16, 2012

BVH 5k - July 2012

Unofficial Report by Scott Jensen

Here's what I can remember, but I could be off a bit:

1. "Captain" Morgan Titus - 16:16ish
2. Scott Jensen - 16:21
3. Travis "There are three types of people in the world - those who can count, and those who can't" Cummings - 16:29?
4. Jody "Slapping Beaver Tails" Draude - 16:35?
5. Blaine Penny - 16:45
6. Frank Woolstencroft - 16:59
7. Darcy Bell
8. Jeff Krar
9. Bob Banks
10. Kevin Lindland
11. Adam Kahtava

Ryan, when you're plotting these times make sure you take into account the limiting factors of wind, altitude, crowds, and distractions from the Bard and pretty girls.

Travis led most of the first two laps, but slowed dramatically at the end of lap two when he was struck by the twin disappointments of having to do another lap and realizing that he wasn't about to run the world's first sub-11 5k. Morgan took over from there and pulled away slightly on the last lap. Apparently I'm the only one who tapers for these races, as it sounds like everyone else was fitting this race in between morning, lunch, and evening runs!

Next race August 1st!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Salomon 4 Trails

So I'm p sure that the rule is that you're not allowed to be proud of good results if you can't face up to the bad ones. Remember when the wheels fell off Jeremy's wagon in Chicago? Well the same just happened to me but I had 2 mountain passes to negotiate in the remaining 11 miles. The 4 trails is a four day stage race in Germany and Austria. You run about 40k per day. This was to be my warm up for the TransAlps in a couple of months but with injury problems over the past 6 weeks and very little running, I decided that I'd just jog the first day of this as a try out. It was still 36k with three serious climbs. The first three miles were great and I led the whole thing and seriously thought I was going to get the top 3 without a problem. I was pushing up the hills, holding back and feeling good. By mile 7 I could barely walk the flats. By mile 14 I had cramps in both legs which hurt so much that I had to keep crouching to stretch them out. It took me 70 minutes to do the next 2 miles and my heart rate was an average of 178. By mile 18 I was throwing up. At the next aid station a doctor looked at me and took my blood pressure (which he said was "unter hundert") and pulled me from the race. How embarrassing. I could blame a lot of things but I'll never really know what went wrong. All I really know is that I got tamed.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

BVH 5K June Results

1.  Spencer Pootz - 16.11
2= Morgan Titus - 16.26
2= Ryan Twa - 16.26
4  Jody Draude - 16.30
5  Frank Woolstencroft - 16.38
6  Aaron Swanson - 16.43
7  Nick Haddow - 16.52
8  Jeff Krar - 17.01
9  Paul McCloy - 17.02 (leading the McCloy Family 5k rankings)
10  Darcy Bell - 17.11
11  Blaine Penny - 17.14
12  Kevin Lindland - time unknown
13  Bob Banks - time unknown.

Apparently it's acceptable at Speed Theory to beat your boss.  Spencer showed a clean pair of heels to everyone in the field including his boss, Darcy.  Prize for the best positive split in this race?  Frank.  Prize for the gutsiest move?  Ryan's burst at the half way stage.  Worth watching the video for that alone.

Also, this last weekend Travis won the 5 Peaks 5K in Canmore with Spencer in second.  Duncan won the Run to the Farmers market half marathon despite a dodgy hip.

K100 this weekend, gents.  Rest up.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Calgary Race Weekend

One of the worst things about being injured is missing out on race weekends like the one which just took place in Calgary.  Harriers were all over the place, especially near the front of the three main events - the 10k, the half and the full.  Results are not yet out but we have the following unofficial results:

Travis - 5th in the 10k in 33:20
Jeremy - 2nd in the half in 69:58
Frank - 3rd in the half (time unknown)
Scott - 5th in the half in 73 mins
Blaine - 6th in the full in 2:39
Darcy - 7th in the full in 2:41.

There were also a number of Harriers pacing Ed Bickley round to (another) sub 3 hour marathon.  "Just a training run"!

Good running everyone!  And well don to everyone who wore their MitoCanada vest with pride.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

5 Peaks COP

The Bow Valley Harriers showed their prowess on the trails this past weekend at the 1st Central Alberta 5 Peaks Series Race at Canada Olympic Park. The course proved challenging but the group showed their mastery of off-road racing with two wins and a runner-up finish. Jeremy Deere claimed victory on the challenging Enduro course (approx. 10km) in a time of 39:34 while Travis Cummings placed 2nd behind Deere in a time of 40:24. Too many surges at the start of the race cost Cummings over the back half of the course as Jeremy's controlled, even paced strategy proved superior. Over the shorter Sport course (6ish k), Blaine Penny claimed a convincing victory winning by nearly 2 minutes over his closest competitor. Also to note fringe Harrier Phil Villeneuve placed 5th in the Enduro race a few minutes back of Jeremy and Travis. It is a busy next couple of months for Bow Valley as we see many of our members contest multiple distances at the Calgary Marathon this upcoming weekend. Jody Draude, Blaine Penny, Ken Myers, and Darcy Bell are all slated to participate in the marathon distance as elite runners. Jeremy Deere is assigned elite status in the half marathon and Travis Cummings is also given the same status in the 10k.
The 5 Peaks results bode well for the Harriers who competed at COP on the weekend as all 3 runners have big plans for the trails this summer. Jeremy is attempting Powderface 42.2 for the 1st time, Blaine is having another go around at Powderface and will also be doing the Iron Legs ultra. Travis is making his first serious attempt at qualifying for the World Mountain Running Championships so these fine young gentlemen all have their work cut out for them as they try and accomplish these significant tasks. Also of note to mention on the trail side of things, Duncan will be making an assault on the Trans-Alps stage races this summer so he will have to keep everyone posted about his training and his results as the summer progresses.
Anyone have any other off-road attempts or summer races to report about?
And last but not least, K100 roster was posted this weekend, with everyone running as well as they are this is going to be a scary team for the competition. I'm not sure if the Leg Champs will be able to claim that title for a name as they will not be taking our title provided they don't load up with Ontario based Kenyans last minute. Preview for this epic race will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

Great job Harriers!

By Travis Cummings

Friday, May 18, 2012

5k Results - May 2012

We have one more time yet to come in but the results of the first 5k of the season are as follows:

1.  Deere - 16.25
2.  Titus - 16.26
3.  Marsden - 16.29
4.  Twa - 16.34
5.  Penny - 16.39
6.  Draude - 16.46
7.  Haddow - 16.52
8.  Woolstencroft - 16.56
9.  Bell - 17.27
10.  Rich MacDonald - unknown
11.  Jason Reed - 17.53
12.  Bobbi-Jo - 19.13

Jeremy had a great run in the Mother's Day race last weekend, as did Frank.  I will try and get a comment from them at some point.  We have also Harriers running the 5 Peaks COP race tomorrow - starts at 10am!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

BVH 5k Series - May 2012

There was a cold northerly wind whipping through Prince's Island Park last night which made it the ideal opportunity for the Bow Valley Harriers to kick off summer with their first 5k of the season.  About 10-15 of us made it out and you could literally (Jeremy) have thrown a blanket over the field for the entire race.  The first lap saw some former winners (Deere, Marsden) heading to the front as well as some newcomers (Titus).  After the first lap a group of 4 had broken away slightly (Deere, Titus, Marsden, Penny) and at half way that had fragmented with Deere and Titus forging a lead.  The finish was tight but in the end Deere held on, to make it a 100% record this season.

Negative split of the night was (for once) not taken by Jody Draude but by Ryan Twa who was virtually last on the first lap and stormed through to fourth.

The engineer amongst us mapped it out (and apparently took seismic data too):

Turns out we were right all along and the course is slightly long (by about 40 m) which means we can all take a minute (at least) off our times!

Unofficial results of the top five are as follows:

1.  Jeremy Deere  16.25
2.  Morgan Titus  16.26
3.  Duncan Marsden  16.29
4.  Ryan Twa  16.34
5.  Blaine Penny  16.39

Official results will be posted as soon as I have everyone's time!

See you next month everybody.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Police Half Report

Yesterday was Calgary's annual police half marathon which saw the Harriers secure a convincing 1-2.  Usually this is a snowy affair but this year runners were spared the drifts which they have encountered in previous years leading to faster times than in recent races.

Defending champion Woolstencroft cruised to victory in a shade over 75 minutes on an exceptionally tough course.  Just over a minute behind him was Harrier Draude who did his usual race tactic of running a negative split by several minutes (reports had him in 5th for the first half of the race).  Completing the top 3 Harriers was Nick Haddow who finished 4th, a fuither minute or so back. 

Full results can be obtained here:

Great running, boys.

Don't forget the 5k on Wednesday everybody.  7pm under the Olympic Arches in Eau Claire. 


We have just secured the first two finishers in the Police Half (at great expense in terms of appearance fees) for the BVH 5k on Wednesday.  Expect the paparazzi.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

First BVH 5k of the Season

It's that time again.  Summer is here (sort of).  Which can mean only one thing.  The BVH 5k series is up and running again.

When?  Wednesday, May 2, 2012.
Time?  7pm.
Where?  Under the Olympic Arches outside the YMCA in Eau Claire. 

Let me know if you're coming -

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

BVH goes Global!

The Bow Valley Harriers officially has a global reach, as demonstrated by Harrier Mark Steinle winning the 34 mile Endurancelife Coastal Race Series Sussex event (in England) in 4 hours and 38 minutes.  Steinle is pictured below cruising up a hill in his BVH vest in a scene which couldn't look less like Alberta (particularly in March!) if it tried. 

Steinle overtaking a footballer

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bow Valley Harriers St Patrick’s Day 10k Exploits

by Travis Cummings

The first big road race of the Alberta road racing season kicked off in fine fashion for the Bow Valley Harriers. These early events are always exciting as we see who went into full hibernation during the winter and have work to do and who only went into a stage of torpor and have spry legs in anticipation for the months ahead. The new 10k course is quite a bit more challenging than the old course around the U of C; in fact the new South Calgary course is deceivingly hard, full of twists, turns, and rolling terrain, and a few long, gradual climbs. Needless it isn’t a course to break a world record on, yet some really solid times were posted from some of our star performers.

To begin, Darcy Bell, who is laying early claim to a 2:33 marathon performance at Scotiabank Calgary Marathon Weekend, placed 12th in a time of 35:49. Cracking the top ten in 8th place was local celebrity Blaine Penny, whose efforts earned him a time of 35:05. Mr. Consistent, Jody Draude, seems to defy aging with his clockwork improvements in running each year; he made his case for 4th place in a time of 34:35. It is worth mentioning he placed just ahead of Alberta Timex Series Road Race legend Brian Torrance, who was in our fine city from that god awful truck stop 3 hours north of us to test his mettle against the best Calgary had to offer. However the top performance of the day was had by Travis Cummings. On the eve of his 27th birthday, running like a man with something to prove, Travis regained his form as champion of the St Patrick’s Day 10k for the 3rd time in the past 4 years. Frankly, he was sick of being carved up for dropping out last year. Pretty sure he laid claim to the after party title as well but the recollections are foggy so that is still up for debate. Looks like winter mileage and newly christened maturity are starting to pay off for the moderately young Cummings. He finished in a time of 33:26, fighting off a strong performance by Ryan Russell, who made a ballsy move at 7.5k but faded with a kilometer to go.

The boys took it out pretty fast, going through 3k in 9:45 and 5k in 16:20, then the hills hit on the back half and the pace slowed a little. Great start to the season fellas, let’s keep the momentum going!

K100, pretty much the most important race in the world, is officially only 3 months away so it is looking promising for a successful title defence!

“It’s at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys.” – Emil Zatopek


Sarcastic blogging encouraged…

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Marathon and Half Rankings - 2011

Thanks to Jody for pointing me in the direction of this link:

As Jody says "As we narrow down into the Age Group and Regional categories, BVH really starts to stand out."

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Passing of a Legend

Frank Horwill MBE
June 19, 1927 - January 1, 2012

The term "legend" is banded around all too regularly nowadays.  For Frank Horwill it is an understatement.

I first met Frank in the year 2000 when I turned up to Battersea track to do a training session and stumbled across the man who would be my coach for the next 7 years, three times a week, without asking for anything in return.  Our Saturday sessions were two hour long affairs which involved all manner of exercises - leapfrogging, piggybacking, uphill hopping - and invariably in my case a recovery nap afterwards but it was not uncommon for up to 50 athletes to turn up to these sessions and to travel up to two hours to be part of them.  I often wondered what the people sat in their cars in the traffic jams on the Embankment thought as 25 or so shirtless guys would fly by at 5 minute mile pace.  They must have wondered who we were running from.  Truth is, it was all about who we were running FOR. 

Frank's athletes quickly learned not to bother asking how many repetitions we were doing or what the recovery was (the response was invariably "enough time for a cup of tea and a bun").  He never gave anything away about the suffering to come because he never wanted us to hold back.  I remember one session of 25 x 400m with 30 seconds recovery.  We all assumed we would be doing our usual 16 repetitions but when we had given our all on the 16th, we received a sharp "keep going".  Same comment after the 20th.  There was relief all round when he stopped us at 25 but had he asked us to keep going, we would have.  I once asked him to autograph my copy of the book he had authored ("A Lifetime in Athletics") and he wrote in it "Keep going, keep going, until a little voice in your head says 'keep going'". 

Frank formed the British Milers Club and created the training system which Peter Coe used to coach his son, Seb, to Olympic glory.  He coached Olympic athletes and plodders with the same enthusiasm and only ever asked his athletes to give him one thing - everything.  And we did.  Because he did.

Well-known in South Africa as "Sir Frank", he finally received the long-overdue recognition he deserved with an MBE in 2010.

Frank's desire to drop our PBs was only matched by his desire to see us pair up.  He saw himself as a bit of a match maker.  And he was good at it!

Unafraid to create enemies in the establishment with his brutal honesty, he was loved unwaveringly by every one of his athletes.  You will be greatly missed, Comrade.