Stockport Harriers’ Race Series - Races 7 & 8

Report: Tony Park -

The 7th race in our series took place on Saturday the 31st of May, and due to the incredible popularity only two Harriers runners were quick enough off the mark to enter on time and thus collected valuable points.

So well done to Robert Goulsbra who came home in 27th place overall with a time of 49:17 and collected a maximum of 100 points. The second Harrier was Steve Shaughnessy who completed the circuit 53:31 and was 61st overall out of a total field of 340 runners.

Race Series participants will need to be more strategic with their planning next year as big points were lost at this event and it’s all part of the Series process.

It was a completely different case on Wednesday night in Higher Poynton when over 220 athletes braved the incredibly wet conditions to compete in the 8.1 mile fell race around Lyme Park, 28 of whom were representing the famous Stockport Harriers and 18 were out to collect points.

Organisers of the race were already overwhelmed with the numbers who turned up…but it was hardly surprising given that Macclesfield, Wilmslow, and Bramhall also had this event in their Summer Series. Only 200 actual numbers were printed so hand-made versions were also on show as it turned out to be the Boars Head's best ever turn out. In fact, the typically 'un-summer' conditions probably forced a number of usual participants to cry off. Nevertheless, the rain, which had been falling consistently throughout the day, held off for the entirety of the race and the weather was quite 'balmy' for the barmy fell thoroughbreds.

It was definitely short shirt/singlet weather in the end and even though one or two runners forgot their Stockport vests, spares were borrowed and official warning given. It was then up to Max Thickett to organise a team photo and then off to the start.

After a narrow-laned first mile or so on hard ground, the route took the runners over grass, streams, mud and puddles up to the cage in Lyme Park and most were doing ok…that is until they saw the climb up Bowstones!

This separated the serious athletes from the rest and it was then a three mile slog through what can only be described as a 'bog-fest' around the rural wonderland that is Cheshire. "The views are stunning" said one runner...(I was actually trying to get my foot out of a three foot bog hole at the time of the comment)…so the glorious misty vista was probably lost on me.

Regardless of the testing, treacherous, terrain that followed runners were soon back on terra-firma for the last half a mile and it felt great to be actually running again…

And so to the end where everyone gathered after the race to swap stories, complain and change into dryer attire in order to appreciate the hospitality of the Boars Head landlord and staff while waiting for the results to come in.

The after-race 'celebrations' are definitely worth experiencing and it was a pleasure to meet and chat to so many Harriers in a fab social environment.

But enough about the chips and beer…on to the actual results.

Matthew Townley was the first Stockport Harrier home in a time of 51:29 and in 10th place overall. However, once again 'Race Series' participant James Corden (second Harrier home in 13th place overall) collected 100 points and our congratulations go to him.

The final placings were as follows:

100 points - James Corden (51:49)
99 - Phil Burns (53:44)
98 - Robert Goulsbra (54:44)
97 - Karl Tavini (54:57)
96 - Charlie Batho (56:55)
95 - Max Thickett (57:53)
95 - Kerrie Wood-Doyle (58:52)
94 - Mike Slater (58:56)
93 - Steve Shaughnessy (1:00:08)
92 - Andy Mainwaring (1:01:02)
91 - Paul Corner (1:02:40)
90 - Claire MacNeill (1:03:06)
89 - Tony Ward (1:03:51)
88 - Nick Ham (1:03:55)
89 - Tony Park (1:05:06)
88 - Jill Tavini (1:08:13)
87 - Kath Ward (1:12:08)
86 - Helen Todd (1:12:53)

Other runners, apart from Matthew Townley, included Ian Mulligan, Jayne Lawton, Andy Fowler, Carole Barnes, Rob Cator, Steve Matkin, Simon Hilton, Simon Heys and Ade Thomas.

In terms of the Championship so far here are the top placings after 8 races:


  1. Karl Tavini (677 points)
  2. James Corden (500 points)
  3. Phil Burns (490 points)


  1. Jill Tavini (548 points)
  2. Claire MacNeill (433 points)
  3. Sara Taylor (328 points)

The Tavini's are heading both tables at the moment, but remember, things will change once most people get eight races under their belts so still plenty of time to join up and start collecting points.

Well done to all the runners on what was a great event and our thanks go to all the organisers and the Boars Head. Thanks also to Claire MacNeill for helping with all the results. The next two races are the Compstall 10k on the 15th of June closely followed by 'Round the Resers' on Wednesday the 18th of June.

See you there and happy running!

Recent News