Tag Archives: Queensbury Running Club

Runners roots…

This will be the first in an occasional series which will look at how some of our members got into running. The first interview is with Bev Morritt – who will be giving the Gary Morritt award on Friday 22nd at our annual awards night.

JS – So, Bev, when and how did you start running?

BM – That would be about 2010. I just wasn’t sporty at school. You know every class has that brainy, fat lass, who’s a bit gormless? Does well in exams but would you pick her for a sports team? That was me.  Anyway, I got to about 44 and Matthew, my son, was doing karate at the time. While the kids were training I’d sit with some of the parents, we’d get talking and one of the ladies said to me ‘did I fancy doing Race for Life’. I’d never run in my life but I said ‘yeah, it’s a challenge, it don’t look hard, so we’ll have a go at it’. So we did, it was 2010 and I did it in 45 minutes. One of the parents we sat with was a keen runner and had signed up and done the Windemere marathon – he said ‘you’ll have to do a 10k next’ I laughed and said, ‘what, that’s six miles! I’m tired driving that..’ This fellah said he’d done the Windermere marathon but the one he was hoping to do was the London marathon’. Well, I’d seen that. I’d watched it on telly and though ‘I’d like to do that’. He said I’d have to enter the ballot – I was up early one morning and decided I was going to enter. I entered and, lo and behold, I got a place. Now this was 2013 and, bear in mind I was the fat lass who didn’t run. But I told Gary I was going to do it and he said ‘yes, you are. Because that’s your mindset. You’ll just dig deep and you’ll do it’.

I had this little mile and a quarter route and I was doing about a 15 minute mile and I thought, ‘I’m going to smash this marathon’ No training plan and nothing in my mind.  At the beginning of 2014 (bearing in mind the marathon was in April) I was still not getting above this 15 minute mile and, unfortunately, my sister-in-law had got breast cancer and wasn’t doing well. By the time it was coming up to the marathon she was given weeks to live so I decided to defer until 2015. In the mean-time Martin Firth had posted something on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to join a running club (which turned out to be QRC), so I put my name down. I though the training runs would get me ready for 2015. Now, there’s a certain date in June that you have to confirm your place and I had it in my head that it was before 6 o’clock that you had to confirm it. I sat down at 5.30, and I can’t believe my luck – bearing in mind marathon places are like rocking horse droppings – I logged on and it said ‘sorry – you’re too late’. It was 5 o’clock not 6… I was gutted but I was a year into the running club and was quite enjoying it. Great atmosphere so I thought carry on. And I entered the ballot again. And again. And in 2017 I got a place and I thought this is brilliant – off we go. I know lots of people enter year after year and get nothing but lightning struck twice for me. Sadly, history repeated itself and Gary passed away in the February so I definitely wasn’t ready for 2018. Again, I deferred my place but I made a note of the time this time! So, I was doing it in 2019 but didn’t want anyone to know I was doing this marathon. You probably know the story after that: I trained in secret with Jo (Punt) and Angela (Waddington) and told everybody after I’d done it.

JS – we saw the posts on Facebook! There were some choice words – blooming heck, and so on…

My next question was going to be how did you get involved with QRC but you’ve answered that. You spotted Martin’s Facebook post. I also have the question of ‘do you have a favourite or memorable run’ but I think I know what the answer will be!

BM -It is the London marathon because it’s one of those bucket list things. But, what I really used to enjoy and I wish they’d resurrect it again, is the Overgate 10k. I used to really like that. You’d start at Trinity School, a lovely run through Bradshaw, right up to Raggalds, up Perseverance, all the way back down through Bradshaw and back to the school. It was challenging but it was local and there was lovely scenery. Plenty of the running club used to do it. I was first going to do it in 2015 but came down with a cold just before. So, me and Gary turned up, both with colds, so got there and decided to marshal. 

JS – Have you got any running ambitions?

Ambitions? To get back in G12?  I don’t know, I think I just enjoy making up as I go along and meeting new people – see what comes out of life?

As you know, I run in G13, the slowest group there is and I think in my head I’m still that fat lass who can’t run and to a certain degree I still am. But I think I could do more if I had the confidence – I’ve made two guest appearances in G12 but decided I wasn’t ready. This year has been a massive change for me – another stage in the bereavement process – because Matthew has gone off to University and I’m completely on my own. I’ve moved house but I thought I can’t just sit here and rot so I’ve got a few races lined up this year and the main one is the half-marathon in Manchester, in May.  I’ve got all my little group on board with it (Jo, Angela, Helen and Katie) and we’re all training for it together. They’ve all had their own set backs but we’re getting on with it. I’ve got a couple of Race for Lifes again, a 7-mile race on the canal in May – which is part of the training plan – and the Bradford 10k.  So, my next ambition is to do the half-marathon and then just carry on and see what life brings. 

JS – Do you ever fundraise for charity? You’ve spoken about Race for Life?

BM – I always like to do Overgate. Again, going back to the London marathon, people asked didn’t I do it for charity? So, what I decided to do was, I still had Gary’s JustGiving page so I said that if anyone feels like they want to do something, pay to Gary’s page and it goes to Overgate. So I always get drawn back to them. It’s local and I had the page. In fact, the first thing I did after the marathon was pay a pound a mile, £26.20, and then, obviously, other money. But that is the main one I like to do.

JS – Do you enjoy volunteering as well as running?

BM – I do, I get a real sense of achievement out of that. I’ve volunteered at parkrun a few times – and Matthew did too, as part of his Duke of Edinburgh – and I enjoy doing the winter league for the club. But I love cheering runners on and seeing people achieve their best. I love the sense of contributing. I think its brilliant.

JS – Who do you most enjoy running with?

BM – Obviously, the club as a whole because I’ve met some absolutely fabulous people there, but I do love my little group that I’m with now. Jo, Angela, Katie and Helen. We’re all friends and they stick with me through thick and thin. Halifax parkrun have been amazing since Gary died. But the club – running is a community all of its own, there’s support at every level. I don’t find it clannish so I think that’s great.

JS – Do you have any particular nutrition tips as part of your training plan?

BM – Well, I’ve lost three stone since I started – I’ve run as a fat runner and a thin one – so I know what works for me. I think, being a lady of a certain age, we have to watch what we eat. One of the best, beneficial foods for me is beetroot – and I hate the stuff! It tastes like mud. I am quite into the nutritional content of food and there’s something in beetroot that helps your muscles and your nerve function so I made this beetroot smoothie. I put in whole beetroot, a banana, apple juice and a bit of ginger (to take away the taste!) and tried it. Ewww – but I got a PB at parkrun! I always find, if I have the beetroot, I run better. One of the other things, for my marathon, is Rich Tea biscuits. 

JS – That prompts my final question. What’s your favourite biscuit?

BM –

If I’m not training I’ll have your Extremely Chocolatey Marks & Spencer Belgian stuff. More chocolate than biscuit. But for races I like Rich Tea. They’ve got that sweetness but they’re not full of fibre and keep you going.

I always have a banana too because you’ve got potassium which is good for your muscles. I have a banana for breakfast every day. That gives me the energy to keep going for a parkrun, or whatever. And a black coffee

Thank you to Bev, for a lovely long chat (with tea and biscuits….) and I hope to be setting up the next interview soon – suggestions for who I should speak to are always welcome 🙂





Run Heaton Park 5k, 10k and Meltham 10k, 30th January 2022

QRC race results 30 Jan:


An undulating 5km course on tarmac paths within Heaton Park.Starting in the centre of the park, the first 2km consists of a flat section around the Heaton Park lake. Between 2 and 3 kilometres, some challenging hills take you to outside Heaton Hall with spectacular views of Manchester. A loop through the forest area behind the hall follows, before a welcome downhill section to complete the lap.

The 5k is 1 lap, 10k is 2 laps, and Half Marathon is 4 laps with an additional out and back section at the start.

Heaton Park 10k

Simon Taylor 9th 40.16 MV35 1st,

Richard Brook 22nd 43.54 MV45 1st,

Laura Taylor 165th 57.40,

Heaton Park 5k,

Katie Brook 11th 4th female 24.02

Meltham AC Tough 10k

The infamous Meltham ‘Tough’ 10k – a winter Road Race with plenty of gruelling climbs, long fast descents and guaranteed challenging weather

Stephen Brook 179th 54.26 342

Well done everyone!!

West Yorkshire Winter League – Queensbury reaches new heights


QRC Temple Newsam
               Queensbury runners form an orderly queue led by Ben Clare just after the start 

Thirty-nine club members ran in the 3rd cross-country race in the West Yorkshire Winter League series on Sunday 31st January. In short we emerged as the overall winners on the day for the very first time in our history! There were many outstanding performances. Chris Williams, in his first race in the series, was 2nd overall to the regular winner of the men’s event (Ben Mounsey, Stainland). Tom Collinge has competed in every race so far and he managed his best performance taking 3rd place from Julian Hood (Skipton). New member, Alistair Galt, proved his ability crossing the line in 26th place. There then followed a remarkable sequence of finishers, including our top veteran runners: Andy Dovernor (32nd), Mick Coe (33), Martin Firth (36), Ben Clare (40), Peter Hughes (42). This ensured a fantastic first place in the men’s event on the day by 40 points over Baildon in 2nd place. A further 21 men completed the course. The women’s team finished 4th on the day with excellent performances by Anna Smith (13th), Jo Horan (16th albeit carrying an injury), Stacey Cleal (17th), Lynne Robinson (26th), Maria Rhodes (37th), Zoe Hipwell (48th), Julie Hepworth (54th), Rachel Kendall (65th), Dianne Simpson (78th) and Sharan Loughran (83rd). The combined efforts of the men and women meant that Queensbury was placed 1st overall on the day, a single point ahead of Stainland Lions in 2nd place and eight points ahead of Baildon Runners.

Chris Williams sprints for the line in 2nd place while Tom Collinge secures 3rd place in the background.


Queensbury was invited to join the West Yorkshire Winter League in the 2012-13 season. At the time the men formed a small but strong team and they finished the season in the 4th place. However, in our inaugural season there was no women’s team at all. It was not until the 2013-14 season when Anna and Jo started representing the club. By the end of the 2014-15 season the women, now joined by Stacey and Zoe, were placed 7th out of ten teams. This season, with one race to go, the women are 4th out of eleven teams in the same position as the men’s team. Given the competitive nature of the WYWL this is a remarkable leap forward for the club.

1st F50, Anna Smith, finishes strongly

The achievements at the club have drawn admiration from others throughout the season. The team spirit is exceptional and we celebrate every runner’s achievement. Thanks to those who put on an excellent race at Temple Newsam and to the WYWL organisers for their hard work. Thanks also to Graham Cecil Halstead for the excellent photos.


Some of the team before the race. Thanks to Bev Morritt for the photo.


WYWL Results: Temple Newsam


2nd Mopen Williams Chris M 2
3rd Mopen Collinge Tom M 3
Galt Alistair M 25
5th M45 Dovernor Andy M45 32
3rd M50 Coe Mick M50 33
1st M55 Firth Martin M55 36
Clare Ben M 40
1st M60 Hughes Peter M60 42
Hunt David M 53
Brook Richard M40 68
Heron Carl M50 69
Fielding Matt M35 70
Newberry Richard M 75
Thornton Matt M 76
Rhodes Graham M50 89
Robinson Philip M50 93
1st F50 Smith Anna F50 13
3rd F45 Cleal Stacey F45 17
Gibbons Peter M50 128
Hipwell Lee M40 138
Robinson Lynne F 26
3rd M65 Jowett Graham M65 153
Rushworth Chris M50 157
Lindsay-Yule Anthony M 161
Windle Neil M40 168
Hipwell Zoe F35 48
Thornton Glenn M60 181
Hepworth Julie F40 54
4th M65 Thomas Simon M65 185
Jack Darren M 188
Kendall Rachel F 65
David Hepworth M45 193
Hanson Chris M35 199
Simpson Dianne F50 78
Smith Andrew M45 201
Loughran Sharan F45 83
Morritt Gary M50 205

Stacey Cleal, 3rd F45

Rachel Kendall

Andy Dovernor, 5th M45, just edges Mick Coe, 3rd M50

WYWL Race 1@Dewsbury (13th December 2015)



A club record of 31 runners turned out for the 1st race in the West Yorkshire Cross Country League on Sunday 13th December. The first fixture at Stainland was postponed due to torrential rain in the days before and the skies opened again on the day before the Dewsbury race. The course was very muddy with some tough climbs and tricky descents. Congratulations to everyone who took part. Many runners were participating in the WYWL for the first time. The support for everyone was fantastic with many of those who had already crossed the line stayed on to cheer on the rest of the team as they rushed for the line.


First home for QRC was Tom Collinge in 9th. Tom comfortably in 4th place at the end of the final climb but he took a wrong turn in the woods and slipped a few places. It was still a fine run Tom! The male vets competed amongst themselves for the next QRC places. Mick Coe timed his move to perfection and just edged past Martin Firth and Peter Hughes. Jo Horan was the first female home for Queensbury coming home in 10th place. Anna Smith crossed the line soon after and Stacey Cleal came in in 23rd place.


The outstanding team performance on the day was the Female team (4th overall). The Male team was 6th, the Vets team 7th and the overall position at the end of the first race is 5th. There is much to look forward to at the second race in Idle on January 3rd.


The quality of the Queensbury veteran runners was again evident with four absolutely fantastic age-category wins (Anna Smith, Martin Firth, Peter Hughes and Graham Jowett). Jo Horan and Stacey Cleal were 3rd and 4th in their respective categories and Mick Coe was 5th in the exceptional M50 group.


Well done to all. A real credit to Queensbury Running Club and living proof of the great strides the club has made in the last year.


1st Male Mounsey (Stainland) Ben MOpen M
9th Male Collinge Tom Mopen M
1st Female Seager (Stainland) Tanya F40 F
39th Male Coe Mick M50 5th M50
41st Male Firth Martin M55 1st M55
42nd Male Hughes Peter M60 1st M60
50th Male Dovenor Andy M45 M
65th Male Fielding Matt M35 M
80th Male Robinson Philip M50 M
82nd Male Rhodes Graham M50 M
90th Male Thornton Matt Mopen M
93rd Male Newberry Richard Mopen M
10th Female Horan Joanne F35 3rd F35
12th Female Smith Anna F50 1st F50
131st Male Jowett Graham M65 1st M65
142nd Male Hipwell Lee M40 M
23rd Female Cleal Stacey F45 4th F45
147th Male Rushworth Chris M50 M
155th Male Lister Darren M40 M
39th Female Rhodes Maria F35 F
179th Male Brighouse-Johnson Chris MOpen M
51st Female Hipwell Zoe F35 F
186th Male David Hepworth M45 M
187th Male Moore Daniel Mopen M
56th Female Hepworth Julie F40 F
194th Male Thornton Glenn M60 M
196th Male Jack Darren Mopen M
197th Male Thomas Simon M65 M
69th Female Kendall Rachel Fopen F
73rd Female Loughran Sharan F45 F
74th Female Simpson Dianne F50 F
205th Male Smith Andrew M45 M
88th Female Robinson Jo Open M

Airedale Athletics Off-Road Winter Challenge

Lynne Robinson on her way to a good finish at Withins Skyline

After the first race,the Withins Skyline, Queensbury are second in the team league to Baildon.  The Baildon team was particularly impressive at Withins: one of their runners was so determined to finish that she completed the last half of the course with a broken leg and their large points score could not be better deserved.  Nevertheless all three Queensbury competitors did well, with Alistair Gale and Lynne Robinson making impressive debuts for the club.

The next races are Cop Hill (1 November) and the Wadsworth Half Trog, an opportunity for Joker double points on 8 November. Please click here for full club and individual scores and the complete list of fixtures.  There’s a variety of races through the winter on trail and fell; If you do any of them your points will automatically count in both the club and individual leagues.

Many congratulations to Mick Coe, who won the individual trophy for the summer season.

Airedale Athletics Offroad Winter Challenge fixtures

Airedale Athletics Offroad fixtures to the end of November are:


11/10/2015 Withins Skyline
24/10/2015 Pain Barrier
24/10/2015 Great Whernside Joker
01/11/2015 Cop Hill
08/11/2015 Wadsworth Half Trog Joker
21/11/2015 Harriers v Cyclists

For a full list of fixtures to the end of March, links to more information and details of points workings please follow this link.  We hope there will be something here for everyone over the winter season.

Beefy’s Nab and Airedale Athletics Offroad Trophy

Mick coe wharfdale half 2
Mick Coe at the Wharfedale Half Marathon in June

Congratulations to Mick Coe, who has won the Airedale Athletics Offroad Trophy for the summer season.  After running six tough races including the Wharfedale Half Marathon and Pendle Three Peaks he consolidated his win with sixth place at Beefy’s Nab on 20 September.  It was no easy victory, with fewer than 70 points separating the leading three at the finish.  Matt Fielding, Stacey Cleal, Lee Hipwell and Anna Smith were also among the first ten individual league runners and Queensbury finished a good third in the team league behind Baildon and Saltaire Striders.  In all 17 Queensbury runners put the team points together, a terrific turnout for some beautiful but challenging events.

Five Queensbury runners took part in Beefy’s Nab, short but with a hard climb at the start and a rough descent to the finish.  Declan Craven was in third place at the top of the Nab, finishing an excellent fifth overall.  Matt Fielding was just outside the top ten in 11th place after the rigours of the the Yorkshireman marathon the previous weekend.  Stacey Cleal at 18th narrowly missed a category prize and Abbie Cleal (24th) ran a good confident race to finish minutes ahead of her 2014 time.

Full results for Beefy’s Nab are here.

The final points for the Airedale Athletics Off-Road Summer Challenge are here.

If you do any of the Airedale Athletics offroad fixtures your points are automatically added to the individual and team league tables.  These are the first fixtures for the winter season – there will be about 15 between October and March so you can choose events that suit you and your best six scores count.  More details will be out soon but meanwhile please check online for information including kit requirements.


Sun 11/10/2015 Withins Skyline
Sat 24/10/2015 Pain Barrier
Sat 24/10/2015 Great Whernside
Sun 01/11/2015 Cop Hill
Sun 08/11/2015 Wadsworth Half Trog


Tour of Norland Moor

©Simon Higginbottom http://www.northerngallery.co.uk
©Simon Higginbottom

Four QRC members joined a small cohort of 87 for the Tour of Norland Moor on Sunday. Congratulations to Stacey who was the 3rd placed female runner and 1st in the F45 category. All those long training runs are paying off. After a niggling injury, Mick had a good run and he was only 30 seconds behind last year’s time. Matt was not far behind and Mary, recovering from illness, came in just over the hour.


The men’s race was won by Rob James (Royton Road Runners) in 37.51. The women’s race was won by Stainland Lions’ Tanya Seager in 40.21. Tanya was placed 6th overall and is running so well that only the best male runners can beat her in her current form.


Position Name Time
22 Mick Coe 46.24 (2nd M50)
28 Matt Fielding 47.30
47 Stacey Cleal 53.03 (3rd Female and 1st F45)
73 Mary Saunders 62.32


The 10K Tour of Norland Moor fell/trail race is organized by Halifax Harriers and is a category BM race (according to the FRA, a category B race should average not less than 25 metres climb per kilometer and should not have more than 30% of the race distance on road; the M stands for Medium distance of 10-20 km).

The full results can be found here.

Updated Airedale Athletics points are here.  As the season enters its final month Mick has a narrow lead in the individual points table with Lee Hipwell and Matt Fielding also among the first ten runners. Many congratulations.