Return to Track - News & Updates

Return to Track - News & Updates

Members News & Updates


We look forward to welcoming you all back after “Lockdown 3” which we all hope will be the last. Please find be some information and updates below, with contributions from KTH coaches and committee members.


Return to Track


As per government guidelines we hope to return to the track on Monday 29 March with track sessions for Road Runners on Monday & Wednesday and the usual track & field sessions on Tuesday and Thursday. We will continue without spectators for the time being, so it will be athletes, volunteers, and club officials only, beyond the yellow gate. Sessions will be as previous at 5, 6 & 7pm, the only change being the Middle Distance & Sprint squads returning to their pre-Covid times of 7pm.


Membership Renewal Fees


We would like to thank those who renewed their membership in September and are conscious that we have not been operating much as normal since then. We will be considering compensating those who have paid but not received the benefit and will let you know in due course, probably after our AGM in September where we consider membership fees for the following year.


Road Runners


The KTH Road Running groups will return to action on Monday 29th March with a range of groups doing both road and track based training. The Covid rules mean that group sizes will initially be limited to 6 athletes (or 12 for track based sessions) and demand will be high so we encourage all to regularly check our RunTogether page to see what groups and sessions are available.


We'll also be reopening groups to Pay-As-You-Go runners with online payment available through the RunTogether page. Over the past 12 months we've used the RunTogether page to help us manage group sizes and registrations and it's worked so well for us that we'll be continuing with this through the remainder of any Covid restrictions and once we're back to normal.


Members and non-members are welcome to self-organise and run together independently, we would appreciate if you could continue to respect government and EA guidelines around group sizes & social distancing.


We have some new Run Leaders joining the group over the next few months and we're very grateful for them stepping forward to help out. We're always on the lookout for more Run Leaders particularly for restarting our Couch 2 5K group so please let Ant or Natasha know if you're interested, all abilities welcome!


Finally, KTH have been given two places in the Northampton 10k on the 6 June in return for some help with marshalling the event. We'll be offering these places to any full members of the club and doing a ballot if we get more than two people coming forward! Interested parties would need to bring a willing volunteer to help with marshalling the event. If you're interested in a place please can you email Ant at [email protected] to get further details and put your name into the hat - we'll be drawing the successful names from the virtual hat on Monday 29th March.


Looking forward to catching up with many of you from the 29th, it's been a long winter!

Ant Poncia – Vice Chairman & Run Leader


Return to Competition


Over the past few years KTH has developed its Open Events to include Electronic Timing & Photo Finish and has attracted athletes from across the region and beyond. As well as hosting our own events, KTH are members of the Heart of England League, Midland Senior League and Midland Master League. We have a busy and ambitious programme of events this year subject to obtaining appropriate licences & approvals:


Open Fixtures 2021

Sat 17 Apr – April Open

Tue 18 May – Evening Open

Mon 31 May – May Open

Tue 15 Jun – Evening Open

Wed 23 Jun – Night of Endurance

Tue 6 Jul – Evening Open

Tue 3 Aug – Evening Open

Sat 21 Aug – August Open

Sat 25 Sep – Open Throws

Sat 27 Nov – Charity Cup XC


Wed 5 May Nuneaton

Wed 9 Jun Leamington

Wed 7 Jul Rugby

Wed 4 Aug Kettering

Sun 5 Sep Nuneaton (Final)

Midland Senior League (tbc)

Sat/Sun 22/23 May

Sat/Sun 19/20 Jun

Sat/Sun 17/18 Jul

Sat/Sun 14/15 Aug

Heart of England (tbc)

Sat/Sun 22/23 May

Sat/Sun 19/20 Jun

Sat/Sun 3/4, 17/18 or 24/25 Jul

Home Fixtures

Sat 17 Apr – April Open

Tue 18 May – Evening Open

Mon 31 May – May Open

Tue 15 Jun – Evening Open

Wed 23 Jun – Night of Endurance

Tue 6 Jul – Evening Open

Sun 20 Jul – Chairman’s Cup

Tue 3 Aug – Evening Open

Wed 4 Aug Kettering (Vets)

Sat 21 Aug – August Open

Sat 25 Sep – Open Throws

Sat 27 Nov – Charity Cup XC


Volunteering at KTH


For training and competition to take place as well as facilities and athletes, we need coaches and officials. KTH are blessed with a small and dedicated group of volunteers but we are always recruiting and developing these roles. Without them, athletics just doesn't happen.


Coach Recruitment


One of the positives to come from Covid is that (whilst we were allowed to train) we had to keep groups small (12 athletes max). Most coaches reported that this allowed them to provide individual attention, feedback and coaching – a better experience for both athlete and coach. In an ideal world, we would maintain these small groups when the restrictions are lifted. To do this we need more coaches.


Have you ever thought of coaching? It’s hugely rewarding - you can help athletes (and yourself) develop and improve fitness, skills and confidence. You may be an athlete, a former athlete, a parent or carer watching from the side lines (remember when you could do that?).


Why not take that first step and get involved? England Athletics offer two coach qualification pathways – The off-track “running fitness” route and the track-based “athletics coach” route. Each have very accessible on-line first steps to start your coaching journey. Check them out here:


If you’d like to get involved in coaching or volunteering please get in touch via the website or email Matt [email protected] Matt can answer any questions you may have and get you started. The club will pay for your qualifications (subject to a subsequent 12-month volunteer commitment) and support you in developing your experience and on-going coach education.


Officials Recruitment


Athletics is a precise sport. Performances need to be monitored and accurately recorded. To run a track and field meeting requires an army of officials to act as starters, track judges, timekeepers, result recorders, field judges, measurers, sandpit rakers, implement retrievers, bar replacers to name just a few.


To host our open events and compete in the leagues, we must provide a minimum number of officials per fixture. Much like coaches, we always need and welcome anyone who wants to get involved. You might be a parent who acts as a taxi driver/spectator and feel like a spare part at events whilst your kids compete and hang out with their mates. Why not keep yourself busy, help the event run, learn new skills, make friends, and give something back to the sport?


England Athletics make it easy to start your officiating journey and quickly reach “Level 1” in your chosen discipline(s) (Field Judge, Track Judge, Timekeeper, Starter and Photo finish). After that, the more experience you gain, the higher level you can attain. Details of the EA Officiating journey can be found here:


As well as helping the club, officiating can be extremely rewarding and addictive. Many local officials pop up at events all over the country, appear on the TV, and some have progressed to the Commonwealth Games and even the Olympic Games.


If you are aged 14 years and above and would like to get involved or develop as an official, please get in touch with Steve or Paula Sinnott, KTH Officials Co-ordinator via the website.


Website Survey


You might remember that in February last year, the club ran a survey to harness views on our website. We had a really good response to that survey with 49 members submitting their thoughts. Of those, 20 considered themselves to be satisfied, and 6 dissatisfied, this left quite a number of people who didn’t have a strong opinion either way.


This could have been taken that, generally, as few people were dissatisfied, there wasn’t really much we needed to change, although it was accepted that it could be better. Looking deeper into the feedback, it was clear that there were a number of things that could be improved.


Overall, you told us that the website looked great but the content itself could be improved, with 10 people telling us that they didn’t find the website useful. Most people visit the website to look for information on fixtures, results and club news, with the joggers, records & awards and gallery sections also popular. But a key finding of the survey was that you considered this information difficult to find.


Other common themes included a request to modernise the site in terms of its appearance, particularly when viewing it on a mobile device and its interaction with social media. Responders also told us that information on training plans and athlete development, and the social side of being a club member would be welcome.


We’re really pleased to tell you that since we ran the survey, the club have invested in the development of a new website, we know that many of you have seen it and fed back on it. The web address is still the same,, if you haven’t visited recently why not take a look.


You will find that the site looks completely different and you’ll notice straight away that there is better use of photos to make it more visually appealing. Looking further, there are designated sections for events / fixtures, and that the records section now much more user-friendly, particularly for masters athletes that previously needed to download an Excel spreadsheet in order to view their records.


The site links to the club’s Instagram, Facebook and Strava pages to provide better connectivity with social media and we have started to add video content, starting off with Shane Smith talking about volunteering.


In terms of administration, there are improved contact links and access to the club’s policies and procedures, whilst we are also looking to provide an option to renew memberships online when the time comes.


We hope you agree that the site is a step forward, and we thank you for your feedback, please keep that coming. Please also bear with us as we continually update the content, particularly for 2021 fixtures, these will be updated as an when they are confirmed as the country moves out of lockdown. And who knows, maybe we’ll also have a lot of news to share once we all get to start racing again!


We will soon be circulating a Club Members Survey and would appreciate your input.

Tony James – Committee Member, Fixtures Secretary


Middle Distance Squad & living with Covid restrictions


During the many disruptions (x3 lockdowns) over the past 12 months as a squad the MD squad has had to adapt to ensure the athletes retain the focus & discipline to continue training in a completely different environment. I have to say our MD squad have fared better than many.


I regularly speak to other coaches and many have seen athlete numbers dwindle in the face of the restrictions caused by the pandemic, which is not a great position to be in. Closer to home I am pleased to say we have largely remained intact, certainly within the Middle-Distance squad. Of course, there have been some who have not responded well to the isolation and changes to their training routine and some may not return once things get back to normal. Thankfully, most of the squad have remained fantastically committed during the past 12 months.


This is due in main to their dedication to the sport and to the Harriers. Sessions given out over e-mail/ Facebook/ IM has been slavishly followed with no definite goal in sight which is hugely difficult for competitive athletes. The squad have responded to solo training/ paired training/ small groups and for as many as could be catered for 1:1 coached sessions. Garmin watches for those fortunate enough to have one has also helped enormously with sessions sent out and uploaded to watches which then acts as a virtual coach guiding them through the repos/ recovery! 


I am truly astonished at the number of PB’s attained by the squad the severely restricted track season (over 90), most of which were set in time trails so will sadly never see the day of light in the official Power of Ten statistics, but importantly the athletes, their peers and the coaches know these times were set so the motivational effect is retained.


Some of the squad’s athletes were able to find races later in the summer & autumn and put in hugely credible performances with many of the squad enjoying high UK rankings in 2020. I guess some may be tempted to discount these performances and the 2020 track season in general due to the pandemic, but I view this differently, the situation was identical for all athletes, clubs & coaches, so credit must be given to those who responded or adapted the best.


We now look forward to the resumption of track-based training in squads almost 1 year from the original lockdown, with athletes buzzing to experience more normal racing/ training and keen to make the most of any competitions that will hopefully be staged over the summer?

Shane Smith - Head Endurance Coach


We look forward to seeing you back at the Club and wish you all the best for the upcoming track & field season.


Kettering Town Harriers Committee