Harriers battle with weather and injuries

Alnwick Harriers' senior ladies team at Wrekenton.
Alnwick Harriers' senior ladies team at Wrekenton.
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Alnwick Harriers

A number of hardy Harriers turned out for the fourth of the North East Harrier League cross-country fixtures at Wrekenton on Saturday.

Alnwick Harriers' senior men's team.

Alnwick Harriers' senior men's team.

Cold and windy conditions greeted the runners at the fixture, which was well-organised by Saltwell Harriers.

Top performance for the seniors was by Graham Simpson who ran very well and is now promoted into the Medium Pack for the rest of the season.

Ella Brown was first female Harrier home, despite struggling with injury recently and running from the Medium Pack.

For the Juniors, there was a great run as always by Rosie Murton to finish fifth in the Girls’ U17/20 race, while for the boys, Craig Muter was a good seventh in the U15 race.

Top team on the day was undoubtedly the men. Despite injuries to key runners like Captain Crombie, Adam Fletcher and Dave Kirkland and the team being depleted further by the Liversedge Half-Marathon the following day, they came third of the 11 teams in Division Two.

Counters were Graham Simpson, Danny Richardson, Phil Hemsley, Ian Simon, Mark Cockburn and Geoff Campbell.

Well done to Mark who was making his debut in a Harriers vest, as was seventh-placed Steve Patterson.

The women also suffered from injuries and the club trip and were only able to field four runners. Even without the first four finishers in the last race at Morpeth, they were still able to finish 14th of the 30 teams in Division Two. Counters were Ella Brown, Tracey Sample and Mary Plumley.

The top Junior team performance was from the Girls’ U17/20 team. Rosie Murton was backed up by Charlotte Baston and Beth Lewington to ensure they finished second.

Results: Male Harriers: 36-Graham Simpson 38.47 (S); 52-Danny Richardson 39.12 (S); 76-Phil Hemsley 39.48 (M); 106-Ian Simon 40.22 (S); 190-Mark Cockburn 41.45 (S); 216-Geoff Campbell 42.10 (S); 254-Steve Patterson 43.10 (S); 352-Graham Skirrow 46.56 (S); 387-Phil Baston 48.26 (S); 389-Mike Henry 48.34 (S); 440-Kim Bronze 50.55 (S); 446-Jonathan Kay 51.11 (S). Female Harriers: 70-Ella Brown 31.25 (M); 100-Tracey Sample 32.22 (S); 142-Mary Plumley 34.14 (S); 157-Ruth Doctor 35.34 (S). U17/20 Girls: 5-Rosie Murton 22.45 (F); 18-Charlotte Baston 25.49 (S); 24-Beth Lewington 28.17 (S). U17 Boys: 12-Adam Shafiq 22.11 (F). U15 Girls: 16-Lucy Embleton 12.46 (S); 27-Layla Shafiq 14.08 (S). U15 Boys: 7-Craig Muter 10.34 (S); 16-Ben Kelly 11.19 (F); 30-Craig Matthews 12.40 (S). U13 Girls: 14-Abbie Lewington 12.16 (S). U13 Boys: 32-Darren Matthews 12.46 (S); 33-Jack Douglas 12.52 (S); 35-Jack Carrigan 13.25 (S); 41-Mark Roberts 19.29 (S).

The next fixture is Anwick’s very own event in The Pastures on Saturday, March 1.

l Seventeen Harriers ventured to West Yorkshire to take part in the ever-popular Liversedge Half-Marathon on Sunday.

Despite the long journey, not particularly scenic surroundings and the 531 feet of climbing, this is a race Alnwick Harriers take part in almost every year and for those first-timers it was easy to see why.

The keen wind also ensured that half-marathon pbs weren’t troubled by most. In fact, only Annabel Lillico scored a pb, knocking a massive12 minutes off her previous half in Glasgow.

The race has been a profitable one down the years for the club with a host of team prizes and age-category prizes coming our way, and 2014 was no exception.

Jim Lillico won the male 55 category, Pauline Aitchison scooped the female 40 win, while Vee Pollock and Lisa Athey went away with second and third prizes in the female 35 category.

To top off a great day for the club, Pauline, Vee and Annabel took the women’s team prize.

Pauline she was also part of the trio which won Jim Lillico’s famous Alnwick Harriers away-day quiz.

First Harrier home was Richard Agan, impressing in 24th place. Graham Syers, in training for the London Marathon was next, followed by Jim Lillico. Also of note, Hesus Kidd dipped below 1.40, Eddie Longstaff was taking part in his first half-marathon and John Callaghan was having his first race of any kind for ages due to injury.

But the day belonged to the Alnwick women. Out of 130 women taking part, Alnwick had four in the top 20.

Results: 24-Richard Agan 1.23.49; 52-Graham Syers 1.29.25; 93-Jim Lillico 1.36.35; 105-Pauline Aitchison 1.37.49; 116-Hesus Kidd 1.39.16; 136-Vee Pollock 1.41.35; 142-Eddie Longstaff 1.42.04; 144-Annabel Lillico 1.42.13; 155-Mark Doctor 1.42.47; 162-Lisa Athey 1.43.18; 233-Charlie Gillon 1.50.28; 245-Dave Bartrum 1.51.54; 266-John Callaghan 1.54.15; 284-Maureen Bartrum 1.56.53; 302-Alex Reed 1.59.20; 364-Shelley Coates 2.06.17; 455-Mark Hume 2.47.14.

l Elsewhere, two Harriers were in action the previous day in North East Parkruns.

Dave Hindmarsh scored a Parkrun pb at Newcastle, where he finished 32nd in 20.49. Phil Lee was on the coast at Whitley Bay, finishing 86th in 24.28.