For the first time in many a year, Alnwick Harriers participated in the first of the summer relays on Friday, April 19, the Elswick Good Friday Relays.
The races are held on a fast, flat course on the Newburn Riverside Park with the Senior/Veterans’ races consisting of a 2.2-mile lap to be run once by each member of the team.
For the Men’s, teams of four are entered while for the Ladies’, there are teams of three.
The event proved a hit with club members who took part and it is hoped they’ll enter a decent number of teams at the next relay on Wednesday, May 14 – the Wallsend Harriers organised Gordon Smith Memorial Relays.
The highlight for the club was a fine fourth-placed finish for the Veteran Ladies’ A team of Jo Gascoigne-Owens, Ella Brown and Diana Weightman.
In this race Jo ran the second fastest 2.2-mile leg of the day by a Veteran and was beaten only by probable Commonwealth Games athlete Alyson Dixon of Sunderland Strollers.
Ella Brown was the second quickest Veteran Lady, followed by Pauline Aitchison.
The B team was 10th and C team was 16th of the 21 teams.
In the Senior Ladies’ event, a lack of U35s meant that a few slightly older runners had to be added into the two teams entered. However, they still performed well and this was a good experience for the six Harriers who took part. Sarah Gray, one of only two true Seniors, was fastest Harrier and was followed by Jacquie Prouse and Lesley Miller.
In the Senior Men’s event, the club entered two teams of four runners, with Dave Kirkland easily running the quickest leg by a Harrier on the day.
Dave helped the Senior A team to a 19th-placed finish of the 49 teams and was backed up by youngsters Adam Shafiq and Dan Leng, as well as a great run from Ian Simon.
The B team was 24th overall with Richard Agan running the quickest leg, marginally faster than John Horsley.
Finally, the Veteran Men had one team out, finishing a decent enough 28th overall.
First-leg runner Adam Spiller was quickest of the four in the team, though Stuart Morris also ran well and was not too far behind.
Results - Veteran Ladies: 4- A Team Diana Weightman 15.09, Ella Brown 13.18 and Jo Gascoigne-Owens 12.37. 10- B Team Lisa Williams 16.04, Tracey Sample 15.35 and Pauline Aitchison 14.39. 16- C Team Sue Bolam 16.23, Denise Drummond 16.45 and Sarah Cross 16.28.
Senior Ladies - 23- A Team Jacquie Prouse 14.48, Lesley Miller 16.01 and Sarah Gray 14.34. 48- BvTeam Gay Eastoe 19.28, Kate Lawson 22.11 and Sheona Duffy 20.46
Veteran Men’s -28- A Team Adam Spiller 12.56, Micky Aiston 14.35, Richard Eastoe 15.52 and Stuart Morris 13.26.
Senior Men’s 19- A Team Dave Kirkland 11.17, Adam Shafiq 12.32, Ian Simon 12.28 and Dan Leng 12.12.
24 B Team Steve Patterson 12.38, John Horsley 12.21, Hesus Kidd 12.57 and Richard Agan 12.17.
Well done to team captains Jo Gascoigne-Owens and Bruce Crombie who did a great job in helping the club to enter relays for the first time in years; a magnificent pair.
A special mention also goes to Gay and Richard Eastoe who left west Cumbria at 4.30am to get to the event on time. That’s dedication to the Alnwick cause. Hopefully the Harriers can carry this momentum onto the next event in May.
Fifteen Harriers took part in the North Tyneside 10k on Sunday with pbs being achieved by a good number of them.
First Harrier to finish in what was a stand-out performance was Ella Brown. Ella clocked 40.16 and was fifth female to finish, knocking more than four minutes off her previous 10k best.
Next home, also in a pb, was the ever-improving Phil Baston, who knocked a few seconds off his time from Blyth a couple of weeks ago. He was followed by another improver, Micky Aiston, who almost dipped under 45 minutes.
There were further pbs for Colin McLean, Ron McCormack and Rachel Bowyer among others.
Results: 116-Ella Brown 40.16; 284-Phil Baston 43.48; 355-Micky Aiston 45.08; 458-Charlotte Baston 46.54; 609-Dave Bartrum 48.57; 651-Colin McLean 49.31; 865-Maureen Bartrum 52.25; 873-Morag Donoghue 52.30; 945-Laura McLean 53.27; 1031-Carol Davison 54.25; 1100-Peter Lindley 55.16; 1242-Ron McCormack 57.05; 1625-Rachel Bowyer 1.05.07; 1700-Gaynor Ayre 1.07.15; 1704-Sandra Hunter 1.07.39.
The day before, Mike Henry was continuing his tour of Parkruns at Edinburgh. Having recently raced at Keswick and Glasgow, he ran his fastest Parkrun, finishing 143rd of the 582 runners in 21.52.
Also that day the Eastoe’s were back on home turf taking part in The Isel Cross, a 5.5-mile multi-terrain race in Cockermouth. The pair ran together, crossing the line in 58th and 59th places with Gay one place and one second ahead of Richard in 54.01.
○ Alnwick Harriers are hosting their annual Les Allcorn 10k and Junior Fun Run on Tuesday, May 6, at Hulne Park, Alnwick.
This year the races will be run on a slightly altered course with the start and finish areas now near the Ratten Row entrance to Hulne Park.
The Junior event is 3k and starts at 6pm, while the Senior 10k starts at 7pm.
Entries will be accepted on the night, however, its cheaper to enter before May 3.
Entry forms are available at www.alnwickharriers.co.uk in the Les Allcorn 10k section.