Harriers host league fixture

Alnwick Harriers

A prestigious North East Harrier League cross-country event will take place in The Pastures on Saturday after months of preparation and consultation with Northumberland Estates, Alnwick Harriers have announced.

The league series comprises six fixtures, each at a different venue in the North East on Saturday afternoons.

Each fixture offers races for both male and female competitors in junior, senior and veteran age groups.

A typical fixture will attract 600 participants from running clubs throughout the region.

This event will see both junior and senior races of various age categories running a circular route over The Pastures land and a shorter U11s route designed specially to encourage younger athletes.

First junior race will be at 12.15pm, with the senior male race at 13.15pm and the female race at 14.25pm. The main course will comprise a 1.9-mile lap run three times by senior men, twice by the women and once by juniors.

The route incorporates grassland over an undulating terrain and a picturesque, wooded stretch close by the historic Malcolm’s Cross, a fantastic setting for what is hoped to become an annual event.

Organising the event has been quite an undertaking, however. Once permission was approved, race licences had to be sought, first aid arranged, portable loos ordered and parking issues addressed.

The use of Duchess’s High School facilities have been arranged and tenant farmers have been asked to allow access and ensure their livestock are safe. Members of Alnwick Harriers have helped to prepare the course prior to the event and many marshals will be stationed on the day at various places along the route to guide the runners who will arrive at Alnwick to represent their own North East club.

The club hopes the weather will be kind, but on a cross-country run, bad weather only adds to the atmosphere.

The event is sponsored by Start Fitness, with thanks to Alnwick Castle Estates and Duchess’s High School for their cooperation and assistance.

l Last weekend was a quiet one for Harriers with just the seven members taking part in races. Adam Weightman was the sole Harrier taking part in the National Cross Country Championships at Herrington Country Park, Sunderland, on Saturday, February 23.

Adam ran well in difficult snowy conditions finishing 131st of the 223 runners in the U15 event, clocking 18.09 over the 4.5km route. Well done Adam.

Three Harriers took part in the Newcastle Parkrun, held in similar conditions, that morning. Results: 27-Jackie Moscrop 22.18; 102-Charlotte Baston 26.54; 103-Phil Baston 26.55.

Finally Gay and Richard Eastoe were in action in the Netherhall 10 Mile Road Race in Cumbria. They finished 57th and 58th in 1.31.23 and 1.31.24.