ALNWICK Harriers hosted the fifth of six North East Harrier League events on Saturday, the first league event in the Pastures for almost 20 years.
The race attracted hundreds of club runners from the North East region eager to run the new course and overwhelmed by the outstandingly picturesque setting. Even the weather created a perfect day for the runners and many spectators.
The course of laps each making up a two-mile (unmeasured) route was mainly over grassland, with a difficult and challenging uphill climb within the second quarter followed by a flat tree-lined section then a steep downhill stretch back to the starting point.
The highlight of the day was two Alnwick Senior Ladies finishing their distance (two laps) in the overall top 10, with Joanna Gascoigne Owens coming home in a brilliant second place in a time of 29:35 and Sam Embleton in seventh place (30:53), both running themselves into the medium pack for the final event.
The overall Senior Ladies winner on the day was Louise Hayes of North Shields Poly in 29 minutes dead. Third to finish for her club, running well, was Tina Murton in 35:34.
The Alnwick Ladies team came a well-deserved second place overall on the day and are now in a healthy fourth position in their league.
The Senior Men’s race over three laps consisted of a near-record turn-out for the year, with almost 350 entrants.
The overall winner of the race was Wallsend’s Lee Kernohan, almost 30 seconds ahead of second place in 37:29.
First to complete the distance for Alnwick was Dave Lowe in a great time of 42:30 and followed by a tremendous run from the medium pack by Bruce Crombie in a time of 43:05.
Third was Richard Agan, also from the medium pack, in 43:34, fourth place was taken by Jim Lillico in 44:03, fifth and sixth counters were Adam Spiller in 44:19 and Andy Squires in 44:39.
The Alnwick team came in ninth overall position on the day in their league.
However, after their promotion last season they are unfortunately sitting in bottom position overall for the season with one more fixture in Division One.
Only positive comments regarding the race organisation and route were heard from the athletes and it was hoped this could become an annual event in the future.
Alnwick Harriers thanked Northumberland Estates and all friends and family who helped coordinate and marshal a very successful day.
The next league event is at Prudhoe on March 27.
Ladies: 2 Joanna Gascoigne Owen, 7 Sam Embleton, 76 Tina Murton, 78 Bridget Peberdy (S) 35.47, 93 Mary Plumley, 96 Ruth Doctor, 124 Claire Gilllingham.
Men: 61 Dave Lowe 42:30, 86 Bruce Crombie 43:05 (M), 104 Richard Agan 43:34 (M), 116 Jim Lillico 44:03, 126 Adam Spiller 44:19, 136 Andy Squires 44:39, 151 Graham Syers 45:00 (M), 167 Dave Hindmarsh 45:23, 205 Stuart Morris 47:10, 224 M Telfer 48:01 (M), 255 John Callaghan 49:21, 274 D Henderson 50:34, 327 Phil Lee 56:12, 342 M Hume 72:42.