Veterans show younger runners the way to go

Alnwick Harrier Micky Aiston
Alnwick Harrier Micky Aiston

Alnwick Harriers

Elswick Harriers once again hosted their extremely popular Good Friday Relays on April 3.

Alnwick Harriers Mary Plumley

Alnwick Harriers Mary Plumley

Alnwick Harriers put out an excellent four female veteran teams and one male veteran team, but sadly there were no senior teams due to a lack of interest from the younger runners.

On a still but soggy day, a far cry from last year’s bright sunshine, Alnwick runners posted some excellent times and thanks to strength in depth in the older female category, two of the teams finished in the top 10, with three in the top half.

A brilliant achievement by them, with team captain Jo Gascoigne-Owens leading from the front, running the fourth-fastest time in the veteran category on the day.

A team colleague, Ella Brown, also ran a blinder, finishing her 2.2-mile leg just one second behind Jo, while Vee Pollock in the B team was Alnwick’s third-fastest runner, also under 14 minutes. Also well done to Jackie Prouse running in the C team and posting a great time, despite a recent injury which put her participation in doubt.

For the men, Gary Hall ran an excellent first leg in a shade over 13 minutes.

He handed over to the massively-improved Micky Aiston, then it was Mark Doctor’s turn to run through the puddles on the soaked course.

Ian Simon was on the anchor leg and ran the quickest time of the four despite cycling from Amble to Newburn before the event.

The men finished a very fine 12th of the 33 veteran teams.

Veteran ladies: 4 A team Ella Brown 13.07, Lesley Miller 15.20 and Jo Gascoigne-Owens 13.06. Total time 41.33. 9 B Team Vee Pollock 13.47, Diana Weightman 15.20 and Tracey Sample 15.31. Total time 44.38. 16 C Team Lisa Williams 15.46, Jackie Prouse 14.58 and Ruth Doctor 16.24. Total time 47.08. 22 D Team Denise Drummond 16.33, Mary Plumley 17.27 and Sue Bolam 17.12. Total time 51.12.

Veteran men: 12 A Team Gary Hall 13.07, Micky Aiston 13.45, Mark Doctor 14.03 and Ian Simon 13.04. Total time 53.59.

The day before, there were some good results and pbs in various parkruns, thanks to calm and wind-free conditions.

Wayne Gair was the fastest runner in Harriers’ colours at Druridge Bay, clocking a splendid 18.31.

Dominic Harris ran an excellent pb, with new member Paul Godden not far behind.

John Fairbairn smashed the male-70 course record, while Ian Atherton made his Harriers debut.

Elsewhere, Dean Stackhouse ran well at the Gateshead Parkrun, to finish 13th, and Kirsty Steed made her Harriers bow at the Southampton Parkrun. Over in Cumbria, Gay Eastoe was victorious in the female-60 category.

Results – Druridge Bay: 5 Wayne Gair, 18.31; 11 Mike Telfer, 19.50; 18 Dominic Harris, 20.39; 22 Paul Godden, 21.24; 39 John Fairbairn, 23.22; 59-Dave Hindmarsh, 25.26; 62 Ian Atherton, 25.50; 120 William Fortune, 33.45.

Gateshead Parkrun: 13 Dean Stackhouse, 20.23.

Southampton Parkrun: 457 Kirsty Steed, 32.38.

Workington Parkrun: 27 Gay Eastoe, 25.38; 37 Richard Eastoe 27.14.

A dozen or so Harriers turned out to run from the Fish Quay to St Mary’s Lighthouse on Easter Sunday for North Tyneside 10k, a race which had more than 1,900 finishers.

On the warmest day of the year so far, this flat and fast 10k course led to a few excellent pbs.

First home for the Harriers was Tracey Sample, who was running for the club for the second time in the weekend.She was followed closely by new club member Justine Norman, who posted a two-minute pb.

Maureen Bartrum also ran a 10k best, nearly beating her husband in the process.

Gaynor Ayre was high-fiving the crowd as she finished and Christine Smith finished with a smile in her first 10k. Well done to everyone.

Results: 422 Tracey Sample, 46.45; 466 Justine Norman, 47.34; 624 Dave Bartrum, 49.08; 640 Maureen Bartrum, 49.29; 872 Lee Bowyer, 52.17; 850 Morag Donoghue, 52.25; 917-Claire Miller-Grossett, 53.42; 1152-Carol Davison, 56.41; 1385-Ron McCormack, 1.00.16; 1579-Rachel Bowyer, 1.03.35; 1717-Gaynor Ayre, 1.06.38; 1873-Christine Smith, 1.16.40.