One of the best weeks for many a year has seen Alnwick Harriers victorious in two races and second in another.
Perhaps the best was from Bruce Crombie on Sunday at the Windy Gyle Fell Race. Earlier in the season, Bruce won the inaugural Hedgehope Hellraiser race and he has now followed this up by being victorious at Windy Gyle.
He is fast becoming one of the big boys in North-East fell-running, taking some notable scalps on his way to this 25-second victory.
There were also excellent performances by Adam Fletcher, who finished fifth in this decent field and by Graham Simpson who was 11th.Andy Squires also took part in his third race in a week, though tweaked a calf during this race.
Results:1-Bruce Crombie 1.02.48; 5-Adam Fletcher 1.05.06; 11-Graham Simpson 1.08.16; 25-Andy Squires 1.19.19.
Last Thursday, there was another victory for an Alnwick runner, this time in the Norham RC-organised Castle Bank Time Trial, a 6k multi terrain race including road, paths and steps.
Carl Avery wore the Alnwick vest for the first time and bolted up in fine style, winning the race comfortably ahead of second-place Bruce Crombie. Steve Patterson was an excellent fourth, meaning Alnwick easily won the male team prize.
Results: 1-Carl Avery 18.19; 2-Bruce Crombie 19.44; 4-Steve Patterson 21.36; 24-Kim Bronze 27.49.
Ten Harriers travelled down to Tyneside last Wednesday to take part in the Elswick Harriers-organised Newburn River Run. The 6.5-mile course is a very flat one; along the Tyne to Wylam, over a bridge, back on the south bank and over the Newburn Bridge to the finish.
First Harrier to finish on a warm night was Harriers legend Dave Kirkland, who has been struggling once again with illness, meaning that he’s had to postpone a planned 100km race later this year and concentrate on shorter distances. He performed magnificently to finish second of the 365 finishers. Next home was the in-form Andy Squires, who finished just over a minute ahead of Dave Hindmarsh.
Mark Doctor was the first of the three Marks to take part in the race for Alnwick, knocking 70 seconds off his previous best at this race. Mark Douglas was next followed by Conrad Stewart and the last of three Daves, Dave Coates.
Another Coates, Shelley, was the only, and therefore first, female Harrier.
Stuart Bruce knocked off over four minutes from his previous best at Newburn thanks to his Ironman training, while Mark Hume improved by just over a minute on his 2013 time.
Results: 2-Dave Kirkland 35.40; 104-Andy Squires 45.37; 120-Dave Hindmarsh 46.48; 122-Mark Doctor 46.57; 130-Mark Douglas 47.18; 217-Conrad Stewart 52.33; 219-Dave Coates 52.37; 274-Shelley Coates 56.21; 290-Stuart Bruce 57.37; 359-Mark Hume 1.13.06.
There were four Harriers in Parkrun action on Saturday. Andy Squires was quickest at Newcastle in a Parkrun pb, an event which also saw Chris Graham carrying a 10kg weight in preparation for the Paras 10 later this year.
Over at Workington, Gay and Richard Eastoe both ran well, with Gay winning the female 60 category again.
Results: Newcastle: 49-Andy Squires 20.34; 157-Chris Graham 24.53. Workington: 29-Richard Eastoe 21.26; 53-Gay Eastoe 24.51.