Harriers’ senior men just miss out on team prize at Druridge

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Blyth RC hosted the second of the six North East Harrier League cross country fixtures on Sunday (October 9) at Druridge Bay.

Last year’s mudfest and freezing conditions were nowhere to be seen as this year’s races took place in warm conditions on a very dry course. Many thanks to Blyth RC for such a well organised event, and to the North East Harrier League committee.

Following on from their great showing at last week’s Wrekenton fixture the Senior Men were the standout performers on the day. Some excellent individual performances meant that the team finished a brilliant second on the day, agonisingly just one point behind Sunderland Strollers.

However, the league table after two events reads well as it shows the Senior Men top of the pile in Division 2, with a narrow lead over Wallsend Harriers and Birtley AC.

The Senior Women fared much better than last weeks race as they finished fifth of the 10 teams in Division 2 on the day. They currently sit seventh of the 10 teams in Division 1.

Latest league standings are here http://www.harrierleague.com/results/2016-17/teams/.

For the Senior Men there was a top class performance from Dan Turnbull on his Harrier League debut for the club. Of 584 finishers Dan was an amazing third finisher from the Slow Pack.

A couple of minutes further back and second counter for us was Phil Hemsley, whilst Shaun Land and Dominic Harris were next. All four of them will take their places in the Medium Pack for the remainder of the season. Fifth counter was Medium Pack runner Graham Simpson and final counter, again on his Harrier League debut, was Phil Hall. They all contributed to a great team performance and were backed up by another 20 Harriers, with notable runs coming from Geoff Campbell, Fast Pack runner Steve Caragher, Rob Murray John and Paul Godden.

The Senior Women saw some top class performances as well with Ella Brown, just a day after coming third in the Alwinton Show Fell Race, finishing tenth from the Fast Pack thanks to running the fourth fastest time of the day in the race.

Jo Gascoigne-Owens, a couple of weeks after her superb marathon performance in Berlin, was 19th.

Sam Embleton has recently rejoined the club, dug out her Harriers vest and finished third counter from the Slow Pack. Fourth and final counter was Angie Embleton, a runner who has come on in leaps and bounds this year.

Rachelle Falloon once again made the long trip from Cambridge to take part and powered past a good proportion of the field from the Medium Pack to finish 52nd, whilst another Harrier who was having her first cross country race for a few years, Lisa Athey, also performed well to finish just inside the top 100.

Another notable run came from Mel Steer, whilst there were Harrier League debuts for Lynne Bannister, Frances Wilde, Angie Doughty and Helen Moor.

Meanwhile nearly 50 Alnwick Juniors turned out for the cross country races! The U11s as ever had the biggest turn out of new faces with Evie Godden leading home the 11 girls. In the boys race Max Murray John ran an excellent race to finish in fourth place overall. For a large proportion of the runners in this age category it was their first race and they all coped admirably.

The U13 girls finished the team competition in fourth place. Millie Breese ran her best race ever finishing in 2nd place, whilst Ailsa Batley and Maddie Hall were the second and third counters which contributed to this good result. The first counter for the boys was James Carragher followed by Ryan Harrison Frater and Jude Hall. The boys managed a solid 12th place overall.

The U15 boys also managed an excellent fourth place with Ollie Telfer running the fastest Alnwick 3k time of the day to complete the course in 13.13. He was backed up by Ben Murray John and new Harrier James Gilhome. All the boys just missed promotion to the Fast Pack so they’ll be expecting a good result at the next fixture.

Callie Henderson at last had a team mate in the U15 girls race in Kate Buddle who ran well from the Slow Pack to finish 20th overall. Callie herself managed an excellent 12th from the Fast Pack running the third fastest time of the day in her race.

The U17 boys had a full team and finished fifth overall with Ben Kelly first home from the Fast Pack. Ryan Harrison Frater was next and Robert Stephenson was third counter. Rebecca Reed and Sophie Enser represented the club in the U17/20 ladies race.