Busy festive period and start to the new year for Alnwick Harriers

editorial image

It was a busy festive season for Alnwick Harriers, with a huge number of club members taking part in races over the Christmas period.

Many Harriers began 2019 as they meant to go on by turning out at events on New Year’s Day.

There was a good number at Morpeth Harriers’ annual New Year’s Day Road Race.

Peter Grey won the V60 prize, finishing the 11k course in 44.10 and coming 48th overall.

He was followed by Denis Kerr (44.36), John Cuthbert (49.23) and Mark Hume (78.06).

Amazingly, John Cuthbert tackled this race, as well as doing the Druridge Bay and Newbiggin parkruns on the same day. An incredible effort.

And he wasn’t the only Alnwick Harrier to do more than one race on New Year’s Day, with a number of runners representing the club at Druridge and Newbiggin parkruns.

There was a bumper crowd of more than 500 at Druridge, and Alnwick’s Steve Carragher ran very well to finish third overall in 17.55.

Among the large field was a decent number of Alnwick’s Junior members, who put in some great performances.

Max Murray-John (JM11-14) was seventh overall with a 19.10 PB, followed by brother Ben (JM15-17) who came 10th in 19.32.

Meanwhile, Millie Breese (JW 11-14) showed just what a talent she is by winning the women’s race, coming 14th overall in 19.44.

There were also PBs for other Junior runners, with Max Breese (JM 15-17) finishing in 20.44 and Cooper Wilde (JM 11-14) crossing the line in 22.37.

For the Seniors, and on the PB front, Paul Wilkie was delighted with his 21.27.

Meanwhile, at the Newbiggin parkrun, there was a PB for Alex Knight (JM 11-14), who finished in 30.15. Once again, well done to those runners who took part here and at Druridge.

On New Year’s Eve, Alnwick Harriers were invited to Alnwick Tri Club’s annual social coastal run, from Beadnell to Alnmouth. A very enjoyable event was had by all.

In between Christmas and New Year, plenty of Harriers turned out at various parkruns on Saturday, December 29. The results were:

Druridge Bay – 3 Adam Fletcher 19:04; 6 Paul White 19:45; 8 Jason Dawson 20:21; 17 Robert Baddeley 21:33; 22 Paul Wilkie 22:04; 29 Carole Page 22:28; 37 David Barnes 23:10; 43 Jo Powell 23:27; 66 Justine Norman 25:19; 87 Liam McDonough 26:53; 88 Christopher Atwell 26:55; 123 John Ross 29:05; 128 George Williams 29:23; 162 Melanie Brigid Buchanan 31:29; 176 Lorna Stephenson 32:29; 196 Rebecca Heeley 33:58; 230 Eleanor Heeley 47:23.

Sedgefield – 215: Kirsty Steed 32:59.

Whitley Bay – 139: Philip Lee 26:09.

Windy Nook – 21: Bev Blythe 28:05.

Workington – 116: Richard Eastoe 39:06; 133: Gay Eastoe 48:57.

Cross-country and parkrun dominated the weekend’s race calendar, with the Juniors putting in particularly impressive performances.

The first cross-country fixture of the New Year was the Sherman Cup and Davidson Shield, at Temple Park. The fixture is a one-off match where the runners race without the usual handicap pack system.

Alnwick Harriers Junior section brought down a squad of 20 and the stand-out performance came from U15 runner Millie Breese, who continued her excellent form and ran an excellent race to finish second.

Millie and Katie Francis, of Birtley, ran head-to-head for the entire race and both looked strong as they emerged onto the finishing field for the final 400m. However, on this day, Katie was the fastest over the final 50m, narrowly beating Millie to a superb second place. A great result to start the New Year.

The U15 girls team, comprising Millie, Lauren Brown and Maddy Hall, finished fourth overall – Alnwick’s highest place in the overall Davidson Shield competition.

The U11 girls were once again out in their happy, smiling team. The girls are a great group and support each other well.

The U13 boys were led home once again by Max Murray-John, who finished in an excellent sixth place.

Lilia Purvis was first U13 girl home and was closely followed by Chloe Givens, who had an excellent run.

Finlay Wilde was the only U15 boy on this occasion but finished in an encouraging 35th place.

Ollie Telfer (U17) and Ben Murray-John ran well, finishing their 5.5km course in 7th and 9th places, Ollie finishing in a time of 19min 41s.

It was an excellent day where the junior athletes started the New Year with some promising results and lots of enthusiasm.

In the Senior competition, a decent number of Harriers ran in the male and female races.

Alice Tetley-Paul was first home for the women, crossing the line in 27.42. Karen Kelly, Jo Powell and Diana Weightman were all less than a minute behind.

In the men’s race, Graham Simpson was first back for Alnwick, finishing in 34.49. He was followed by Adam Fletcher and Bruce Crombie – with just two seconds separating the pair.

Alnwick’s first parkrun - the Pastures parkrun - is taking place this Saturday at 9am, and then every Saturday at the same time. It is a three-lap course in the Pastures, in the shadow of Alnwick Castle, starting near the Lion Bridge. Runners are reminded to bring their parkrun barcode