KEVI sixth-formers win English Schools Cross Country Cup championship, and a trip to Kenya
After a 500-mile round trip, and several years of trying, they carried off a remarkable win against the best of the nation’s talent.
Now all in their upper sixth form year, they were led home by Will de Vere Owen, who finished an individual fourth, the squad producing an 11-point winning margin over second-placed Judd School of Kent.
With four to count in the scoring, support came from Joe Dixon (7th), Liam Roche (23rd), and Ethan Phillips (24th), with Bertie Marr (53rd), and Ryan Davies (79th) also prominent among the 155 finishers.
The KEVI squad have won themselves a trip to Kenya in 2024, where they will have the added honour of representing their country at an international event scheduled to be staged there.
Locally, two fixtures on opposite sides of Northumberland saw several hundred runners defy the challenging conditions.
The 63rd annual Blyth Sands Race was once again sold out – although from the numbers who took part, it looked as though a fair few thought better of it.
Run from Blyth to Seaton Sluice and back, and using the unique age and gender-based handicapping system, this year’s race was one of the closest for a while with the winner coming from a 40-plus male veteran – the race won by North Shields Polytechnic Harrier James Anderson.
Club colleague and triathlete Stephanie Maclean-Dann was third, having at one point on the way back along the beach taking the lead with Morpeth Harrier and O/65 Gavin Bayne. In the event, Bayne finished sixth.
Conditions were, if anything, even worse on the other side of the county for the annual Hexhamshire Hobble.
Starting and finishing in Allendale and taking in a 10.5 mile circuit of a snowbound Hexhamshire Common with 1,250 feet of climbing, this year’s race was won by Northumberland Fell Runner Craig Jones, with Morpeth’s Richie Hughes, in his NFR vest, second.
Morpeth’s Richard Kirby had an excellent run to come home 45th, Gary Mason, also in his NFR vest, was 60th and Neil McAnany, 75th.
Also running well were Anna Wright, 88th, and Nicola McCoy, 90th.