Saturday sees wait over as Harrier League returns

Alnwick Harriers: The Alwinton Show moneygrabbers
Alnwick Harriers: The Alwinton Show moneygrabbers

Alnwick Harriers

Saturday saw the long-awaited start of the 2014/15 North East Harrier League season, with the first of the six fixtures being held at East Cramlington Nature Reserve.

Alnwick Harriers: Jo and Stu in Chicago

Alnwick Harriers: Jo and Stu in Chicago

Perfect weather, a mostly dry course and great organisation by the host club Blyth RC ensured a great day was had by all.

The highlight of the day was from one of our up-and-coming Juniors, Callie Henderson, who won the U13 Girls’ race.

Another notable performance came from Lauren Brown who finished 14th of an amazing 159 runners in the U11 Mixed race.

Also well done to Adam Shafiq, who finished an impressive ninth from the Fast Pack in the U17 Boys’ race, where he clocked the third quickest time of the 24 participants.

For the Seniors, after the first fixture, the women are a splendid seventh of the 36 teams in Division Two.

Tracey Sample was first counter after she finished a very good 42nd of the 333 runners.

Ella Brown was a brilliant 51st overall, proving that she is quite rightly at home in the Fast Pack.

Lesley Miller was third home and fourth was new recruit Samantha Fender.

New counting rules mean that four places count towards the final team score.

Other notable performances came from the other new Harriers, Rachel McCoy and Leah Flynn.

No doubt when Jo Gascoigne-Owens, Sarah Gray and Pauline Aitchison return, the team’ll shoot up the table.

The men are also in seventh place of the 11 teams in Division Two after 17 Harriers took part in the final race of the day.

First home was Adam Fletcher, back in the Slow Pack after his season in the Medium Pack last year, finishing 49th.

A few seconds back was Steve Patterson, followed by Ross Wilson, who was making his Harrier League debut.

Another cross-country debut came from Wayne Gair, who was fourth counter, ahead of Ian Simon and Medium Pack runner Graham Simpson. Of the non-counters, there was a great run by Micky Aiston, no doubt benefiting from his recent fell races.

There were also Harrier League debuts for Terry Fountain, Paul Dellbridge and Tim Shepherd.

Seventh place is a decent result given the absences of the likes of Bruce Crombie, Phil Hemsley, Dan Leng and Geoff Campbell.

The next Harrier League fixture is at Aykley Heads, Durham on Saturday, November 22.

Female Harriers: 42-Tracey Sample 31.21 (S); 51-Ella Brown 31.34 (F); 66-Lesley Miller 31.51 (S); 141-Samantha Fender 33.38 (S); 151-Diana Weightman 33.54 (M); 181-Tine Murton 34.43 (S); 185-Ruth Doctor 34.49 (S); 226-Mary Plumley 35.57 (S); 235-Rachel McCoy 36.20 (S); 252-Leah Flynn 37.32 (S); 288-Sue Skirrow 39.42 (S).

Male Harriers: 49-Adam Fletcher 39.06 (S); 59-Steve Patterson 39.25 (S); 73-Ross Wilson 39.49 (S); 85-Wayne Gair 40.10 (S); 143-Ian Simon 41.30 (S); 204-Graham Simpson 42.43 (M); 218-Mark Miller 42.41 (S); 328-Micky Aiston 44.59 (S); 348-Andy Squires 45.29 (S); 375-Dave Hindmarsh 46.24 (S); 420-Graham Skirrow 47.32 (S); 431-Terry Fountain 47.50 (S); 438-Mark Doctor 47.56 (S); 496-Jonathan Kay 49.46 (S); 572-Paul Dellbridge 58.09 (S); 583-Tim Shepherd 64.12 (S).

Mixed U11s: 14-Lauren Brown 5.41; 34-Ellie Henderson 5.58; 35-Owen Douglas 5.59; 50-Mille Breese 6.14; 70-Sonny Overton.

Girls U13s: 1-Callie Henderson 13.50 (S).

Boys U13s: 32-Harrison Brown 15.13 (S); 34-Max Breese 15.16 (S); 55-William Brunger 16.22 (S); 58-Benji Gillingham 16.39 (S); 59-Jamie Kelly 18.01 (S).

Girls U15s: 22-Jenny Bolam 15.26 (S); 40-Grace Forsythe 17.09 (S); 44-Amy Thorne 17.24 (S).

Boys U15s: 23-Alfie Murton 13.31 (S); 37-Ben Kelly 14.13 (F).

Girls U17/20s: 15-Rosie Murton 23.43 (F).

Boys U15s: 23-Alfie Murton 13.31 (S); 37-Ben Kelly 14.13 (F).

Girls U17/20s: 15-Rosie Murton 23.43 (F).

Boys U17s: 9-Adam Shafiq 26.50 (F); 19-Edris Ramezanpour 29.31 (S); 23-Craig Matthews 33.06 (S).

Sunday witnessed one of those special days in the history of Alnwick Harriers, thanks to the best female Harrier ever, Jo Gascoigne-Owens.

Alnmouth’s Jo and husband Stuart Morris took part in the Chicago Marathon, with both performing superbly well.

Jo ran a magnificent race to smash her own marathon pb and club record, which she had set at the Melbourne Marathon in 2008, by over 10 minutes. She clocked 2.55.51.

Stu also ran a blinder to knock about an hour off his previous marathon attempt, finishing in a splendid 3.17.51. Well done to both of you.

Also that day, three Harriers ventured north to take part in the Aviemore Half Marathon.

The race is a mix of road and trail, with good pb potential. Indeed there were pbs for two of the three, courtesy of Sue Bolam and Denise Drummond.

Results: 283-Sue Bolam 1.48.06; 285-Denise Drummond 1.48.14; 308-Lisa Williams 1.49.25.

Finally that day, three Harriers were in action in the latest of the Run Northumberland-organised races, the Matfen 10k.

There was yet more age-category success for Gay Eastoe as she won the female 60 prize.

Results: 39-Andrew Shell 45.51; 103-Gay Eastoe 54.13; 104-Richard Eastoe 54.13.

The day before, due to the Harrier League cross-country, only three Harriers took part in the Druridge Bay Parkrun.

Peter Grey ran well once again to finish a very good fourth of the 75 finishers.

Gay and Richard Eastoe also ran at the Workington Parkrun, where Gay won her age category as she seems to most weeks.

Druridge Bay: Alnwick Harriers: 4-Peter Grey 19.21; 20-Ken Hodson 23.58; 32-Stu Bruce 26.15.

Men: 1 Ryan Green (Morpeth Harriers) 17.21; 2 Lee Cuthbertson (Blyth RC) 17.54; 3. Mark Snowball (Morpeth Harriers) 18.32; 4. Peter Grey (Alnwick Harriers) 19.21; 5. Tim Miley (Unattached) 19.54.

Women: 1 Sarah Wilkes (Morpeth Harriers) 24.03; 2. Ali Liddle (Unattached) 24.43; 3 Sandra Watson (Unattached) 25.03; 4. Louise Price (Unattached) 25.52; 5 Jilly Bell (Unattached) 26.35. There were 75 finishers.

Workington: 18-Richard Eastoe 22.16; 29-Gay Eastoe 24.36.

Finally, a number of Harriers were lured to the Alwinton Show Fell Race, no doubt by the pots and pots of money on offer to the prize-winners.

No results are out yet, but in-form Sarah Gray performed well once again to finish second female.

Also taking part were Kim Bronze, Dave Coates, Helen Patterson, Mike Telfer and the Telfer lad,s Finlay and Ollie.