Alnwick Harriers would, as always, like to thank Northumberland Estates for the use of The Pastures for the fifth of the six races in the North East Harrier League cross-country series which took place on Saturday.
The stunning course with its amazing backdrop of Alnwick Castle is widely considered by many to be the best fixture in the series.
Also thanks to The Alnwick Garden for use of the car-parking facilities at a reduced price for those athletes taking part and the spectators.
We would also like to thank Rapid Reaction for their help once again with all things first aid.
Of course, without the help of the committee and, in particular, the hard-working secretary Jim Lillico, this event would not take place.
Many thanks to all the Harriers and friends who stepped forward to help out with marshalling duties, as well as course set-up and clear-up. It was another fantastic day.
Most of the individual highlights from our point of view were courtesy of the Junior Harriers, who turned out in massive numbers at their home race.
In the first race of the day, Lauren Brown finished a brilliant second in the Girls’ U11s race, with Mille Breese and Ellie Henderson also finishing towards the top.
In the Boys’ U11s race Joseph Godden was 12th with Owen Douglas seconds behind.
Callie Henderson put in her usual excellent performance to finish seventh from the fast pack in the Girls’ U13 race.
A large number of Harriers boys took part in the U13s race with Harrison Brown and Max Breese finishing well up there.
There was a great second place for Jenny Bolam in the Girls’ U15s race, while Rebecca Reed was also second in the U17/20 race.
However, the fastest time in the Girls’ U17/20 race was posted by our Suzie Barwise-Munro.
Her time of 17.49 included her fast-pack handicap and saw her finish in fourth place. Well done to the junior athletes for taking part in such large numbers.
U11 Girls: 2-Lauren Brown, 3.52; 11-Mille Breese, 4.15; 14-Ellie Henderson, 4.21; 19-Lydia Smith, 4.26; 28-Ailsa Batley, 4.46; 34-Eve Lewington, 4.55; 54-Katie Knight, 5.27; 55-Katie Lou Friend, 5.28; 56-Amy Knight, 5.29; 57-Abbie Davies, 5.30; 65-Madeline Ainsworth, 5.40.
U11 Boys: 12-Joseph Godden, 4.15; 19-Owen Douglas, 4.22; 37-Cameron Nichols, 4.51; 46-Gregor Batley, 5.03; 48-Euan Friend, 5.03; 51-Finlay Telfer, 5.11.
Girls U13s: 7-Callie Henderson, 16.0,5 (F).
Boys U13s: 18-Harrison Brown, 15.07, (S); 19-Max Breese, 15.07, (S); 32-Owen Willcox, 15.46, (S); 43-Ollie Telfer, 16.12, (F); 44-Joe Eggleston, 16.14, (S); 52-Kieran Dover, 16.32, (F); 53-Kristian Atkinson, 16.42, (S); 55-William Brunger, 16.47, (S); 56-Joshua McMeeking, 16.48, (S); 58-Luke McMeeking, 16.56, (S); 61-Jamie Kelly, 20.28, (S); 62-Joe Lawless, 20.28, (S).
Girls U15s: 2-Jenny Bolam, 15.42, (S); 22-Amy Thorne, 17.04, (F); 23-Abbie Lewington, 17.13, (S); 27-Ciara Healy, 17.29, (S); 32-Jessica Duffy, 17.45, (S); 38-Sophie Enser, 18.37, (S); 40-Layla Shafiq, 18.56, (S); 41-Emily Davies, 18.59, (S).
Boys U15s: 48-Jack Douglas, 16.35, (S).
Girls U17/20s: 2-Rebecca Reed, 17.28, (S); 4-Suzie Barwise-Munro, 17.49, (F); 23-Beth Lewington, 20.26, (S).
For the Seniors, the men’s team finished fifth of the 11 teams on the day as they battle to beat the drop from Division Two.
They were led home by Graham Simpson, who finished a brilliant 15th from the medium pack, a performance which will see him run from the fast pack for the final race of the season and the whole of next season.
Next counter, in his seasonal Harrier League bow, was Graham Syers, who finished 57th from the slow pack.
He finished just in front of medium-packer Steve Patterson who was making his final appearance for us before a change of clubs.
Next up were Geoff Campbell and Phil Hemsley, followed by our last of the six counters, Adam Spiller.
A number of Harriers were making their seasonal cross-country debuts including Jim Lillico and Mike Telfer, while Gary Cowell and Ken Hodson took part in their first Harrier League fixtures.
In terms of the overall standings, the men are still in eighth place of the 11 teams in Division Two.
Despite finishing fifth on the day, both Elvet Striders and Blackhill Bounders performed better, meaning that it’s very tight at the bottom.
We are one of five teams who can join the probably already doomed Saltwell Harriers in going down to the bottom division.
So it’s all hands to the pump for the final fixture at Wrekenton in two weeks time.
Senior Men: 15-Graham Simpson, 39.46, (M); 57-Graham Syers, 41.35, (S); 74-Steve Patterson, 41.56, (M); 144-Geoff Campbell, 43.04, (S); 156-Phil Hemsley, 43.13, (M); 201-Adam Spiller, 43.57, (S); 207-Mike Telfer, 44.03, (S); 249-Stuart Morris, 44.46, (S); 253-Gary Hall, 44.46, (S); 258-Adam Fletcher, 45.04, (F); 285-Andy Squires, 45.43, (S); 293-Graham Crow, 45.51, (S); 307-Micky Aiston, 46.28, (S); 327-Jim Lillico, 47.11, (S); 328-Gary Cowell, 47.11, (S); 401-Dave Hindmarsh, 50.06, (S); 446-Dave Bartrum, 52.36, (S); 494-Kim Bronze, 59.34, (S); 495-Ken Hodson, 59.48, (S).
Due to a number of absences of key runners, the Senior Women could only manage fifth place on the day which means our chances of promotion to Division One have possibly gone.
We remain in third place, but both Morpeth Harriers and South Shields Harriers would have to fail miserably at Wrekenton to give us a sniff of promotion.
First Harrier to finish was team captain Jo Gascoigne-Owens.
Jo finished seventh from the fast pack and, as always, seemed to cruise effortlessly past most of her 287 rivals.
Second counter, remaining in the slow pack to her immense relief, was Lesley Miller who finished 43rd overall.
Third Harrier home on her debut was Claire Sapwell.
Claire is a second claimer for us and therefore does not count towards the team score, though she ran well to finish inside the top 100.
The third and fourth counters were involved in a close battle throughout the race, as was the case at Jarrow recently.
However, on this occasion the tables were turned with Maureen Bartrum pipping Ruth Doctor in the final few hundred metres. Well done to both for being counters.
Well done to the other ladies for taking part including Sarah Cross, who was returning from injury, and Christine Mavromichaelis, making her Harrier League debut.
Senior Women: 17-Jo Gascoigne-Owens, 31.12, (F); 43-Lesley Miller, 32.57, (S); 89-Claire Sapwell, 33.35, (S); 148-Maureen Bartrum, 34.57, (S); 154-Ruth Doctor, 35.01, (S); 163-Tracey Sample, 35.31, (M); 173-Samantha Fender, 35.46, (S); 188-Sarah Cross, 36.31, (S); 271-Sheona Duffy, 44.40, (S); 275-Eileen Guthrie, 45.49, (S); 281-Christine Mavromichaelis, 46.57, (S).
Druridge Bay Parkrun
Away from the hustle and bustle of the Harrier League, a handful of Harriers were in action at the Druridge Bay Parkrun on Saturday.
The headline act was Justine Norman who was making her Harriers debut having recently joined the club.
Justine was second female finisher in 23.33. Welcome to the club Justine.
However, first Harrier across the line was Peter Grey. He finished sixth and was first in the male 55 category.
Micky Aiston warmed up for the cross-country later in the day with a course pb, while Mark Hume was first in the male 70 category.
Across in Workington, the Eastoes were taking part in the Workington Parkrun, where both performed well winning their age 60 categories.
Results - Druridge Bay: 6-Peter Grey, 19.53; 12-Micky Aiston, 21.18; 28-Justine Norman, 23.33; 58-Karl Baxter, 27.22; 87-Mark Hume, 32.01.
Workington Parkrun: 28-Richard Eastoe, 24.07; 32-Gay Eastoe, 24.28.
Top five men: 1-James Young, (Morpeth Harriers), 17.14; 2-Jon French, (Blyth RC), 18.05; 3-Craig Batson, (Unattached), 18.29; 4-Brad Wake, (Unattached), 19.00; 5-Mike Harris, (Unattached), 19.32.
Top five women: 1-Amber Cormack, (Morpeth Harriers), 22.20; 2-Justine Norman, (Alnwick Harriers), 23.33; 3-Sandra Watson, (Unattached), 24.48; 4-Jill Sandeman,(Unattached), 25.13; 5-Daisy Walker, (Unattached), 25.36.
The following day three Harriers took part in the undulating but beautiful Haweswater Half Marathon in the Lake District.
First of the trio to finish was Richard Eastoe, closely followed by John Ross and Gay Eastoe.
Gay was second in the female 60 category.
Results: 326-Richard Eastoe, 1.56.00; 343-John Ross, 1.57.17; 352-Gay Eastoe, 1.57.56.