Category Archives: Harrier League

The Harrier League races are big events for Striders and we usually have around 70-80 members who turn up to run, cheer on their club mates, or usually both! We gather together in the Striders’ tent underneath the purple Striders banner. All Striders are welcome as are their families, friends and well behaved dogs!

The league is over 100 years old so it’s well established and represents traditional, grass roots, competitive running at its best.

Harrier League, Alnwick, Northumberland, Saturday, March 4, 2017

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

Dave Forster

Passion. Suspense. Intrigue.

None of these words sprang to mind as I lined up at the start for the final Harrier League cross country fixture at Alnwick yesterday.

I was one of a number of purple first-timers getting their mud on, having been persuaded to do so by some of the regulars, and even after seeing the photos from Thornley – and spending the last few days peeking at the weather forecast from behind the sofa – we were all eager to give it a try. Tim Skelton had even invested in revolutionary ultra-luminescent mudclaws, presumably so that his progress could be visually tracked from the International Space Station.

A number of us had travelled up the A1 on the Striders coach and much of the talk had centred on the possible conditions. Would anyone be taking a tumble? Would we be returning with the same number of shoes as we started with? Would ’27 Hours’ pale into insignificance compared to one of us being stranded waist-deep in a bog? Joking aside, I think most of us were feeling pretty relieved that it was fairly decent weather and we could try and enjoy the race. With both the men’s and ladies’ teams seeking to cement their places in the top division, everyone was steeling themselves to go out and give it their best.

Upon arrival, we made our way over to the course and were welcomed by Geoff, Susan and co. at the Striders tent. Lots of smiling faces, nobody looking too green… even Gareth looked pleased to be back doing cross country, although every time someone mentioned Thornley I could see his eye twitching slightly. Jack, Phil and I had a quick recce of the course and it didn’t look too bad – a bit of a muddy slog uphill for the first half but then a nice, long stretch through the woods to recover and a fast downhill section towards the end of the lap. Unusually for me, I wasn’t feeling nervous in the least – I had been telling myself all week to just keep it steady and enjoy it, without putting pressure on myself to run a particular time. Back at the tent there was plenty of encouragement from the seasoned runners, too, which kept the positivity up for us newbies. Then there were the obligatory team photos – including the men – and the application of Strider face paint to strike terror into the hearts of opposing runners (if the sight of me squeezing into my skimpy shorts and vest wasn’t enough to do so already).

It was soon time for the women’s race and the men all took up positions around the start to cheer them on. Elaine went off particularly strongly from the fast pack and there were plenty of Striders in good positions come the start of the second lap (and only one or two sad faces!). With a strong result needed, there were a few nervous seconds ticking by as finishers started to arrive and no sign of any Striders, but a big cheer went up as Elaine, Rachael and Tamsin all arrived consecutively – pushing each other hard in a tight sprint finish – to place high up the field. Seeing all of the ladies’ team run well gave the boys plenty of confidence and we knew that our fast lads were capable of a great result.

When the call came to line up at the start, I squeezed my petite frame to the front of the slow pack, and when the gun went off I’m certain I led the race for at least 0.46 seconds. There were plenty of runners overtaking me immediately but I’d told myself that I was going to take it steady for the first lap and see how my legs felt. The going wasn’t too bad in most places (although shin-deep bog in some) and there were plenty of Strider faithful dotted along the course to give you encouragement.

The long uphill was pretty energy-sapping and by the final lap I was seriously plodding and being overtaken by a lot of medium and fast pack runners, although I was pleased to see Jason, Phil and Gareth running strongly. I tried to pick a quicker runner to follow through the final stretch through the woods to make sure that I didn’t relax, and then gritted my teeth (and ankles) to throw myself down the molehill-covered descent. I knew from the women’s race that the home straight needed a big finale so I gurned as best I could and made a burst for the finish line. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Jack was right on my shoulder, having made up the time from the medium pack, and almost pipped me to the post. Disappointingly, a runner in blue (Birtley, I think) did manage to get past me – but I bet he didn’t pull as good a face.

I filed along the finishers funnel, legs burning, and went to join the runners who had finished ahead of me. We barely had time to get our breath back when we heard the booming command of Captain Smith to pose for another team photo. We dutifully obliged. I’m pretty sure her exact words were, “I need all of you hunky, sweaty men to huddle together and look hunky for a photo, NOW!” but I was still in a muddy, exhausted haze and my recollection is a bit fuzzy.

Presumably thanks to the chip timing, the results were in almost immediately after the men’s race had finished, and there were celebrations all round as both the men (3rd on the day) and women (8th) retained their Division 1 status for another season! The cherry on the cake was the news that the men had in fact leapfrogged Durham Harriers in the table to finish 6th overall, with the women only a point behind their Harrier counterparts in 7th. Cue copious amounts of delicious Strider baked goods and even a bit of fizz! Credit to Geoff, Susan and all of the Striders who turned out over the last five months to cap an excellent season’s running.

All in all, a great day out and I’ll be looking forward to having a go again next season!

 

results

women
positionbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
1642Carla Maley (North Shields Poly)FV35S29:4529:45
68371Elaine BissonFV35F34:5431:34
69418Rachael BullockFsenM34:5733:17
70432Tamsin ImberFV40F34:5831:38
81372Emma BainFV45M35:1033:30
88419Rachelle MasonFV35S35:1735:17
92431Susan DavisFV55S35:1935:19
102374Fiona JonesFV35S35:3635:36
106411Louise WarnerFV35M35:4134:01
120428Stephanie PiperFsenS35:5635:56
131391Juliet PercivalFV40M36:1034:30
160407Lesley CharmanFV40S37:2637:26
168369Diane HaroldFV40S37:4737:47
192415Nina MasonFV40S38:3838:38
208409Louise BarrowFsenS39:1739:17
214427Stef BarlowFV40S39:4339:43
225434Victoria JacksonFV35S40:0240:02
234352Anna SeeleyFsenS40:3340:33
246353Ashley Price-SabateFV35S41:0841:08
249350Anita ClementsonFV45S41:1141:11
268382Jan YoungFV60S42:1042:10
270376Fiona WoodFV35S42:3042:30
2721120Joanne PattersonFsenS42:5642:56
281359Catherine SmithFV40S43:5043:50
309421Rebecca DoddFsenS47:1247:12
3151269Barbara DickFV40S48:2348:23
321402Kerry BarnettFV40S49:1349:13
328401Kelly CollierFsenS51:0551:05

337 finishers.

men
positionbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
11829Michael Grimes (DCH)MsenS37:4337:43
37520James GarlandMV40S44:1544:15
39556Stephen JacksonMsenF44:1939:19
42534Matthew ArcherMV35S44:2944:29
57533Matt ClaydonMV40S45:0245:02
71521Jason HardingMV45M45:1842:48
134507David GibsonMV45S46:2546:25
157514Gareth PritchardMV35F46:5641:56
166494Andrew HopkinsMV40M47:0544:35
185546Phil RayMV35M47:2744:57
215551Scott WatsonMV50M48:1445:44
2281830David ForsterMsenS48:3248:32
231519Jack LeeMsenM48:3446:04
238515Geoff DavisMV55S48:4148:41
259562Timothy SkeltonMV35S49:0749:07
272525Jon AyresMV40S49:2649:26
280522Jerry LloydMV45M49:3647:06
362535Michael HughesMV45S52:4052:40
366549Richard HockinMV60S52:5052:50
422497Conrad WhiteMV55S56:2056:20
4281603Robin LintonMsenS56:4056:40
431510Dougie NisbetMV50S56:5656:56
4331850Tim MatthewsMV50S57:0057:00
4511749Emil MaataMsenS58:3058:30
460492Andrew DaviesMV40S59:2559:25
475504David BrowbankMV35S61:3761:37
494489Alan SmithMV65S67:2167:21
499564Trevor ChaytorMV50S70:3870:38

502 finishers.

Harrier League: Thornley Hall Farm, Thornley Hall Farm, Saturday, February 11, 2017

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

Joanne Patterson

So the day had arrived.  I had been awake most of the night listening to the rain lashing off the windows and dreading the fact that I had to face my demons and have my second try at this NEHL fixture.  My first attempt at it (in fact, my first attempt at XC since I was at school) hadn’t gone great.  As is probably common knowledge by now, I got too carried away and had a nasty fall around 100m from the finish, and so didn’t get to cross the finish line.

I had arranged to travel to Thornley with Tamsin, she picked me up early and we agreed that we must be mad.  It rained the entire journey.  Pictures were being posted on Facebook of the mud and the conditions, which did nothing to calm the nerves and dread.

We arrived at the farm and it was immediately obvious that this was going to be tough.  Everywhere you looked there was mud.  Nowhere near as much grass as I remembered from the first time.

I hunted out the Striders tent and a few of us huddled inside to keep warm.  The tent filled up, the chattering and laughing started, and I didn’t feel quite as nervous.  Knowing that even you seasoned XC pros were dreading it just as much as me, really helped!  I popped out with Kerry and Catherine to cheer on the U11’s, so we could see future Strider Lewis Littlewood having a really good run.  Lots of U13s passed in the next race, minus one or both trainers in some cases – Christ.  I was going to lose my new trainers wasn’t I?  Another thing to worry about!  Shortly after that we headed back to the tent to take off our multiple layers of warm clothing ready for battle.  A few team photo’s (in the warmth of the tent) and we heard the call for the ladies to line up!

We all huddled together (with hardcore vest-wearing Lesley in the centre of the huddle) to try and keep warm, as the rain turned to sleet and we were told there was a 15 minute delay.

This soon passed, and the gun went off.  The first part of the race seems to pass in a blur.  Lots of fast ladies passing me, but I felt I was holding my own in my part of the pack.  Off the grass and through the biggest, icy cold puddle I have ever experienced – wow that was actually fun.  The first hill was slippy slidy mud – I tried to run up it the best way I could, but I don’t think you could describe it as running.  I hear cries of “I can’t do this” from other runners and I immediately feel in good company!  There was literally no avoiding any of the mud or puddles, and I just ended up embracing it, with my main worry being to stay upright.  It was horrible.  It was hard.  My feet were so heavy, the hail bounced off my face like someone had just thrown stones at me.  I can’t do this.  It’s too hard, it’s not for me.  I won’t make a difference – all the faster ladies are way ahead – they make the difference for us.  Not long after these thoughts, I see 2 purple vests holding up an injured Mandy.  Oh no somebody is hurt.  Oh no they’re some of our fast ladies.  She seems really hurt.  I should stop and help.  No Joanne, she has help, she will be ok.  But if I help, I won’t need to run anymore.  But we have potentially lost 3 ladies.  You need to run, you need to do all that you can for the team.  So I keep running.

Massive huge hill.  Jan Ellis has placed herself perfectly in the middle of the hill.  You can’t stop now, she will see you.  You can get up the hill.  I imagine Jon Ayres shouting at me about my arms, and I get up the hill with Jan’s support ringing in my ears.  Wow that was hard.  I think I am going to die – oh great, look here’s Phil and Di with a camera….I carry on steadily, always worrying about falling – I will look like such an idiot if I fall again.  My favourite part of the whole course, is the downhill bit which leads upto the hill next to all the tents – for some reason, I really like that hill.  I take at least 2 ladies with the men shouting support as I went.  I think I may have sworn halfway up, but I didn’t stop.  Crap.  I have to do that whole thing AGAIN?!  For all my mile times on my garmin were a lot slower, it felt like the second lap went so much faster.  I was back around to my favourite part again in no time, met by more male Strider support, plus some comment from Jon about my arms (supportive I’m sure).  I didn’t look over, I just put everything I had into that last hill and passed another 2 ladies (who I think promptly took their places back on the downhill but still…).  Running along that last bit to the finish seemed to take forever, but shout outs from the already finished ladies kept me going.  I have never felt anything like crossing that finish line and stopping my garmin (which for the first time ever I could not have cared less what the numbers were).  I did it.  I blooming did it.  And I wasn’t last!

Now, where are those brownies?

I never understood the love/hate thing that people have for XC until now.  I can’t wait for Alnwick.

Results

men
posbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
1401Dan Jenkin (DCH)MsenF43:5038:50
27551Scott WatsonMV50S47:0247:02
29546Phil RayMV35S47:0647:06
30556Stephen JacksonMsenF47:1242:12
38533Matt ClaydonMV40S47:3447:34
49521Jason HardingMV45M48:1045:40
85534Matthew ArcherMV35S49:3149:31
99536Michael LittlewoodMV40M49:5147:21
101500Danny LimMV35S49:5549:55
134507David GibsonMV45S50:5050:50
146520James GarlandMV40S51:2151:21
149514Gareth PritchardMV35F51:2746:27
216532Mark WarnerMV35M54:0351:33
239535Michael HughesMV45S55:0055:00
258525Jon AyresMV40S55:5155:51
265501Dave HalliganMV50S56:2356:23
284499Daniel MitchelMV35S57:5157:51
305549Richard HockinMV60S59:4659:46
331529Malcolm SygroveMV50S62:3962:39
341561Tim MatthewsMV50S63:4463:44
356528Lindsay RodgersMV45S66:0766:07
365544Peter HartMV35S69:0769:07
366504David BrowbankMV35S69:0969:09

369 finishers.

women
posbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
1613Emma Holt (Morpeth Harriers & AC)FsenF31:1527:55
22416Olivia NealFsenM36:3234:52
48418Rachael BullockFsenM37:3835:58
56432Tasmin ImberFV40F37:4534:25
66419Rachelle MasonFV35S38:0338:03
91428Stephanie PiperFsenS39:0339:03
97391Juliet PercivalFV40M39:4338:03
118407Lesley CharmanFV40S40:4840:48
124433Victoria BrownFV35S41:1141:11
128415Nina MasonFV40S41:2841:28
141406Laura JenningsFsenS42:0642:06
146382Jan YoungFV60S42:3442:34
174434Victoria JacksonFV35S44:1944:19
2051120Joanne PattersonFsenS49:0549:05
235402Kerry BarnettFV40S55:5555:55
238401Kelly CollierFsenS57:3257:32

245 finishers.

 

Harrier League, Herrington Park, Saturday, January 7, 2017

Grand Prix Race.Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

UNITED WE STAND!

Photos courtesy of Tamsin Imber

Video courtesy of Aaron Gourley

Last Saturday’s Harrier League fixture at Herrington Park saw around 70+ Strider members in attendance. There were Strider men, women, young , old, fast, not so fast, new members, long servers, coaches and committee members all there wanting their club to do well and for everyone to have a brilliant day. It gladdened even the hardest heart to see it and it showed just what this club is all about. We Striders are able to come together no matter who we are, what we are or where we’re from and give our all in the service of the club. It was absolutely magnificent and all who were there should be incredibly proud!

The day itself was cloudy, mild and calm if a little damp and the tent and banner was soon up along with many more from our sister clubs. Some of these clubs have long histories stretching back to the nineteenth century such as Heaton Harriers; our next door neighbours for the day, while others are ‘new arrivals’ like Derwent Valley Trail Runners in only their second HL season. It was great to be among them all.

The Striders tent filled up quickly in anticipation of the senior women’s race. We had veterans such as Roz and Jan, welcome returners like Karen, Nina and Emma, fresh faced speedy Striders in Tamsin and Olivia, new devout converts such as Diane and Helen & tough campaigners like Mudwoman herself, Stef & Camilla. We also had one slightly apprehensive debutant, Carla, who quickly shed that apprehension and enjoyed her day to the utmost.

Although it was dry overhead the course was quite muddy in places with a couple of challenging hills and a long woodland section which contained a few obstacles for good measure. Not an easy course by any means. Nonetheless, well over 300 women lined up to do battle with purple vests well in evidence at the start particularly in the front rank of combatants.

Rachelle and Mudwoman were first to show followed by Lesley and they hurdled the fallen logs with eagerness and élan. Emma, on her long anticipated return to the Striders x/c fold, battled her way steadily from the medium pack to finish ahead of Rachelle & Mudwoman with another medium packer, Olivia, powering through at the end to finish as 4th counter. But what support they had from their team mates including the ever improving Helen, a determined Rachael, a committed Vics, a dogged Denise and many many more. No less than 30 Striderettes competed and they all ran their hearts out. But Harrier League is a savage and unforgiving arena, particularly the first division,  and with some of our regular ‘counters’ absent through injury or illness our women’s team finished 9th on the day and slipped to 8th for the season just above the relegation zone. We now have a fight on our hands that we’re determined to win!

As well as fielding 57 runners across the two main races Striders had numerous members there who came along to cheer their club mates and have an enjoyable day out. An injured Conrad gave his impression of the ‘Shipman Roar’, Anna, Katy & Allan cast their coaches’ eye over proceedings while Catherine S, Jan E, Stan, Jo P & Diane W all did their best to spur on the purple hoards. Many thanks to them!

One or two of our male runners were so far into the zone during their warm ups that they failed to hear the whistles and shouts that heralded the imminent start of the men’s race. Consequently they had a bit of catching up to do after the gun was fired! Fighting through that 500+ field on what was now a very muddy course couldn’t have been easy but Striders were fielding a very strong team. An absolutely magnificent run by Stephen, coming from the fast pack, saw him finish in 35th place overall and first Strider home. Scott too did his fare share of bursting through finishing second Strider and being closely followed by Matt A (his best X/C race thus far?!), Gibbo, Phil Ray and Jason (from the medium pack).

These guys also had some fantastic support from our other fast packers Gareth & Michael M plus Michael L, Mark & Jack from the medium pack. Pictures on social medium have also shown the grit and determination displayed by the rest of the magnificent team particularly David Browbank (retaining his shoes), Douglas Jardine (putting his body on the line in his debut race), young Emil (thrown in the deep end on his first outing) and Richard Hocking (beating over 150 younger men).

This was Striders best performance in the first division so far. All 6 counters finished in the top 80 places – an excellent display but, such is the quality of our opponents, our 6th place on the day still keeps us in 8th place for the season but with a 2 point cushion over the relegation zone and now just 2 points behind the 7th place club. Like the women we too have a battle on our hands and one that we are equally determined to win.

So we have just two fixtures to go and if any one who manages to read this far and hasn’t yet run this season, particularly those for whom we already have numbers, then I urge you to turn up at Thornley and Alnwick and run for your club. You really are missing out on a fantastic experience if you don’t!

Mudman

Ps I would like to give a special mention to Kerry and Denise for an act way above and beyond the call on duty –  the removal of all the goose poo from the Striders tent!

results

women

position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 1786 Lorna Macdonald (Morpeth Harriers & AC) Fsen S 27:30 27:30
64 372 Emma Bain FV45 M 32:51 30:56
67 419 Rachelle Mason FV35 S 32:49 32:49
71 431 Susan Davis FV55 S 32:56 32:56
119 416 Olivia Neal Fsen M 33:51 31:56
135 418 Rachael Bullock Fsen M 34:01 32:06
141 407 Lesley Charman FV40 S 34:07 34:07
143 432 Tamsin Imber FV40 F 34:09 30:19
151 428 Stephanie Piper Fsen S 34:35 34:35
158 433 Victoria Brown FV35 S 34:44 34:44
169 379 Helen Thomas FV40 S 35:12 35:12
177 414 Marita Grimwood FV45 S 35:28 35:28
191 423 Roz Layton FV60 S 36:43 36:43
195 356 Camilla Lauren-Maatta FV50 S 36:38 36:38
196 384 Jenny Search FV40 S 36:40 36:40
200 369 Diane Harold FV40 S 36:53 36:53
204 382 Jan Young FV60 S 37:15 37:15
206 427 Stef Barlow FV40 S 37:11 37:11
218 415 Nina Mason FV40 S 37:44 37:44
221 350 Anita Clementson FV45 S 37:53 37:53
234 409 Louise Barrow Fsen S 38:28 38:28
246 385 Jill Rudkin FV40 S 38:51 38:51
247 434 Victoria Jackson FV35 S 38:52 38:52
261 389 Joanne Porter FV45 S 39:23 39:23
281 393 Karen Metters FV40 S 40:56 40:56
286 357 Carla Clarke FV35 S 41:45 41:45
296 360 Catherine Walker FV55 S 43:29 43:29
303 348 Aileen Scott FV45 S 44:10 44:10
315 421 Rebecca Dodd Fsen S 45:32 45:32
318 368 Denise Benvin FV45 S 45:51 45:51
321 402 Kerry Barnett FV40 S 46:03 46:03

341 finishers.

men

position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 1786 Ian Harding (Morpeth Harriers & AC) Msen S 33:20 33:20
35 556 Stephen Jackson Msen F 39:36 34:16
56 551 Scott Watson MV50 S 40:28 40:28
60 534 Matthew Archer MV35 S 40:29 40:29
66 507 David Gibson MV45 S 40:37 40:37
74 546 Phil Ray MV35 S 40:51 40:51
80 521 Jason Harding MV45 M 40:59 38:19
97 536 Michael Littlewood MV40 M 41:25 38:45
122 520 James Garland MV40 S 41:56 41:56
132 533 Matt Claydon MV40 S 42:04 42:04
162 514 Gareth Pritchard MV35 F 42:27 37:07
165 540 Neil Sleeman MV40 S 42:29 42:29
227 1734 Michael Mason MV40 F 43:46 38:26
232 532 Mark Warner MV35 M 43:48 41:08
263 515 Geoff Davis MV55 S 44:24 44:24
288 519 Jack Lee Msen M 45:04 42:24
293 487 Aaron Gourley MV35 S 45:19 45:19
362 549 Richard Hockin MV60 S 47:30 47:30
412 529 Malcolm Sygrove MV50 S 49:30 49:30
445 492 Andrew Davies MV40 S 51:19 51:19
470 511 Douglas Jardine MV35 S 52:45 52:45
477 498 Craig Walker MV55 S 53:10 53:10
484 504 David Browbank MV35 S 53:37 53:37
487 510 Dougie Nisbet MV50 S 53:43 53:43
499 1749 Emil Maata Msen S 55:53 55:53
508 496 Chris Shearsmith MV35 S 57:32 57:32
511 555 Stephen Ellis MV60 S 58:21 58:21
518 545 Phil Owen MV50 S 59:36 59:36

531 finishers.

Harrier League, Thornley Hall Farm, Saturday, November 26, 2016

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

Results

u17 and u20 girls
pos bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 301 Isobel Chaudrey (Gateshead Harriers) FU17 M 19:13 18:08
3 280 Sally Hughes FU20 S 19:52 19:52

41 finishers.

women
pos bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 553 Alex Sneddon (Jarrow & Hebburn AC) Fsen F 29:13 25:53
30 432 Tasmin Imber FV40 M 31:57 30:17
57 417 Penny Browell FV40 F 33:06 29:46
65 413 Mandy Dawson FV45 M 33:15 31:35
74 411 Louise Warner FV35 M 33:36 31:56
78 380 Helen Tones FV40 M 33:43 32:03
81 419 Rachelle Mason FV35 S 33:45 33:45
85 431 Susan Davis FV55 S 33:55 33:55
99 428 Stephanie Piper Fsen S 34:08 34:08
105 391 Juliet Percival FV40 M 34:22 32:42
141 374 Fiona Jones FV35 S 35:26 35:26
158 425 Sarah Davies FV45 M 36:05 34:25
176 415 Nina Mason FV40 S 37:12 37:12
181 382 Jan Young FV60 S 37:24 37:24
183 369 Diane Harold FV40 S 37:28 37:28
212 351 Anja Fechtner FV35 S 38:47 38:47
214 408 Lesley Hamill FV40 S 38:50 38:50
229 434 Victoria Jackson FV35 S 39:28 39:28
241 389 Joanne Porter FV45 S 40:30 40:30
248 409 Louise Barrow Fsen S 40:40 40:40
249 359 Catherine Smith FV40 S 40:42 40:42
267 426 Stacey Brannan FV35 S 42:43 42:43
283 360 Catherine Walker FV55 S 45:03 45:03
290 402 Kerry Barnett FV40 S 46:01 46:01

302 finishers.

men
pos bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 1723 Sebastian Anthony (Loughborough) guest S 36:11 36:11
24 556 Stephen Jackson Msen F 40:25 35:25
61 521 Jason Harding MV45 M 41:47 39:17
87 514 Gareth Pritchard MV35 F 42:30 37:30
92 533 Matt Claydon MV40 S 42:35 42:35
94 540 Neil Sleeman MV40 S 42:36 42:36
103 536 Michael Littlewood MV40 M 42:46 40:16
113 507 David Gibson MV45 S 43:02 43:02
114 519 Jack Lee Msen M 43:02 40:32
163 546 Phil Ray MV35 S 44:15 44:15
171 516 Graeme Walton MV40 S 44:26 44:26
182 563 Tom Reeves MV50 S 44:35 44:35
204 500 Danny Lim MV35 S 45:07 45:07
208 534 Matthew Archer MV35 S 45:13 45:13
228 515 Geoff Davis MV55 S 45:46 45:46
240 487 Aaron Gourley MV35 S 45:57 45:57
261 535 Michael Hughes MV45 S 46:44 46:44
292 499 Daniel Mitchel MV35 S 48:34 48:34
307 549 Richard Hockin MV60 S 49:15 49:15
362 561 Tim Matthews MV50 S 51:59 51:59
395 492 Andrew Davies MV40 S 54:12 54:12
407 510 Dougie Nisbet MV50 S 55:21 55:21
412 498 Craig Walker MV55 S 56:23 56:23
433 545 Phil Owen MV50 S 60:49 60:49
437 544 Peter Hart MV35 S 61:42 61:42

450 finishers.

Harrier League, Druridge Bay, Sunday, October 9, 2016

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

photo by Sarah Davies Photo by Satch Millen.

Results

men
position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 331 Justina Heslop (Elswick Harriers) FV35 S 22:40 22:40
43 537 Michael Mason MV40 M 39:02 36:32
67 520 James Garland MV40 S 39:34 39:34
70 507 David Gibson MV45 S 39:43 39:43
80 556 Stephen Jackson Msen F 39:52 34:52
89 521 Jason Harding MV45 M 40:08 37:38
127 533 Matt Claydon MV40 S 40:46 40:46
156 563 Tom Reeves MV50 S 41:09 41:09
192 525 Jon Ayres MV40 S 41:33 41:33
224 560 Stuart Scott MV35 S 41:58 41:58
231 501 Dave Halligan MV50 S 42:05 42:05
248 519 Jack Lee Msen M 42:16 39:46
273 543 Paul Swinburne MV40 S 42:47 42:47
346 522 Jerry Lloyd MV45 M 44:23 41:53
360 535 Michael Hughes MV45 S 44:44 44:44
413 491 Alex Witty MV35 S 46:26 46:26
423 508 David Hinton Msen S 46:41 46:41
424 549 Richard Hockin MV60 S 46:46 46:46
433 531 Mark Payne MV35 S 46:58 46:58
493 561 Tim Matthews MV50 S 49:08 49:08
547 555 Stephen Ellis MV60 S 52:41 52:41
548 490 Alex Collins MV35 S 52:42 52:42
573 559 Steven Comby Msen S 59:11 59:11

331 finishers.

women
position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 694 Stephanie Dann (North Shields Poly) FV40 S 26:42 26:42
22 417 Penny Browell FV40 M 29:43 28:03
63 428 Stephanie Piper Fsen S 30:49 30:49
65 432 Tasmin Imber FV40 M 30:51 29:11
71 419 Rachelle Mason FV35 S 30:58 30:58
93 433 Victoria Brown FV35 S 31:29 31:29
107 380 Helen Tones FV40 M 31:41 30:01
111 431 Susan Davis FV55 S 31:47 31:47
132 374 Fiona Jones FV35 S 32:10 32:10
141 391 Juliet Percival FV40 M 32:23 30:43
171 418 Rachael Bullock Fsen M 33:06 31:26
179 425 Sarah Davies FV45 M 33:11 31:31
185 1123 Nikki Malia FV40 S 33:15 33:15
208 379 Helen Thomas FV40 S 33:45 33:45
209 369 Diane Harold FV40 S 33:47 33:47
266 415 Nina Mason FV40 S 35:11 35:11
282 352 Anna Seeley Fsen S 35:44 35:44
288 382 Jan Young FV60 S 36:00 36:00
307 376 Fiona Wood FV35 S 36:34 36:34
313 359 Catherine Smith FV40 S 36:48 36:48
322 389 Joanne Porter FV45 S 37:26 37:26
352 348 Aileen Scott FV45 S 39:34 39:34
369 390 Joanne Richardson FV40 S 41:31 41:31

405 finishers.

Harrier League, Wrekenton, Saturday, October 1, 2016

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

Mudman

Handy Mandy Saves the Day!

Conrad shows how to play it cool. The new x/c season kicked off this year at Wrekenton with both Strider teams competing in their respective First Divisions. With a myriad of other distractions this weekend today was always going to be difficult for Striders’ x/c faithful. Nonetheless, some magnificent performances throughout the field, not least by the evergreen Mandy Dawson, saw the teams steer clear of their dreaded ‘drop zones’. Striders women finished 8th from 10 on the day while the men finished 7th from 10.

No less than 48 Striders gathered beneath the purple banner to resume, or begin, their love affair with cross country racing. Veterans of many previous campaigns, such as Roz, Jan Y & Conrad, were there rubbing shoulders with newcomers like Andrew Davies, Phil Ray, Kirsten Fenwick, Diane Harold and Faye Bell and trying to calm pre-race nerves. The weather was very ‘un-cross country like’ with sunny skies, mild temperatures, a gentle breeze – and a bone hard course! A perfect day to make one’s x/c debut.

Mandy back in great form. The women were first up and, after a disturbing absence of any of the ‘Sea of Purple’ with their toes on the start line, Mandy was first to the fore with a quick start from the slow pack melee. Rachelle and Lesley followed with Mudwomen herself keeping in close contact. But as always Striders were conspicuous throughout the 350 strong field where no less than 41 other clubs were represented. It was great to see come backs from Nina & Sue, gratifying that Camilla preferred her running to be ‘alcohol free’ and gladdening to see no less than 27 Striders giving their all for the greater glory of their club. Fresh faces and familiar faces were cheered to the echo by their club mates some of whom, like Simon, Karen, Phil and Mark, had come along just to watch.

The welcome return of Nina - a more vocal supporter you'd be hard to find! Mandy maintained her ‘lead’ to be first Strider home, & gaining promotion to the medium pack (again), while on the second lap Mudwoman came through strongly to pip Lesley while being closely pursued by Tamsin running from the medium pack. But there were some great performances throughout the field including Jean (2nd in age group), Jan Y (3rd in age group) and Roz (4th in age group)! Some great sprints for the line too – Jill and others. Well done everyone – particularly the debutants – x/c can be a ‘savage arena’ even for us ‘old lags’ and you may feel more exposed than in say a road race, but the rewards and sense of achievement are fantastic! Let those endorphins flow!

And so to the men’s race. The final event of the afternoon and a field of 532 competitors or 1,064 elbows! Striders’ first run out in the top division for more than 20 years – bring it on! A crowded start from the slow pack and a bottle neck at the first incline showed how important it is to find a position near the front of the field if such situations are to be avoided. No such problems for James Garland who had one of his best races of recent years and sped off to head the slow pack Striders. Michael and James. Only two of the clubs best athletes managed to overhaul James – Michael Mason first Strider home running from the medium pack and Stephen Jackson second Strider running from the fast pack. Incredible performances! James was followed in by debutant Phil Ray – rewarded by a strong performance in a tough race – then Jason flying through from the medium pack and Matt Claydon making a very welcome return to x/c. These guys were backed up by a further 15 Striders all of whom gave their all including Danny Lim (travelling up from Teesside), Daniel Mitchel (in his second season for Striders), veteran Richard Hockin with hair flying in the wind and webmaster Dougie just making it the start line after a very thorough warm up!

Well done to you all! We held our own first time out in the top flight so there’s much to be pleased about. But make no mistake we’re going to need a battalion of purple clad reinforcements if we’re going to hold out against the top clubs in the region. I know we can do it – so come on, let’s get cracking!

Results

men
position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 407 James Askew (DCH) Msen S 31:34 31:34
55 537 Michael Mason MV40 M 37:00 34:30
77 556 Stephen Jackson Msen F 37:33 32:33
90 520 James Garland MV40 S 37:50 37:50
107 546 Phil Ray MV35 S 38:11 38:11
116 521 Jason Harding MV45 M 38:18 35:48
144 533 Matt Claydon MV40 S 38:47 38:47
149 507 David Gibson MV45 S 38:53 38:53
211 505 David Brown MV35 S 39:54 39:54
236 515 Geoff Davis MV55 S 40:22 40:22
255 500 Danny Lim MV35 S 40:40 40:40
260 501 Dave Halligan MV50 S 40:47 40:47
315 535 Michael Hughes MV45 S 42:31 42:31
318 499 Daniel Mitchel MV35 S 42:34 42:34
324 487 Aaron Gourley MV35 S 42:49 42:49
354 497 Conrad White MV55 S 43:35 43:35
394 549 Richard Hockin MV60 S 44:34 44:34
447 498 Craig Walker MV55 S 46:57 46:57
472 510 Dougie Nisbet MV50 S 48:29 48:29
478 504 David Browbank MV35 S 48:58 48:58
492 492 Andrew Davies MV40 S 49:51 49:51
498 555 Stephen Ellis MV60 S 50:51 50:51

532 finishers.

women
position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 71 Chloe Price (Birtley AC) Fsen S 24:09 24:09
27 413 Mandy Dawson FV45 S 28:06 28:06
87 431 Susan Davis FV55 S 29:48 29:48
88 407 Lesley Charman FV40 S 29:49 29:49
92 432 Tamsin Imber FV40 M 29:53 27:53
103 411 Louise Warner FV35 M 30:08 28:08
106 419 Rachelle Mason FV35 S 30:10 30:10
128 433 Victoria Brown FV35 S 30:40 30:40
139 379 Helen Thomas FV40 S 30:56 30:56
166 425 Sarah Davies FV45 M 31:30 29:30
172 383 Jean Bradley FV60 S 31:37 31:37
183 369 Diane Harold FV40 S 31:56 31:56
185 356 Camilla Lauren-Maatta FV50 S 32:00 32:00
207 423 Roz Layton FV60 S 32:46 32:46
223 382 Jan Young FV60 S 33:15 33:15
228 385 Jill Rudkin FV40 S 33:25 33:25
229 427 Stef Barlow FV40 S 33:25 33:25
239 415 Nina Mason FV40 S 33:37 33:37
243 351 Anja Fechtner FV35 S 33:40 33:40
293 381 Jan Ellis FV50 S 36:12 36:12
301 403 Kirsten Fenwick Fsen S 36:41 36:41
306 422 Rebecca Talbot FV35 S 36:52 36:52
309 434 Victoria Jackson FV35 S 37:03 37:03
315 360 Catherine Walker FV55 S 37:40 37:40
316 348 Aileen Scott FV45 S 37:49 37:49
321 430 Sue Jennings FV50 S 38:22 38:22
329 421 Rebecca Dodd Fsen S 39:46 39:46
339 402 Kerry Barnett FV40 S 42:20 42:20
343 373 Faye Bell FV35 S 43:48 43:48

352 finishers.

Harrier League, Wrekenton, Saturday, March 19, 2016

Mudman

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.  STRIDERS STORM TO SUCCESS!

Saturday’s final NEHL x/c race of 2015-16 saw Striders men’s team finish as Division 2 champions, after securing first place on the day, thereby achieving promotion to Division 1 for the first time in over twenty years! The Women’s team, already in their Division 1, also achieved their highest placing for the season of 4th on the day and 6th for the season as a whole – a solid performance that bodes well for next year. Well done to you all!

Over 120 Striders took part in HL this year and each one of them has contributed to the club’s success. They’ve done this not just by running their hearts out for Striders, but by creating a wonderfully friendly and inclusive atmosphere around the Striders’ banner whereby everyone feels part of the team, is happy to give their all when competing over what can be challenging terrain and want to come back for more.

‘They also serve who stand and cheer’ and this year we’ve had some marvellous vocal support from Striders and their families out on the course. On occasions the volume of support has been almost overwhelming although absolutely invaluable to those running in finding that extra yard of pace and determination to finish well. So thanks again to one and all, I know I haven’t been alone this season in feeling an enormous sense of pride in Striders and for what it stands.

The Women. And so to Saturday’s race. The weather was fairly benign – cloudy and cool, but with little wind and no rain, and a dry fortnight had left the undulating course in a fast and runable condition. The Senior Women were first up and a returning Helen Tones was soon near the front of the field pursued quietly by Juliet with Mandy and Steph P not far behind. And that’s how it finished as for once our medium and fast packers were unable to overhaul their slow pack club mates on the slightly shorter than normal course. Nonetheless Penny and Louise proved to be the fastest Striders on the day while Laura J ran well showing no ill effects from a very cold day at Alnwick. Jill Rudkin made her debut and displayed a very determined dash for the line and she was supported by a host of Striderettes enjoying the pleasant conditions underfoot. Among these were fellow debutant Rebecca Talbot, x/c enthusiast Catherine S, the evergreen and exuberant Jan, the regal Victoria and the bright but determined Jo R. Well done to all who ran – next season awaits with opportunities to do even better!

The rallying cry that had gone up around Striders in the preceding week was answered with gusto by no fewer than 32 senior men – one of the largest, and certainly our strongest, team in my seven seasons as x/c captain. The pre-race atmosphere was tense but optimistic as we gathered for a group photo. We knew if we finished in the top three teams we’d be promoted but, if we finished first on the day then we’d be champions – bring it on!

The Men. I felt a twinge of pride at the start as I looked around at war painted Striders both new to the club such as Jason, Andrews G&H, & Daniel and ‘old-timers’ like Keith, Mike B & Shaun the Sheep. I knew they were as determined as I was for Striders to get their ‘just reward’. Part way round the first of the three laps I allowed myself the luxury of glancing up at the front of the field where I saw two purple vests among the first ten or so runners. These vests belonged to Andrew Hopkins (making his HL debut) and Jason Harding (in his second HL race) and they maintained that position until the end finishing in 6th and 8th place overall respectively – fantastic and exactly what we needed! They were soon followed in by x/c convert Gareth having probably his best ever run in mud and qualifying for the fast pack next season! Michael M was next with a magnificent run just missing out on fast pack qual. Then came another Michael (Littlewood) and fastest Strider on the day Stephen both of whom had chosen, unselfishly, to run for their club on Saturday and their contributions proved to be invaluable.

As ever, our counters were supported by a host of Striders each fighting to finish ahead of as many of our rivals as they could possibly catch – and how they succeeded! Brave debuts came from Daniel and Richard G while there were fighting come backs from Danny and David G. There were battle royals between Striders such as that between Matt, Tom and James and magnificent medium pack surges from Mark & Jack. But I know everyone who ran tried their hearts out from the youngest to the oldest and the fastest to the slowest. I can’t tell you how proud I am of every single one of you. You are all part of this success and you all thoroughly deserve it – well done! The dark days of failing to field a full team and of relegation to Division 3 are now well behind us, we can look forward to competing in the ‘sunny uplands’ of Division 1 next season!

I hope you’ve managed to read this far because I’d also like to mention all those who came along to support on Saturday. The cheering from our purple clad spectators was very loud and inspiring not just from male / female clubmates who had, or who were about to run, but in particular from those who’d come along just to watch such as Chairman Paul, The Sage of Shincliffe (Allan S), Kate, Stan (taking photos), Conrad, Fiona K-J, Katy, Joan, Teresa & many Strider children – thanks to you all, your contributions were just as important as those who ran.

I’ll leave you with some inspiring words stolen from the Minnesotan Master:

And I, I don’t mind the pain
Don’t mind the driving rain
I know I will sustain
‘Cause I believe in Striders.

Mudman

Results

men
position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 1939 Abraham Tewelde (Saltwell Harriers) Msen M 33:17 30:47
6 1919 Andrew Hopkins MV40 S 35:21 35:21
8 1924 Jason Harding MV45 S 35:50 35:50
40 509 Gareth Pritchard MV35 M 37:44 35:14
55 1346 Michael Mason MV40 M 37:57 35:27
90 1952 Michael Littlewood MV40 M 38:35 36:05
109 549 Stephen Jackson Msen F 38:54 33:54
141 1345 Mark Warner MV35 M 39:24 36:54
155 528 Matthew Archer Msen S 39:32 39:32
160 552 Tom Reeves MV45 S 39:36 39:36
162 514 James Garland MV40 S 39:36 39:36
168 513 Jack Lee Msen M 39:40 37:10
191 537 Paul Swinburne MV40 S 40:05 40:05
197 501 David Gibson MV45 S 40:11 40:11
215 499 David Brown MV35 S 40:37 40:37
221 520 Jon Ayres MV40 S 40:43 40:43
229 511 Graeme Walton MV40 S 40:53 40:53
247 496 Danny Lim MV35 S 41:10 41:10
268 530 Michael Hughes MV45 S 41:33 41:33
273 510 Geoff Davis MV55 S 41:38 41:38
285 1951 Aaron Gourley MV35 S 42:02 42:02
305 533 Mike Bennett MV60 S 42:57 42:57
333 1973 Daniel Mitchel MV35 S 44:06 44:06
354 1974 Keith Wesson MV60 S 45:12 45:12
355 545 Shaun Roberts MV55 S 45:14 45:14
367 522 Malcolm Sygrove MV45 S 45:53 45:53
394 541 Richard Stollery MV35 S 47:46 47:46
404 1921 Chris Shearsmith MV35 S 48:29 48:29
411 491 Ari Hodgson MU20 S 49:08 49:08
421 486 Alex Collins MV35 S 49:55 49:55
427 495 Craig Walker MV55 S 50:31 50:31
434 1972 Andrew Greener MV35 S 51:17 51:17
440 548 Stephen Ellis MV60 S 54:06 54:06

454 finishers.

women
position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 1248 Beth Larby (Gosforth Harriers) Fsen S 26:08 26:08
14 387 Helen Tones FV40 S 28:40 28:40
21 403 Juliet Percival FV40 S 29:02 29:02
44 421 Mandy Dawson FV45 S 29:31 29:31
57 436 Stephanie Piper Fsen S 29:45 29:45
70 1207 Laura Jennings Fsen S 30:00 30:00
75 1231 Penny Browell FV40 F 30:09 26:09
94 418 Louise Warner FV35 M 30:27 28:27
115 429 Rachelle Mason FV35 S 30:51 30:51
140 366 Camilla Lauren-Maatta FV50 S 31:21 31:21
160 438 Susan Davis FV55 M 31:54 29:54
167 433 Sarah Davies FV45 M 32:06 30:06
194 397 Jill Rudkin FV35 S 33:18 33:18
197 435 Stef Barlow FV40 S 33:37 33:37
206 390 Jan Young FV60 S 34:07 34:07
207 361 Anita Clementson FV45 S 34:08 34:08
219 822 Karen Metters FV40 S 34:51 34:51
224 827 Victoria Jackson FV35 S 35:02 35:02
236 368 Catherine Smith FV35 S 35:53 35:53
246 389 Jan Ellis FV50 S 37:15 37:15
262 1247 Aileen Scott FV45 S 39:58 39:58
265 369 Catherine Walker FV55 S 41:18 41:18
266 431 Rebecca Talbot FV35 S 41:48 41:48
270 402 Joanne Richardson FV40 S 43:25 43:25

274 finishers.

Harrier League, Alnwick, Saturday, March 5, 2016

Mudman

 Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race. STRIDERS ON THE BRINK!

After nearly a four month gap the Harrier League resumed on Saturday at the scenic Alnwick course. Overall attendance was slightly down, after a miserable day on Friday, but Striders still managed to put 43 runners into the field, along with many valued supporters, although this represents only 11% of the total club membership. Nonetheless, those 43 were all completely committed and determined to perform well for their club, whether they expected to finish at the sharp end, or the blunt end, of the field.

Caitlin planning for the sprint finish ahead. The Senior Women were first up and looking to improve on their 8th place in the league for the season thus far. Seventeen Strider women formed part of the 278 strong field. Juliet Percival was first to show for Striders from the slow pack, fresh from her Ultra running insanity, and closely followed by Steph P, a recent ‘x/c tourist4’ at both the Northern and National championships. Debutant Laura J wasn’t far behind them either, although the muddy conditions and cold temperatures were to take their toll on her.

Elaine finishing in 17th place and first Strider home. But Saturday saw some blistering performances from our medium and fast pack runners. Elaine Bisson in particular put in a fantastic performance to finish in 17th place, first Strider home and gaining promotion to the fast pack for the first time. A wonderful example of what can be achieved with determination and application – well done Elaine! Club vice-captain Penny was second Strider home running from the fast pack and showing her usual blistering pace and pride in the purple vest. Juliet’s hard won fitness was rewarded with third counter position and Tamsin completed the counters with perhaps her best ever x/c performance zooming round from the medium pack.

Fiona on her long awaited HL debut. As ever our counters were backed up by some resolute running from the Striderettes including Louise W and Mudwoman from the medium pack, Fiona W on her long awaited HL debut, Jan Y first in her age group, Rebecca D & Caitlin both with wonderful sprint finishes, a welcome return from Stef and valuable performances from everybody else. Well done and many thanks to you all – you’ve helped your club jump two places in the league (6th for the season, 5th on the day) and we’ve now every chance of a top half finish for the season. And who knows, next season our women could be adding to the three Harrier League Championship wins that the club already holds – something a club with 400 members can realistically aspire to!

Unless you’ve had your head buried in sand for the past few months you’ll know that Striders men’s team are in with a real chance of promotion to Division 1 this season. The determination to help achieve that goal was almost tangible in the tent on Saturday. From debutants Jason and Chris, through to old hands like Mike B and Conrad, the desire to perform well for the club was universal – and what a performance it was!

Jack Lee, fresh from a run over the snowy Lakeland fells, skated round the now muddy course, through the hail showers to finish in 24th place (in a field of 426), first Strider home and achieve his season’s goal of promotion to the medium pack. Well done Jack – a great personal achievement and a real Striders success story. Jack was followed in by an unsung hero of Striders, Jerry Lloyd, a man who achieves success quietly and without fanfare. Promotion to the medium pack again for Jerry – well done! The other counters were made up of Jason H, with a fantastic HL debut run, Michael Mason with a typically powerful run from the medium pack, likewise Gareth Pritchard straight off a night shift and Stephen J running from the fast pack and achieving the fastest time for a Strider – fantastic!

Jack on course to finish in 24th place.

The other twenty Strider men also served to fly the purple flag and come between runners from other clubs and higher finishing positions – a vital role in our success story. Michael L and Mark were running from the medium pack for the first time and both put in blistering performances, Paul Swinburne had his best HL run so far, Tom continues to improve, Richard H made a welcome return and Phil T was cocker hoop with his gutsy run. There’s so many more I could mention such as Alex C, Malcolm, Aaron, Captain Ayres, Mike x 2 and everyone else. They all dug deep for their club and their team. Times & PBs are of no consequence here, it’s where you finish that counts and whether you finished in front of as many runners from other clubs as you possibly could – and that’s what they all did, every single one of them and that’s why we finished first club in Division 2 on the day leaving us in second place for the season, just one point behind the leaders!

So, we’re on the brink of promotion to Division 1, somewhere we haven’t been for more than twenty years. The spirit in the team is as high as I can remember but we haven’t achieved it yet. We need one last effort at Wrekenton from as many Strider men as possible, whether they be seasoned x/c runners or novices, the club needs you all if we are to clear that final hurdle!

Results

men
position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 1939 Abraham Tewelde (Saltwell Harriers) Msen S 37:33 37:33
24 513 Jack Lee Msen S 43:37 43:37
41 516 Jerry Lloyd MV45 S 44:39 44:39
45 1924 Jason Harding MV45 S 44:47 44:47
61 1346 Michael Mason MV40 M 45:14 42:44
74 509 Gareth Pritchard MV35 M 45:47 43:17
85 549 Stephen Jackson Msen F 46:03 41:03
102 1952 Michael Littlewood MV40 M 46:24 43:54
125 1345 Mark Warner MV35 M 47:17 44:47
143 537 Paul Swinburne MV40 S 47:34 47:34
165 552 Tom Reeves MV45 S 47:55 47:55
202 1951 Aaron Gourley MV35 S 48:56 48:56
203 520 Jon Ayres MV40 S 49:05 49:05
221 530 Michael Hughes MV45 S 49:40 49:40
242 510 Geoff Davis MV55 S 50:25 50:25
285 533 Mike Bennett MV60 S 52:20 52:20
289 493 Conrad White MV55 S 52:27 52:27
317 488 Andrew Rayner Msen S 53:42 53:42
344 522 Malcolm Sygrove MV45 S 55:50 55:50
370 551 Tim Matthews MV50 S 57:45 57:45
374 519 John Hutchinson MV55 S 58:05 58:05
384 540 Richard Hockin MV60 S 58:51 58:51
395 486 Alex Collins MV35 S 60:27 60:27
404 1921 Chris Shearsmith MV35 S 62:40 62:40
417 548 Stephen Ellis MV60 S 68:54 68:54
423 1828 Phil Todd MV45 S 77:15 77:15

426 finishers.

women
position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 1239 Helen Warburton (Gosforth Harriers) Fsen S 29:53 29:53
17 378 Elaine Bisson FV35 M 33:51 31:51
36 1231 Penny Browell FV40 F 34:31 30:31
50 403 Juliet Percival FV40 S 34:49 34:49
60 439 Tasmin Imber FV35 M 35:08 33:08
72 418 Louise Warner FV35 M 35:24 33:24
80 436 Stephanie Piper Fsen S 35:43 35:43
146 438 Susan Davis FV55 M 37:45 35:45
170 366 Camilla Lauren-Maatta FV50 S 39:02 39:02
182 435 Stef Barlow FV40 S 39:32 39:32
191 1207 Laura Jennings Fsen S 40:10 40:10
197 361 Anita Clementson FV45 S 40:22 40:22
209 390 Jan Young FV60 S 41:14 41:14
227 1206 Fiona Wood FV35 S 42:31 42:31
234 368 Catherine Smith FV35 S 42:59 42:59
237 430 Rebecca Devine Fsen S 43:12 43:12
262 389 Jan Ellis FV50 S 46:07 46:07
264 365 Caitlin Mooney Fsen S 46:37 46:37

278 finishers.

Harrier League, Druridge Bay, Saturday, November 28, 2015

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

Mudman and David Spence

Mud, Wind and Rain – Again!

Mudman …

The Harrier League road show moved on to Druridge Bay for the first time on Saturday. Mudwoman and I arrived in good time, with the Striders tent and flag, only to see another club’s tent (identical to ours) flattened by the strong gusty wind. Flags and tents were flapping and leaning alarmingly as we unpacked our faithful shelter. With careful planning and speedy execution the thing was up in quick time without (major) incident and ready for the arrival of the Striders bus.

Cold Wet Muddy

The course was situated within the Druridge Bay nature reserve just behind the coastal dunes. With undulations rather than hills it promised to favour the speedy road runners – if it hadn’t been for the copious amounts of mud, a wind that was gathering in strength and heavy showers that were rattling through every few minutes. A surprisingly large field, given that Aykley Heads was just a week before, and a Strider turnout of 42 runners promised a competitive race and that’s just what we saw in both the Senior Women’s and Senior Men’s races.

The Hair has itOlivia Neal running for Striders for the first time (but as a non-counter while her ‘transfer’ goes through) had a brilliant run being first Strider home in 18th place and achieving promotion to the medium pack. Well done Olivia! I’m sure this will be the first of many great achievements in the purple vest! Not far behind Olivia was the experienced Sarah Davies battling through the tough conditions to also achieve medium pack status for the first time. Sarah was followed by the even more experienced Mandy who’s been competing in x/c since she first broke into a run as a toddler. The counters were completed by Elaine Bisson running from the medium pack (excellent!) and our international veteran x/c runner Fiona Shenton – a role model for the younger women (and men) in the club.

Elaine on form. These front running Striderettes were supported as ever by the ‘sea of purple’ putting in some brilliant performances such as Rachelle Mason showing great promise, Lucy Cowton a welcome return and brimming over with enthusiasm, Diane Watson – straight back on board at the earliest opportunity, Jan Ellis showing grit and determination and Jennifer Cowen on her HL debut bravely fighting through the challenging conditions. Well done to you all! An eighth place finish on the day and likewise for the season so far but things are very close and the Striderettes are just one point behind the fifth placed club – so come on, we know you can power up that league table during the second half of the season!

Old Tom The course was at its muddiest for the men’s race but this didn’t put anyone off! Least of all Simon Gardner who had the x/c race of his life leading the team home and qualifying for the medium pack for the first time. Well done Simon! Rumour has it you were even heard to say you ‘enjoyed it’. Just a few seconds behind Simon was Mark Warner – Striders’ ‘Flying Dentist’ who in just his second HL also achieved medium pack status – brilliant! Third counter was the impressive Michael Mason, also running in just his second HL for Striders, Michael just missed emulating Penny’s achievement of last season, of going from slow pack to medium to fast in successive races, by six seconds – an incredible run. The counters were completed by the ever improving Jack Lee and Matt Archer and finally by ‘Old Tom’ – no not a real ale but a tough, determined & committed runner – well done the lot o’ya!

Adam enjoying himself way too much!Just as in the women’s race the counters were supported by a team to make the club justly proud including Stephen running from the fast pack (and 500m further than the rest of the field!), Shaun the Sheep back in the fold (pun intended) on a regular basis now, John Hutch – part of the Striders’ furniture grafting once more through the mud, Adam Bent – seeming to enjoy his running far too much, Dave Spence – a very respectable performance from Striders’ ‘senior’ man and Stephen Ellis making it a family day out. Many thanks to you all and well done! The men’s team put in a brilliant performance to finish in third place on the day and an incredible third place for the season so far – just one point behind the second place club and just two behind the leader! This is our best start to the season for many a long year. Wouldn’t it be great if we were one of the two clubs to be promoted to Division 1 in this our 30th anniversary year?! It’s in our own hands – we need our runners to commit to turning out for the final three fixtures and running their hearts out – come on, let’s go to it!

Tentus Destructus

… Dave Spence

Dave Mud, Mud glorious mud nothing quite like it for …

Saturday 28th Nov dawns dry. But the weather forecast suggests rain and strong wind but maybe not in the sliver of Northumberland where Druridge Bay lies. This was to be my second ever cross country.

But with a confident step I made my way to the bus pick up.

The weather seemed to be holding up as we arrived at Druridge Bay and made (plodged) our way to the tent encampment. Things were not looking good with people in purple fighting to erect a tent which wanted to fly across the North Sea to Scandinavia. In the end defeat was acknowledged and the prospect of changing in the now near gale winds and rain in the open looked likely. But behold it wasn’t the Strider tent. This had been erected earlier by our two tent professionals Susan and Geoff next to this errant one. Phew!!!

So with as many clothes on as possible and the women huddled in the tent we waited the start of the senior races.

Having cheered on the women’s competitors and taking note of the reports they reported back from the front of the mud and warm running conditions we reported to the start and after a rather chaotic beginning settled into the race. Having started near the back I made forward progress by sliding, squelching, sinking, splodging, slurping through the many stretches of muddy gloop. But I managed to pass a number who were even slower than me. Then on the last lap I saw Adam Bent ahead of me and to my surprise I was closing on him. As I got up to him I cheekily suggested we should finish together but somehow he found something extra and I couldn’t so I watched him disappear ahead of me. Maybe next time.

I did however pick up my pace in the finishing straight with a rare burst of speed ( well humour never goes amiss) when voices told me another Strider was after me. Oh stupid pride thou willst be the death of me!!

Mud, mud, glorious mud ...Then it was back to the bosom of the tent, cake of all descriptions and changing on a wet field. I declined changing in the tent since there was a danger in my exhausted state of falling over and drowning in the lake inside the tent. Back to the bus with a well prepared driver already with clean plastic bags to put our shoes in and a relaxed drive home.

So did I enjoy the race? I must admit enjoyment is not a word I would use but I am glad I did it and now roll on the Town Moor. But after that I must remember not to put my smartphone in my rucksack and then put the rucksack and phone in the washing machine. Did I mention it was an expensive experience?

Mud, mud, vain glorious mud …

Results

Men
position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 825 Graeme Taylor (Morpeth Harriers) Msen S 35:15 35:15
19 546 Simon Gardner MV45 S 40:50 40:50
21 1345 Mark Warner MV35 S 40:56 40:56
64 1346 Michael Mason MV40 M 42:18 39:48
94 513 Jack Lee Msen S 42:43 42:43
154 528 Matthew Archer Msen S 43:48 43:48
192 552 Tom Reeves MV45 S 44:32 44:32
234 549 Stephen Jackson Msen F 45:19 40:19
324 533 Mike Bennett MV60 S 47:24 47:24
340 1882 Steve Lindsay MV55 S 47:54 47:54
386 545 Shaun Roberts MV55 S 49:22 49:22
444 519 John Hutchinson MV55 S 51:52 51:52
464 539 Richard Hall MV55 S 52:55 52:55
468 484 Adam Bent MV60 S 53:24 53:24
472 505 David Spence MV65 S 53:50 53:50
473 1880 Peter Hart MV35 S 53:50 53:50
485 506 Dougie Nisbet MV50 S 55:08 55:08
498 486 Alex Collins MV35 S 56:44 56:44
520 508 Gareth Cardus MV35 S 60:18 60:18
524 548 Stephen Ellis MV60 S 62:06 62:06

537 finishers.

Women
position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 331 Justina Heslop (Elswick Harriers) FV35 S 22:40 22:40
18 1172 Olivia Neal n/c S 28:15 28:15
32 433 Sarah Davies FV45 S 28:42 28:42
43 421 Mandy Dawson FV45 S 29:04 29:04
64 378 Elaine Bisson FV35 M 29:28 27:28
74 381 Fiona Shenton FV55 S 29:30 29:30
79 426 Penny Browell FV40 F 29:42 25:42
106 374 Debra Goddard FV40 S 30:09 30:09
112 429 Rachelle Mason FV35 S 30:17 30:17
138 419 Lucy Cowton Fsen S 30:40 30:40
139 418 Louise Warner FV35 M 30:40 28:40
153 436 Stephanie Piper Fsen S 30:57 30:57
164 438 Susan Davis FV55 M 31:17 29:17
186 427 Rachael Bullock Fsen F 31:51 27:51
198 390 Jan Young FV60 S 31:58 31:58
209 380 Fiona Jones FV35 M 32:11 30:11
248 361 Anita Clementson FV45 S 33:48 33:48
258 393 Jean Bradley FV55 S 34:19 34:19
276 368 Catherine Smith FV35 S 35:28 35:28
288 385 Helen Hall FV45 S 36:08 36:08
295 377 Diane Watson FV50 S 36:37 36:37
319 389 Jan Ellis FV50 S 39:56 39:56
323 395 Jennifer Cowen Fsen S 41:11 41:11
325 410 Kelly Collier Fsen S 41:37 41:37

331 finishers.

Harrier League, Aykley Heads, Saturday, November 21, 2015

Mudman

A New Beginning?

Striders’ home x/c fixture at Aykley Heads saw an excellent turn out of purple clad runners – 68 in total, with no less than 16 making their debuts, and what a performance they put in! Cheered on by an army of high-viz clad Strider marshals the men’s team finished in a magnificent first place in Division 2 while the women maintained their 5th place in their highly competitive Division 1. What a fantastic day!

First up for Striders was Sally Hughes in the junior women’s race. Home for the weekend from Loughborough University, where she rubs shoulders with international athletes and coaches on a daily basis, fast packer Sally showed us all how it’s done by floating over the mud and finishing in an excellent 24th place. Well done Sally and we’ll see you again soon for the North Easterns!

Sally Tamsin Mandy Sarah Jules Penny

Things were pretty cold on the exposed former police sports ground by the time the senior woman’s race got underway. Some of our women had been marshalling for a couple of hours before the race and they must have been nithered! They didn’t show it however, and Tamsin, on her debut, was quick to head the Strider charge. By now the course was in a well worn state – to put it mildly! Tight muddy turns and mini quagmires, interspersed with long up-hill stretches and nasty little ups and downs, were what the sadistic course planners had provided! Tamsin maintained her ‘lead’, was first Strider home & ran straight into the medium pack! There was a battle royal behind her with Mandy, Sarah and Jules fighting it out for the other counting places closely followed in by Penny from the fast pack (fresh from being presented with the Alan Purvis Cross Country Quaich for 2014-15 by the man himself shortly before the race).

Rachelle Victoria Kath Laura Helen Karen

But the main drama was being played out by the other 28 Striderettes seven of whom were making their debut on the toughest course in the league. So well done to Rachelle Mason, Victoria Brown, Kath Dodd (returning after a nigh on 30 year gap!), Laura Beacham, Helen Hall, Aileen Scott (wonderful finish) & Karyn Pyle (so relaxed). You all deserve a medal for completing that race – it was genuinely tough providing conditions normally only encountered in regional or national championship races and you were lining up with international athletes. I hope you are proud of yourselves because you should be!

Aileen Aileen Aileen Aileen

Other performances of note included that by the ‘evergreen’ Jan Young – first v60 home, Louise Warner – a fine first run from the medium pack and Catherine Elliott showing she’s made of stern stuff! A fifth place finish on the day for the team and fifth place for the season so far – a good platform to build on.

By the time the men’s race was due to start at 2.15pm things were pretty cold and the course was at its muddiest. Striders men’s team was also packed with debutants (9 no less!) and when one politely asked Mudman for ‘any tips’, years of x/c experience were called upon to offer up the gem of ‘start near the front’! Anyway, it worked because the debutant asking for the tip was Michael Mason and he had an absolutely magnificent race finishing in 18th place overall, achieving immediate promotion to the medium pack and being first Strider home – what a start! Not far behind was another Michael (Littlewood) making his debut. Fairly new to running Michael too achieved medium pack qualification with his 39th place – an incredible performance that he should be very proud of. Well done to both of you! Third Strider was yet another debutant – Mark Warner. Mark didn’t quite achieve medium pack qualification but it will just be a matter of time before he does. Could these three performances represent a new beginning for Striders men’s x/c? Let’s hope so.

Michael Michael (the other one)

Other counters included the more experienced heads of Jerry, Chairman Paul and Simon with Neil, Jack, Matt & Stephen (from the fast pack and fastest Strider on the day) not too far behind. Our other six debutants experienced various highs and lows in the mud – Paul Foster lost the soles of his ‘well worn’ fell shoes, David Browbank’s shoes came off altogether and he completed the race barefoot! (how tough is that?!) while Peter Swinburne, Alex Witty, Peter Hart and David Beecham all got round with their shoes on!

There were some brave performances from our old hands throughout the field. Tom continues to return to the form of old while Alan Smith and Phil Todd showed considerable courage and determination to conquer the brutal unforgiving course. Well done to you all and what a team performance – first on the day in Division 2 and now third place for the season so far. The top two teams are promoted to Division 1 at the end of the season. Could it happen to us? It will take a lot of commitment and hard graft but come on Striders! Let’s give it a go!

Alan Phil

Aykley Heads was very much a ‘Striders Production’ in association with Derwentside AC (Mark Davinson) and Durham Harriers (Geoff Watson). Scores of Striders acted as course or car park marshals and event organisers. We also had dozens of Strider friends and family supporting on the day. So thanks to you all – in your own way you all contributed to making it a day to remember!

Deer amongst the Aykley Heads spectators Deer amongst the Aykley Heads spectators Deer amongst the Aykley Heads spectators

Results

MEN
position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 1888 Kevin Calvert (Morpeth Harriers & AC) MSen S 36:59 36:59
18 1346 Michael Mason MV40 S 41:47 41:47
39 531 Michael Littlewood MV40 S 43:24 43:24
81 1345 Mark Warner MV35 S 44:24 44:24
86 516 Jerry Lloyd MV45 S 44:30 44:30
91 535 Paul Evans MV35 S 44:36 44:36
105 546 Simon Gardner MV45 S 44:49 44:49
131 1347 Neil Sleeman MV35 S 45:35 45:35
137 513 Jack Lee Msen S 45:35 45:35
148 528 Matthew Archer Msen S 45:51 45:51
152 549 Stephen Jackson Msen F 45:51 40:51
242 552 Tom Reeves MV45 S 47:39 47:39
260 499 David Brown MV35 S 48:09 48:09
292 496 Danny Lim MV35 S 48:55 48:55
305 537 Paul Swinburne MV40 S 49:14 49:14
307 520 Jon Ayres MV40 S 49:14 49:14
335 530 Michael Hughes MV45 S 50:26 50:26
369 533 Mike Bennett MV60 S 51:33 51:33
375 1882 Steve Lindsay MV55 S 51:42 51:42
381 510 Geoff Davis MV55 S 51:59 51:59
382 487 Alex Witty MV35 S 51:59 51:59
389 545 Shaun Roberts MV55 S 52:13 52:13
476 522 Malcolm Sygrove MV45 S 55:52 55:52
494 541 Richard Stollery MV35 S 56:38 56:38
495 551 Tim Matthews MV50 S 56:45 56:45
502 484 Adam Bent MV60 S 57:05 57:05
524 1880 Peter Hart MV35 S 58:36 58:36
555 485 Alan Smith MV65 S 62:48 62:48
570 1826 David Browbank MV35 S 65:04 65:04
579 521 Lindsay Rodgers MV45 S 67:46 67:46
582 1344 David Beacham MV50 S 68:31 68:31
588 1828 Phil Todd MV45 S 75:54 75:54

592 finishers.

Top of Division 2 with 109 points.

WOMEN
position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 540 Hazelle Webster-Costella (Jarrow & Hebburn AC) FSen S 28:45 28:45
29 439 Tamsin Imber FV35 S 32:52 32:52
44 421 Mandy Dawson FV45 S 33:33 33:33
51 433 Sarah Davies FV45 S 33:45 33:45
55 403 Juliet Percival FV40 S 33:49 33:49
64 426 Penny Browell FV40 F 34:01 30:01
111 381 Fiona Shenton FV55 S 35:07 35:07
123 374 Debra Goddard FV40 S 35:21 35:21
145 429 Rachelle Mason FV35 S 35:54 35:54
147 418 Louise Warner FV35 M 35:54 33:54
151 367 Catherine Elliott FV35 S 35:59 35:59
163 438 Susan Davis FV55 M 36:14 34:14
177 436 Stephanie Piper Fsen S 36:33 36:33
202 427 Rachael Bullock Fsen F 37:20 33:20
218 440 Victoria Brown Fsen S 37:45 37:45
219 399 Joan Hanson FV45 S 37:45 37:45
226 390 Jan Young FV60 S 38:09 38:09
239 435 Stef Barlow FV40 S 38:49 38:49
240 1152 Kath Dodd FV45 S 38:49 38:49
245 388 Helen Williams FV40 S 39:00 39:00
249 386 Helen Thomas FV40 S 39:08 39:08
260 393 Jean Bradley FV55 S 39:28 39:28
282 816 Anna Seeley Fsen S 40:29 40:29
283 406 Kate MacPherson FV40 S 40:35 40:35
285 361 Anita Clementson FV45 S 40:35 40:35
298 822 Karen Metters FV40 S 41:12 41:12
299 827 Victoria Jackson FV35 S 41:12 41:12
337 368 Catherine Smith FV35 S 43:12 43:12
346 824 Laura Beacham Fsen S 43:52 43:52
352 385 Helen Hall FV45 S 44:28 44:28
353 357 Aileen Scott FV45 S 44:29 44:29
359 375 Denise Benvin FV45 S 44:58 44:58
370 430 Rebecca Devine Fsen S 45:56 45:56
377 823 Karyn Pyle FV55 S 47:16 47:16

398 finishers.

5th in Division 1 with 99 points.

Under 17 girls and U20 women
position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 653 Holly Matheson (Heaton Harriers) FU17 S 24:25 24:25
24 246 Sally Hughes FU20 F 28:35 26:05

43 finishers.