Tag Archives: Harrier League: Alnwick

Location: Google Maps
Directions: Harrier League website
Course: Mar 2017

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, 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, Saturday, February 28, 2015

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

Mudman

Purple Pride!

Saturday’s penultimate HL fixture of the season at Alnwick saw a desperate fight for 2nd Division survival by Striders’ rejuvenated men’s team. A first place finish on the day means the men have clawed their way to 7th position (out of 11 teams) for the season but are still only two points clear of relegation. It’s going to be a hell of a battle at Wrekenton!

Kelly offers Gareth some gentle motivation

The course, in the shadow of Alnwick Castle, was amazingly dry and relatively mud free providing fast going for our speedy lads. Gareth Pritchard was determined to do his bit for the team and do it he did with a fantastic run to finish in 21st place as first Strider and gain promotion to the medium pack. Till’s long miles in training also paid off to earn him 2nd placed Strider plus medium pack promotion as well. We also saw perhaps the best Strider debut at a HL ever with Chris Wade also gaining promotion to the medium pack while running with a suspect knee although he has a good grounding in x/c from his Monday lunch-time training sessions with us Mudpeople! Rob Everson sped round from the medium pack to be fourth Strider home while Graeme Walton, with all those awful track miles under his belt, was fifth Strider and an ever improving Matt Crow completed the Strider counters.

Gareth was first bloke home in Elvet Striders' battle to retain their place in Division 2But that’s not the whole story! Those six lads were supported by another 16 Striders fighting to push the other clubs back and battling for every yard. There were some great runs particularly from Matt Archer – probably his best HL so far, Dr Evans (first time as a non counter) and a battle royal between the Fire Service and the Parachute Regiment (in the shape of Davey Lumsden and Scott Watson respectively) with the paras prevailing by the narrowest of margins. We also had a brave debut by Craig Walker and an equally brave run by Mike Bennett who has run more HLs than he probably cares to remember. Innes was there too, after nearly provoking world war three on facebook during the week, as was Richard H, John H and all the other Striders too numerous now to name individually! What a great performance – well done and thanks to you all – I am extremely proud!

Let’s not forget the women’s team though! Another bumper turnout of 20 of our slow packers, medium packers & fast packers produced a great performance in a fiercely competitive league. Our ‘Flying Archaeologist’ Steph Piper had a brilliant run on the fast course to come home as first Strider, followed by Elaine B storming round from the medium pack, Sarah D (another determined performance) and Penny – our airborne fast pack heroine (the Welsh rugby team may have a ‘Halfpenny’ but we’ve got something twice as good!) But of course they were supported by a huge turnout of Striderettes each of them committed to play their part and succeeding in doing so. We had medium packers such as Rachel, Katy & Mudwoman powering through fast packer Rachael flying round and other fantastic performances from Lesley, Kelly (loving it as usual), Kerry, Jo P, Denise (great concentration), Catherine, Camilla, Claire, Jen & Jan plus a very welcome return from Sue J & a wonderful debut from Steph Walker. Well done to you all – 6th on the day and now 5th for the season. With a super-human effort at Wrekenton you could all be standing on that podium yet!

Thanks also to the Striders who came along to support – Keith, Mike E, Anita C, Allan S, Jo R & Diane – such enthusiasm is most appreciated.

Cross country in the grounds of Alnwick Castle

…and Steph Piper

Steph on the way to leading the Striders' ladies homeThe nerves kicked in for today’s XC race earlier than usual. Sat waiting for the bus, my stomach turned over and over. The stakes felt high for today. The women’s team were in good contention for a podium finish at the penultimate race of the season, we’d had several new promotions to the medium pack (our very own captain Susan among them) and some of the stronger finishers were conspicuous by their absence.

At Alnwick, the tents were up and the banners flying high. The nerves had subsided but it was simply the calm before the storm. Innes had declared this day “Beat a Bounder” day. The men were fighting for survival to stay in Division Two – Blackhill one of their main rivals. The Bounders had retaliated swiftly by raising a call to arms. Our teams were heading in to a great battle.

The day was reminiscent of conditions at the beginning of the season – bright, warm with a brisk wind. The course was bone dry, perfectly suited to the alter-egos of our Mud Captains, Arid Man and Dustbowl Woman. Toes on the line and with very little warning we were off in to the wind, surging down the field towards the first pinch point. This first part of the course was quite flat. At the farthest point we rounded right and up the first of the steady inclines. From the road on other side of the wall, a disembodied voice roared a battle cry – “COME ON STRIDERS!!!” Spurred on, and with Sarah Davies in my sights, I continued upwards to the woods.

Once under the tree cover we were sheltered from the wind. There were deep ruts through the mud and most kept to the right of the track, favouring the drier ground interspersed with gnarly tree roots. I was looking forward to the downhill section which seemed to arrive after no time at all. Soft knees, relaxed shoulders, pick a line and go. It was like flying. I rounded the corner which hailed the start of the second lap with the shouting of our men ringing in my ears.

The second lap seemed to pass just as quickly. I could hear Sarah breathing down my neck, regardless of whether she was there. As the medium and fast pack runners streamed past I kept checking my shoulder for signs of Penny or Elaine, hubris fighting with nemesis over the glory of being first Strider home.

The women put in a storming performance. The remaining counters of Elaine, Sarah and Penny coming in quick succession with the ever-present swift feet of Katy, Rachel T, Lesley, Susan, Camilla and Rachael B not far behind. Finally out of her foot cast, Steph Walker put in a sterling return to racing and Denise came out on top of her friendly rivalry with Catherine Smith. Superb running from our 20 ladies, which will be required again at Wrekenton to climb back in to a podium placing.

The 21-stong men’s team put up a ferocious fight round the three laps of the course, which paid dividends. Our fast lads never faltered and Gareth, Till, newcomer Chris (sorry about missing your bus stop!), Rob, Graeme and Matthew Crow earned top spot in the team placing. A phenomenal performance by all of our gents, with individual promotions guaranteed and rising well clear of the relegation zone. You beasted those Bounders!

Results

Men
Pos Name Club Pack Cat Time
1 Francisco Martinez Sevilla Derwentside AC S MSen 37:29
21 Gareth Pritchard S Msen 40:18
30 Till Sawala S Msen 40:44
48 Chris Wade S Msen 41:12
104 Rob Everson M Msen 42:26
145 Graeme Walton S MV40 43:06
180 Matthew Crow S Msen 43:36
191 Paul Evans M MV35 43:45
222 Matthew Archer S Msen 44:21
244 Scott Watson S MV50 44:46
246 David Lumsdon S MV50 44:46
252 Marc Jones S Msen 44:55
262 David Gibson S MV45 45:08
269 Dave Halligan S MV50 45:15
279 Geoff Davis S MV55 45:35
303 Michael Hughes S MV45 46:16
324 Mike Bennett S MV60 47:12
369 David Selby S MV40 48:43
431 Richard Hockin S MV60 51:27
433 Craig Walker S MV55 51:30
457 Innes Hodgson S MV45 53:08
472 John Hutchinson S MV55 54:30

510 finishers, overall team placing 1st, Division 2

Women
Pos Name Club Pack Cat Time
1 Magda Grinsdale Tyne Bridge Harriers S Fsen 28:22
38 Stephanie Piper S Fsen 32:46
44 Elaine Bisson M FV35 32:58
47 Sarah Davies S FV45 33:03
74 Penny Browell F FV40 33:30
85 Katy Walton M Fsen 33:43
94 Rachel Terry M FV40 33:48
101 Lesley Charman S FV40 33:48
136 Susan Davis M FV50 34:27
144 Camilla Lauren-Maatta S FV45 34:52
155 Rachael Bullock F Fsen 35:01
174 Jan Young S FV60 35:46
192 Stephanie Walker S FV35 36:34
231 Joanne Porter S FV40 38:43
247 Denise Benvin S FV45 41:03
248 Catherine Smith S FV35 41:12
258 Jennifer Cooper S FV35 42:17
276 Kelly Collier S Fsen 45:55
279 Sue Jennings S FV45 46:53
280 Kerry Lister S FV40 46:55
283 Claire Galloway S Fsen 48:22

288 finishers, overall team position 6th, Division 1

Harrier League, Alnwick, Saturday, March 1, 2014

Mudman and Mudwoman

No less than 50 Striders ran for their club at the Alnwick HL on Saturday and what a happy, purple clad family we all made! As well as the runners, there were around another 20 supporters (other striders, plus family and friends) having a great time while cheering their runners on and generally enjoying the wonderful setting. The day was dry, bright with occasional cloud. The course was in excellent condition: some mud but mainly dry and fast! What more could you want?

Helen up near the sharp end ...

To mark such a day the Women’s team smashed their previous record by fielding no less than 23 runners even though one or two regulars were unavailable through injury. There were welcome returns to the fold made by Stef Barlow and Lindsay Tarn and some fierce, determined performances throughout the team. None more so than by Helen Tones who flew to the front of the field and stayed there, although losing a shoe part way round, and finishing in an excellent 5th place. Well done Helen and congrats on your promotion to the medium pack! Fiona Shenton roared back to her form of old finishing 2nd Strider home in 28th place thereby gaining promotion to the medium pack yet again. Competition for the 3rd Strider place couldn’t have been closer with Mandy and Claire racing together for the line. Mandy’s mantra of “get yer heed reet” must have made the difference as she just pipped Claire over the last couple of yards!

There were battles a plenty throughout the field with Striders well involved in the ‘mix’. One marshal was moved to remark “ooh you Striders, there’s zillions of you!” Those zillions put in some notable performances including Sarah and Lucy finishing well up the strong field and taking the fallen tree in their stride. Anita continues to improve with every race displaying the grit & determination required, while Jacquie, although forced to limp downhill, showed a similar amount of ‘guts’ by getting round to the finish. Well done to the Striderettes, the team equalled their best position of the season (5th place) and while not impossible, relegation is unlikely so long as we turn out in our zillions at the final Wrekenton Fixture!

... and Mike near the blunt end.

Striders men were also there in force with 27 of them lining up to start – including Mike Elliott for the first time. This was probably the strongest team we’ve fielded all season and it got its just reward finishing in 4th place – a season’s best and making relegation most unlikely. Rob Everson was the star – leading the team home by finishing in 28th place & thereby gaining promotion to the medium pack. Well done Rob – you deserve it for all that hard work & we’re proud of you! Will Horsley too had an incredible run from the medium pack overhauling all his team mates, except Rob, and, in spite of his dodgy home-made number, securing 37th place. Jerry came in next, passing Adam near the end, with Paul (from the medium pack) and James (with a strong burst on the final lap to take him past me and Gibbo) making up the other counters.

[Mid-] packing well at the Leap over the Log.

But as we all know it’s not just about the ‘counters’ and, as we’ve come to expect, there were some fine performances throughout the highly competitive field. Striders old and new did well including Dave Halligan, working his way higher up the field with every race, Marc Jones showing the form we know he’s capable of and Mike Elliot putting in one of the bravest performances of the day in what is a challenging race environment with ‘no hiding place’. Well done Mike – you did the club proud!

It was a grand day out, not just for the runners, but for their families and supporters as well. Andy James enjoyed his day and now knows why ‘his’ bus was in such demand. Stef Walker can’t wait for next season when she too can join in the fun and thanks to Katy, Carolyn and Camilla for coming along to shout encouragement while injured. What a day, we can’t wait for the 22nd!!

Note: more excellent photos at the links below, from Dougie and Carolyn. Ed.

Results

Men
Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 Graeme Cook North Shields Poly 36:32
28 Rob Everson 40:48
37 Will Horsley *M 41:12
55 Jerry Lloyd 41:40
59 Adam Walker 41:48
153 Paul Evans *M 43:45
155 James Garland 43:48
177 Geoff Davis 44:08
182 David Gibson 44:17
202 Simon Gardner 44:47
207 Dave Halligan 44:55
208 Marc Jones 44:56
218 Graeme Walton 45:13
240 Michael Tait 45:50
245 Michael Hughes 46:02
246 Conrad White 46:04
256 Richard Hall the Elder 46:24
263 Tom Reeves *M 46:36
264 Jon Steed 46:40
268 Mike Bennett 47:00
288 Shaun Roberts 47:44
293 Michael Terry 47:59
294 Michael Downes 48:05
302 Mark Payne 48:30
335 Marco van der Bremer 49:53
351 Mark Dunseith 50:26
365 Alister Robson 51:18
404 Innes Hodgson 54:42
417 John Hutchinson 57:31
425 Mike Elliott 64:39

*M Medium pack – 2m30s handicap.
*F Fast pack – 5m handicap.

427 finishers.

Women
Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 Stephanie Dann North Shields Poly 28:09
5 Helen Tones 31:14
28 Fiona Shenton 32:38
34 Mandy Dawson 32:49
35 Claire Readey 32:50
44 Fiona Jones 33:02
47 Juliet Percival 33:08
61 Rachel Terry *M 33:30
63 Susan Davis 33:36
71 Sarah Davies 33:48
74 Rachael Bullock 33:51
85 Lucy Cowton 34:05
124 Debra Goddard 35:22
138 Stef Barlow 36:33
146 Jan Young 36:51
152 Lindsay Tarn 37:20
169 Greta Jones 38:52
171 Katherine Preston 39:08
174 Barbara Dick 39:41
183 Joanne Porter 40:34
188 Victoria Downes 41:05
189 Kirsty Anderson 41:09
203 Jacquie Robson 44:44
207 Anita Dunseith 46:17
208 Denise Benvin 46:53

*M Medium pack – 2m handicap.

213 finishers.

Harrier League, Alnwick, Saturday, March 2, 2013

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

Mudman and Mudwoman

Tom running his way into the medium pack.
Photo courtesy and © SportyPix

Both the men’s and women’s teams put in their best performance of the season at a sunny Alnwick last Saturday. The men finished 4th in their 2nd Division and the Women finished 6th in their 1st Division. There were some noteworthy individual performances as well with Tom Reeves finishing in 26th position thereby qualifying for the medium pack for the first time in his long career (about time too I hear the editor cry!) Our other Tom (Spurling) had a great Harrier League debut and there were impressive performances throughout the team on a ‘mixed terrain’ but very pleasant course. The men have consolidated their mid table placing. Adam had a fine run from the fast pack of the under 17s race in preparation for his personal promotion to the Senior race next season.

The women’s team fought really hard in their relegation struggle finishing ahead of both their main ‘survival rivals’. Rachel Terry flew round the course from the medium pack to finish 3rd Strider behind Fiona and Megan, as with the men, there were some fine performances elsewhere particularly by Carolyn (best HL so far?) and Louise (no repeat of last year’s ‘nightmare’!) But the relegation struggle continues and will ‘go down to the wire’ at the final Prudhoe fixture. We need a once in a 100 years purple storm surge to sweep us to safety! Come on – we know you can do it!

Results

Men
Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 GHEBRESILASIE, Weynay Sunderland Harriers *F 38:24
26 REEVES, Tom 42:01
44 HORSLEY, Will *M 42:50
82 SPURLING, Tom 43:34
108 GARLAND, James 44:22
120 MCCONNELL, Stewart 44:35
132 LLOYD, Jerry *M 44:50
206 CLAYDON, Matt 47:13
220 DAVIS, Geoff 47:36
248 GOURLEY, Aaron 49:19
252 BENNETT, Michael 49:27
255 GARDNER, Simon 49:36
283 TERRY, Michael 50:45
298 ROBERTS, Shaun 51:34
300 ROBSON, Alistair 51:49
302 HUGHES, Michael 51:52
321 HOCKIN, Richard 53:06
339 FORD, Brian 55:18
357 OWEN, Phil 59:21

*M Medium pack – 2m30s handicap.
*F Fast pack – 5m handicap.

369 finishers.

Women
Fiona legging it down the hill.Photo courtesy and
© SportyPix
Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 PRICE, Chloe Durham N/C 28:06
22 SHENTON, Fiona 32:43
49 BELL, Megan 33:46
51 TERRY, Rachel *M 33:49
56 PERCIVAL, Juliet 33:58
57 BRAY, Carolyn 34:00
79 DAVIS, Susan 35:12
102 WALTON, Katy 36:25
109 DICK, Barbara 37:03
120 YOUNG, Jan 37:42
150 BARROW, Louise 40:23
156 TINDALE, Victoria 41:55
163 BUTLER, Katy 46:03

*M Medium pack – 2m handicap.

165 finishers.

Under 17 Men
Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 MALLEN, Joseph Alnwick Harriers 26:41
12 Adam WALKER 29:24

30 finishers.

Harrier League, Alnwick, Saturday, March 3, 2012

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

Mudman and Mudwoman

Record-Breaking Striders!

Lovely downhill section to finish each lap. Striders broke a number of records at the Alnwick Harrier League fixture yesterday when they fielded their biggest teams ever! Twenty two men and eighteen women turned out for their club on what eventually turned into a pleasant, early spring day. The bumper turnout not only ensured that the women’s team will remain in the top flight for next season, but also allowed the men’s team to secure first place in Division 2 on the day!! This is a standard that the club hasn’t achieved for years so well done everyone! In terms of individual performances, Phil Sanderson was the fastest veteran man in the race and secured the Veterans’ Grand Prix title for the third season in a row! Well done Phil!

The HL was being held at Alnwick for the first time yesterday and the general consensus was that the course and the general setting were excellent. The three lap men’s race went off first and Striders had two debutants: Jim Leslie (travelling to Alnwick from his home in Scotland) and Stuart Conway, plus three runners making welcome returns (Paul Evans, Mike Bennett & Steve Lindsay). All twenty one runners put in brave performances with Will Horsley leading us home after running what he considers to be his best ever x/c performance.

The eighteen strong ‘Sea of Purple’ were next up for the highly competitive senior women’s race with a ‘quality’ field of 120+. A number of women were making their debuts including Jacqui Robson, Carolyn Bray, Barbara Dick & Louise McGolpin and everyone was pleased to see Melanie Hudson back in the mud. Once again there were some fine performances by everyone but particularly by some of our newbies such as Rachel Bullock and Carolyn Bray. Nina led everyone home followed by Mudwoman and Fiona (from the medium pack). The course featured a short steepish descent and one or two of our women went down it with guns blazing and flags flying. Perhaps the most accomplished effort was by Jan who used all her experience to make up about 30 yards on the ‘downhill’ and take a number of ‘scalps’. Well done Jan!

In fact, well done everyone, runners and supporters alike (it was so good to see Wendy Rowell cheering on her old team mates). Thanks to Andy for arranging the Striders Charabang, which was a great success, and thanks to all who helped put up / take down the tent and brought those delicious cakes.

Another great turnout!

The final fixture of the season will be held on 24th March at Prudhoe. Old hands will know this as probably the best HL course, so please come along and run, you never know, the men’s team, currently in 4th place, might even get promoted!?

Results

Men
Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 KERNOHAN, Lee Wallsend Harriers 37:29
21 HORSLEY, Will 40:55 *M
34 EVANS, Paul 41:29
59 SANDERSON, Phillip 42:21 *F
60 LLOYD, Jerry 42:21
76 GIBSON, David 42:48
84 GARLAND, James 43:00
152 CLAYDON, Matt 45:02
162 REEVES, Thomas 45:18
177 DAVIS, Geoff 45:51
189 BENNETT, Michael 46:15
212 ROBERTS, Shaun 47:19
240 JONES, Mark 48:37
254 LINDSEY, Steven 49:19
269 ROBSON, Alister 50:14
275 HOCKIN, Richard 50:35
279 VAN DER BREMER, Marco 50:57
280 LESLIE, Jim 50:58
297 NISBET, Dougie 52:01
299 HUTCHISON, John 52:10
307 CONWAY, Stuart 52:41
330 KURUNER, Yusuf 57:18
333 ROBSON, Dave 58:01

*M Medium pack – 2m30s handicap.
*F Fast pack – 5m handicap.

342 finishers. Men’s team 1st of 10, Division 2, now 4th overall.
Congratulations to Phil Sanderson – fastest Male Vet, won the V40 Grand Prix for 2011-12.

Yet another great turnout!

Women
Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 HAYES, Louise North Shields Poly 29:00
27 MASON, Nina 32:30
51 DAVIS, Susan 33:49
53 SHENTON, Fiona 33:55 *M
62 LAYTON, Roz 34:18
63 BULLOCK, Rachel 34:19
73 BRAY, Carolyn 35:01
77 PERCIVAL, Juliet 35:41
82 YOUNG, Jan 36:23
83 LAMB, Liz 36:26
87 BRADLEY, Jean 36:42
95 TOMLINS, Zoe 37:27
98 PROCTOR, Angela 37:38
104 HUDSON, Melanie 38:22
105 DICK, Barbara 38:27
106 TINDALE, Victoria 38:30
107 ROBSON, Jacqui 38:35
111 MILLER, Louise 38:59

*M Medium pack – 2m handicap.

127 finishers. Women’s Team 7th of 8, Division 1, now 7th overall.