Tag Archives: Harrier League: Wrekenton

Close to home spectator friendly course.
Directions: Harrier League website
Location: Google Maps
Course: Oct 2016

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, Wrekenton, Saturday, March 14, 2015

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

Mudman

Striders see it through to the end!

Hurtling Greta. It was still all to play for at the final fixture of the 2014-15 HL season held at Wrekenton on Saturday. Relegation was staring the men’s team in the face, as it had been all season, while the women were still in with an outside chance of a podium finish. Things were tense as other clubs too had their potential triumphs and disasters to contemplate. Striders were well placed to deal with theirs though as both teams had good turnouts of strong and experienced runners eager for the fray.

Sally. Proceedings were opened by ‘rising star’ Sally Hughes – the ‘parkrun Princess’ – and sole Strider in the U.17 / U.20 women’s race. In a small field, and running from the fast pack, Sally cut a lonely if determined figure in a race for which no one seemed to be clear beforehand of the exact route. Nonetheless, our NE Counties runner held her own and finished in a creditable 11th place and 8th fastest on the day – well done Sally!

Kelly. Next up was the final show down for the 25 Striderettes. Three of their number went out quickly from the slow pack – debutant Louise Warner, our country convert Lesley Charman and the Flying Archaeologist Steph Piper. The unfamiliarity of it all (new spikes, new surface, new opponents, bad back) took its toll on Louise but Lesley and Steph had an epic battle with Lesley clinging on for grim death until being finally overhauled by Steph. Their reward was to finish as third and fourth counters respectively. They had plenty of support from the slow pack including Roz, making her first appearance this season (where have you been?), the ‘Purple Sisters’ Greta & Karen, Jean Brad (risen from a sick bed), an effervescent Kelly plus many other brave and determined performances from Jo x 2, Claire, Anja, Jan, Sarah, Debs, Denise & Diane.

Claire and Joanne.

Katy. As the medium pack grows so do the number of Striders running from it and there were six on Saturday plus Penny from the fast pack – a wonderful reflection on the quality of our club. Two sparkling performances from the medium pack came from Elaine and Katy. Elaine, ever improving in her quiet and understated way, and Katy, showing the blistering form of old and providing Simon with the photo image of the day. They both had powerful runs with Elaine leading the team home closely followed by Katy – fantastic. Penny too had a brilliant run; lining up with international athletes she more than held her own in that company finishing with the fastest time of the day for a Striderette. But would it all be enough to win that bronze position? Sadly not – we were just one point for the season behind the third place team! But a thoroughly satisfactory season nonetheless, with great performances, fantastic new team mates and enjoyable days out during the dark days of winter!

It was now the men’s turn. Could they cling on to Division 2 survival or would they be condemned to the fiery pit of the dreaded third division?! The purple painted faces of 32 Strider men showed that they wouldn’t be going down without a fight and battle commenced with the elbowing and shoving we’ve all come to crave. Debutant Andrew Podmore adapted quickly in the sink or swim environment and the pace seemed blistering on the dry and fast course – it was certainly ‘eyeballs out’ from start to finish for me!

That eloquent appeal I had issued back in November for team members to “throw the kitchen sink at every race” was clearly being taken up with a vengeance as familiar purple streaked faces flew by me with alarming / encouraging regularity. Once again there were some incredible performances including one from Rob who screamed round from the medium pack to be first Strider home and earn the club representation in the Fast Pack for 2015-16. A wrecked fence and a dodgy Achilles had kept Simon away from the previous two fixtures but he made up for it here finishing second counter followed in by marathon man Graeme, medium packer Gareth, the ever improving Matt C and our new face in purple Chris W. Nothing more could be asked from these guys nor of those who followed them in – from Stan’s victory over a yellow vested rival to Ben’s outsprinting of Innes for the line – they all did their utmost to keep us afloat. But did they do it? You bet they did! We finished one place and four points above the drop zone for the season – well done!

Results

Men
Pos Name Club Race Time Pack Cat Actual Time
1 Sam Brand Gateshead Harriers 32:36 S Msen 32:36
50 Rob Everson 37:45 M Msen 35:15
92 Simon Gardner 38:16 S MV40 38:16
100 Graeme Walton 38:29 S MV40 38:29
145 Gareth Pritchard 39:03 M Msen 36:33
169 Matthew Crow 39:20 S Msen 39:20
182 Chris Wade 39:30 M Msen 37:00
187 David Gibson 39:42 S MV45 39:42
191 Paul Evans 39:44 M MV35 37:14
192 Jerry Lloyd 39:44 M MV45 37:14
196 James Garland 39:49 S MV35 39:49
204 Till Sawala 39:49 M Msen 37:19
243 Scott Watson 40:33 S MV50 40:33
244 David Brown 40:33 S MV35 40:33
245 Matthew Archer 40:33 S Msen 40:33
247 Dave Halligan 40:33 S MV50 40:33
251 Jon Ayres 40:40 S MV40 40:40
260 Geoff Davis 40:53 S MV55 40:53
277 Michael Hughes 41:12 S MV45 41:12
292 Conrad White 41:30 S MV55 41:30
309 Danny Lim 42:02 S MV35 42:02
324 Mike Bennett 42:34 S MV60 42:34
370 Eric Green 44:15 S MV45 44:15
374 Andrew Podmore 44:15 S Msen 44:15
418 Nick Jones 46:01 S Msen 46:01
420 Richard Hockin 46:04 S MV60 46:04
437 Craig Walker 46:40 S MV55 46:40
440 Ben Ford 46:47 S MU20 46:47
443 Innes Hodgson 46:58 S MV45 46:58
454 Ari Hodgson 47:33 S MU20 47:33
455 Lindsay Rodgers 47:45 S MV45 47:45
475 Mark Dunseith 49:42 S Msen 49:42
497 Stan White 60:31 S MV55 60:31

502 finishers.

Women
Pos Name Club Race Time Pack Cat Actual Time
1 Alyson Dixon Sunderland Strollers 26:04 F FV35 22:04
44 Elaine Bisson 29:31 M FV35 27:31
46 Katy Walton 29:31 M Fsen 27:31
57 Stephanie Piper 29:31 S Fsen 29:31
62 Lesley Charman 29:31 S FV40 29:31
100 Penny Browell 30:24 F FV40 26:24
128 Rachel Terry 30:46 M FV40 28:46
130 Juliet Percival 30:46 M FV40 28:46
145 Sarah Davies 31:03 S FV45 31:03
153 Debra Goddard 31:09 S FV40 31:09
162 Susan Davis 31:17 M FV50 29:17
190 Roz Layton 31:54 S FV60 31:54
200 Greta Jones 32:05 S FV45 32:05
202 Karen Jones 32:11 S FV40 32:11
207 Louise Warner 32:18 S FV35 32:18
209 Jan Young 32:22 S FV60 32:22
234 Fiona Jones 33:21 M FV35 31:21
260 Jean Bradley 34:49 S FV55 34:49
261 Joanne Porter 34:52 S FV40 34:52
264 Anja Fechtner 35:00 S FV35 35:00
278 Catherine Smith 36:01 S FV35 36:01
282 Denise Benvin 36:29 S FV45 36:29
291 Diane Watson 37:30 S FV50 37:30
302 Kelly Collier 38:40 S Fsen 38:40
315 Joanne Richardson 43:25 S FV40 43:25
318 Claire Galloway 44:42 S Fsen 44:42

319 finishers.

U17 girls and U20 women
Pos Name Club Race Time Pack Cat Actual Time
1 Sophie Burnett Birtley AC 26:09 F FU17 23:39
11 Sally Hughes 30:19 F FU20 27:49

18 finishers.

Harrier League, Wrekenton, Saturday, March 22, 2014

Mudman and Mudwoman

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.  Saturday saw the final HL x/c fixture of the season at Wrekenton (sob, sob) and Striders finished with a spectacular performance! The women’s team achieved a season’s best 3rd place on the day and 7th for the season – well clear of the relegation zone. Not only that, but a further three women, Rachael B, Claire & Jules, qualified for the medium pack! The men too equalled their season’s best position of 4th on the day and they also finished in 7th place in their Division 2 with Jerry achieving promotion back to the medium pack!

Most of us were disappointed to lose the Prudhoe fixture this year but were nonetheless pleased that Vicki Thompson and her team, at the last minute, were able to arrange a second fixture at Wrekenton to replace it. Saturday was bright and breezy with a distinct lack of mud on the course, in fact, if it hadn’t been for the hills, you’d have thought you were on the track at Maiden Castle! And that’s what some of the women must have thought as Claire, Rachael, Jules, Fiona K-J et al sped off on the first lap and a battle royal ensued. Claire led the way for Striders for much of the race but Rachael had her locked in a steely glare and managed to overhaul her half way round the second lap to finish first Strider after, what she later acknowledged to be, the race of her life! Jules finished not far behind Claire to join her two club mates in the medium pack for next season – well done!

There were some great performances elsewhere in the race with our three medium packers battling through the field of over 200 runners. It was also pleasing to see Fiona K-J and Sarah complete a full set of six HL races in their first season along with Jan and Mudwoman. What a race and what a grand day out for the 13 strong women’s team.

Will celebrates the end of a cracking season.Lucy in full Striders war paint.

Another big field in the men’s race of over 400 runners saw the Striders team, safe from relegation, put in a great performance. Once more Will swept through from the medium pack to finish first Strider, 26th overall and a full house of six races for the season! Jerry ran his best race of the season followed closely by Adam in his final x/c race for Striders. James continued his return to form and Rob, another ‘ever present’ for 13-14, enjoyed his first run from the medium pack – I’m sure they’ll be many more to come! Gibbo was our final counter powering round as of old to pip the much improved Dave Halligan on the line.

As always there were some fine Strider performances throughout the field. Graeme completed his six races for the season as did Mudman and Innes (just 40 seconds behind his 17 year old son Ari). It was good to see Nigel running for the first time this season (without a head torch!) and Dougie as well – taking time off from the camera. Well done everyone!

As we draw breath and assess the season we can only conclude that it’s been a great success. No less than 85 Striders have taken part in one or more x/c races this season. We’ve been represented at the English Nationals, the British Masters, the Northerns, The North Easterns, the North East Masters and, of course the Harrier League where we broke our attendance records in both the Women’s and Men’s races. There’ve been some great performances at both the sharp end and the blunt end, as Shaun would say, by newcomers to the mud and old lags as well. We’ve had some great days out and we’re pleased to say there’s always a happy and lively atmosphere around the tent. Long may it continue.

Results

Men
Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 Robert Foster Tynedale Harriers 33:04
26 Will Horsley 35:53 *M
32 Jerry Lloyd 36:09
50 Adam Walker 36:29
110 James Garland 37:38
120 Rob Everson 37:44 *M
165 David Gibson 38:20
166 Dave Halligan 38:20
203 Geoff Davis 39:06
246 Michael Tait 39:57
248 Mike Bennett 39:59
257 Graeme Walton 40:13
270 Matthew Crow 40:39
295 David Brown 41:33
316 Michael Hughes 42:28
345 Marco van der Bremer 43:33
392 Nigel Heppell 46:42
400 Innes Hodgson 47:18
412 John Hutchinson 48:00
420 Dougie Nisbet 50:26

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

437 finishers.

Women
Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 Kim Simpson Durham City Harriers 26:55 *M
11 Rachael Bullock 28:00
20 Claire Readey 28:23
26 Juliet Percival 28:36
29 Rachel Terry 28:41 *M
38 Fiona Jones 28:54
47 Lucy Cowton 29:14
48 Susan Davis 29:15
63 Sarah Davies 29:35
83 Camilla Lauren-Maatta 29:52
90 Katy Walton 30:00 *M
96 Helen Tones 30:07 *M
115 Roz Layton 30:39
162 Jan Young 33:29
168 Barbara Dick 33:43
174 Joanne Porter 34:02

*M Medium pack – 2m handicap, *F Medium pack – 4m handicap.

209 finishers.

Harrier League, Wrekenton, Saturday, February 8, 2014

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

Mudman and Mudwoman

“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm!”

Another great turnout by Striders at Saturday’s Wrekenton HL saw 44 purple clad mud lovers giving it their all on the tough wind ravaged course!

The senior women’s field of over 200 runners included Denise Benvin and Lucy Cowton making determined HL debuts for Striders with Lucy carrying her trusty i-phone around the course! The women’s two lap course included four hills and Camilla powered up all of them to lead Striders home for the first time at the HL. She was pushed all the way by Jules with the ‘lead’ changing hands a couple of times before Camilla narrowly prevailed. Claire came in close behind to finish as a counter for the first time, to the delight of Coach and daughter (no, that’s not a pub!) particularly as Fiona S, Fiona K-J, Mudwoman and Katy were hot on her heels!

Camilla leads off the hill.

There were lots of other brave and improved performances including Katy’s surge from the medium pack, Barbara’s first HL since her bad fall on a cobbled road and Anita’s wonderful improvement on her previous HL. Well done all of you and thank you for representing the club in this great competition! The Striderettes finished 7th on the day thereby keeping our heads above the relegation zone.

Adam legs it through the mud. Note omnipresent spectator.

The huge men’s team (25 in all) included two debutants – new Strider Mark Payne and the not so new Strider Gareth Pritchard! Both did themselves, and the team, proud with gutsy performances on unfamiliar territory. However, it was the ‘baby’ of the band Adam Walker who led the team home – just managing to hold off Will Horsley who made a truly impressive surge from the medium pack! Jerry ran well and Rob continued his impressive form of late to count for the team as did Gareth, on his debut, and Mudman in spite of Graeme’s close attention!

Others continue to make steady progress on the mud and over the hills (six hills this time) including Dave Halligan and Michael Tait. They, and many more, will soon be pushing the counters. But there were many more who were happy to turn out and represent their club and compete against our rivals. This was rewarded by a very close 5th place finish for the club on the day – our best of the season so far! Well done to you all and thanks to all those who came along and watched, cheered us on and took photos – what a great day out!!

The end of the ‘great day out’ was marred somewhat when Striders fell victim to the storms! Our trusty ‘shelter from the storm’ (the club tent) was caught by a vicious gust while Mudwoman and I were packing up the club flag. It rocked violently and then ‘took off’ vertically, tearing away from its guy ropes, and flew for 15-20 yards before we dove on it and brought it to earth! The poor old thing was ripped in a number of places and has parted company from some guy ropes and other anchor points. It was a faithful friend, may it rest in peace!!

Results

Men
Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 Carl Avery Morpeth Harriers 33:51
68 Adam Walker 39:39
72 Will Horsley 39:43 *M
87 Jerry Lloyd 40:02
99 Rob Everson 40:14
187 Gareth Pritchard 41:41
224 Geoff Davis 42:20
232 Graeme Walton 42:34
271 Simon Gardner 43:36
275 Dave Halligan 43:45
281 Michael Tait 43:56
283 Marc Jones 44:04
289 Jon Steed 44:22
290 Shaun Roberts 44:23
291 Tom Reeves 44:24 *M
305 Mark Payne 44:46
311 Jon Ayres 45:06
322 Aaron Gourley 45:30
326 Conrad White 45:36
327 Michael Hughes 45:40
329 Michael Downes 45:46
350 Matthew Crow 46:50
360 Marco van der Bremer 47:12
383 Alister Robson 48:16
435 Innes Hodgson 50:49
437 Mark Dunseith 50:52

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

457 finishers.

Women
Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 Emma Holt Morpeth Harriers 28:32 *F
42 Camilla Lauren-Maatta 30:38
43 Juliet Percival 30:40
49 Claire Readey 30:51
53 Fiona Shenton 30:56
63 Fiona Jones 31:13
65 Susan Davis 31:17
66 Katy Walton 31:18 *M
97 Sarah Davies 32:17
101 Lucy Cowton 32:22
111 Roz Layton 32:36
139 Jan Young 33:56
164 Jacquie Robson 36:07
165 Barbara Dick 36:09
179 Victoria Downes 37:36
181 Kirsty Anderson 37:41
184 Nicola Whyte 37:51
208 Debbie Mcfarland 43:03
211 Denise Benvin 44:02
213 Anita Dunseith 44:29

*M Medium pack – 2m handicap, *F Medium pack – 4m handicap.

216 finishers.

Harrier League, Wrekenton, Saturday, February 9, 2013

Mudman and Mudwoman

Once more into the shit ... though there wasn't actually too much of it, to be honest ...

Saturday saw some fine runs by Striders, both new and old. Debutant Megan Bell finished as 2nd counter for the Women’s team and was closely followed by the ‘flying geologist’ Rachael Bullock finishing as a counter for the first time and showing a very welcome return to form. Evergreen Fiona Shenton led the strong women’s team home with seven of the 13 ladies finishing within 1 minute of each other (including debutant Laura Garnham) – you could have chucked a blanket over them! Well done one and all for bringing the team home in 7th place – but our sleepless nights, worrying about relegation, are set to continue as it looks like we’ve been pulled back down into the ‘red zone’! The Sea of Purple needs to have a storm surge at Alnwick and Prudhoe if we’re to stay in the ‘top flight’ for next season! Let’s see a few more gutsy performances like those of Barbara, Katy and Louise to help keep the purple flag flying high!

A great turnout on a balmy day for racing.

The Men put in another solid performance with Will powering through from the medium pack and Tom edging ever closer to joining him there. Mike Hughes put in a fine debut on the undulating course and it was good to see Alan Smith and Stuart McConnell back in the mud where they belong! Although we had a good turnout there were a few regular faces absent from the tent and the cake fest afterwards. However, we weren’t short of supporters with Mike Elliott preparing himself for the nationals, Jacquie (who came to watch Alister’s green spikes sprint for the line), the Waltons there to cheer on Mum, Simon Gardner on camera duties, three dogs and 9 month old Archie Garland there with his Mum to watch Dad finish as a counter!

With supporters like that we can’t help but run our socks off!!

Results

Men

Provisional results only so far:

Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 EDGE, Phil Gateshead Harriers 34:13
46 HORSLEY, Will *M 37:57
74 REEVES, Thomas 38:40
111 LLOYD, Jerry *M 39:33
123 GARLAND, James 39:46
150 McCONNELL, Stewart 40:15
196 CLAYDON, Matt 41:04
215 DAVIS, Geoff 41:45
280 ROBERTS, Shaun 44:31
310 SELBY, David 45:58
313 HUGHES, Mike 46:07
322 ROBSON, Alister 46:32
359 HOCKIN, Richard 49:32
384 SMITH, Alan 54:30

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

393 finishers.

Women
Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 RIGBY, Rebecca Newcastle Uni 26:43
16 SHENTON, Fiona 29:20
45 BELL, Megan 30:52
49 BULLOCK, Rachel 30:57
54 PERCIVAL, Jules 31:06
64 DAVIS, Susan 31:36
65 LAYTON, Roz 31:42
69 BRAY, Carolyn 31:50
71 GARNHAM, Laura 31:52
100 WALTON, Katy 33:38
104 YOUNG, Jan 33:44
122 PRESTON, Katherine 34:40
124 DICK, Barbara 34:49
158 BARROW, Louise 37:51

*M Medium pack – 2m handicap.

169 finishers.

Harrier League, Wrekenton, Saturday, February 11, 2012

Jan Young

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race. Arrived 12.20pm to hear Phil S. asking, “Where’ve you been? We’ve been here since 12 o’clock.” The early birds couldn’t wait to solve the tent erecting puzzle, so I left them to it while I went to race HQ to sort numbers. Thank you all. Tent up successfully, though their efforts caused much mirth amongst spectators. It’s colour coded. How difficult can it be? Persuaded John Hutch to tackle the flag and a good job he made of it. Excellent turnout, Striders’ teams oversubscribed. Phil the Hill, Will and Neil powered through from fast and medium packs to finish in our top six. Fiona came through from medium pack, to finish second Strider to Roz in ladies’ race. Thanks for the support from Marco’s face painted children, Ian S partner and all Striders who shouted for each other and thanks to the baking team! To MW and MM, we did you proud running and I insisted on refolding the tent after the first attempt. You would not have been impressed, so we tried hospital corners! Hope you approve when you look in the tent bag …

Great turnout in the circumstances!

Happy Birthday to Stephy B – loyalty is Harrier Leagueing on your birthday! For those still not Harrier Leagueing it’s worth it just for the cakes, spectator support and tent training!

Results

Men
Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 GRIMES, Michael Durham City Harriers 31:38
22 HORSLEY, Will 36:14
80 LLOYD, Jerry 38:09
118 SANDERSON, Phillip 39:00 *F
130 MCCONNELL, Stewart 39:21
140 SLEEMAN, Neil 39:47
184 CLAYDON, Matt 41:05
197 BENNETT, Michael 41:52
269 VAN DER BREMER, Marco 45:01
270 ROBSON, Alister 45:02
273 HALL, Richard 45:09
280 HOCKIN, Richard 45:45
299 YOUNG, Callum 47:48
316 SPENCER, Ian 50:08
321 HUTCHISON, John 51:02
322 NICHOLSON, George 51:26
326 KURUNER, Yusuf 53:12

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

331 finishers. Men’s team 6th of 10, Division 2.

Another great turnout!

Women
Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 WILLIAMS, Emma Newcastle Uni 22:54
57 LAYTON, Roz 30:41
80 SHENTON, Fiona 31:39 *M
84 BULLOCK, Rachel 31:55
87 PERCIVAL, Juliet 32:11
95 YOUNG, Jan 32:50
96 BARLOW, Stephanie 33:00
109 LAUREN-MAATTA, Camilla 34:06
110 TARN, Lindsay 34:08
111 READEY, Claire 34:10
115 PROCTOR, Angela 35:12
118 MILLER, Louise 35:27
123 TINDALE, Victoria 35:59
129 JENNINGS, Sue 38:26

*M Medium pack – 2m handicap.

131 finishers. Women’s Team 9th of 9, Division 1.

Harrier League, Wrekenton, Saturday, February 26, 2011

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

Mudman and Mudwoman

Glory Days Return!

Striders women repeated their triumphs of a few years ago by finishing first team at Saturday’s HL fixture at Wrekenton. Our three ‘counters’ , Fiona, Keri & Nina, all had fantastic runs and were backed up by six other team mates all doing their best to push the other teams further back – and how they succeeded! Striders were well ahead of second place Durham City and pushed undefeated Heaton into fourth place – well done everyone! Surely this will inspire even more of our women to turn out and help the club to do even better?!

WELL DONE WOR LASSES!!

It was also a fine performance by the men’s team with 13 brave boys crossing the finish line, led by Phil Sanderson in 29th place running from the fast pack. James Garland and Ian Thomas had fine HL debuts and it was good to see a young Daglish making a welcome return to the mud. The team matched their best finishing position this season (7th) but the struggle to avoid ‘the drop’ is not over – we need an even bigger turn out for the remaining two fixtures to ensure ‘survival’!

Good turnout for Wrekenton! So much so, I had to stitch two photos together to make this one ...

Results

Men
Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 JENKIN, Dan Durham City Harriers 36:39
29 SANDERSON, Phil * 39:36
91 GARLAND, James 41:22
122 BENNETT, Mike 42:25
123 REEVES, Thomas 42:29
156 GIBSON, David 43:46
157 THOMAS, Ian 43:48
162 DAVIS, Geoff 44:08
181 ROBERTS, Shaun 45:29
194 WHITE, Conrad 46:09
212 DAGLISH, Graham 47:15
228 HOCKIN, Richard 48:11
234 NESBIT, Dougie 48:32
247 ROBSON, Alistair 50:31
267 ROBSON, Dave 54:13

* Fast pack (+5mins)

274 finishers. Men’s Team 7th, Division 2 – 7th overall.

Women

Susan eases past the competition ... apparently.

We haven’t had a caption competition for a while – entries to the mailing list. Here’s mine:

“Are you finding this a bit muddy, then?” Shaun.

“You’d look a lot better in purple, pet!” Alan Rowell.

Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 MCMANUS, Claire North Shields Poly 27:30
5 SHENTON, Fiona 29:51
11 PEARSON, Keri * 30:29
13 MASON, Nina 30:33
59 DAVIS, Susan 33:19
75 BARLOW, Stef 34:42
77 YOUNG, Jan 35:00
83 READEY, Claire 35:37
87 TARN, Lindsay 36:46
97 PROCTOR, Angela 39:06

* Medium pack (+2mins)

101 finishers. Women’s Team 1st – 3rd overall.

Harrier League, Wrekenton, Saturday, February 13, 2010

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

Mudman and Mudwoman

Mudman & Mudwoman were unable to make it to Wrekenton but were very pleased to see that the teams did themselves proud.

The Women had their best result of the season finishing eighth on the day which also puts them in eighth place for the season. No less than 13 Striders women ran with Nina leading the team home again followed closely by Rebecca Pannell making her HL debut.

The Men continued their push for promotion finishing second team in Division 3 on the day and maintaining second place for the season. Phil Sanderson, running from the fast pack, led the team of 11 men home.

Nina hammers down the hill.

However, we need to maintain this momentum next Saturday (20/02) at Temple Park South Shields if Striders are going to have a season to remember and celebrate. Hope to see as many as possible of you there.

Jan adds:

Far from wrecks, we had some good runs at Wrekenton. Mudman and partner would have been proud:

  • both mens’ and womens’ teams had runners to spare
  • vocal support was provided by Lindsay, Andy G and Phil O. much appreciated
  • Phil and Will demonstrated effortless hill running from the fast pack
  • cakes were in plentiful supply
  • Valentine was celebrated by Geoff DCH, but we forgive his club choice anyway, when he brings home bakes topped with chocolate Valentine hearts
  • Becky on her debut had promising run as 2nd counter
  • and Lyndsay declared she prefered the courses with challenging inclines.

See you all at South Shields Sat 20th Feb.

Results

Men
Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 GARBUTT, Daniel Durham City Harriers 33:32
50 SANDERSON, Phil * 40:02
117 GIBSON, David 41:59
164 HORSLEY, Will * 43:47
183 BENNETT, Michael 44:27
201 ROBERTS, Shaun 45:30
210 METSON, John 46:15
236 HEPPLE, Nigel 48:15
254 THOMPSON, Andrew 49:53
262 NESBIT, Dougie 50:32
288 ROBSON, Dave 54:10
305 BROOKS, Peter 60:23

* Fast pack

309 finishers. Men’s team 2nd, Division 3.

Women
Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 MOONEY, Jane Morpeth Harriers & AC 28:14
37 MASON, Nina 32:44
41 PANNELL, Rebecca 33:05
57 BARLOW, Stephanie 33:49
58 YOUNG, Jan 33:51
62 GODDARD, Debra 33:59
63 LAYTON, Roz 34:04
72 TOMLINS, Zoe 34:39
87 DYKES, Kirsty 36:39
90 COPLEY, Jennifer 37:20
92 BRADLEY, Jean 37:34
93 PROCTOR, Angela 37:47
94 TARN, Lindsay 38:01
101 BOS, Clare Van Den 40:26

110 finishers. Women’s Team 8th.

Harrier League, Wrekenton, Saturday, February 14, 2009

Shaun Roberts

We had the lot at this one – snow, ice, slush, mud and worst of the lot, ice-covered puddles of freezing water. We were warned about the slippiness of the course at the start, and so didn’t expect any fast times. Nonetheless, Mike had a good run, and was first Strider home. I kept up a steady pace all the way round, but Keith went past on the third lap, saying “tuck in”, or similar – so I did, got a second wind, and went past again to finish a couple of seconds ahead at the line. Dave and Phil Owen also had a bit of a battle at the finish – Phil kept just ahead into the funnel. Gary was sixth counter finishing strongly, and Alan brought up the rear, doing well to keep under the hour on a very demanding course indeed. We were short of numbers for various reasons, so it was good to see Phil Todd and Andy Glass also having a go here, though both had to pull out early.

Only three ladies, just enough for a team, did this one – “small but beautiful”, some wit said. Debs was just ahead of Nina at half-way, but pulled out a bigger lead by the finish. Nina finished strongly, as usual, and Jan had a very good run, looking very relaxed all the way round.

Geoff Watson provided a strong candidate for “Cake of the Season”, adding lemon to a winning cheesecake formula – excellent! Also worth a mention was Mike’s banana cake with chocolate bits in it – I made sure none of that was left by the end.

Results

Men

Pos Name Club Cat Pack Time
1 HURST, Phil Elswick Harriers M 34:02
122 BENNETT, Michael V S 40:32
188 ROBERTS, Shaun V S 43:06
190 WESSON, Keith V S 43:08
270 OWEN, Phil V S 48:58
271 ROBSON, Dave V S 48:59
277 DAVIES, Gary S 49:42
297 PURVIS, Alan V S 59:04

298 finishers. Elvet Striders: 9th Men’s Team, Division Two.

Women

Pos Name Club Cat Pack Time
1 WATERHOUSE, Emma Chester-le-Street S 24:21
45 GODDARD, Debs V S 31:34
52 MASON, Nina S 32:14
61 YOUNG, Jan V S 33:01

80 finishers. Elvet Striders: 13th Women’s Team.