Monthly Archives: November 2013

Harrier League, Wallington Hall, Saturday, November 30, 2013

Grand Prix Race - click flag for current league tables. Mud King/Mud Queen Race - click flag for more information.

Mudman and Mudwoman

After a seven year absence Mandy Dawson (known in the Mud household as ‘The Warrior’) made a triumphant return to the HL today by powering round the tough course to be first Strider home in the Senior Women’s race – well done Mandy!! Parking problems meant race starts were slightly delayed but the new challenging course made the wait worthwhile. The Striderettes numbered 18 today and the evergreen Fiona Shenton came in not far behind Mandy to finish second counter with Rachel T clawing her way through from the medium pack to be third home.

Many thanks once again to our long-suffering supporters!

Joanne Porter also made a welcome return today with a brave performance. Katy W had a fine run on her Medium pack debut and Rachael Bullock, fresh from her cold bath on Weds, had her best run of the season so far. But well done to all the women – that was a challenging course and you all performed brilliantly! We were slightly down on our Jarrow finishing position but still avoided the relegation zone – just!

Gleaming purple in the dusk ...

After a chilly wait the men finally got going and Rob Everson was the man to lead the 19 strong team home – for the first time I think – so well done Rob! Will ‘done good’ today passing a big chunk of the field from the medium pack and finishing second Strider. Youth (Tom S) and experience (James G, Mudman & Gibbo) made up the other counters with the rest of the Striders’ team spread liberally throughout the field.

Yes, we did have to wait around for quite a while ... but that was a helluva sunset.

As in the women’s race there were some brave performances among the Strider ranks – none more so than debutant Alex Cole. Well done Alex! I can’t say it ever gets any easier but I can guarantee that, with a bit of hard work, you can expect to finish in a quicker time. A solid team performance but we slipped back to 8th place on the day.

The HL takes a bit of a break now with the next fixture at Wrekenton not until 8th Feb. However, in the meantime we’ve got the NE x/c Champs on 14th Dec & the Northerns on 25th Jan – more on those v.soon!


Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 Cameron Boyek Shildon AC 34:45
92 Rob Everson 43:20
107 Will Horsley 43:39 *M
134 Tom Spurling 44:12
145 James Garland 44:23
163 Geoff Davis 44:44
202 David Gibson 45:24
204 Graeme Walton 45:30
238 Dave Halligan 46:20
250 Tom Reeves 46:43 *M
272 Mike Bennett 47:14
285 Shaun Roberts 47:52
290 Michael Tait 48:00
299 Jon Steed 48:27
342 Alister Robson 50:27
350 Matthew Crow 50:32
432 Brian Ford 55:15
446 Mark Dunseith 56:29
451 Mark Preston 57:10
458 John Hutchinson 58:07
463 Innes Hodgson 60:03
472 Alex Cole 65:05

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

476 finishers. Men’s team finished 7th of 11 in Division 2.

Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 Alyson Dixon Sunderland Strollers 30:10 *F
47 Mandy Dawson 33:31
53 Fiona Shenton 33:39
66 Rachel Terry 33:59 *M
75 Katy Walton 34:13 *M
85 Rachael Bullock 34:27
96 Susan Davis 34:49
103 Fiona Jones 35:00
113 Roz Layton 35:18
116 Lydia Bertrand-Hutchinson 35:28
120 Sarah Davies 35:44
134 Claire Readey 36:54
150 Jan Young 37:31
169 Kirsty Anderson 38:22
171 Jacquie Robson 38:30
202 Katherine Preston 40:48
213 Barbara Dick 41:42
221 Victoria Downes 42:35
231 Joanne Porter 43:30
232 Joanne Richardson 43:31
253 Anita Dunseith 53:49

*M Medium pack – 2m handicap.

253 finishers. Women’s team finished 8th of 10 in Division 1.

Porirua parkrun, New Zealand, Saturday, November 30, 2013

Angela Coates and Paul Pascoe

Landing in New Zealand on a Monday can only mean one thing, where do we go for Saturday’s parkrun? We needed to head south and as we had already done Lower Hutt last year, we had to try a new one.

We set off on Saturday morning before 7:30am (parkrun in New Zealand is 8:00am) and got to Porirua with plenty of time to spare. After having a lovely chat to introduce ourselves with George and Astrid one of the volunteers mentioned the incline and was told quickly “shush, don’t scare them off”.

Angela and Paul. Some people will go to great lengths to get out of running the Harrier League.

Anyway after the pre run briefing and our welcome, we set off. As usual everyone sped off but soon got into a steady pace. It’s always good and bad (you choose) doing a new parkrun route as you don’t know what to expect. The incline turned into 2.5k of steady climb, a few levelling out bits, but mainly climb. It is an out and back course and the turn around seemed to take forever. Once turned around I thought that it would be fast all the way back down, but it wasn’t that easy. Tired jet lag legs, strange sleeping pattern and not as downhill as I thought.

Once at the end it was a ‘quick sprint’ to the finish line where some welcome cups of water were waiting. We thanked the organisers and headed back.

Porirua parkrun is in gorgeous settings (like most parkruns) on good paths, well worth another visit.

Ravenstonedale 10K, Saturday, November 30, 2013

Phil Owen

If it were any other 10K I’d not have missed cross country but this is an annual party meet up of old friends many of whom are Howgill Harriers who organise the race. And they do a superb job of it too! Ravenstonedale is tucked away in the hills on the Kendal Road from the A66, a few miles from Sedbergh. Just turn right at the Fat Lamb pub & couple miles or so of narrow undulating country road flanked by high stone walls (which is part of the race route ) you’ll come to another Pub, the Black Bull and the edge of the small village.

Registration is in the lovely little school hall which is apt all the proceeds from this race go to the school and the upkeep of the play park across the stream. Tea and an abundance of cakes sales add to the revenue and it seemed everyone was tucking in.

Watch out for marshalls with Shotguns.

Race starts down another lane with the race director standing on one of the stone walls for a quick talk. He tells us there is soup and a roll at the Kings Head after (yes the village has three pubs and all support the race) , free gratis but a small donation to the school is welcome… But, not as small as last year ya tight buggers.. …next he asks if everyone is well because the race has a new medic on hand and he has a new defib he’s not had a chance to use yet, so if you’re feeling peaky….

Go ya buggers is the start cry and we head off past the Kings Head for a little loop of the village before heading on a bigger loop. Narrow country lanes, a couple of short sharp hills, couple of long drags but the rest is just undulating. Jam, Chutney and eggs are for sale at one farmhouse we pass, with a bowl full of coins on a small table outside. Obviously even an honestly box is be deemed unnecessary high security in these parts.

Beautiful views are to be had in every direction before we turn onto the ‘main’ road a half mile busy road section. Three cars all waited patiently by farmers marshalling with shotguns in hand and a from there after one short climb it’s more or less a downhill finish. My legs were a bit shattered from the previous eve’s football but I had a good run out if not a very fast one. Soup and a roll, spot prizes galore and a nice pint of ale after.

Just a superb race.


Pos Name Club Cat Catpos Time
1 James Bulman New Marske Harriers MV40 00:33:30
31 Heather Halliday Bedale & Aiskew Runners FV50 00:41:27
147 Phil Owen Elvet Striders MV45 00:57:04

182 finishers

St. Peters parkrun, Sydney, Saturday, November 30, 2013

Simon Gardner

I travelled from Brisbane down to Sydney for a few days again with the intention of doing my 2nd parkrun on foreign soil.

I managed to sleep through my alarm and when I did wake I did not really feel like running to be honest but I thought I’ve come all this way it would be silly to miss out so off I went via Central train station to St.Peters.

I had done homework and knew the start was very close to the train station but I couldn’t remember which side. At this point two other parkrunners appeared and I asked them but their home parkrun was York and then we were joined by two more who were from a parkrun in Poland. So the Europe division of parkrun quickly made our way into the park. I had a good chat with the couple from York and after a warm up and long brief we were on our way.

The course is currently on version 5 at the moment due to the council repairing the paths and to be honest I did not like it. Lots of turns and very narrow paths which weren’t ideal (something they did acknowledge and are going version 6 next week)

The course at the moment is an out and back with a steep climb to the top of the park as the turning point for home. When I was heading to the climb the front running was already heading back and he was really shifting.

I struggled a bit and had little in the legs for some reason so just jogged round in 21 mins unlike the first finisher who crossed the line in 15:29 (course record) which is fantastic. Even thought I’m not a fan of the area or the course again it was good the do my second parkrun abroad.

The Gavin Duffy Memorial Run, Tees Barrage, Stockton-on-Tees, Friday, November 29, 2013

Alister Robson

Not really a race, this was a run that showed the very best of the local running community. Gavin Duffy was a very decent local runner for Billingham Marsh House Harriers who tragically was killed whilst on holiday in Dubai. Unfortunately Gavin didn’t have travel insurance and there was quite some doubt as to how he would be able to be returned to the UK. This event came about as a result of this wish to fundraise.

On a very chilly Friday evening at the Tees Barrage and using the parkrun course held there approximately 400 runners each turned up, donated a minimum of £5 and ran in memory of Gavin. Marshals and organisers gave up their time freely as did the first aid team.

As I said above it wasn’t a race and groups of runners shared the narrow course in the best spirit possible. Because it was so chilly I was keen to run hard and hoped it would be a fitting tribute to Gavin, who like many of the runners I didn’t know, to push on and finish strongly which I hope I did. There was no timekeeping or results but that didn’t matter – the important figure was £3840 – the amount raised on the night. Other fundraising meant that over £17,000 was raised in total, and any funds left over were pledged to be split between Gavin’s favourite charities – The Butterwick Hospice, The Jo and Mya Fund, Zoe’s Place baby hospice and Dementia UK.

Afterwards many runners including myself and Nicola and Debbie the other two Striders I spotted crammed into The Talpore which was run HQ and provided the car parking. I’m not sure the pub knew what hit them! The bar was jammed to hear a very emotional club mate of Gavin’s and organiser of the event, Vicky Fawcett hold it together long enough to compere and announce the fundraising total which was presented to Gavin’s parents along with a Billingham Marsh House club vest, personalised with 33.36 which was the time that Gavin ran at the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k only the week before.

All in all simultaneously a sad occasion but also a truly uplifting one.

Harrier League, Monkton, Jarrow, Sunday, November 24, 2013

Grand Prix Race - click flag for current league tables. Mud King/Mud Queen Race - click flag for more information.

Mudman and Mudwoman

Another great day out was had by all at the Bedewell Park Harrier League x/c hosted by Jarrow and Hebburn AC. Striders were there in force with yet another record broken! No less than 26 Strider women turned out for their club (one more than the men’s team!) in a field of over 300 women.

The day was overcast and chilly with the occasional shower but that didn’t deter our women. There were gutsy performances all round with no less than four Striderettes making their x/c debuts (Anita Dunseith, Anja Fechtner, Laura Turnbull & Nichola Whyte). But pride of place goes to our ‘Super Secretary’ Katy Walton who was not only first Strider home, but qualified for promotion to the Medium Pack in what, I think, is only her second season in x/c. Well done Katy! We’re proud of you and each and every Strider lady who battled around the challenging course which was quite muddy in places and this year included a mini hill! The two Fionas (Jones & Shenton) were not far behind Katy making up the three counters and they were supported by a wave of purple vests including Rachel Terry zooming through from the Medium Pack, Camilla & Claire probably having their best ever HL runs and Anna making a welcome return to the mud. This vast ocean of purple, green & white meant that the team had its best result so far finishing in a highly commendable 5th position in the super competitive Senior Women’s 1st Division. Well done to you all!

Go on ... count em ... helluva turnout.

The senior men’s race once again saw a massive field of 547 runners! It felt like a national championship rather than a local league race as the 25 Strider men endeavoured to find a comfortable starting position among the throng of runners. BANG! We were off and one or two purple vests shot off quickly to try and find clear ground – only to suffer a bit as the race wore on. Club vests of every hue surrounded our guys as they battled through the mud with no quarter asked or given even by our debutant Michael Downes.

Paul Evans (The Flying GP) was first Strider home making a well earned return to the Medium Pack – well done Paul! One or two others may be joining him soon with Jerry finishing closely behind & Rob & James not too far back. As ever Will powered through from the Medium Pack to count for the team and even Mudman managed to hold the Chairman at bay to sneak in for that 6th counter spot! But the purple vests were queuing up behind to push the other clubs even further back in the reckoning. It’s was good to see the return of Gibbo, witness Dave Halligan’s ‘eye-balls out’ finish (as we all should do) and to see Striders’ own ‘Avenger’ Jon Steed continue his conversion to mud and make progress up the field. Well done to you all but our 8th position on the day means we can’t relax for a second – we need to make further progress and to continue to improve on those individual performances if we’re to stay out of the dreaded relegation zone!

Striders benefited from the support of numerous Strider children and dogs on Sunday as well as Coach Seheult (The Sage of Shincliffe!), Bill Ford & Rob’s dad – thanks to you all!


1Yared HagosWallsend Harriers 31:22
39Paul Evans  37:24
51Jerry Lloyd  37:46
132Rob Everson  38:51
141James Garland  39:10
157Will Horsley  39:28 *M
206Geoff Davis  40:27
227Graeme Walton  40:45
243David Gibson  40:56
257Shaun Roberts  41:21
261Mike Bennett  41:21
286Tom Reeves  41:50 *M
292Dave Halligan  41:55
302Jon Steed  42:09
320Jon Ayres  42:31
341David Brown  43:04
364Aaron Gourley  44:00
365Matthew Crow  44:00
369Michael Downes  44:00
400Conrad White  45:06
423Alister Robson  45:51
491Mark Dunseith  48:57
497John Greathead  49:18
515John Hutchinson  50:59
524Phil Owen  52:05
530Innes Hodgson  53:06

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

547 finishers. Men’s team finished 8th of 11 in Division 2.

1Sarah McDonaldJarrow and Hebburn AC 24:24
26Katy Walton  28:54
58Fiona Jones  29:43
60Fiona Shenton  29:45
78Helen Tones  30:02
94Rachel Terry  30:27 *M
105Juliet Percival  30:44
109Susan Davis  30:49
116Camilla Lauren-Maatta  31:00
117Claire Readey  31:01
125Anna Seeley  31:12
140Rachael Bullock  31:39
169Kirsty Anderson  32:31
171Sarah Davies  32:35
184Jacquie Robson  32:57
203Debra Goddard  33:41
205Jan Young  33:45
218Nicola Whyte  34:17
228Laura Turnbull  34:39
242Katherine Preston  35:02
244Barbara Dick  35:11
253Victoria Downes  35:44
266Anja Fechtner  36:30
276Angela Proctor  37:03
294Joanne Richardson  39:17
296Debbie Mcfarland  40:34
308Anita Dunseith  47:26

*M Medium pack – 2m handicap.

308 finishers. Women’s team finished 5th of 10 in Division 1.

Northumberland Big 10, Ponteland, Sunday, November 24, 2013

Kerry Lister

After missing the Brampton to Carlisle last weekend and feeling the urge to do a longer race than 10k I signed myself and hubby, Rob, up for the Northumberland Big 10. Rob had never run that far before and my long run history was the GNR last year and a couple of Broom Park Sunday morning sessions. So it was an adventure to say the least.

Packing our bags with the ritualistic before, during and after drinks and some warm clothes in case we got wet we set off for Ponteland. Arriving nice and early at Kirkley Hall organisation seemed reasonable, plenty of signage to the number pick up point and plenty of loos (even for the girls). We picked up our numbers, these were ordered by last name initial, there was no signage to indicate which was where but as there wasn’t a huge amount of runners there was no great problem, got the obligatory pre-race photo taken by a kindly passer-by, met up with Bill Ford, Richard Hall, Rebecca Fisher and Robert Clark and headed to the start line.

All set in Ponteland.

Promptly at 945am, after a safety chat, set the Garmin and we were off. I quickly lost sight of Rob, Bill and everyone else as they sped off. I stuck to my race plan of staying around the 10 min mile mark, running the sums through my mind of how long it should take me to complete the 10 miles. ‘I’ll be happy with less than 2 hours’, which slowly became ‘hmmm I might manage 1:50’ and as I clocked the miles up thoughts of 1:45 were coming up.

The course description was ‘undulating’ and undulating it most certainly was. However what goes up must come down and there were some nice down hills to match the slow inclines (which I am not embarrassed to say I walked most of – also in my race plan).

Settling into my stride around mile 4, I plodded on, took a selfie at mile 7, and kept going, managing to keep to my 10 minute mile pace or thereabouts. I soon found myself catching up to a clutch of ladies around the same age as me, which has become a regular feature of my races and then slowly overtook them.

There were water stations every 3 miles, semi manned – whatever than means! Marshals were present at most crucial points. Until, as I plodded on all alone, there was a fork in the road, no marshal, no signs and me with a very poor sense of direction. There I was standing at the fork, cursing and thinking ‘which way! which way!’ I asked a passing motorist if she’d seen any runners on the road she’d come down, she answered in the negative so I followed the other option and was quickly reassured by a passing cyclist that there were other number bearing runners in front of me.

I reached the 8 mile marker feeling surprisingly positive as it had been a while since I had run that far. Now the 1:45 was firmly in my sight, determined to keep a little bit of leg for that final ‘sprint’ finish I plodded on and on.

As I round the corner to see the Kirkley Hall main gate, Rob was standing waiting for me, he’d finished at 1: 28: 49, he ran the final 200 metres up to the finish line with me with a freezing cold wind directly in my face as I crossed the line at 1: 45: 22 seconds.

We made our way back into the hall to collect our t-shirts, started the Christmas shopping (there were some goodies on sale) and then made our way for a well-deserved tuna and cheese panini and a cup of tea in the Orangery Café before heading off home.

New Farm parkrun, Brisbane, Saturday, November 23, 2013

Simon Gardner

A holiday to Australia meant of course my striders vest was packed along with my parkrun barcode.

New farm is on the banks of the river Brisbane and is basically a flat out and back course which was only a 2 mile warm up jog from my apartment. While in Brisbane the weather had been very warm and sunny but on the morning of the run it was overcast and a fairly humid (we had a spectacular thunderstorm that night)

I got there about 30 minutes before the start but just relaxed at the start awaiting my first parkrun on foreign soil. The runners briefing was basically very similar to Alister’s which is the beautifully simple thing about parkrun. The formula is very simple but works so it can be transferred easily to any other area / country.

I initially thought I would just jog round and make the most of it but I kept getting boxed in and around the mile point decided to up the pace to find some space. The course runs along the river and it’s a potential PB course, flat and barring one or two small turns it’s also straight.

At the turning point I decided to up the pace again to see how many runners I could pick off. It was not long before I crossed the finish line in around 19:26. I had a quick chat with one of the Marshall’s about all things parkrun then ran the 2 mile back uphill to shower, change and watch the England fail miserably to play cricket.

To run my first parkrun abroad was a great experience and one I throughly enjoyed.

Norman Woodcock Memorial Race, Gosforth Racecourse, Saturday, November 23, 2013

Kirsty Anderson

There haven’t been many times in the last year that I have regretted signing up for a race but as I stood shivering on the start line at Gosforth Racecourse less than 12 hours after getting home from the Striders Award Dinner and having already done what must be a world-record parkrun tailrun earlier that day (36 mins!) I was feeling the call of my sofa and some hangover food quite strongly. I was also wondering what on earth had possessed Jon and I to sign up for this race when it was already a busy weekend with XC to come on the Sunday and it seems a lot of Striders had sensibly decided to stay in bed as, other than us, the only other die-hard was Alister, so more of a ‘Rockpool of Purple’ rather than the sea we were used to, but here we were.

My only other 5 mile race had been the Bridges of the Tyne where I had gone off too hard in the heat and badly tanked, so I was looking for a bit of an improvement, and this fast, flat course (3 laps of the support road around the racecourse) had sounded tempting and a good opportunity to lay some demons to rest.

Kirsty and Jon, neither looking too bad after the Awards Dinner.

It was cold, but a good opportunity to give my Christmas Tree hat another airing, and I just had time to confirm the number of laps (glad I did, I thought it was just the one!) before starting off. My pre-race plan was 9 minute miles to get me round in under 45 mins, so I started off at what I thought was a steady pace until a quick glance of my watch a couple of minutes in showed I was running more like 7:50 pace, ooops. Still, despite a mild hangover and tired legs I felt ok, mostly thanks to the fact that the course was indeed pretty flat, and on decent tarmac and there were lots of people to chase. Lots to look at too with the horse race circuit on the outside and a golf course on the inside, so the first lap actually went by quite quickly. I knew from the first lap that the first half was easier than the back half so pushed on and started to overtake people on the second lap. I’d hoped to get round without being lapped but unfortunately that was not to be and the lead guy (who was absolutely flying round) got me with about a quarter of the second lap remaining. This was a bit of a blow but I was still going well and only about 5 or 6 people went past in the end (not Jon, phew!) so not too bad.

On to the last lap which was a bit of a battle with some people I’d been chasing all race but I’d timed my push quite well and got past them all, helped by some cheering on the last straight and some very encouraging words from one of the nice ladies I passed on the run-in. So, finished in 41:19 and 100th overall (14th Female) which was not bad at all. Jon had had another excellent race finishing in 33:36 with Alister just behind him (34:50). In the end I was glad we’d come, the organisation was impeccable and it really was as fast and as flat as promised and with ample parking, toilets and tea and coffee afterwards I would definitely recommend it for next year’s calendar, despite the lack of goody bag!

Brampton to Carlisle, Sunday, November 17, 2013

Grand Prix Race - click flag for current league tables. Endurance Champion Race - click flag for more information. Grand Prix Race - click flag for current league tables. Endurance Champion Race - click flag for more information. 10 Miles

A great turnout for this one ...


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Andrew Wiles New Marske Harriers Club 1 00:50:50
18 Joanna Zakrzewski Dumfries Running Club L35 1 00:57:00
43 Gareth Pritchard 00:59:13
139 Graeme Walton V40 26 01:06:24
176 Michael Tait 01:08:54
203 Paul Pascoe V40 34 01:10:23
251 Alister Robson V40 42 01:13:08
258 Anna Seeley L 32 01:14:02
266 David Brown 01:14:24
279 John Hutchinson V55 16 01:15:05
280 Juliet Percival L40 8 01:15:05
304 Megan Bell L35 10 01:17:09
335 Jean Bradley L55 3 01:18:52
357 Lucy Cowton L 71 01:19:52
359 Jackie McKenna L45 11 01:19:56
368 Brian Ford V45 53 01:20:27
369 Stephanie Walker L35 19 01:20:28
394 Chris Hedley V55 23 01:21:53
401 Jan Young L60 1 01:22:14
419 Mark Dunseith 01:23:44
423 Phil Owen V45 60 01:24:01
425 Claire Readey L35 24 01:24:07
426 Kirsty Anderson L35 25 01:24:12
432 David Spence V65 7 01:24:51
433 Jacquie Robson L35 27 01:24:53
441 Greta Jones L45 19 01:25:45
442 George Nicholson V65 8 01:25:46
471 Karen Chalkley L50 9 01:28:25
479 Kate Macpherson L40 23 01:29:01
480 Kathryn Sygrove L45 24 01:29:02
486 Victoria Downes L 143 01:29:37
488 Nicola Whyte L 145 01:29:39
491 Joseph O’Neil V60 19 01:30:36
501 Christine Farnsworth L60 4 01:32:55
502 Andy James V65 11 01:32:55
516 Jill Ford L45 30 01:36:40
517 Mike Elliott V65 14 01:36:49
519 Emma Detchon L 165 01:36:55
525 Deborah McFarland L 170 01:38:49
538 Margaret Thompson L60 6 01:46:50
542 Anita Dunseith L 183 02:02:33

543 finishers.