Harrier League

Wrekenton, Saturday, March 14, 2015


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!


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.

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.

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