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

Mudman

A New Beginning?

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

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

Sally Tamsin Mandy Sarah Jules Penny

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

Rachelle Victoria Kath Laura Helen Karen

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

Aileen Aileen Aileen Aileen

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

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

Michael Michael (the other one)

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

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

Alan Phil

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

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

Results

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

592 finishers.

Top of Division 2 with 109 points.

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

398 finishers.

5th in Division 1 with 99 points.

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

43 finishers.

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