Category Archives: Harrier League

The Harrier League races are big events for Striders and we usually have around 70-80 members who turn up to run, cheer on their club mates, or usually both! We gather together in the Striders’ tent underneath the purple Striders banner. All Striders are welcome as are their families, friends and well behaved dogs!

The league is over 100 years old so it’s well established and represents traditional, grass roots, competitive running at its best.

Harrier League, Alnwick, Saturday, March 17, 2018

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

Results

men
posbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
119Dan Leng (Alnwick Harriers)MsenS38:4238:42
51893Mark KearneyMV35S41:0841:08
14543Stephen JacksonMsenF42:5237:52
26508James LeeMV40S43:4043:40
47545Stuart OrdMsenS44:2844:28
53523Michael LittlewoodMV40M44:4042:10
64532Phil RayMV35M45:0142:31
76546Stuart ScottMV35M45:1942:49
87519Matt ClaydonMV40S45:3545:35
104529Paul EvansMV35S45:5845:58
106520Matthew ArcherMV35M46:0043:30
1591912Mike BarlowMV40S47:3547:35
174503Geoff DavisMV60S47:5447:54
184506Jack LeeMsenM48:1345:43
1861890David OxladeMsenS48:1948:19
196517Mark PayneMV35S48:4948:49
2001889Barrie KirtleyMsenS48:5548:55
205507James GarlandMV40M49:1146:41
221487Conrad WhiteMV60S49:5249:52
237498David LumsdonMV50S51:0251:02
242481Andrew DaviesMV40S51:2251:22
249534Richard HockinMV65S52:1252:12
2601892Marc JonesMsenS53:1253:12
2661917Mike BennettMV60S53:2853:28
2761891Jordi Sabate VillaretMV50S54:1654:16
279522Michael HughesMV50S54:3454:34
2961846Nick LathamMV40S55:2555:25
310550Trevor ChaytorMV50S57:3357:33
321547Tim MatthewsMV50S59:4059:40
334544Stephen LumsdenMV45S61:2661:26
339542Stephen EllisMV60S64:1264:12
342479Alan SmithMV70S67:3367:33
women
posbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
1653Jane Hodgson (Morpeth Harriers & AC)FV35F30:1127:01
51317Fiona BrannanFsenM32:3630:56
36410Elaine BissonFV35F34:4331:33
39436Katy WaltonFV35S34:5134:51
48429Juliet PercivalFV45M35:1933:39
57395Anna BasuFV40M35:3133:51
661352Stef BarlowFV40S35:5935:59
79449Nina MasonFV40S36:3336:33
981336Steph PiperFsenS37:0537:05
104451Rachael BullockFsenM37:1835:38
1051168Natalie BellFsenS37:2337:23
108440Laura JenningsFsenS37:3337:33
114414Fiona ShentonFV55S37:5237:52
118459Sarah FawcettFV55S38:0938:09
1221299Jean BradleyFV60S38:2738:27
137420Jan YoungFV65S39:2739:27
143397Ashley Price-SabateFV50S40:2040:20
181398Barbara DickFV45S44:0044:00
187454Rebecca TalbotFV40S46:0646:06
1901247Alison SmithFV40S47:0947:09

Harrier League, Thornley Hall Farm, Saturday, February 10, 2018

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

Nick Latham

Courtesy of Joanne PattersonBrutal and brilliant – two adjectives for the North East Harrier League cross-country race at Thornley Hall Farm. All right, brutal may be overstating it a bit, but “quite hard” doesn’t alliterate and isn’t as catchy.
This race was a first for me in many ways. Having joined Striders a couple of months ago, it was my first race as a Strider, my first outing in a Club vest and my first cross-country race. I’ve done plenty of road and trail races before but this was new territory. Cross country was always the punishment, sorry, PE lesson that many of us dreaded at school. Now I’m much older and a little wiser, I reckon that if it’s good enough for current and past pros (Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe, Charlie Spedding, Julian Goater etc. etc.), it’s got to be good for all of us.
I’d arranged to travel with Anna Basu and Roz Layton and was grateful to share the short journey from Durham with them. Parking wasn’t the trauma I’d feared and we arrived with plenty of time to amble along to the top of the race field and find the tent.
I was realistic about my expectations going into this race. I looked at the results from the previous year and had a good idea of where I would likely come out even if it was a road event and it was unlikely I’d be contributing to the scoring. Regardless, I went out determined to race as hard as I could regardless of the (lack of) impact I might have on the results.
We had a good turnout for both teams, with more men arriving as race time approached. The weather was cold but with no rain; there was a chill in the wind, but that seemed to die off while we were waiting to get going; a big blessing. With a fair amount of rain, sleet and snow over the previous weeks and several hundred pairs of feet covering the course before us, it was distinctly “soft & sticky” underfoot. Or a bogfest as our Chairman so elegantly put it on Strava.
The course was also being run in the reverse direction to 2017. One of the marshals thought this would make it easier. I still don’t believe him. The reversed course put a short, sharp grassy uphill after the first couple of hundred metres. Don’t they always look worse from the bottom than the top? The route was both a blessing and a curse – it was great to have the Club tents right at the top of this climb, with loads of encouragement, but that meant I ended up pushing into the red for each of the three laps.
I promised myself I wasn’t going to do it, I wasn’t going to fall into that newbie trap that Mike Barlow and I were talking about beforehand…but I still set off too fast. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who did, but by about half a mile into the first lap I was feeling dreadful – my legs were like lead and I didn’t feel like I could push on at all on the flats and downhills like I’d intended. Sweeping down to the southern part of the course we hit the first of the real mud and I’ve never run through anything like it before. It sucked all the power out of my legs and this proved harder to me than any of the hills. I realised then that I was going to have to adapt my tactics if I was going to avoid a DNF.
I decided that I would do something I hate doing on any run and that’s walk. I allowed myself, provided I contained it to the worst sections and still kept moving as fast as I could. I quickly noticed that anyone who was passing me (other than the fast pack) wasn’t really going much quicker anyway and by keeping my heart-rate in check I could pick the pace back up again when the gradient eased and I would pull away from them again.
The first lap (is that only the first one?) felt like purgatory. Somewhere around the middle of the second lap, either my changed tactics started to pay off or the endorphins finally kicked in; I started to feel better and could push-on harder outside of the uphills. I settled into the ebb and flow, frequently swapping places with a couple of runners from Blackhill and Blyth plus our own Philip Connor. As we headed into the last half mile, I could see Andrew Davies about 12 places ahead of me across the field – too far to make up by that point – but was second in our cluster of four behind the Blyth runner.
I’d sussed on the previous laps that the mud on the final descent was sticky enough to hold my feet so I could pick up speed down into the finish funnel and this allowed me to get away from the other three. I dug into the last of my reserves and made sure I wasn’t going to be caught on the run-in. From the noise, there was a great crowd of purple & green support at the finish and that gave me the boost I needed to wring out the final effort. I don’t remember seeing anyone, I was so focused on reaching the line. I also didn’t see what happened to Philip but he broke clear of the other two to come in a few seconds behind me.
Anna and Roz were waiting when I came through the tapes. It was brilliant to see friendly faces to welcome me back. When I felt up to it we strolled back to the tent to find some very welcome goodies (thank you to those who brought, I’ll know for next time).
In the end, we had 22 men running and I led in the (incomplete) D team as “first” counter, placing 336 out of 414 overall and bang in line with where I expected to be.
The women’s team had a fantastic day. Fiona Brannan was 3rd and the team placed first – brilliant results all round.
It was great to be part of the team and be really made to feel welcome. I just hope that one day I can repay the Club with a result which contributes to our placing in some way!
Will I do it again? Absolutely. Why? Because no matter where you finish, you’re supporting and representing your Club. Even if you don’t count towards the placed team, you can displace runners from other clubs and increase their score; by my reckoning, that’s what 5 of our women’s B &C team and 3 of our men’s B team finishers did. It’s also great for developing your running strength, both physical and psychological. It’s a fair trade for the mud!

Results

men
posbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
11864Karl Taylor (Morpeth Harriers & AC)MV35S37:1337:13
69545Stuart OrdMsenS44:2144:21
109523Michael LittlewoodMV40M45:1642:46
110485Chris CallanMV35F45:2340:23
138524Michael MasonMV40F46:0841:08
141519Matt ClaydonMV40S46:1146:11
154520Matthew ArcherMV35M46:3244:02
157546Stuart ScottMV35M46:4244:12
162516Mark GriffithsMV40M46:5044:20
215538Scott WatsonMV55M48:2445:54
228496David GibsonMV50S48:4948:49
231525Mike BarlowMV40S48:5448:54
248548Timothy SkeltonMV35S49:4049:40
252507James GarlandMV40M50:0947:39
271534Richard HockinMV65S51:0451:04
286487Conrad WhiteMV60S51:4451:44
305526Mike BennettMV60S52:3652:36
3211826Aaron GourleyMV35S54:1154:11
325481Andrew DaviesMV40S54:2854:28
3381846Nick LathamMV40S55:2155:21
339533Philip ConnorMsenS55:2455:24
354511Jonathan HamillMV40S56:4456:44
375547Tim MatthewsMV50S59:2059:20
ladies
posbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
1644Emma Holt (Morpeth Harriers & AC)FF29:2626:06
31317Fiona BrannanFsenS31:1131:11
23412Emma ThompsonFV35F34:2131:01
26451Rachael BullockFsenS34:2734:27
30410Elaine BissonFV35F34:3731:17
86395Anna BasuFV40M36:5535:15
104452Rachelle MasonFV35M37:3535:55
109449Nina MasonFV40S37:5237:52
145461Stef BarlowFV40S39:2439:24
164455Roz LaytonFV65S40:2340:23
169459Sarah FawcettFV55S40:4440:44
173420Jan YoungFV65S41:0241:02
246437Kerry BarnettFV45S51:1751:17

Harrier League, Herrington Park, Saturday, January 6, 2018

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

men
posbibnamerace timepackcatactual time
11806Oliver James
(Sunderland Harriers)
34:30SMsen34:30
35485Chris Callan42:58MMV3540:18
37516Mark Griffiths43:04SMV4043:04
40543Stephen Jackson43:10FMsen37:50
53523Michael Littlewood43:39MMV4040:59
54502Gareth Pritchard43:44MMV3541:04
71508James Lee44:13SMV4044:13
89518Mark Warner44:34MMV3541:54
118519Matt Claydon45:00SMV4045:00
147529Paul Evans45:40SMV3545:40
151532Phil Ray45:44MMV3543:04
162520Matthew Archer46:00MMV3543:20
163503Geoff Davis46:02SMV6046:02
176496David Gibson46:24SMV5046:24
178530Paul Swinburne46:25SMV4046:25
221521Michael Anderson47:20SMsen47:20
230546Stuart Scott47:33MMV3544:53
267548Timothy Skelton48:32SMV3548:32
319517Mark Payne50:36SMV3550:36
3251826Aaron Gourley51:03SMV3551:03
327487Conrad White51:10SMV6051:10
332490Daniel Mitchel51:18SMV4051:18
333534Richard Hockin51:20SMV6551:20
338522Michael Hughes51:32SMV5051:32
347526Mike Bennett51:41SMV6051:41
351533Philip Connor52:04SMsen52:04
402514Malcolm Sygrove54:51SMV5054:51
469542Stephen Ellis64:01SMV6064:01
women
posbibnamerace timepackcatactual time
11291Anna Martin
Saltwell Harriers
30:53SFsen30:53
16395Anna Basu34:24SFV4034:24
25450Penny Browell34:45FFV4531:05
30452Rachelle Mason34:57SFV3534:57
42412Emma Thompson35:10FFV3531:30
92429Juliet Percival36:38MFV4534:48
109449Nina Mason37:01SFV4037:01
127462Susan Davis37:45MFV5535:55
133414Fiona Shenton38:03SFV5538:03
161459Sarah Fawcett38:50SFV5538:50
1691299Jean Bradley39:01SFV6039:01
188461Stef Barlow39:38SFV4039:38
197416Helen Thomas39:59SFV4039:59
213427Joanne Porter41:15SFV4541:15
221426Joanne Patterson41:32SFV3541:32
224421Jane Ranns41:42SFV3541:42
227404Chloe Black41:46SFV4041:46
232467Wendy Littlewood42:17SFV3542:17
2501169Rachel Durrand43:21SFsen43:21
261431Karen Metters43:58SFV4043:58
273393Anita Clementson44:36SFV4544:36
2841278Debra Thompson46:06SFV5046:06
296453Rebecca Dodd47:59SFsen47:59
3001247Alison Smith48:28SFV4048:28
321437Kerry Barnett52:06SFV4552:06
3231279Sue Walker52:31SFV5552:31
324401Carol Holgate54:44SFV4554:44

Harrier League: Aykley Heads, Saturday, November 18, 2017

This Saturday is a major fixture in the Harrier League. The third fixture of the season will be held at Aykley Heads. The weather is forecast to be cold, bright and dry. It promises to be a good day.

Whether you’re racing, marshalling, watching or supporting, the following information should be useful.

Course map (thanks to Jules Percival)

Aykley Heads course map courtesy of Jules Percival

OpenStreetMap view (from marshalls walkthrough on 11th Nov)
Total distance: 2.2 mi
Max elevation: 312 ft
Min elevation: 210 ft
Total climbing: 230 ft
Total descent: -223 ft
Average speed: 22.35 min/mi
Total Time: 01:09:57
Download

To see this map with the marshall points marked have a look at this attackpoint map or this Google pdf map.

Note:The section between marshall points 4 and 5 is part of the race route only, and is not normally open to the public.

Race Parking is at Durham County Hall car park only. It’s free and only 400m from the start – please do not park anywhere else, please do not try to park closer to the course as you will be charged, or worse, and we could lose this venue! There will be plenty of parking for everybody at County Hall but please car share.

THERE IS RESTRICTED USE OF ONE SECTION OF THE CAR PARK THIS YEAR – ONLY THOSE INTENDING TO LEAVE BY 2.30PM MAY USE THIS SECTION SO PLEASE OBEY THE CAR PARK MARSHALS!

There is no parking in the DLI car park this year.

Officials Parking: This will be on the tennis courts adjacent to the new Police HQ. Go north from the County Hall roundabout on the B.6532, turn right at the next roundabout, straight over at the next roundabout & then follow the signs.

Tent drop off We have a tent drop off point adjacent to the course. Go north from the County Hall roundabout on the B.6532, turn right at the next roundabout, straight over at the next roundabout & then follow the signs. Only use this if your tent is very heavy! There is absolutely no parking for competitors here and it is not a drop off point for latecomers. Tents must be left with the tent drop off marshals and competitors return to County Hall to park.

Registration is adjacent to the course in the tented area (look out for Vicki’s big blue tent) – unless the weather is very bad and then it will be in County Hall reception area (Micky Baker to confirm).

Toilets are located in County Hall foyer and there will be portable toilets close to the race start area.

Do not enter County Hall in muddy shoes – they won’t let us come back next year if you do!

The course is walking distance from County Hall car park (follow the signs) & is on the former Durham Constabulary playing fields.

Directions to County Hall (postcode: DH1 5TP)

County Hall is a major landmark in Durham and many of you will already know where it is and how to get there. There are frequent trains to Durham from Newcastle and Darlington. The station is around half a mile from the venue. Please use public transport where possible!

If you must come by car then directions are as follows (please note that due to the Lumiere festival of light taking place in the city there may be traffic restrictions in place including eastbound lane closures on Millburngate Bridge.


Travelling south (e.g. from Newcastle):

Use the A.1m and turn off at Junction 62 (signposted for Durham & Sunderland). At the top of the slip road turn right at the roundabout joining the A.690 into Durham. At the next roundabout (where the dual carriageway ends) stay on the A.690 & follow signs to City Centre & Consett (straight over). At the next roundabout stay on the A.690 & follow signs for Crook, Consett & County Hall (straight over – but get in the outside lane). At the next traffic lights turn right signposted for Consett, Chester-Le- St & County Hall. Turn right at the next roundabout into County Hall – you’ve arrived!

Travelling north (e.g. from Darlington):
Use the A.1m and turn off at Junction 62 (signposted for Durham & Sunderland). At the top of the slip road turn left at the roundabout joining the A.690 into Durham. At the next roundabout (where the dual carriageway ends) stay on the A.690 & follow signs to City Centre & Consett (straight over). At the next roundabout stay on the A.690 & follow signs for Crook, Consett & County Hall (straight over – but get in the outside lane). At the next traffic lights turn right signposted for Consett, Chester-Le- St & County Hall. Turn right at the next roundabout into County Hall – you’ve arrived!

Travelling west (e.g. from Sunderland):
Use the A.690 from Sunderland or from the A.19 for Durham. At the junction of the A.690 and A.1m go straight over staying on the A.690 into Durham. At the next roundabout (where the dual carriageway ends) stay on the A.690 & follow signs to City Centre & Consett (straight over). At the next roundabout stay on the A.690 & follow signs for Crook, Consett & County Hall (straight over – but get in the outside lane). At the next traffic lights turn right signposted for Consett, Chester-Le- St & County Hall. Turn right at the next roundabout into County Hall – you’ve arrived!

Travelling East (e.g. from Crook):
Use the A.690 from Crook to Durham. At the Neville’s Cross traffic lights turn left onto the A.167. At the first roundabout turn right (4th exit) following signs for City Centre. At the next roundabout go straight over. At the next roundabout go straight over into County Hall – you’ve arrived!

Harrier League, Aykley Heads, Durham, Saturday, November 18, 2017

women
posbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
1657Laura Weightman (Morpeth Harriers & AC)FsenF28:3025:10
6456Sally HughesFsenS29:4829:48
9412Emma ThompsonFV35M31:1829:38
20446Louise WarnerFV35S32:4232:42
26462Susan DavisFV55S33:1233:12
30429Juliet PercivalFV45S33:2633:26
32410Elaine BissonFV35F33:2930:09
51458Sarah DaviesFV50S33:5633:56
56452Rachelle MasonFV35S34:0334:03
71451Rachael BullockFsenS34:1934:19
811249Zanna ClayFsenS34:2534:25
1021168Natalie BellFsenS35:0635:06
103395Anna BasuFV40S35:1035:10
129414Fiona ShentonFV55S35:5135:51
151449Nina MasonFV40S36:2336:23
152461Stef BarlowFV40S36:2436:24
156399Camilla Lauren-MaattaFV50S36:2836:28
169423Jenny SearchFV40S36:5836:58
220459Sarah FawcettFV55S39:0539:05
261466Victoria JacksonFV35S40:4340:43
268397Ashley Price-SabateFV40S41:0341:03
273420Jan YoungFV65S41:1241:12
276392Aileen ScottFV45S41:2041:20
322468Zoe Dewdney-ParsonsFV35S45:5645:56
332401Carol HolgateFV45S47:1747:17
men
posbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
11764Sebatian Anthony (West SuffolkAC)MU20S36:2036:20
33518Mark WarnerMV35S41:1241:12
40546Stuart ScottMV35S41:3341:33
125523Michael LittlewoodMV40M43:4241:12
133508James LeeMV40S43:5143:51
170524Michael MasonMV40F44:3139:31
194503Geoff DavisMV60S44:5544:55
217532Phil RayMV35M45:2442:54
241510Jerry LloydMV50S45:4545:45
259506Jack LeeMsenM46:0543:35
277507James GarlandMV40M46:2743:57
342536Robert AllfreeMV40S48:4848:48
343517Mark PayneMV35S48:4848:48
345490Daniel MitchelMV40S48:5348:53
346483Andrew RaynerMsenS48:5448:54
363540Simon JeffersonMV40S49:3849:38
390522Michael HughesMV50S50:3350:33
423547Tim MatthewsMV50S52:0752:07
427533Philip ConnorMsenS52:1652:16
4381621John MetsonMV60S52:5252:52
440514Malcolm SygroveMV50S52:5552:55
459493David BrowbankMV35S54:2054:20
469481Andrew DaviesMV40S54:4854:48
472501Emil MaataMsenS54:5854:58
5131620David TothMV45S58:2658:26
524478Alan ScottMV50S59:2559:25
530542Stephen EllisMV60S61:0561:05
533479Alan SmithMV70S61:5761:57

Harrier League, Sunday, October 8, 2017

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

results

women

posbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
1644Emma HoltFsenF27:5524:35
50462Susan DavisFV55S31:2631:26
63452Rachelle MasonFV35S31:5131:51
85458Sarah DaviesFV50S32:1932:19
94451Rachael BullockFsenS32:4032:40
119436Katy WaltonFV35S33:3433:34
142422Jean BradleyFV60S34:0434:04
150461Stef BarlowFV40S34:2634:26
151449Nina MasonFV40S34:2834:28
178459Sarah FawcettFV55S35:2235:22
184396Anna SeeleyFV35S35:3635:36
209394Anita WrightFV55S36:3136:31
214402Catherine SmithFV40S36:4336:43
226466Victoria JacksonFV35S37:2037:20
234427Joanne PorterFV45S37:3537:35
253420Jan YoungFV65S38:0738:07
288393Anita ClementsonFV45S40:1340:13
3271192George Nicholsonn/cS43:1643:16
men


posbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
11200Luke Adams (South Shields Harriers)MsenS34:3034:30
23543Stephen JacksonMsenF39:0534:05
41506Jack LeeMsenS40:0040:00
62509Jason Hardingn/cM40:3837:38
82519Matt ClaydonMV40S41:0141:01
114529Paul EvansMV35S41:3441:34
132521Michael AndersonMsenS41:5141:51
144524Michael MasonMV40F42:0337:03
226503Geoff DavisMV60S43:3343:33
229532Phil RayMV35M43:3540:35
230538Scott WatsonMV55M43:3640:36
270496David GibsonMV50S44:3344:33
330548Timothy SkeltonMV35S45:5745:57
368525Mike BarlowMV40S46:5346:53
369534Richard HockinMV65S46:5446:54
379536Robert AllfreeMV40S47:1247:12
404514Malcolm SygroveMV50S48:1048:10
4241621John MetsonMV60S48:5148:51
427547Tim MatthewsMV50S48:5748:57
428481Andrew DaviesMV40S48:5948:59
451513Lindsay RodgersMV45S49:5449:54
481526Mike BennettMV60S51:4151:41
489501Emil MaataMsenS52:0252:02
5211620David TothMV45S55:2555:25

Harrier League, Wrekenton, Saturday, September 30, 2017

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

results

women
posbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
1644Emma Holt (Morpeth Harriers & AC)FsenF26:0823:08
5412Emma ThompsonFV35S26:2926:29
39413Fiona JonesFV40S28:4428:44
42410Elaine BissonFV35M28:4827:18
50417Helen TonesFV40S29:0629:06
61450Penny BrowellFV45F29:2626:26
80462Susan DavisFV55S29:5129:51
137436Katy WaltonFV35S31:2031:20
164464Tasmin ImberFV40F32:0529:05
179442Lesley HamillFV40S32:2932:29
199434Kathryn RogersFsenS32:5032:50
206422Jean BradleyFV60S33:0033:00
210461Stef BarlowFV40S33:0933:09
232459Sarah FawcettFV55S33:4133:41
272420Jan YoungFV65S34:4034:40
297426Joanne PattersonFV35S35:2635:26
302457Sam AskeyFV40S35:3735:37
303402Catherine SmithFV40S35:3835:38
319427Joanne PorterFV45S36:0936:09
331467Wendy LittlewoodFV35S36:3636:36
363453Rebecca DoddFsenS38:1638:16
387400Carla ClarkeFV40S39:1539:15
423418Helen WilkesFV35S41:4241:42
433437Kerry BarnettFV45S42:4842:48
455428Joanne RichardsonFV40S48:4848:48
men
posbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
171Kurt Heron (Ashington Hirst)MsenS31:4831:48
15485Chris CallanMV35S34:5834:58
27523Michael LittlewoodMV40S35:3535:35
46543Stephen JacksonMsenF36:3931:59
90506Jack LeeMsenS37:5737:57
112519Matt ClaydonMV40S38:2038:20
125521Michael AndersonMsenS38:4038:40
127508James LeeMV40S38:4138:41
158529Paul EvansMV35S39:1339:13
169524Michael MasonMV40F39:2434:44
236496David GibsonMV50S40:3640:36
238503Geoff DavisMV60S40:3740:37
243545Stuart OrdMsenS40:4240:42
246538Scott WatsonMV55M40:4638:26
258507James GarlandMV40M40:5838:38
267532Phil RayMV35M41:0738:47
339490Daniel MitchelMV40S43:0843:08
351492Dave HalliganMV55S43:2743:27
357477Aaron GourleyMV35S43:3743:37
366536Robert AllfreeMV40S44:0044:00
369535Richard PodmoreMV35S44:0544:05
389525Mike BarlowMV40S44:3744:37
420534Richard HockinMV65S45:2745:27
423514Malcolm SygroveMV50S45:3145:31
442526Mike BennettMV60S46:0046:00
445547Tim MatthewsMV50S46:0546:05
469501Emil MaataMsenS46:5346:53
492513Lindsay RodgersMV45S48:1248:12
558542Stephen EllisMV60S54:1454:14

Harrier League, Alnwick, Northumberland, Saturday, March 4, 2017

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

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: Thornley Hall Farm, Thornley Hall Farm, Saturday, February 11, 2017

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

Joanne Patterson

So the day had arrived.  I had been awake most of the night listening to the rain lashing off the windows and dreading the fact that I had to face my demons and have my second try at this NEHL fixture.  My first attempt at it (in fact, my first attempt at XC since I was at school) hadn’t gone great.  As is probably common knowledge by now, I got too carried away and had a nasty fall around 100m from the finish, and so didn’t get to cross the finish line.

I had arranged to travel to Thornley with Tamsin, she picked me up early and we agreed that we must be mad.  It rained the entire journey.  Pictures were being posted on Facebook of the mud and the conditions, which did nothing to calm the nerves and dread.

We arrived at the farm and it was immediately obvious that this was going to be tough.  Everywhere you looked there was mud.  Nowhere near as much grass as I remembered from the first time.

I hunted out the Striders tent and a few of us huddled inside to keep warm.  The tent filled up, the chattering and laughing started, and I didn’t feel quite as nervous.  Knowing that even you seasoned XC pros were dreading it just as much as me, really helped!  I popped out with Kerry and Catherine to cheer on the U11’s, so we could see future Strider Lewis Littlewood having a really good run.  Lots of U13s passed in the next race, minus one or both trainers in some cases – Christ.  I was going to lose my new trainers wasn’t I?  Another thing to worry about!  Shortly after that we headed back to the tent to take off our multiple layers of warm clothing ready for battle.  A few team photo’s (in the warmth of the tent) and we heard the call for the ladies to line up!

We all huddled together (with hardcore vest-wearing Lesley in the centre of the huddle) to try and keep warm, as the rain turned to sleet and we were told there was a 15 minute delay.

This soon passed, and the gun went off.  The first part of the race seems to pass in a blur.  Lots of fast ladies passing me, but I felt I was holding my own in my part of the pack.  Off the grass and through the biggest, icy cold puddle I have ever experienced – wow that was actually fun.  The first hill was slippy slidy mud – I tried to run up it the best way I could, but I don’t think you could describe it as running.  I hear cries of “I can’t do this” from other runners and I immediately feel in good company!  There was literally no avoiding any of the mud or puddles, and I just ended up embracing it, with my main worry being to stay upright.  It was horrible.  It was hard.  My feet were so heavy, the hail bounced off my face like someone had just thrown stones at me.  I can’t do this.  It’s too hard, it’s not for me.  I won’t make a difference – all the faster ladies are way ahead – they make the difference for us.  Not long after these thoughts, I see 2 purple vests holding up an injured Mandy.  Oh no somebody is hurt.  Oh no they’re some of our fast ladies.  She seems really hurt.  I should stop and help.  No Joanne, she has help, she will be ok.  But if I help, I won’t need to run anymore.  But we have potentially lost 3 ladies.  You need to run, you need to do all that you can for the team.  So I keep running.

Massive huge hill.  Jan Ellis has placed herself perfectly in the middle of the hill.  You can’t stop now, she will see you.  You can get up the hill.  I imagine Jon Ayres shouting at me about my arms, and I get up the hill with Jan’s support ringing in my ears.  Wow that was hard.  I think I am going to die – oh great, look here’s Phil and Di with a camera….I carry on steadily, always worrying about falling – I will look like such an idiot if I fall again.  My favourite part of the whole course, is the downhill bit which leads upto the hill next to all the tents – for some reason, I really like that hill.  I take at least 2 ladies with the men shouting support as I went.  I think I may have sworn halfway up, but I didn’t stop.  Crap.  I have to do that whole thing AGAIN?!  For all my mile times on my garmin were a lot slower, it felt like the second lap went so much faster.  I was back around to my favourite part again in no time, met by more male Strider support, plus some comment from Jon about my arms (supportive I’m sure).  I didn’t look over, I just put everything I had into that last hill and passed another 2 ladies (who I think promptly took their places back on the downhill but still…).  Running along that last bit to the finish seemed to take forever, but shout outs from the already finished ladies kept me going.  I have never felt anything like crossing that finish line and stopping my garmin (which for the first time ever I could not have cared less what the numbers were).  I did it.  I blooming did it.  And I wasn’t last!

Now, where are those brownies?

I never understood the love/hate thing that people have for XC until now.  I can’t wait for Alnwick.

Results

men
posbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
1401Dan Jenkin (DCH)MsenF43:5038:50
27551Scott WatsonMV50S47:0247:02
29546Phil RayMV35S47:0647:06
30556Stephen JacksonMsenF47:1242:12
38533Matt ClaydonMV40S47:3447:34
49521Jason HardingMV45M48:1045:40
85534Matthew ArcherMV35S49:3149:31
99536Michael LittlewoodMV40M49:5147:21
101500Danny LimMV35S49:5549:55
134507David GibsonMV45S50:5050:50
146520James GarlandMV40S51:2151:21
149514Gareth PritchardMV35F51:2746:27
216532Mark WarnerMV35M54:0351:33
239535Michael HughesMV45S55:0055:00
258525Jon AyresMV40S55:5155:51
265501Dave HalliganMV50S56:2356:23
284499Daniel MitchelMV35S57:5157:51
305549Richard HockinMV60S59:4659:46
331529Malcolm SygroveMV50S62:3962:39
341561Tim MatthewsMV50S63:4463:44
356528Lindsay RodgersMV45S66:0766:07
365544Peter HartMV35S69:0769:07
366504David BrowbankMV35S69:0969:09

369 finishers.

women
posbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
1613Emma Holt (Morpeth Harriers & AC)FsenF31:1527:55
22416Olivia NealFsenM36:3234:52
48418Rachael BullockFsenM37:3835:58
56432Tasmin ImberFV40F37:4534:25
66419Rachelle MasonFV35S38:0338:03
91428Stephanie PiperFsenS39:0339:03
97391Juliet PercivalFV40M39:4338:03
118407Lesley CharmanFV40S40:4840:48
124433Victoria BrownFV35S41:1141:11
128415Nina MasonFV40S41:2841:28
141406Laura JenningsFsenS42:0642:06
146382Jan YoungFV60S42:3442:34
174434Victoria JacksonFV35S44:1944:19
2051120Joanne PattersonFsenS49:0549:05
235402Kerry BarnettFV40S55:5555:55
238401Kelly CollierFsenS57:3257:32

245 finishers.

 

Harrier League, Herrington Park, Saturday, January 7, 2017

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

UNITED WE STAND!

Photos courtesy of Tamsin Imber

Video courtesy of Aaron Gourley

Last Saturday’s Harrier League fixture at Herrington Park saw around 70+ Strider members in attendance. There were Strider men, women, young , old, fast, not so fast, new members, long servers, coaches and committee members all there wanting their club to do well and for everyone to have a brilliant day. It gladdened even the hardest heart to see it and it showed just what this club is all about. We Striders are able to come together no matter who we are, what we are or where we’re from and give our all in the service of the club. It was absolutely magnificent and all who were there should be incredibly proud!

The day itself was cloudy, mild and calm if a little damp and the tent and banner was soon up along with many more from our sister clubs. Some of these clubs have long histories stretching back to the nineteenth century such as Heaton Harriers; our next door neighbours for the day, while others are ‘new arrivals’ like Derwent Valley Trail Runners in only their second HL season. It was great to be among them all.

The Striders tent filled up quickly in anticipation of the senior women’s race. We had veterans such as Roz and Jan, welcome returners like Karen, Nina and Emma, fresh faced speedy Striders in Tamsin and Olivia, new devout converts such as Diane and Helen & tough campaigners like Mudwoman herself, Stef & Camilla. We also had one slightly apprehensive debutant, Carla, who quickly shed that apprehension and enjoyed her day to the utmost.

Although it was dry overhead the course was quite muddy in places with a couple of challenging hills and a long woodland section which contained a few obstacles for good measure. Not an easy course by any means. Nonetheless, well over 300 women lined up to do battle with purple vests well in evidence at the start particularly in the front rank of combatants.

Rachelle and Mudwoman were first to show followed by Lesley and they hurdled the fallen logs with eagerness and élan. Emma, on her long anticipated return to the Striders x/c fold, battled her way steadily from the medium pack to finish ahead of Rachelle & Mudwoman with another medium packer, Olivia, powering through at the end to finish as 4th counter. But what support they had from their team mates including the ever improving Helen, a determined Rachael, a committed Vics, a dogged Denise and many many more. No less than 30 Striderettes competed and they all ran their hearts out. But Harrier League is a savage and unforgiving arena, particularly the first division,  and with some of our regular ‘counters’ absent through injury or illness our women’s team finished 9th on the day and slipped to 8th for the season just above the relegation zone. We now have a fight on our hands that we’re determined to win!

As well as fielding 57 runners across the two main races Striders had numerous members there who came along to cheer their club mates and have an enjoyable day out. An injured Conrad gave his impression of the ‘Shipman Roar’, Anna, Katy & Allan cast their coaches’ eye over proceedings while Catherine S, Jan E, Stan, Jo P & Diane W all did their best to spur on the purple hoards. Many thanks to them!

One or two of our male runners were so far into the zone during their warm ups that they failed to hear the whistles and shouts that heralded the imminent start of the men’s race. Consequently they had a bit of catching up to do after the gun was fired! Fighting through that 500+ field on what was now a very muddy course couldn’t have been easy but Striders were fielding a very strong team. An absolutely magnificent run by Stephen, coming from the fast pack, saw him finish in 35th place overall and first Strider home. Scott too did his fare share of bursting through finishing second Strider and being closely followed by Matt A (his best X/C race thus far?!), Gibbo, Phil Ray and Jason (from the medium pack).

These guys also had some fantastic support from our other fast packers Gareth & Michael M plus Michael L, Mark & Jack from the medium pack. Pictures on social medium have also shown the grit and determination displayed by the rest of the magnificent team particularly David Browbank (retaining his shoes), Douglas Jardine (putting his body on the line in his debut race), young Emil (thrown in the deep end on his first outing) and Richard Hocking (beating over 150 younger men).

This was Striders best performance in the first division so far. All 6 counters finished in the top 80 places – an excellent display but, such is the quality of our opponents, our 6th place on the day still keeps us in 8th place for the season but with a 2 point cushion over the relegation zone and now just 2 points behind the 7th place club. Like the women we too have a battle on our hands and one that we are equally determined to win.

So we have just two fixtures to go and if any one who manages to read this far and hasn’t yet run this season, particularly those for whom we already have numbers, then I urge you to turn up at Thornley and Alnwick and run for your club. You really are missing out on a fantastic experience if you don’t!

Mudman

Ps I would like to give a special mention to Kerry and Denise for an act way above and beyond the call on duty –  the removal of all the goose poo from the Striders tent!

results

women

position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 1786 Lorna Macdonald (Morpeth Harriers & AC) Fsen S 27:30 27:30
64 372 Emma Bain FV45 M 32:51 30:56
67 419 Rachelle Mason FV35 S 32:49 32:49
71 431 Susan Davis FV55 S 32:56 32:56
119 416 Olivia Neal Fsen M 33:51 31:56
135 418 Rachael Bullock Fsen M 34:01 32:06
141 407 Lesley Charman FV40 S 34:07 34:07
143 432 Tamsin Imber FV40 F 34:09 30:19
151 428 Stephanie Piper Fsen S 34:35 34:35
158 433 Victoria Brown FV35 S 34:44 34:44
169 379 Helen Thomas FV40 S 35:12 35:12
177 414 Marita Grimwood FV45 S 35:28 35:28
191 423 Roz Layton FV60 S 36:43 36:43
195 356 Camilla Lauren-Maatta FV50 S 36:38 36:38
196 384 Jenny Search FV40 S 36:40 36:40
200 369 Diane Harold FV40 S 36:53 36:53
204 382 Jan Young FV60 S 37:15 37:15
206 427 Stef Barlow FV40 S 37:11 37:11
218 415 Nina Mason FV40 S 37:44 37:44
221 350 Anita Clementson FV45 S 37:53 37:53
234 409 Louise Barrow Fsen S 38:28 38:28
246 385 Jill Rudkin FV40 S 38:51 38:51
247 434 Victoria Jackson FV35 S 38:52 38:52
261 389 Joanne Porter FV45 S 39:23 39:23
281 393 Karen Metters FV40 S 40:56 40:56
286 357 Carla Clarke FV35 S 41:45 41:45
296 360 Catherine Walker FV55 S 43:29 43:29
303 348 Aileen Scott FV45 S 44:10 44:10
315 421 Rebecca Dodd Fsen S 45:32 45:32
318 368 Denise Benvin FV45 S 45:51 45:51
321 402 Kerry Barnett FV40 S 46:03 46:03

341 finishers.

men

position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 1786 Ian Harding (Morpeth Harriers & AC) Msen S 33:20 33:20
35 556 Stephen Jackson Msen F 39:36 34:16
56 551 Scott Watson MV50 S 40:28 40:28
60 534 Matthew Archer MV35 S 40:29 40:29
66 507 David Gibson MV45 S 40:37 40:37
74 546 Phil Ray MV35 S 40:51 40:51
80 521 Jason Harding MV45 M 40:59 38:19
97 536 Michael Littlewood MV40 M 41:25 38:45
122 520 James Garland MV40 S 41:56 41:56
132 533 Matt Claydon MV40 S 42:04 42:04
162 514 Gareth Pritchard MV35 F 42:27 37:07
165 540 Neil Sleeman MV40 S 42:29 42:29
227 1734 Michael Mason MV40 F 43:46 38:26
232 532 Mark Warner MV35 M 43:48 41:08
263 515 Geoff Davis MV55 S 44:24 44:24
288 519 Jack Lee Msen M 45:04 42:24
293 487 Aaron Gourley MV35 S 45:19 45:19
362 549 Richard Hockin MV60 S 47:30 47:30
412 529 Malcolm Sygrove MV50 S 49:30 49:30
445 492 Andrew Davies MV40 S 51:19 51:19
470 511 Douglas Jardine MV35 S 52:45 52:45
477 498 Craig Walker MV55 S 53:10 53:10
484 504 David Browbank MV35 S 53:37 53:37
487 510 Dougie Nisbet MV50 S 53:43 53:43
499 1749 Emil Maata Msen S 55:53 55:53
508 496 Chris Shearsmith MV35 S 57:32 57:32
511 555 Stephen Ellis MV60 S 58:21 58:21
518 545 Phil Owen MV50 S 59:36 59:36

531 finishers.