Category Archives: James Garland

British Fell Relay Championships (Leg 2), Peak District, Saturday, October 19, 2019

James Garland and Paul Evans

Having watched Graeme in, we were off, up a short muddy slope through the woods and out into open moorland. A slow run soon turned into a steady hands-on-knees walk as the slope steepened through bracken and heather. The next hour or so was hard work. Muddy tussocky narrow paths, the occasional bog and stream crossing, and short sharp uphills, grabbing on to rocks and heather for extra grip. When we didn’t have our heads down watching where our feet needed to land next, Paul and I had the odd exchange.

Alright, yeh, keep it going, fast walk, no shame in that, Kendal mint cake, no thanks, stunning view, no sign of Elaine and Fiona, phew…..

Between checkpoints 4 and 5 we had our only real route choice. Contour round to the next checkpoint, longer but safer, or a more direct route down into a gully, through a stream and up the other side. We went for the latter, stumbling down through knee-high heather and head-high bracken down a steep ravine before crossing the stream and clambering up onto a runnable track where our pace picked up again. We began the final climb and reached checkpoint 5 having gained a few places. The final mile was the fastest of the 8, it was great to stretch the legs on a gradual downhill path, before descending steeply through heather, open field and woodland, handing over to Geoff and Nigel for leg 3. A great team event, well organised, perfect weather and a very tasty chilli at the end. Who’s up for next year then?!

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Simonside Fell Race, Thropton Show, Saturday, September 17, 2011

BM / 6.75M / 1200'

James Garland

Grand Prix Race. King/Queen of the Mountain Race.

The river was quite deep this year!Almost thwarted by the midday A1 traffic I made it to Thropton with just enough time to grab number 70, pin it to my vest, greet the 11 fellow Striders and partially listen to the route description while tying my shoelaces. Five minutes later I was wading through the fast-flowing Coquet, wondering whether this was a sensible warm-up to the GNR.

Fortunately, the sun was shining and I soon got into a steady pace, but not before the guy in front of me was totally taken out by a charging sheep! Yes, really, did anyone else see this? Or did I dream it!? It was a close shear (;-) but would have been a great excuse for the GNR. After the leaping sheep in the field incident it was uphill for the next 2 miles through woodland, fields, heather and mud before the summit of Simonside came into sight. Some runners took the more direct heathery route, others the longer but possibly quicker route along a rough path then the footpath to the summit. By this time the field had scattered and as we descended it was a case of sticking close to the runner in front who, I hoped, knew the way down. Weaving around trees and avoiding deep mud and ankle-twisting terrain, a pack of five of us emerged from the woodland for the quick descent through the fields, down the lane and back across the river, which seemed even stronger. Having crossed this final obstacle we were down to 2 and the competitive spirit kicked in as we approached the showfield for a final sprint. It was then great to see the procession of Striders come home wet, smiling and, in one case, rubbing their head (Alister!) after an encounter with a rock rather than a sheep. Fantastic effort all round!

… fast forward 21 hours and my calves were being pummelled by 2 Teeside physio students in the BUPA GNR massage tent. This running malarkey is definitely worth the pain and effort!


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Phil Sanderson NFR MV40 48:47
6 James Garland M 55:27
17 Ali Raw FV40 58:15
19 Tom Reeves MV40 58:44
26 Geoff Davis MV50 1:00:55
41 Richard Hocking MV60 1:07:33
42 Nina Mason F 1:07:35
46 Alister Robson M 1:11:27
54 Susan Davis FV50 1:13:09
57 Dougie Nisbet MV40 1:14:02
60 Jan Young FV50 1:16:22
61 Phil Owen MV40 1:16:46

70 finishers.

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Tynedale 10K, Ovingham, Wednesday, July 6, 2011

James Garland

After the rugged desolation of the previous night above Stanhope, the Tynedale 10k was positively teeming with keen runners hoping to get a PB under the belt. It was good to see the enthusiastic smiles and shaded eyes of Alister and Jacquie on arrival at Ovingham School. This was my first proper 10k and despite slightly heavy legs I felt I was set for a decent run. Ian, Alister and Jacquie all seemed up for PBs and a couple of colleagues, Dave and Louise, were after fast times. Just over 300 runners assembled at the top of the lane in Ovington on what was a very pleasant sunny evening. Getting near the front seemed like a good plan as the first mile, dedicated to George Ogle, the first President of Tynedale Harriers who died last year, was going to be a fast one. It certainly got the legs moving and I clocked 5:26 which was a bit of a shock to the system. I then managed to get into a pack of 6-7 runners who more or less stuck together for the next 2 miles along the road, through Ovingham and into Wylam.

At this point I did look enviously at the pints of the local brew being supped by spectators as we ‘rocketed’ past the pub and George Stephenson’s birthplace (b.1781) – the sacrifices us loco runners make, eh, get it?! Fortunately this was only a fleeting moment of ‘hope’, and quickly ‘diligence’ took over again as I stayed focused on the vision of the pies and mushy peas that would be waiting at the end.

After the PH the route turned back along the disused railway line which provided some welcome shade, especially in the tunnel(:-), and a good chance to gauge the pace and breathe deeply before the finish. After a few very short undulations through tree-lined lanes and tracks, the route ran alongside the river Tyne before a fast last mile into the Countryside Park where the crowds willed everyone to finish with a sprint and a smile or grimace!

After finishing it was good to be able to retreat back along the line to shout the rest in, Ian, Alister and Jacquie all getting PBs. A real ‘black diamond’ of a 10k run and good pies at the end;-) Well recommended for next year!


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 HARDING, Ian Morpeth Harriers M 31:54
34 HIBBS, Angela Chester-le-Street F 31:44
53 GARLAND, James M 38:55
97 THOMAS, Ian M 41:09
241 ROBSON, Alister M 46:47
469 ROBSON, Jacquie F 58:10
519 THOMPSON, Margaret FV60 66:52

538 finishers.

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Brass Monkey Half Marathon, York Racecourse, Sunday, January 23, 2011

Grand Prix Race. Endurance Champion Race.

Lindsay, looking somewhat incredulous at making it to the finish ... First and foremost a correction – as well as the general mayhem on arrival at York racecourse the Brass Monkey organisers can also get the age categories wrong! I’d be chuffed to bits if I can still run this kind of time when I do reach 45 🙂 This was my first half marathon since 2007, but, as many Striders told me, this was the one to target for a PB. The fact that I beat the 1:30 barrier for the first time is partly thanks to Shaun who kept forging ahead until around the 8/9 mile mark.

The other contributing factor was the haggis and neeps supper (and a dram or two of Aberlour) the night before which clearly is the way forward in pre-race cuisine and kept me going at a steady pace.

The running conditions were perfect with only a slight breeze over a flat course, through a series of small villages south of York. After all those hill repeat sessions on Wednesday night the few slight inclines felt like downhills (at least until the last couple of miles). Well done to all of the Striders who took part and whose ages were correctly recorded!

Shaun adds …

Congratulations also to Jo Porter who also got a PB, getting under two hours for the first time, and Kathryn too, who took about 15 minutes off hers, despite being trampled underfoot at the beginning, due to her lining up on the start line. 😉 Well done to Jean, too, who got her ageing uterus round without any major mishap.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Chip Time
1 Paul MARTELLETTI Victoria Park Harriers M 1:05:21
81 Stacey ROGERS Heaton Harriers F 1 1:21:12
231 James GARLAND MV45* 1:28:45
256 Shaun ROBERTS MV50 1:30:04
455 Andrew THOMPSON M 1:36:26
569 Anna SEELEY Durham City Harriers F 1:39:40
757 Dougie NISBET MV45 1:43:06
792 Kathryn SYGROVE FV45 1:46:18
795 Ian SPENCER MV40 1:44:31
883 Alister ROBSON M 1:48:41
888 Richard HALL MV50 1:48:53
900 Alan SMITH MV60 1:49:10
905 Stef BARLOW FV35 1:49:22
1017 Jean BRADLEY FV50 1:52:30
1024 Barrie EVANS MV60 1:51:58
1087 Lindsay TARN F 1:54:51
1096 Michelle LANGLEY F 1:55:12
1206 Joanne PORTER FV40 1:58:24
1333 Denise MASON F 2:04:43
1334 Dave ROBSON MV55 2:04:44
1396 James NICHOLSON MV60 2:10:02
1461 Emma DETCHON F 2:15:05
1478 Christine FARNSWORTH FV55 2:16:59
1505 Margaret THOMPSON FV60 2:22:01

1561 finishers. *Or indeed not.

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Hexhamshire Hobble, Allendale, Sunday, January 9, 2011

Grand Prix Race - click flag for current league tables. King/Queen of the Mountain Race - click flag for more information. CM / 10.5m / 1220'

James Garland

Part hobble part skating rink at times this was a great, mainly off-road course, with plenty of single track and undulating terrain. All the way round you never really had 100% control over the limbs particularly on the single track sections where there were a few ‘Bambi on Ice’ moments and plenty of groans when the shoes broke through the ice into the muddy cold water.

Dave checks nothing's hanging out, while Jan looks away.

Despite the overnight snow, 122 runners turned out (5 from the Striders – me, Dougie, Jan, Alistair and David, some of whom had been at the NE championships the day before – good effort!) and completed the race in mostly sunny conditions, at least until 6 miles in when the route turned and headed into a bracing wind which continued for most of the loop back towards Allendale.

The first section was the main climb, so it was heads down and into a steady pace uphill out of Allendale for 2k, before taking the track out across the moors towards Stobb Cross and Hangman Hill, presumably memorial sites to previous Hobblers who didn’t make it. Running in the deeper snow provided the better grip especially on the road sections, but in the heather and single track you never quite knew where your feet were landing (well, from my point of view anyway!). The field had spread out almost immediately but navigation was never an issue given the great views, even though I was mostly looking down at where the next step was going to fall.

At the next turn, just below Hangman Hill, the path climbed steadily before levelling out then dropping down to the road junction at King’s Law. From there the route headed west back towards Allendale but the cold wind made running harder even though there was a good stretch of slippery downhill before the final steep climb. This final climb was possibly the hardest and definitely the steepest so I resorted to a mouthful of jelly babies, which just about got me to the top before the final moorland stretch back towards Allendale. The last mile or so was a steady downhill road section to the finish point at Allendale school where plenty of tea and cakes awaited us!

This was my first fell race for the Striders and thoroughly enjoyable, though the snow and sunny weather did help 😉 Well-organised by the Allen Valley Striders and great cakes and spot prizes for a few at the end! Well done to all the Striders who skated and hobbled round the course.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 BUIS, James Heaton Harriers M 1:11:27
10 HORSLEY, Will M 1:21:44
25 JACKSON, Claire Allen Valley Striders FV40 1 1:28:42
30 GARLAND, James M 1:30:17
79 NISBET, Dougie MV40 1:46:13
92 YOUNG, Jan FV50 1:54:24
93 ROBSON, Alistair M 1:54:34
96 SHIPMAN, David MV50 1:55:44

122 finishers.

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