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!
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!
|1||Yared Hagos||Wallsend Harriers||31:22|
|157||Will Horsley||39:28 *M|
|286||Tom Reeves||41:50 *M|
*M Medium pack – 2m30s handicap.
*F Fast pack – 5m handicap.
547 finishers. Men’s team finished 8th of 11 in Division 2.
|1||Sarah McDonald||Jarrow and Hebburn AC||24:24|
|94||Rachel Terry||30:27 *M|
*M Medium pack – 2m handicap.
308 finishers. Women’s team finished 5th of 10 in Division 1.