Tag Archives: Harrier League: Wallington

Harrier League, Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland, Saturday, November 29, 2014

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


Striders Answer the Call!

Ladies mass after a rushed arrival for the obligatory group photoNo I don’t mean the one on Lucy’s i-phone but the ‘call to arms’ – the one for the blood, sweat, tears and hard graft needed, not only to finish at the sharp end, but simply to get round these tough, merciless courses. Well done to you all, Mudpeople are proud of you!

Despite a magnificent 30th place overall 'MudWoman' misses out on promotion to the Medium pack by the narrowest of marginsThere was no Sally this time, because of sore shins, so the senior / veteran women were first up. With the bus taking a scenic route to Wallington it was touch and go whether a large proportion of the team would arrive for the start – but arrive they did and a brave and determined effort ensued. A varied course provided many challenges – perhaps not so many as last week – but challenging nonetheless. Mudwoman became the leading Strider towards the end of the first lap and stayed there till the end. Missing medium pack qualification by the narrowest of margins her vast experience, including thirty years of ‘hill training’ in the Scottish Highlands, took her to a 30th place finish. “Not bad for an old woman” was the limit of her self-congratulation!

A muddy but fast course posed no problems for Claire Galloway!Sarah Davies had one of her finest x/c runs on the gloomy overcast day to finish second counter, while Fiona K-J and Camilla showed true fighting spirit to finish as third and fourth counters respectively. This busy time of year plus one or two ‘bugs’ meant the women’s team was down somewhat on last week’s record turnout. Nonetheless it was heart warming to see the effort put in by our ‘girls’. To see Nina back competing after a couple of years away from the tent was wonderful (I’m sure you’ll catch your Mum before season’s end!) and I was truly humbled by the effort and determination displayed by Helen Williams and all those Striderettes who stayed the course through the mud, up the hills and over the bumps to cross the finish line. Well done! 7th team on the day and 5th place for the season maintained.

I suspect my ‘home truths’ may have received a mixed reception across the club this week. Mudwoman thought I’d overstepped the mark but, rightly or wrongly, I wanted the team to know how I felt. Whether it made any difference I don’t know but the Men’s team put in a performance that had bags of character. From Rob’s powerful run from the medium pack to lead the team home, to Stan’s brave debut in getting round three tough laps and cross the finish line in gathering gloom to the cheers of the Striders ‘massed bands’ including Kelly on megaphone! I couldn’t have asked for any more.

Rob Everson crosses the line just in front of Gareth Pritchard for the privelege of being first Strider home in the men's raceThe team suffered in terms of numbers from the ‘two in two weeks’ factor, but the counters (Rob, Gareth, Matt C, Jerry, James and Dave) all finished in the top 200 (more or less!) and were closely supported by a determined team one or two of whom had risen from sick beds to run! Ian Spencer was there for the first time I think – or the first time for some time anyway. Well done Ian for getting round! We all know the Harrier League attracts the tops runners in the North East and finishing ahead of some the bigger, highly competitive clubs is not easy. However, the men have clawed their way out of the relegation zone with an 8th place finish on the day and we now sit in 8th place for the season as well. There are still tough trials to come!

…and Stan White

Stan makes his way up the final straight after a tough raceFollowing in the running steps of many a strider before me, I finally made my cross country debut. I’d been mulling over having a bash at one of these for quite sometime ………say 6 or 7 years. Geoff, aka Mudman, had asked me to run one all those years ago when the men’s team were struggling to field a team of 6 counters for a fixture in Cramlington and likely to incur penalty points. I agreed to be a last minute stand- in. However, at the eleventh hour, a couple of diehards stepped up and I was able to stand down. Slow forward to 2014 and this past Saturday I found myself on the coach to Wallington, fully intending to toe the start line however ill-prepared I was.

At the club AGM in October Geoff’s report had mentioned the sharp end and the blunt end of the cross country field. Riding on the bus up to Northumberland, I felt quite relaxed. I was under no illusions that, despite being a parkrun veteran with some 140 runs under my belt, the XC would be way, way, way out of my comfort zone, especially after my close up view of the previous weekends events at Aykley Heads whilst marshalling at ‘the chair’. I would surely be looking at the blunt end!

I had a plan: it was a 3 lap course … Lap 1, have look at the course;, Lap 2, try to stay in touch with the race;, Lap 3,…… SURVIVE. I’d told Ian Spencer on the bus up that I would be happy with getting round in 70 to 75 minutes. The ladies race was off very soon after our arrival at the course and it was a wonderful distraction as I watched and cheered some strong and gutsy performances. I did a few stretches and warm up jogs and, to be frank, I didn’t feel too good ……Nerves? I was a little concerned as I had passed out only a few days previously on a club run. Soon enough, I was at the start with some 500+ others and, once again, I felt pretty relaxed…..I could always drop out after a lap or 2 if my decision to start had been wrong. BANG! and the race was off: I was pleasantly surprised that I was running comfortably through the first kilometre and the rest were not disappearing into the distance…..so far so good.

After about 2k, some of the speedy chaps from the medium/fast packs started to float effortlessly (or so it seemed) past……I’d expected this so did not let it worry me: I was happy at this point with my own pace which was around 6.30 per K following in the running steps of those ahead. The first circuit was completed in about 22.30 and I felt ok.

Lap 2…..the going got a bit tougher for me as my legs began to tire rather suddenly, the underfoot conditions seemed to become more tacky, and I was having difficulty getting my feet out of the ground and selecting the best line……mentally it became tougher too as I was being passed by clumps of men in bunches who appeared to have boundless energy……and they were on their final circuit. I’d told myself beforehand that a fair few would do this but I hadn’t expected them to be breezing past and looking so strong…..DAMN….. Emerging from the woods on lap 2, I was getting great support from fellow striders lining the course…….. However, as I approached the hill up to the finish line (for them) and they split off into the finish funnel, I have to say that I considered quitting. At this point, I was passed by Graeme Walton, as he was finishing his race, and, as he offered a shout of encouragement, I spotted my sister and a couple of other supporters on the brow of the hill, with this all thoughts of stopping evaporated…… my watch was showing around 47 mins and, still under 7 min per k, I was still on target.

Lap 3 commenced in good spirits but, after about a further kilometre, my legs really started to complain with my left distal quadriceps hurting considerably and my shoes becoming heavy with mud. I had to begin interspersing walking with running to ease the discomfort in the quads and attempt to clean some mud off my shoes. This was the story for the rest of the race as a few of the other tail-enders eventually caught and passed me. Once off the fields and onto the path through the woods, I managed to run at a pace which felt quite brisk for a while but I just could not keep it up and I was making no impression on those ahead of me. Now, severe pain started quite suddenly in my lower right quads…….I was hobbling now but knew I would get to the finish. I was reduced to a walking pace and hoped that this would allow the quad pain to ease so that I could at least run jog up the final hill.

In the fading light, I approached that final hill where a whole hoard of striders were gathered to shout me on (I follow in the footsteps of many others in thanking them for such fabulous support). I found the energy to high five Kelly on the megaphone as I passed but now, fearful of creating a long term injury, I could not muster that final run up the hill…… and was accompanied to the finish line by Susan: the final lap had indeed gone according to plan SURVIVAL. A finish time of 76 mins and 15 seconds only a little outside of what I had wanted and obviously a little disappointing but not so much as to prevent me having another go and hopefully I won’t be leaving it another 6 years!


Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 James Cripwell Gateshead Harriers S Sen 37:37
79 Rob Everson M Sen 43:48
81 Gareth Pritchard S Sen 43:50
152 Matthew Crow S Sen 45:08
190 James Garland S Sen 46:11
199 Jerry Lloyd M Vet 46:23
202 Dave Halligan S Vet 46:30
212 Graeme Walton S Vet 46:45
238 Matthew Archer S Sen 47:25
246 Geoff Davis S Vet 47:39
255 Marc Jones S Sen 47:56
273 Conrad White S Vet 48:29
285 Scott Watson S Vet 48:46
303 Michael Hughes S Vet 49:28
331 David Lumsdon S Vet 50:28
425 Eric Green S Vet 53:47
481 Ian Spencer S Vet 58:43
507 Stan White S Vet 76:15

508 finishers.

Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 Maxine Czarnecka Jarrow & Hebburn AC S Sen 29:39
30 Susan Davis S Vet 33:43
53 Sarah Davies S Vet 34:31
68 Fiona Jones S Vet 34:40
82 Camilla Lauren-Maatta S Vet 34:55
96 Elaine Bisson M Vet 35:11
118 Rachael Bullock M Sen 35:42
131 Stephanie Piper S Sen 36:00
143 Lucy Cowton S Sen 36:24
151 Debra Goddard S Vet 36:39
156 Helen Williams S Vet 36:52
164 Jan Young S Vet 37:07
192 Anita Clementson S Vet 38:06
207 Nina Mason S Vet 38:54
220 Joanne Porter S Vet 40:03
242 Anja Fechtner S Vet 41:48
243 Jacquie Robson S Vet 41:54
251 Catherine Smith S Vet 42:27
263 Diane Watson S Vet 44:16
275 Denise Benvin S Vet 46:15
281 Helen Allen S Vet 48:37
286 Kerry Lister S Vet 50:30
288 Claire Galloway S Sen 53:21

292 finishers.

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Harrier League, Wallington Hall, Saturday, November 30, 2013

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

Mudman and Mudwoman

After a seven year absence Mandy Dawson (known in the Mud household as ‘The Warrior’) made a triumphant return to the HL today by powering round the tough course to be first Strider home in the Senior Women’s race – well done Mandy!! Parking problems meant race starts were slightly delayed but the new challenging course made the wait worthwhile. The Striderettes numbered 18 today and the evergreen Fiona Shenton came in not far behind Mandy to finish second counter with Rachel T clawing her way through from the medium pack to be third home.

Many thanks once again to our long-suffering supporters!

Joanne Porter also made a welcome return today with a brave performance. Katy W had a fine run on her Medium pack debut and Rachael Bullock, fresh from her cold bath on Weds, had her best run of the season so far. But well done to all the women – that was a challenging course and you all performed brilliantly! We were slightly down on our Jarrow finishing position but still avoided the relegation zone – just!

Gleaming purple in the dusk ...

After a chilly wait the men finally got going and Rob Everson was the man to lead the 19 strong team home – for the first time I think – so well done Rob! Will ‘done good’ today passing a big chunk of the field from the medium pack and finishing second Strider. Youth (Tom S) and experience (James G, Mudman & Gibbo) made up the other counters with the rest of the Striders’ team spread liberally throughout the field.

Yes, we did have to wait around for quite a while ... but that was a helluva sunset.

As in the women’s race there were some brave performances among the Strider ranks – none more so than debutant Alex Cole. Well done Alex! I can’t say it ever gets any easier but I can guarantee that, with a bit of hard work, you can expect to finish in a quicker time. A solid team performance but we slipped back to 8th place on the day.

The HL takes a bit of a break now with the next fixture at Wrekenton not until 8th Feb. However, in the meantime we’ve got the NE x/c Champs on 14th Dec & the Northerns on 25th Jan – more on those v.soon!


Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 Cameron Boyek Shildon AC 34:45
92 Rob Everson 43:20
107 Will Horsley 43:39 *M
134 Tom Spurling 44:12
145 James Garland 44:23
163 Geoff Davis 44:44
202 David Gibson 45:24
204 Graeme Walton 45:30
238 Dave Halligan 46:20
250 Tom Reeves 46:43 *M
272 Mike Bennett 47:14
285 Shaun Roberts 47:52
290 Michael Tait 48:00
299 Jon Steed 48:27
342 Alister Robson 50:27
350 Matthew Crow 50:32
432 Brian Ford 55:15
446 Mark Dunseith 56:29
451 Mark Preston 57:10
458 John Hutchinson 58:07
463 Innes Hodgson 60:03
472 Alex Cole 65:05

*M Medium pack – 2m30s handicap.
*F Fast pack – 5m handicap.

476 finishers. Men’s team finished 7th of 11 in Division 2.

Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 Alyson Dixon Sunderland Strollers 30:10 *F
47 Mandy Dawson 33:31
53 Fiona Shenton 33:39
66 Rachel Terry 33:59 *M
75 Katy Walton 34:13 *M
85 Rachael Bullock 34:27
96 Susan Davis 34:49
103 Fiona Jones 35:00
113 Roz Layton 35:18
116 Lydia Bertrand-Hutchinson 35:28
120 Sarah Davies 35:44
134 Claire Readey 36:54
150 Jan Young 37:31
169 Kirsty Anderson 38:22
171 Jacquie Robson 38:30
202 Katherine Preston 40:48
213 Barbara Dick 41:42
221 Victoria Downes 42:35
231 Joanne Porter 43:30
232 Joanne Richardson 43:31
253 Anita Dunseith 53:49

*M Medium pack – 2m handicap.

253 finishers. Women’s team finished 8th of 10 in Division 1.

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