Tag Archives: Weardale Show Cross Country

Weardale Show XC, St John's Chapel, Saturday, August 27, 2011

3.5km, 95m climb

Dougie Nisbet

Sue, Dougie and Angela At three minutes to two I put down my unfinished cuppa, said seeyalater to Roberta and Hazel, and wandered outside the tea-tent to the start. I was still early. But it was for the best. I heard my name shouted and was delighted to see Angela and Sue (very unpurplery it has to be said) waiting on the Start Line. We’d all paid our two quid, and had our numbers allocated courtesy of the random race-number generator, so we stood in anticipation. Was the field comprised of 6? Or 2 thousand? Who could tell?

The Striders, all in purple, (did I mention, only one of us was running in the ‘away’ strip?), gathered at the back of the field. I tried shoving Angela forwards to the Start Line, but she shoved me back, and so we club runners waited patiently at the back comfortable in the knowledge that it might be a short race but short is often a lot longer than you expect. I’ve raced Roseberry Topping (and so has Alister) and I know with certainty that a 2 mile fell race can seem a lot longer and harder than a marathon. I knew I’d be back inside 20 minutes. It’d just seem like 20 hours.

Away we went and I ran with Angela and Sue to the first bridge and then we began to string out on the climb. I say climb; it seemed to be comprised entirely of steps, stiles, bridges, and cow pats. I settled down, concentrated, and got into a rhythm. I popped out through a gap in the wall into the lane and turned left (“it’s all downhill now”) and tried to stop wheezing. I was disappointed that the fast recovery descent didn’t end up at the finish line, but instead we were diverted hard left through the fields and lots of gaps-in-walls, more fields, walls, stiles, gaps, cowpats, then, we must be near the finish now, surely?

Nope. A long, endless, grinding climb up the lane by the showfield. Then a sharp-left into the show-ground and finally we’re home. A glance at my watch showed that I’d been ‘Out There’ for less than 20 minutes. It felt like an eternity! The race winner had got back inside 15 minutes (a course record?) and was cheering everyone else in. Once everyone was home I wandered off with Angela, Stephanie, Sue, Andy and Angela and we soon found a spider or two that Sue (“I’ve always wanted to hold a Tarantula”) could relax with.

This is a fantastically well organised event. Medics and Marshalls must surely outnumber runners and were full of encouragement around the course. I wandered back to the tea-tent. Roberta was still there, in animated conversation with Hazel. Were they even aware I’d been away? I’d been and gone and had a massive adventure and they were still gassing! And my tea wasn’t even cold yet.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 David Moir Tyne Bridge Harriers Men (35-44) 1 14:22
5 Emma Moir Tyne Bridge Harriers Ladies (35-44) 1 18:35
7 Dougie Nisbet Men (45+) 2 19:21
15 Angela Proctor Ladies (35-44) 3 24:41
16 Sue Jennings Ladies (45+) 2 24:42

17 finishers.

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Weardale Show XC, St John's Chapel, Saturday, August 28, 2010

3.5km, 95m climb

Alister Robson

I was a little intrigued to read Colin’s email telling us about this event and thought, “How hard can it be? It’s only 2.2 miles.” Hmm. You’d think I’d have learned by now.

Having already done the ParkRun at Sunderland in the morning and (getting my excuses in now!) having been for a longish slow run on the Friday evening, I thought my wife Jacquie (sadly injured) and I would have a ride out and have a look. The show itself was good fun with various displays – horses and dogs, motorbikes, ferrets, birds of prey, cakes and vegetables, arts and crafts, chainsaw carving, that sort of thing. There was also a flypast of a wartime Dakota to celebrate the Battle of Britain. I was glad to see a friendly face in David Gibson there who was running with his son Sam. I was a little surprised to be allocated the number 66 as I couldn’t see many other runners there, turns out there were only 19 runners.

Anyway the race itself was a classic ‘game of two halves’. As Colin wrote last year, “everyone except the club runners goes off way too fast. The one steep hill soon quashes their ambitions as the handful of vested runners pick off the tiring lads and dads.” Well that was my plan anyway. Colin neglected to mention just how steep it was (walking hands on knees steep) and the fact that there is a stile about every 50 yards or so and so just as you look up and see you’re closing on the person in front of you, the stile closes and away they go again. Once I got to the top, blowing like a steam engine, it immediately flattened and went downhill down a bit of track where the young lady I’d just overtaken flew past me again and I calculated there were only 4 or 5 men in front of me. At the bottom of the hill there was a sharp left and it flattened again to run across fields. Alister with his winnings at the Weardale Show In one there was a small stile where I knew I’d have to slow down to get through or off to the left a slightly longer but open gap. I gambled and won and overtook the girl and another gent here. At the end of this down again to cross the bridge (usually a ford apparently but the river was quite high), then back and round and up to the showground. Just before the end I passed a young lad ‘shouting for Ralph’ who I learned later was second for a lot of the race. You’d never catch me miscalculating and ending up in that state… Anyway I finished third senior man and sixth overall and earned my first ever cash reward – £5! Of course it was £5 to enter the showground and £2 entry fee for the race so I wasn’t quite up on the day!

Bumped into and had a chat with Alan Purvis and Louise at the end. Phil Owen was going to cycle there but had issues with a serious headwind. It was quite blowy. Sam Gibson also finished third in his class but looked like he might have done a bit better if he didn’t have to carry his dad around – only joking Dave!

All in all a great afternoon and the weather held for the majority of it.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Alan Ashcroft Adult M 1 14:04
6 Alister Robson Senior M 3 18:11
13 Sam Gibson Junior B 3 21:25
14 David Gibson Senior M 5 21:27

19 finishers.

(Visited 26 times, 1 visits today)

Weardale Show XC, St John's Chapel, Saturday, August 29, 2009

3.5km, 95m climb

Colin Blackburn

Colin leads the pack!
Photograph courtesy of Gareth Neville

While many other Striders were tackling the tougher fell race at Bellingham Show I returned to the cross-country-cum-fell face at St John’s Chapel. This year Elfie was staffing an AONB stall at the show and so I spent the whole day there for 17 minutes of running. My day started early trying to erect the AONB tent on its first show outing, battling against strong blustery winds. With the tent up I spent much of the rest of the time watching various dog display teams, a falconry display and comparing the meerkats at the Petwise zoo. They were both cute with nothing much to choose between them.

Just before 2pm the assorted runners gathered near the start line. It was the usual mix of seasoned club runners (5), young lads in inappropriate trainers who think they can beat the old gadgies, and bemused dads who’ve been persuaded against their better interests that since they’ve done the GNR once a little race like this will be no problem. One lad even ran the race in his Timberland boots. Also as usual, everyone except the club runners goes off way too fast. The one steep hill soon quashes their ambitions as the handful of vested runners pick off the tiring lads and dads.

To his credit one lad did manage second place, with regular winner, David Moir, running for Wallsend, passing him at the top of the hill. I managed to stay ahead of everyone I’d passed to finish 3rd overall and take the £10 prize for second senior man (that means vet at this race) but I was some distance behind David and the lad. David’s wife was first senior woman but there were no “ordinary” women (that means senior!) competing at all. Unfortunately the only time I have is my own though I think David Moir finished around the 15 minute mark. [Since writing this Stuart Warriner has read this article and forwarded the results to me.]


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Dave Moir Wallsend Senior M 1 14.59
3 Colin Blackburn Senior M 2 17:00
7 Emma Moir Wallsend Senior W 1 17.51

18 finishers
Senior = Vet

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Weardale Show XC, St John's Chapel, Saturday, August 30, 2008

Colin Blackburn

Weardale Show is one of the smaller shows in Weardale tucked away high in the dale at St John’s Chapel. A few shows around the region had been cancelled due to the wet weather but this one went ahead and was very well attended. The livestock were back this year following an absence last year.

The race was, as usual, fairly small. Dave Robson, Phil Owen and I were the three striders making up a field of dozen or so seniors. I had to return my shield from last year and was unable to successfully defend my title.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Dave Moir Senior M 1 17:XX
4 Colin Blackburn Senior M 4 18:15
5 Phil Owen Senior M 5 19:15ish
? Dave Robson Senior M 22:27

12ish senior finishers

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Weardale Show XC, St John's Chapel, Saturday, August 25, 2007

Colin Blackburn

Weardale Show is one of the smaller shows in Weardale tucked away high in the dale at St John’s Chapel. It’s a traditional agricultural show, though without the usual livestock this year due to the recent F&M outbreak down south. Among the attractions were a very scary scarecrow competition, Cyril the Squirrel and his Racing Terriers, and a nice little cross country race. There were about 15 competitors at this year’s race including juniors. Once I’d noticed that Will Horsley had picked this one over the Bellingham Show fell race I knew who the winner was going to be.

The race is just over 3km on a mix of roads, tracks and fields. The course leaves the showground along a road down to the river. After a footbridge there’s a single sharp climb making up the first half of the race. This is followed by a steady road descent and a flattish field run. The race finishes after recrossing the river and following the road back into the showground.

The winners in each category were awarded unfeasibly large trophies and cash prizes.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Will Horsley 1 13:51
3 Colin Blackburn Senior M 1 16:45
7 Dave Robson Senior M 5 18:32

15 finishers

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