NE Harrier League – Aykley Heads

Report on Saturday’s Races by Bruce Crombie & Sue Skirrow

Due to weather related parking issues, this was only the second Harrier League fixture of the season. With ample parking at County Hall, only the course could get this fixture put off. After running yesterday I now think they’d only cancel it if their were 10 foot snow drifts or a bomb hit the course, which is probably how Aykley Heads looks this morning.

It’s been roughly 9 months since the Turkey Baster was used for less traditional methods in the Simpson household, so Graham was housebound waiting for the birth of their second child.

We arrived to find what was less of an athletes village and more a refugee camp:
Kids crying looking squalid and dirty, misplaced adults with heads down just looking for a better life or at least the rain to stop.
It has to be said the course was relentless with mud everywhere and huge kudos to anyone who attempted it.

The lads lads lads did brilliantly though finishing top of the Division 2 teams on the day.

Ross Wilson, who I imagine looking like a cross between a marauding Viking and a male model, gleefully gliding over the mud to finish a fantastic 27th closely followed by the ever reliable Steve  Carragher. Both move up a pack.
Big Dave next, outstanding performance to put his yellow brolly down long enough to finish 53rd with the 13th quickest time of the day. As they say up that way cushty, barry,  chugh! (Berwick is a strange place!)

Next was Tom Harper, well done young un, putting a shift in for his new club. Then it was my running hero, Adam Fletcher who surfs in the morning, turns up, does race, goes home! And he’s been doing it for years. He is surely only a haircut away from being Alnwick’s poster boy. Mike Telfer was our sixth last counter. Considering he’d been there all day with the juniors, that was a great run.

Onto the rest of us. I have always said the non-counters on the day are as important as the counters and now I no longer count, they are even more important. Big Phil Hall left me for dead then the fantastic young runners Ben and Max Murray Johns “dad”; Rob.

Last in was another new lad Mark Barr who we thought had hopped on the back of a lorry to Dover, but had actually ran as back marker and was good enough to bring the tape in at the end. Honestly though great to see you Mark.
Must mention Paul Dellbridge. Dell boy had to pull out through injury on the last lap – I hope it’s nothing serious.
Unreal team effort from EVERYONE connected to Alnwick Harriers and big shout out to the marshals, other club runners and organisers, top top job in horrible conditions.

Onto the North Easterns!

Alnwick’s senior women had a good turnout on Saturday at the North Eastern Harrier league at Aykley Heads, despite many of the cross country regulars opting to save themselves for the deciding 10 mile grand prix race at Kirkley the following day.

Aykley Heads is widely acknowledged as one of the more challenging of the north east cross country venues and the horrendous weather made course conditions particularly difficult. With eight junior races having been run before the senior women’s race, the course had been well churned up, making for some tricky technical descents through the mud and boggy, energy sapping climbs. In her first cross country season, Emma Givens continued her recent strong form to be first home for Alnwick. In her first race of the season, Emma McGhee was second counter, backed up by Justine Norman and Tania Conway.

Credit is due to everybody that braved the conditions to run and thanks to all of the superb officials and marshalls who endured the rain throughout the day, ensuring that this harrier league fixture went ahead.

159 Emma Givens 41:14; 190 Emma McGhee 42:12; 218 Justine Norman 43:04; 251 Tania Conway; 258 Ruth Doctor 45:12; 269 Jennifer Knight 46:06; 270 Rachel Heeley 46:07; 332 Susan Skirrow 49:57; 342 Linda Patterson 51:40

Image may contain: 7 people, including Justine Norman,
        people smiling, people standing and outdoor

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