Start Fitness NEHL XC – Alnwick Castle, 5th March 2022

Senior Men – race report by Andy Squires – team captain

Alnwick Harriers turned out in force for the final, and best, cross country of the season, which just happened to be on home turf. We were facing relegation through no fault of our own, so it was vital that we put in a good performance, and we did not disappoint. Unfortunately, despite the valiant efforts of all 12 runners, including Dave Hindmarsh who seemed to be enjoying the lovely weather and scenery as he sauntered round (just joking Dave ), it was not enough to keep the team in Division 2.

The first counter home was Jim Allan who had a superb run coming in 8th overall with a time of 42:43. Second counter was Rob Andrew who came from the medium pack with a time of 47:09. The other counters, in order, were Graham Syers 47:47; Edward Harrison 48:16; John Archer 48:51 and Nick Biggers 49:47. The other team members to finish, in order, were Steve Patterson 50:43; Mike Telfer 51:49; Steve Cowell 52:49, Tony Jackson 53:48 and bringing up the rear, Dave Hindmarsh 67:36. Unfortunately Graham Simpson had to pull out on the second lap, so did not finish.

I would like to thank everyone for their efforts this season and hopefully we will all be back in September to fight for promotion.

May be an image of 13 people, people standing and outdoors

Senior Women – race report by Alice Tetley-Paul

The grand finale of the NEHL series was held at the Pastures in Alnwick, in the shadow of Alnwick Castle. With what is undeniably one of the most picturesque backdrops, the route sets out across open fields before climbing a series of hills up to a woodland section. The course was in good condition, with the trees that had fallen victim to recent storms having been cleared from the route and the ground generally firm underfoot. Emerging from the woodland section, there is a steep descent leading down to the flat, fast finish area. On the day, a lively crowd had gathered beside the tented village and it was great to be cheered in by a home crowd.

Many thanks to the members of Alnwick Harriers who turned out to volunteer on the day and to the members of the committee who helped make the event a great success.

Six women turned out to run for Alnwick Harriers, with several team members unfortunately unable to run due to injury or other commitments. However, there is always next season and the team is always on the lookout for more runners of any speed.

Alice Tetley-Paul was the first Harrier home, running from the slow pack and finishing in a time of 36.06. Jo Powell followed not long after, running from the medium pack in 37.26 (35.06 actual time). The final two counters were reliable slow packers Karen Mather in 39:24 and Jennifer Knight in 41.54. Supporting team members were Emma McGee, who finished in 43.23 on her first appearance this season, and stalwart Linda Patterson, who finished in 47.56.

Well done to everyone who took part in this race and any of the other races this season. Overall, the team finished this season in 13th position in division 3, with some great performances, a smattering of mud, a lot of grit and plenty of fun!

May be an image of 10 people, people standing and outdoors

Juniors – race report by Mike Telfer

Great effort at the Alnwick Cross Country by the juniors. The U11s raced well with top performances by Andrew, Alastair and Lachlan finishing 3rd,4th & 11th and Emilia & Alicia 5th & 8th. Mary & Aimee were our only U13s, well done girls😀. The U15 girls were our top team finishing 3rd. Excellent teamwork by Molly, Lilia and Xara. Liam and Jack represented the U15 boys with Liam McDonogh posting the fastest Alnwick time of the day 13:31 👍. Euan, Gregor, Hannah and Olivia representing the U17s. Fab day well done everyone!

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