It was a fine day for the first cross country event of the New Year; conditions were extremely muddy making it a ‘proper’ cross country course. As if that wasn’t enough, they also added a fence hurdle for us to negotiate.
The first Alnwick Harrier to compete was Farren Henderson in the U13 girls’, who had an excellent race, finishing 5th overall. Next up in the U15 category were Lilia Purvis and Catherine Purvis, who finished in a very creditable 19th and 20th places, respectively. Finally for the juniors, Euan Friend was the only Alnwick Harrier to race in the U17 boys’ race. He had a superb race to finish 16th overall.
The senior women managed to field a full team, which included Tess Allan, who was running at a cross country event for the first time. First to come in for Alnwick was Ann Tetley-Paul with a time of 36:43, followed by Jennifer Knight in 44:37; Linda Patterson in 52:20 and close behind was Tess Allan with a time of 52:55. Also in the mix was the legendary Mike Henry, with a time of 38:17.
Unfortunately, the senior men couldn’t put out a full team but were still well represented by four Harriers, including two who were carrying injuries, one first timer and one who claimed that he hates cross country. First Alnwick man home was Jim Allan who finished with a time of 45:08; an fantastic result, especially considering it was his first cross country event. He was followed by first of the lame ducks – Tony Jackson in 53:21, followed by the second lame duck – Andy Squires in 56:40 and finally, bringing up the rear was the man that loves to hate cross country, Dave Hindmarsh in 64:10.
Thanks to all those that turned out to wallow in the mud – you made it an unforgettable day.
38 people (and some dogs) turned up for Monday’s social coastal, with a revised Alnmouth to Craster (or anywhere in between) out and back run. Two members went for an extra early start with a Craster to Alnmouth and back route (joining everyone as they left Alnmouth), taking them up to almost 16 miles as they avoided the early high tide at Seaton Point.
Despite the cool start, everyone was in great form and set off promptly (well – most slightly early as they were getting cold waiting). Most were aiming for Boulmer, with a reasonable proportion doing more than planned and 12 managing the full route. Water and sweets were provided at Seaton Point, Boulmer and Craster – thanks to marshals Geoff and Louise for their time. Everyone made it back safely, I was told Zoe didn’t get lost this year which was a first and that it was good running conditions, although the return part had a headwind. I guess that meant the first part had a tailwind, but no one mentioned that….Back to the Hindmarsh Hall for delicious catered homemade soup, focaccia and cake and coffee. Many thanks to Chris, Grazia and Wallace for doing the catering in a safe and enjoyable manner. And finally, thanks to everyone for coming and making it a grand day out.
Alnwick Tri club once again invite Alnwick Harriers to join them in the annual social coastal run. It will be held on 27th December but this year it will be an out and back run to Craster or Sugarsands for a shorter course. Meeting on the beach at Alnmouth at 10.15am for a 10.30am start. Soup will be served afterwards from a van on the beach. Please let me know if you want to take part as we need numbers for the catering (soup). A request is for everyone to do a LFT prior to the event.
Please let me know if you want to take part by Christmas Eve by either message on here or email me on – email@example.com
As the sky darkened and the moon began to show its face, at a time when all good hobbits are safety tucked up in their hobbit holes eating their third and fourth helpings of the tenth meal of the day, they came. On foot and by carriage, in ones and twos they came, in the steadily developing gloom. Unlike other sensible mortals at this time of year they appeared half naked, wearing nothing but flimsy lycra and light shoes to protect them from the cold winter elements.
Gathering at their appointed place of the Burn by the Willows, like moths to a flickering flame, they huddled in a dimly lit corner. A passerby would have heard strange mutterings, in a tongue rarely encountered in these environs. Parlauf! Parlauf! Parlauf! Like the strange chant of a Saxon Druid it permeated among them. The clink of coins thrown into a chest echoed around as one by one, some more reluctantly than others, paid their tithe. Each, hearing their name called out answered the call. So from a disorganised rabble emerged tightly knit groups of three. Each trio had in their possession a baton decorated in the hues of Christmases long since gone which they waved as if to ward off evil spirits.Leaving the meagre sanctity of the Burn they faced the winter wind and headed willy-nilly to a place of learning to continue their ritual.
At a given signal each took their turn chasing each other round and round in circles, going nowhere. Their fellows would whoop and cheer loudly as their chosen warrior came into view,frightening locals and wildlife alike. This seemed to go on for hours although truth be told it lasted less than half an hour of the clock. Finally as a tall man chased a petite woman as if he was trying to get to the pub for last orders the crowd reached its crescendo. Much merriment and the clapping together of hands followed as the huffs and puffs and steaming bodies of the participants crossed some arbitrary line.
It was over! The festivities could begin. At the local hostelry “The Hogs Head Inn” our intrepid band gathered to partake in vittles and strong ale. Prizes were awarded to those who had performed well on the night and to those who hadn’t, a greatly treasured, highly decorated spoon was bestowed. For those deemed of special merit for performing throughout the year a glass etched with their name on was presented. And so as the witching hour drew closer, they returned to the bosoms of their friends and family to prepare for Christmas. Happy Christmas one and all.
Also on the evening of the Parlauf, the greatly anticipated and prestigious Grand Prix awards were handed out, with Rob Andrew running away with the coveted first place.
And Ella Brown presented our annual award the Robert Brown Trophy in honour of her late husband. This award recognises achievement at Druridge Bay parkrun and this year was presented to the first Alnwick Harrier to finish at the first DBpr after lockdown. Well done Geoff Givens!
Two Alnwick Harriers made the journey to Sedgefield for the NE Championships but what the Alnwick Harriers lacked in quantity, they made up for in quality. Especially Dave Richardson from Berwick, who was recently crowned Alnwick Harrier Athlete of the Year.
It was a calm and crisp morning when men’s team captain, Andy Squires arrived to put the tent and flag up and fortunately the rain held off until after the senior men’s race had finished. The course was challenging due to some very slippery and muddy conditions, and also the length of the course, which was 12km rather than the usual 10km for harrier leagues.
Dave Richardson’s valiant effort resulted in a time of 42:05, which put him 24th overall and Andy Squires came in with a time of 58:36, which he was very pleased with, considering he only started running again this season, after an extended break of several years.
After the race Andy was pleased to hand Dave his Athlete of the Year trophy, which was thoroughly deserved.
Leaving Alnwick on a dark, cold, wet and windy Sunday morning the omens did not look good for a pleasant jolly jaunt for the two Alnwick Harriers; Rob Andrew and Mike Henry whose combined ages would make a very respectable darts score. However as they departed Northumberland and entered Cumbria a transformation occurred, the rain stopped, the wind dropped and although still chilly the sun came out.
The race purportedly the oldest in England although not as old as Mike follows an almost directly westerly direction. Slightly undulating but with a fast last quarter mile it attracts a large field.
Superstar Rob had a blistering run finishing in 61mins 22 secs. and claiming 2nd in the very competitive over 55 category. Mike was extremely pleased to just finish on the same day and 78mins 27secs meant that he too was second but in the over 70 category.
As Wallace and Grommet would say “A grand day out”.
Three Alnwick Harriers travelled to Newcastle Town Moor on Sunday to take part in the Heaton Harriers Memorial 10K. After a 2 minute silence to mark Remembrance Sunday they got off to a flying start on a calm and flat course. Steve Patterson was first Alnwick Harrier home, with Andy Squires next and Phil Lee following behind with times of 38.01, 44.00 and 49.52 respectively.
Your club needs you for the north-eastern cross country championships, which this year are being held at Sedgefield on Saturday 11th December. Do not be put off by the word “Championship”, this event is open to a wide range of abilities and all are very welcome.