Sole representative for Alnwick Harriers, veteran Dave Richardson travelled down to Hampstead Heath, London yesterday to take part in the National XC championships on the iconic Parliament Hill Cross Country course. On a 12Km cross country course, which was muddy, hilly and waterlogged, he came 383 in a time of 51mins, out of a congested field of over two thousand! Well done Dave, you have done Alnwick Harriers proud!
No surprise after storm Arwen, the trees have been devistated up on Simonside so the race had to use the “bad weather route” of 14.5km rather than the 16km route that takes in the Forrest.
After all the wind and rain, there was about a four hour window where the running gods allowed us to go up from Rothbury on to the top of Simonside in almost perfect conditions. Perfect conditions up there is no wind blowing you off your feet and no precipitation. It was almost still and the view of the long line of head torches winding their way up past lordenshore car park and up on to Simonside was as spectacular as it gets.
We were already into snow before getting to Lordenshore (2miles) from the start so we knew up on the top the flagstones were going to be sheet ice. I’m not sure a single competitor of the 263 finishers got round without falling over and the descent from Simonside cairns was particularly slippery. The run was accompanied by constant shouts of “ice” coming back down the line.
The Deurgar had been out with some sort of shovel to make a trap for unsuspecting runners. The flagstones were too slippery to run on but the peat at the sides of the stones was very boggy after 2-3 days of heavy rain and snow. Indeed, Steve Cowell fell into the Deurgar trap and he was amongst a number of people who had to be hauled out the peat bog as they were chest deep!! Once off the stones, the last 2 miles run down in to Rothbury is great fun. Some of us had big cheesy grins on our faces whilst flying past everyone but the sting in the tail is the finish line is now up a set of steps that you genuinely think you are going to die on and you are only 50m from the finish line.
5 Harriers went up there but there were so many locals and familiar faces, it was great to be out there and Cold Brew Events do such a good job of putting these spectacular events on. It is definitely my favourite race of the year. The male race winner, Sam Bandeen finished in 1hr 11 min with the female race winner Georgina Lewis clocking an amazing time of 1hr 25 min.
Harriers Results. 50. Jon Archer 1:38.03. 68. Peter Coulthard 1:41.35. 109. Tracey Sample 1:51.33 (11th female) 143. Steve Cowell 2:00.56 158. Helen Dickinson 2:05.34
A small group of harriers travelled the short distance to Temple Park in South Shields to take part in the Sherman Cup and Davison Shield XC. Conditions for the race were good underfoot, they had to contend with windy conditions but the rain that had been forecast held off. The women also had a 20min delay to the start of their race.
Three Alnwick harriers made the journey to the North Eastern Masters Cross Country championship held on Saturday at the Rising Sun,Wallsend. On a dry but challenging course with the wind blowing a ‘hooley’ all three participants left with medals. Carole Paige led home the over 60s with an emphatic win by over a minute to become this years champion. Meanwhile David Richardson, making the long journey from Berwick, battled his way around the course showing immense strength to hold off a Blackhill Bounder in the run in to the finish, to gain a well deserved bronze. In the over 70’s category Mike Henry was just pleased to be running two laps not three and also came home with a bronze. P.S. Due to exhaustion no photographs were taken
A perfect winter’s morning sandwiched in between Storm Malik and Storm Corrie on a beautiful Northumbrian beach awaited runners taking part in the Wild Deer events 5K, 10k and a half marathon. On Sunday 30th January Druridge Bay played host to these scenic trail races and Alnwick Harriers put in some strong performances.
First placed lady overall in the popular 10k attracting 224 runners was Alnwick’s Jo Gascoigne-Owens! Jo sailed round at an incredible trail run speed finishing in 44.35 and bagging 12th place! A hugely deserved win for Jo and brilliant to see her back out racing! Next for the club and third placed female overall was Jo Powell closely followed by Tony Jackson and Carole Page. Returning to racing after some time off due to an injury Diana Weightman thoroughly enjoyed the trail route including the vast, sweeping stretch along the beach. Tracey Sample finished well recovering from a leg injury sustained at a very wintry fell race earlier in the month!
Four Alnwick harriers successfully completed the half marathon trail race. Keith Geldert who recently joined the club in the summer of last year after moving up from the Yorkshire Dales was the first of the quartet home in a superb time of 1:41:58 finishing in 30th place overall out of 170 starters. Shortly after came Stephen Cowell putting in a strong performance. Bridget Peberdy and Joanne Adamson were the two Alnwick ladies representing the club in the half marathon. Both achieving excellent runs and finishing within minutes of each other just outside two hours.
Well done to all of our 10 members who took part in these rewarding trail races showcasing the beauty of the North East coastline in winter!
10K Results: 12. Jo Gascoigne-Owens 44:35 (1st lady) (1st V40) 29. Jo Powell 47:57 (2nd V40) 32. Tony Jackson 48:24 36. Carole Page 49:12 (1st V60) 51. Diana Weightman 52.22 (3rd V50) 70. Tracey Sample 55:29 Half Marathon Results: 30. Keith Geldert 1:41:58 53. Stephen Cowell 1:49:47 111. Bridget Peberdy 2:05:28 (2nd V60) 121. Joanne Adamson 2:09:4
Are any Alnwick Harriers interested in participating in the Signals Relays? It’s a really good event and it would be fantastic if the club could show our support for the North Eastern Athletics Association by submitting a few teams.
If you wish to register your interest then please contact Diana Weightman email@example.com.
4 Harriers took part in the Cold Brew Events Winter Wipeout on Sunday 9th Jan. A trail/fell half marathon from Ingram Cafe up to the top of Hedgehope and back, with 5 stream crossings, a (shallow) river crossing and the sting in the tail that is going up the steep side of Brough Law. It was -2 deg C when we set out so the first 2k along the road was sheet ice and then turning up on to the fells past Cunyan Crags, it was getting very pretty with the snow but by the time the actual Hedgehope Hill climb started, we were in the clouds, the snow had turned to ice and the winds were gusting to 48mph.
The race was won by Craig Jones of Tyne Bridge Harriers in 1hr 58 min 50 sec, some 6 min ahead of second place.Mike Telfer and Ross Wilson ran together and used their local knowledge to float up to the top whilst Steve Cowell trudged up there in and hour and a half, with me another 20 min behind. The ice made the descent treacherous as the bogs had iced over and were either very slippy or in danger of breaking through to thigh deep bog beneath (don’t ask me how I know it was thigh deep).
The river crossing was at the base of Brough law, just 2km from the finish and whilst the mountains goats made short work of it, it took me 37 min to do that last stretch. Of course this was nothing to do with the fact that I was soaked through from an alleged pathetic fall in to the river, which may or may not have been captured on drone footage by Drew, the race organiser, who may have been laughing very heartily whilst assuring me it was ok as he got it all on camera.
At the end, we all got a smashing cup of soup at the cafe and had a good gossip about how hard it was.
Results:- 37. Mike Telfer 2hrs 38 min 35 sec (4th MV50)38. Ross Wilson 2 hrs 38 min 36 sec99. Steve Cowell 3hrs 12 min 8 sec145. Tracey Sample 3 hrs 33 min 21 sec