Aykley Heads, Durham Cross Country
Saturday 22nd November 2014
Junior report from Jules:
I have had the pleasure of watching a lot of Cross Country races over the last few years. Usually plenty of mud and challenging courses but Aykley Heads tops them all. Lots of mud, lots of fast slippery down hills and lots of nasty up hills. Set in the beautiful city of Durham, in the grounds of the County Hall, this was definitely the toughest course I have seen.
Tynedale Juniors rose to the challenge as they usually do. There were many committed and determined black vests out there.
The Under 11’s race has been so well attended that it has now been split into girls and boys. In the boys race Archie Marston was our first finisher in 19th place followed by Nathaniel Henderson, Harry Courtney and Blake English. On this occasion Tynedale had no runners in the girls race.
The Under 13 Boys were led home by Charles Downs who finished in 3rd place. Aidan Pinkney was the second finisher followed by Gabriel Morley, Tom Murphy, Joel Driver and Joe Green. In the Girls race Annie Anderson had a storming race to finish in 1st place on the course and 10th overall. Annie’s high placing helped the U13 Girls to third place in the team event with the other finishers being Keeley French, Catherine Little, Bethan Nitsch, Freya Barr and Isobel Maxwell-Grey.
Our Under 15’s runners are on great form at the moment. Both the boys and the girls U15 teams finished in first place. In the boys race Alex Wood finished in first place on the course and 9th overall. Max Pearson finished in first place overall with Paddy Lally, Cameron Grey and Charlie McClintock finishing strongly to make up the winning team.
In the girls race Ellen Ricketts finished second overall, losing out by just 2 seconds. Ellen helped Tynedale to win the Under 15 team race along with Bella Chicken, Mhairi Shearer, Elena Bluck, Freya Murphy, Anya Herdman, Rhianna Nitsch and Sophie Hayter.
In the U17 Boys race Jaycee Shotton and Jamie Adams battled it out to take 9th and 10th places respectively. In the U17 Girls race Hannah Pinkney finished in 4th place.
And a word or two on the seniors from Kim B!
…the sun finally appeared from behind the clouds to light up Durham Cathedral as more than 350 senior women lined up to start their race. Jo Ritson of Durham City Harriers won the race, but it was Emma Holt, running from the fast pack, who recorded the fastest time of the day to finish in 5th place overall in a time of 26:54 for the 2-lap, 4 mile course. Tynedale’s team of 11 runners was split between all three packs, but it was Sonia Morley who made a strong return to cross country running after a period of injury, who crossed the line first for Tynedale in 34th place. As the top 10% of runners are promoted, she just fell in this category & will be promoted to the fast pack for future races. Kirstie Anderson, running from the fast pack, flew around the course, seemingly untroubled by the testing conditions underfoot, to finish in 46th place overall. Charlie Pinkney and Leanne Hayter were the final two counters for Tynedale’s women’s team. Saturday’s performance leaves Tynedale in 6th place in the team competition after two fixtures, with Tyne Bridge Harriers still comfortably in the lead.
There was another massive field for the senior men’s race, with over 550 athletes turning out. The 3-lap, 6 mile race was won by Tom Goulding of Birtley AC, with the fastest time going to Dan Jenkin of Durham City Harriers who finished in 10th place in a time of 34:29, having run from the fast pack. Tynedale fielded a large team of 14 runners. Teenager Toby Routledge was the first black vest to cross the line in 47th place overall, followed by Andy Green in 54th. Both earned promotion – Toby to the medium pack, and Andy to the fast pack. The other 4 counters for Tynedale were Tim Wylie, Sean Wylie, Peter Hearn and Paul Hutchinson. The team finished the day second in Division Two behind Sunderland Strollers, which leaves them leading Division Two in the team competition after two fixtures.
There is little time to recover before the next fixture this weekend at Wallington, another beautifully scenic course with tricky conditions underfoot!
Full results on the Harrier League website