It was another glorious summer evening for the second running of the race and with drier underfoot conditions this year times were generally quicker, resulting in a new course record for the winner, David Beech of Tyne Bridge Harriers, in 36.57.
Last year’s winner, Steve Birkinshaw of Borrowdale, was leading at the Branch End turn, eventually finishing a close 2nd, and 1st V40, in 37.08. John Butters of NFR was just behind Steve in 3rd place in 37.17.
There were 70 starters, up from 54 last year, helped partly by the race being a counter in the NFR Club Championship. This produced an NFR clean sweep in the ladies’ race, with Karen Robertson winning in 44.04 (and 1st LV40), Steph Scott 2nd in 46.42 and Tara Johnson a close-run 3rd in 46.46. NFR also took several other prizes with David Armstrong 1st V50 in 8th place in 39.37, Joe Garbarino 1st V70 in 58.08 and 1st Men’s Team and 1st Ladies Team.
There was a great turnout of 19 Tynedale Harriers preferring the hills of Haydon bridge to the roads and riverside around Newburn, and they cleaned up the remaining awards, with Alistair Maxwell 1st U18 in 44.49, Peter Graham 1st V60 in 47.51 and Bridget Broadhurst 1st LV50 in 56.35.
It was disappointing that 3 people were disqualified for not completing the route after being unclear on route markers. NFRs Will Horsley, who was leading at the time, would quite likely have influenced the results at the head of the field. Paul Pickett had a sleepless night with gorse rash and tingling from the nettle stings! A lot of effort went into the course preparation, but we will take on board feedback and try to make it infallible for next year. Apologies to those affected.
New this year were junior races. Turnout was low, but those who did compete put in a real effort and seemed to enjoy themselves. Harry Courtney was first U10, Roisin Lally looked every inch a fell runner coming in as 1st U12 girl, with Grace Courtney behind her in 2nd. Ed McClean had a storming run in the Under 14s race and looked like he was ready for another lap. Sophie Speed put in a great effort to finish 1st U14 girl. Ben Pickett made light of the 4km route in the U16 race.
The race is a fund raiser for Shaftoe First School Association (PTA) and it looks like we’ve made about £360, which is excellent – thank you for coming and your donations for the refreshments.
Thanks go to the local landowners and farmers who are very supportive; to Cogito Books of Hexham and Allendale Brewery for their generous contributions to the prizes; and to Pete Bland Sports for the race numbers. And of course all the marshalls and helpers, including PTA members and school staff.
We hope to see you all again next year – maybe put it in the Tynedale Club Championship Ian? 😉
Photos by Marcus’ Mum (marshalling at Branch End) here
Photo of start of senior race by Jan Oliver.
Marcus Byron June 2013