NEHL Thornley Hall Farm, Peterlee – 9.2.19

With a weather forecast threatening winds in excess of 50mph, some runners clearly decided to stay at home for the latest NEHL cross-country fixture at Thornley Hall Farm (Peterlee). Numbers were down on usual, with just over 1000 runners taking part. However there was an excellent turnout of 37 hardy members of Tynedale Harriers. While not as ferocious as predicted, the wind was still strong enough to send at least one club tent flying over the heads of the runners!

The biggest Tynedale turnout of the day was in the senior women’s race, with 12 runners in the black vest. On this particularly tough course, Rachel Vincent made short work of her 2 minute 40 second handicap from the medium pack, to be first across the line for Tynedale in 13th overall, earning herself promotion to the fast pack. Kirstie Anderson (fast), Maria Armstrong (medium) and Karen Robertson (fast) all demonstrated their speed and skill on the hills and in the mud, to cross the line in 38th, 60th and 70th respectively. Their combined scores earned the team 5th place on the day, leaving the team in equal 3rdin Division One, with only one fixture remaining. Everything is to play for in the final fixture, with only 4 points separating 5 teams in the division.

Also running for the women’s team were Charlie Pinkney, Elizabeth Earle, Kim Bluck, Carol Marshall, Rhiannon Robinson, Louise Griffin, Gillian Bell and Kim Firstbrook.

Tynedale’s senior men were also well represented, with 10 runners. Jaycee Shotton took the honour of being first home for Tynedale, in 74th overall, with Steve Reynolds in 101st. Ben Heathcote and Andy Green both overtook more than 300 runners as they dealt with their 5-minute handicap from the fast pack, to finish in 112th and 125threspectively. The final two scorers for Tynedale were Paul Hutchinson (182nd) and Lewis Balfour (226th). Will Lloyd, Pete Watson, Bernard Kivlehan and Vincent Thornley completed the lineup. The team finished the day 5th in Division Three.

Tynedale were also well-represented in the junior races, with several complete teams, including in both the U13 races. Nathaniel Henderson ran from the fast pack to finish 10th in his race, with Zach Maurice in 22nd and Solomon Couchman (fast pack) in 35th. They finished 4thteam on the day.

In the U13 girls’ race, Abigail Thornley was 19th, Daisy McLintock 27th and Poppy Watson 33rd. All three girls ran from the fast pack. The team finished in 9th place.

The U15 girls also fielded a full team. From the fast pack, Ciara Thornley and Kate Salthouse finished in 8thand 12th respectively, with Jess Sails the final counter in 23rd place. These good results earned the team a 4th place finish.

Charlie Daley was the only Tynedale Harrier in the U15 boys’ race, but he stormed through the field from the fast pack to finish in 2nd place! After this penultimate fixture, Charlie is sitting right at the top of the U15 Boys’ Individual Grand Prix.

In the U17 boys’ race, Joe Green had a strong race and managed to hold off Dan Joyce who was chasing him down from the fast pack. They raced for the line to finish 8th and 9th.

Finally, in the U11 boys’ race, Jem Henderson had a cracking run to finish 3rd, with Owen Forbes not far behind in 7th and Morgan Vincent in 42nd.

The last fixture of this season is in 3 weeks time, at Alnwick, when the final placings will be decided.

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