NHEL Alnwick Castle, Saturday 29th February 2020

Finally, after months of postponements and cancellations due to the inclement weather, almost 1000 runners, aged from 9 to over 70, lined up for the latest cross-country fixture at Alnwick Castle.  Conditions were cold, and windy but generally sunny, with the exception of a particularly unwelcome snow shower during the senior women’s race.  The course had been changed from previous years, to include 2 extra hills, which also made it longer, much to the delight or horror of the athletes!

The only promotion of the day for Tynedale Harriers came in the senior men’s race:  Will Lloyd had a cracking run to finish 14th in a strong men’s field, earning himself promotion to the medium pack in future.  Steve Reynolds was the next scorer in 85th, with Andy Green (running from the fast pack with a 5 minute handicap) not far behind in 93rd.  Phil Vincent, from the medium pack, was next in 132nd, with Alex Tang (149th) and Pete Watson (192nd) completing the list of scorers.  Also in the men’s team were Martin Bluck and Ed Yuill.  The team finished the day in 4th place in Division 3.

In the senior women’s race, Tynedale fielded a strong team of ten.  Running from the fast pack, Kirstie Anderson and Lisa Tang made light work of their 5-minute handicap, to finish in 41st and 44th respectively.  Steph Scott made a welcome return to the team to be 3rd scorer in 54th.  Final counter for Tynedale was Charlie Pinkney who ran from the medium pack and crossed the line in 69th.  Jeannie Brady, Carol Marshall, Kim Bluck, Sarah Davidson, Kim Firstbrook and Louise Griffin completed the team, which finished 8th in Division 1.

Tynedale had a full team in the U13 girls’ race, with all three athletes running from the fast pack.  Maria Gaines was first to cross the line for Tynedale in 13th, with Poppy Watson in 21st and Kate Terry in 28th.  The team finished in 4th place.

Oliver Lowe was the only Tynedale representative in the U15 boys’ category, finishing the tough course in 37th.  Likewise, Jess Sails was the only Tynedale runner in the U15 girls’ race.  She had a strong run to finish in a very respectable 18th place.

Finally, in the U11s boys’ race, Wilfred Pugh and Morgan Vincent battled the strong wind, to cross the line in 26th and 28th.

Traditionally, Alnwick is the final fixture in the NEHL cross-country calendar, but as a result of the postponements, there are still two fixtures yet to run.  Lambton is scheduled for March 14th, and Druridge Bay for March 29th.  Let’s hope that the weather is kinder in March.

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