Those that remembered a wet, muddy field from last year were pleasantly surprised. Yes there was mud in places, but it added another ‘fun’ element to what was already a great cross country course, which had interesting twists and turns and and a couple of testing little climbs. The route made good use of a relatively small area by doubling back on itself a few times – good for watching and great for runners to have the support. The downside of this was that were not many chances to take it easy, knowing that you were out of sight!
The were some great Tynedale performances on Sunday. Pick of the bunch were the Under 13 girls, who came in as 1st team overall. They were brought home by Ellen Ricketts running brilliantly from the fast pack to finish in 5th, followed Bella Chicken (making her debut in a Tynedale vest) in 9th and Mhairi Shearer in 11th. There were nine Tynedale runners in the race – a great turnout, and all can be proud. Bella will be promoted to the fast pack to keep Ellen and Keeley French company for the next fixture!
The Under 13 boys did almost as well, finishing as 2nd team. Charles Downs had a brilliant run from the fast pack, effortlessly reigning in slow pack runners to finish as first Tynedale, 7th overall and 2nd fastest time on the day. Second counter for Tynedale was Gabriel Morley who had a typically strong run and just avoided promotion to the fast pack, finishing in 11th place. Daniel Emerson had a great debut for the club, finishing in 17th place as third team counter. These three were supported by another four Tynedale athletes: well done all!
Max Pearson stood out for the Under 15 boys. Despite being in the younger end of the age range he was 2nd fastest on the day, finishing in 4th place. He was supported by Jaycee Shotton – another strong run in only his second outing for the club, finishing in 22nd place, and Fabian Byron who completed the team, in 30th place.
The Under 15 girls only just had a team too. Elena Bluck, Ellie Barr and Freya Murphy are all at the younger end of the age group, so should be very pleased with their performances. Elena was first home in 15th place and Ellie and Freya had a battle for the line, Ellie just pipping Freya to the post by 2 seconds. They finished in 35 and 36th.
The Under 17 boys had a good turnout with six of them running. Victims of their own success, with most of them running from the fast pack, they did well to finish as 5th team. Alistair Maxwell-Gray, Fergus Robinson and Toby Routledge were the counters.
There was another impressive turnout for the under 11s race, which seems to be increasingly popular. There were 132 finishers from all clubs, with 7 from Tynedale. Ava Taperell was the first Tynedale runner home, closely followed by Roisin Lally, who apparently announced that it was too short and not hilly enough! Archie Marston was only 2 seconds behind her. Olivia Stewart has looked good in training and ran well, only another second behind; she was followed by Isabel Roberts, sister Jemma and Grace Courtney.
As a rainbow graced Bedewell Park the senior women found their crock of gold (well, silver), finishing as 2nd team overall in the 1st division. There was a great turnout for the women again, both for Tynedale, 16 in a total field of 308. The first two home for the club were Lucy Courtney in 24th place – a great Harrier League debut, and Helen Whitfield just a place and one second behind. Kim Bluck was the third team counter in 33rd, just escaping promotion to the medium pack.
Jonathon Currie had another great run in his step up to the senior ranks. Starting from the medium pack following his promotion at Blaydon, he ripped through the slower runners to finish 1st Tynedale, 32nd overall and fastest Tynedale performance of the day. Adam Pratt was next Tynedale home, in 117th place. He and Chris Baber both ran from the medium packs and had a good battle for the line, captured on Alan Currie’s video clip (link below). Peter Murphy was the fourth counter for the club in 211st position, followed by Andy Green, another strong run from the fast pack in 220th, and Martin Bluck in 296th. We finished in 8th place in Division 1, just above the bottom two relegation spots. As stronger runners from other clubs get promoted from the slow pack we should see our position improve.
All in all another great day in the North East harrier League – look forward to seeing everyone at Wallington Hall; a brand new NEHL venue!
Photo shows the Under 13 girls before their race (Elaine McLeod)
Alan’s video of Senior Men’s Race (mainly Jonnie!) on YouTube