Match 3 of the North East Harrier League took place on Saturday, at a brand new venue. And what a stunning location it was, in the grounds of Wallington Hall, given to the National Trust in 1941 by Sir Charles Philip Trevelyan. According to the National Trust website the Trevelyan family, “loved being outdoors and close to nature and the house is surrounded by an informal landscape of lawns, lakes, woodland, parkland and farmland, just waiting to be explored“, so you feel that they would have approved of 1,074 women, men and kids running around the estate for the NEHL!
Unfortunately 1,074 bums means a lot of cars, and the challenge of getting everyone parked safely meant a late start – the final race of the day, the senior men, only just made it before a spectacular sunset signaled the end of the day.
The Under 13 girls and Under 15 boys were stars for Tynedale, both winning the team prize in their races. The girls were led home for the second week running by Ellen Ricketts, who had a great run from the fast pack to finish 4th overall and 2nd fastest time on the day. She was followed by Mhairi Shearer in 6th and Sarah Jackson in 8th, who are both promoted to the fast pack for the next race. There were ten under 13 Tynedale girls running in total – a great turnout and brilliant to see such a team effort – you all help each other!
The Under 15 boys saw brilliant runs in the familiar guise of Matthew Jackson and Max Pearson, both starting from the fast pack and finishing 3rd and 4th with the 2nd and 3rd fastest times on the day. Third counter was Matthew’s younger brother Christopher, again running from the fast pack and finishing an impressive 15th. The three Jackson siblings are a talented trio! Jaycee Shotton had another strong run, equally his 22nd place from last week.
There was another good turnout for the Under 11s race, with 6 proudly wearing the Tynedale vest. Annie Anderson was first home, with Roisin Lally and Archie Marston only seconds behind. Olivia Stewart, Ava Taperell and Olivia’s sister Gemima also looked strong and we look forward to them progressing to the competitive Under 13s category in the future.
The Under 13 boys did almost as well as the girls, finishing as 2nd team. First home in 8th place was Daniel Emerson in only his second competitive race for the club, followed only 4 seconds later by Gabriel Morley in 10th. Both are promoted to the fast pack. The crucial third counter was Harley Towart with a great run in 21st place. It was good to see Ed McLean running again after a long lay-off with injury and he seems to be back close to his best with a great run from the fast pack finishing in 29th, just outside the team places.
There were 3rd team finishes for the Under 15 girls and the Under 17 boys. The Under 15 girls were led home in fine style by Hannah Pinkney, who picked up a deserved bronze medal for her efforts. Not far behind was Ellie Bluck in 4th, who seems to cover the ground effortlessly. Both are promoted to the fast pack. Putting in a typically gutsy run to finish as third counter was Sophie Speed in 23rd place.
A great turnout of 8 Under 17 Tynedale lads did brilliantly well to get the 3rd team prize. It shouldn’t be underestimated what a tough category this is – the race is run at a blistering pace. The lads benefited from good ‘packing’; Alistair Maxwell-Grey was first Tyendale home in 15th place, followed by Dominic Kilsby only 2 seconds behind in 17th place and Toby Routledge, 19th and only another 10 seconds behind Dom. Dominic Morley and Sean Wylie were just outside the team counters, in 21st and 22nd places respectively.
The Tynedale Senior Women and Men had a tougher time of it than their junior teammates. The Women were more successful, finishing as 6th team, which was a good results considering how many of them run from the medium and fast packs. Joanne Lee made light of her fast pack handicap, finishing as first Tynedale home in 33rd, proving she is just as nippy over tussocky grass as she is on track or tarmac. Kim Bluck and Lucy Siddle had a great tussle for the entire race, never more than about 4 metres apart, until Kim edged ahead on the last climb to finish 2nd counter in 36th place, with Lucy the final counter in 40th place. Helen Whitfield had another excellent run, undaunted by the experience of running from the medium pack, she finished in 51st position. It was another impressive field in the women’s race, with 253 finishers.
The men finished in 9th place, which leaves them in the bottom two relegation places of Division 1, level on points with South Shileds in 8th, who have a better ‘goal difference’, ie individual placings. The job of staying up will be made harder by losing talented youngster Jonny Currie to the fast pack. He had another stunning run from the medium pack, finishing in 23rd position overall. Second counter for Tynedale was Chris Baber, another strong run from the medium pack, stalwart Syd Coxon was 3rd counter, followed by Andy Green, Paul Hutchinson and Mike Little; a great run in his first outing of the season. Unfortunately a good strong run by Philip Jameson, who would have been 5th counter, was for nought as he was disqualified for wearing last season’s number. It’s a wonder no one noticed the error, as it was a totally different colour! We hope Phil will be back again in the next fixture with the right number! Team captain Andy Green’s running time was only 2 seconds faster than Jonny – so the two should really help push each other in the fast pack from now on.
There’s a bit of a break for the Harrier League now, with Wrekenton the next fixture on February 8th. Before then are the North Eastern Cross Country Championships on the 14th December and the Northerns on 25th January. Good luck to all Tynedale runners competing in those.
Some more pics from Marcus
Featured photo: the Under 13 girls team (Alan Currie)