Ironman Barcelona

Report by Elswick’s Mark Turnbull. Enjoy the read & photos. I booked up with the Ponteland Tri group as an event like this is so much smoother, less stressful and more enjoyable when approached in numbers, and with 7 competitors and up to around 13 supporters it was fantastic. A mixture of Ironman virgins and hardened competitors looking for a time. Below: Left, Elswicks Mark Turnbull & Mike Banner & 5 make 7!

A brief diary of the weekend’s events:

Thursday – check into hotel – oh how we laughed when Mark Kelly and I, who were sharing a room, were told there were no twins left. Receptionist – “It’s ok guys the bed’s big” (it wasn’t).  Luckily David and Sarah Levison swapped their twin room, phew! Registration and then a couple of beers (honest)… and then a couple of small red wines! 

Friday – morning 1 hour easy bike planned – but (the Hotel porter man) broke my presta valve blowing the tyre up – omg! Mended it and went out a bit later, 6 miles down the road – bang it broke again and had to limp back to base. Getting that fixed was very stressful as I couldn’t get the right valve extender and it wasn’t properly ‘fixed’ until the Saturday. Friday afternoon – briefing by Mr Ironman, Paul Kaye and then an easy swim.

Saturday – backwards and forwards to a bike shop a couple of times and then an hour ride just to make sure everything was ok – no problems phew! bike racking, transition bag prep and eating lots. 

Sunday – Race Day – we awoke to thunder and lightning, rain and rough seas. The start was at 8:20 ish so fairly late by normal triathlon standards. The overall race strategy was the same for 3 of us, myself, David and Steve: swim survival, bike 5 hrs (23 mph) and run 3:20 to 3:30 plus transitions should be an easy sub 10 hours. 

Swim: I did 1:17 which was a pb for me, but I’d hoped for a quicker time in calm conditions. There was at least a 6 foot swell that provided a few comical moments but ended some races there and then with people struggling in the shore break. Once out it was a bit choppy with the wind/current blowing you down the course and then a struggle back looking for small buoys hidden behind the swell. The photo really does not do the 6 feet swells justice!



Bike: very flat and very busy is the best description, with a few rain showers making roundabouts treacherous. Unfortunately quite a few crashes on the slippy roundabouts including the overall winner, but also John Mc Gargill in our party who dislocated/broke his shoulder L – oh no everyone was gutted for him to say the least, but I think he’s on the mend already and booking up another. There was actually a hill put in that you had to climb twice, obviously on a 2 lap course, but we went up it at 20 mph with the wind behind! I can’t believe that some people were actually complaining about the hilly course – clearly never been to Northumberland.  Three of the guys got penalties that seemed very random, more for ‘blocking’ when trying to get off the front of a group. My strategy was to start the swim as near to the front as possible, so as to be cycling at the faster end of the field and it pretty much worked. It mainly consisted of bridging over from one group to the next group, each one faster than the last until about 20 miles to go I couldn’t get off the front and had to sit in a peloton eating my lunch and taking in the scenery (in an Ironman!). Actually very frustrating as you feel you could go faster. Finished the bike on 5:05, just under 23 mph average. 




Run: early target pace was 7:30/mile with an 8 minute backstop which I’d roughly worked out on the fly would get me to 9:59. I ran a 1:40 1st half and a 1:49 2nd for a 3:29 marathon. I actually thought I was fine for 9:59 until pretty much the finish. The final 10 km I had 48 minutes – no problem right?  Didn’t factor the aid stations and stopping for another wee (aaaggghh) and finished on 10:01, 10th in the V 50 category. I’m chuffed with that – went for it, gave it a good crack and a minute doesn’t matter, it was a superb event and I achieved the target (very nearly). Time just slips away everywhere during the course of an Ironman, quite apart from being a slow swimmer, 3 wee stops, wet roads on the bike, a bit of nutrition walking on the run – all adds up and the clock stops for no-one! 

Steve smashed all 3 disciplines out the park and finished 9:44!Very well done. David was ahead of me nearly all the way and would have finished an easy sub 10, but reached his sugar intake limit on the 2nd half of the run and finished just behind me – also a bit disappointed to miss the target. 

Elswick’s Mike Russell made his long course debut, looking to have enjoyed the whole Ironman experience, relieved to have survived the swim and talking about next time already! Mark Kelly finished in a great time after some sporadic training and with a (self professed) alpha male body more suited to rugby than Ironman! Martin Hallissey (somehow not registered as Pont Tri) finished in an amazing 9:12, 8th in his category. That’s it, definitely recommended, would do it again in a flash. Finishers photos: Below left: The magic carpet & Elswick’s Mark Turnbull & right, Mike Banner.




Druridge Bay NEHL XC. Juniors Team Report

Thanks to Ken, Jan & Claire for the report: The 2nd Harrier League race of the season took place on Sunday at the picturesque Druridge Bay it was drizzling and cold. We had 31 hardy juniors turning out (Thanks to Tom Hanson for bringing the tent much appreciated).

The first race was the U/11s sadly we had no boys running but we certainly made up for it in the girls. U/11 Girls 1st Poppy Wilde 5.54, 10th Erin Blight 6.39, 11th Louisa Hamilton 6.40, 22nd Evie Reed 7.00, 23rd Zoe Fielding 7.05, 33rd Jessica Robinson 7.31, 35th Hannah Waterhouse 7.37, 42nd Lola Wood 7.51, 45 Keira Bairstow 8.04. U/13 Boys 4th Jake Robinson 13.41, 11th Charles Mason 14.12, 29th Adam Robinson 15.08, 53rd Bailey Shore 16.05 4th Team. U/13 Girls 11th Sophie Henderson 15.30,22nd Caitlin Flanagan 14.14(fast pack) 40th Lucy Milburn 15.04(fast pack)66th Jayden Morton 20.53. 7th Team. U/15 Boys 48th Connor Shore 15.02. U/15 Girls 38th Aimee Bairstow 15.48, 44th Emily Allison 14.23(fast pack) 45th Charley Lee 14.24(fast pack) 52nd Grace Ogilvie 17.05. 63rd Maelona Redhead 19.53, 64th Elaine Hutton 19.55. 12th Team. U/17 Boys 23rd Jamie Styles 18.17, 25th Chris Mason 19.22 both running from the fast pack. U/17/20 Girls 2nd Suzannah Fielding 20.29, 6th Hannah Tumia 19.47(medium pack)17th Kerry-Anne Simpson 22.17, 29th Marissa O’Rourke 25.52. 2nd Team. Next NEHL is on the 27th October at Gosforth Park this is a new venue, it’s local so we would like to see as many juniors turning out for this race .Remember you have to do at least 3 races to be in with a chance of an award at the club championships. More photos are on the continue reading icon:

SENIOR WOMENS RACE: A great result collectively by good packing & placement resulted in a first team spot in Division two. Well done to Sara, Amy Heptinstall Amy Fuller, Hannah, Robyn, Cath, Vicki, Lalage, Kim, Charlotte, Arabella, Gill, Melissa, Michelle and Harry Matthews. Elswick ladies also placed a second counting team, finishing in 8th place. THE SENIOR MENS RACE: The gents finished 7th team in Division 2: Joe Higgins was first home. Athletes, Scott, Mark, John, Dave, Martin, Daniel, Steve, Andy, Jim, Lee and Dean competed well to consolidate a good mid-table standing. Well done. More photos by clicking the continue reading icon. The next XC is Saturday 27th October at Gosforth Park.

Continue reading Druridge Bay NEHL XC. Juniors Team Report

Elswick Harriers Run / Talk Initiative. A good luck message for Team Elswick in Barcelona!

Run And Talk event – Thursday 11 October 2018. Elswick Harriers, as part of the England Athletics initiative, is to hold a “Run And Talk” event on Thursday 11 October 2018.
The run will be the same as previous, – Starting at 7:15 p.m. from the club going along to Blayney Row, left towards the river, then left through the riverside Park to the Boat House then back to the club via Grange Road. The route may have to change if the weather is inclement. Hopefully conversations can continue after the run at the Keelman Pub.
This is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how Elswick Harriers embraces mental health. Further information can be obtained from the England Athletics Facebook page at #Run And Talk, from our Mental Health ambassador, Christiane James or from me. Regards, Keith Batey, Club Welfare Officer.

Finally, the very best of luck to Elswick Harrier Club Members, participating at this weekends end of season finale at Ironman Barcelona. A lot of training over the three disciplines will have gone towards this one day race spectacular, which precludes the world championships that take place in October on the island of Hawaii. GO TEAM ELSWICK! 

A milestone & Club News

A milestone for the club! 

This is the 1000th post on the Elswick Harrier Website.

The first ever post published on the clubs website was back on 4th July 2012 when Andy Middleton published that first report: The Tynedale 10 km Road Race. Commonly known by fellow runners as the pie & peas run. There have been a total of just under 1000 comments attached to the posts over the past six years and website’s anti-virus software has stopped over 350,000 spam infiltrating the website. An average of thirteen posts per month. For a little trip down memory lane, here is that first 212 word report:

This popular mid-week event was staged on a typical English summer’s evening-threatening clouds and intermittent rain, with a huge field of 515 finishers. The race was won by 0/40 Steve Cairns of Tyne Bridge Harriers in 33:09, with the women’s race being yet another success for Jane Hodgson of Morpeth Harriers in 37:25. Elswick had an excellent turnout of 15 runners including new recruit Mark Turnbull who finished a very creditable 30th in 37:23. KEVIN STEPHENSON ran solidly to claim 38th spot in 38:15. ALISON DARGIE continued her purple patch by finishing 41st and second woman overall in 38:27. YAM THIRU had an excellent run to finish 65th in a time of 39:35, 1st 0/45. Good to see JONNY BOLTON out in a club vest, he was one place behind Yam in 39:38. MARK McNALLY was once again 1st 0/60 in 40:12 – 81st. MARK POWELL-87TH-40:33, TOM HANSON-145TH-43:24, ANTHONY BEYNON-149TH-43:38, PETER SLOAN-173RD-44:38, MARY LISLE-251ST-47:55, JOANNE LUCKING-345TH-51:09, CHRISTINE LEE-397TH-53:40, and yet again 1st 0/60. TINA McIVER was 435th-56:48, and ELIZABETH PALLISTER finished 486th in 62:48. Elswick women finished 4th team overall. The event was a great success, in spite of the difficulties with parking due to the bad weather. This did not deter the competitors from enjoying their post-race suppers back at Ovingham School, so hats off to Tynedale Harriers for overcoming all the problems thrown at them.

News for club members.

 A reminder: The club’s AGM will take place on Friday 2nd November 2018 at 7.30 pm: Ground Floor meeting room. Club Members are encouraged to attend: remember this is your club! The secretaries report will be talked through, along with a financial summary (delivered by the club treasurer). The re-election of the club’s committee also takes place. An open question & answer session brings to an end the meeting.

From Monday’s Committee Meeting (1st October 2018). A request was put before the club’s committee to consider an earlier session start time of 7 pm.

After some discussion it was agreed by the committee members present that the club will stay with a 7.15 pm start time.

A new joining form (Ver 4.0) can be downloaded from the website. The form now includes a GDPR statement.

A timely reminder for all club members participating in club runs & training sessions during dusk & night time conditions, to wear appropriate high visibility clothing.

Redcar Half Marathon. Sunday 30th September

The Redcar Half Marathon is a regional championship standing race. The race which attracts a strong field of good local club runners, took place on Sunday. Elswick’s V40 athlete, Jude Nutt had a superb race, finishing as 1st placed FIRST FEMALE ATHLETE, with a time of 1.25.10. Only 33 male runners were in front of Jude. Congratulations! As you can see from the photo below, A trio of Elswick lads running in unison, Martin Connelly (1.27.28 & 55th), Shaun Connelly (1.27.33 57th) and John Bell (1.27.23 V55) finished within a second or three of each other. Shaun ran a half marathon PB and John claimed a top podium spot in his age group category. Well done gents, no doubt some canny pacing going on throughout the race! Results can be found by clicking the link here > results

Taking a step back to the 2015 Redcar Half Harathon, Elswick’s Justina Heslop won the womens race and Elswick’s Tadele Geremew won the mens  race with times of 76 mins & 70 mins respectively. The club has certainly had some notable success, across almost all of the age group categories over the years at this championship race. Cheers, GB


North East Harrier League Cross Country Season Opener at Wrekenton & This week’s Senior Training Sessions.

And so begins the NEHL Cross Country for the 2018 / 2019 Season. Junior report by Jan & Ken Heslop.

On a lovely Autumn day the first NEHL took place at Wrekenton. It was quite a hectic half hour giving out numbers but with Claire’s help it went smoothly. A special thank you to Rob who brought the tent made some brownies and warmed the Juniors up then had to do his own race. Results as follows first race Under 11 Boys- 2nd Sam Allison 6.04, 15th Jake Stroud 6.35(who took a nasty tumble at the start) 81st Joseph Bampton 8.28. Under  11 Girls- 1st Poppy Wilde 6.11, 11th Erin Blight 7.01, 13th Charlotte Naughton 7.04, 14th Louisa Hamilton 7.07, 31st Lola Wood 7.34, 32nd Evie Reed 7.34, 36th Sydney Bungay 7.45, 42nd Hannah Waterhouse 8.06, 54th Jessica Robinson 8.40,56th Kiera Bairstow 8.46. Under 13 Boys- 16th Henry Young 9.50,27th Charles Mason 10.04 46th Adam Robinson 10.32, 51st William Butterworth (fast pack) 9.02.57th Bailey Shore 10.51, 7th Team. Under 13 Girls -3rd Poppy Old 10.16, 5th Lucy Milburn 10.41, 12th Imogen Bungay 10.59, 15th Sophie Henderson 11.18, 16th Bella Russell 11.19, 33rd Caitlin Flanagan 10.21(fast pack) 41st Ellie Winter 12.17, 52nd Lauren Stroud 11.10(fast pack)64th Jayden Morton 14.28, 2nd 5th&15th Teams. 

Under 15 Boys- 3rd Zac Old 8.43, 61st Will Brown correct time 13.26 by mistake ran out of fast pack as it was his first race. Under 15 Girls- 40th Aimee Bairstow 11.55, 45th Emily Allison 10.29(fast pack)49th Charley Lee 10.50 (fast pack)52nd Lucy Dickson 12.52, 56th Maelona Redhead 14.39 9th Team. Under 17 Boys- 27th Jamie Styles 18.48, 30th Chris Mason 20.44 both running from the fast pack. Under 17/20 -5th Hannah Tumia 20.55, 34th Kerry-Anne Simpson 24.41. Fantastic turnout no less than 38 Juniors well done full credit to the athletics and coaches. We hope to see as many athletes as possible at the next venue at Druridge Bay. Don’t forget: To be in with a chance for the club championship you have to do at least three races. Well done everyone!

Mens & Womens Race summary: Next up was the women’s race…… and a very good day for the ladies team. They were placed first in their division (2) collecting 34 points from the four counting athletes. Very well done ladies. The men’s race saw a welcome return to Elswick’s Mark McLeod who made up one of the six counting runners for Elswick who are also in Division 2. Another good team display by the men. They were 5th placed team with 212 pts.

A reminder to say: The seniors & Vets club championship: The first three NEHL events are the qualifying races for the stand alone club championship: Be in it to win it!

The Cross Country train arrives at Druridge Bay this Sunday. Well done everyone: Let’s see more Elswick Athletes out on Sunday!

Senior Training: Tuesday: 2 x 2 miles starting at the bus stop at One North East, running up to B & Q and back. Thursday 4 x 2 mins /  5 Short hills /  4 x 1 min at Warburtons.

Last Club Championship Race: Heaton Memorial Event Day. Junior & Senior Events.

PLEASE NOTE : The Race HQ has changed. The Race HQ will now be at Newcastle High School for Girls, Senior School Hall, Tankerville Terrace, NE2 3BA. For location and directions please click here Memorial Road Races on Sunday 11th November 2018. The first prize for the mens and ladies race is £200. £200 bonus available sub 29:32 winning time (Men), and sub 34:04 winning time (Women). This year the race is the NECAA 10km Senior Women’s and Men’s Road Race Championships, qualification rules can be found here Timetable of events: 9.15am Mini Minor’ Under 11 boys/girls (minimum age 9 on 11/11/18) – Approx 1km £3.00. 9.30am. JUNIOR RACE: Under 13 boys/girls (aged 11 & 12 on 31/08/18) – 3km  £3.00. 9.45am. JUNIOR RACE: Under 15 boys/girls (aged 13 & 14 on 31/08/18) – 3km  £3.00. 10.15am. JUNIOR RACE: Under 17 men/women & Under 20 men/women – 5km £3.00. (u17 aged 15 & 16 on 31/08/17. u20 aged 17, 18 & 19 on 31/08/18). A full timetable can be found here:- memorial-road-races-timetable-2018. ALL JUNIOR RACES WILL BE CHIP TIMED! 11.00am. MAIN RACE: Senior/veteran men/women (chip timed) – 10km £11 att / £13 unattached. Entry fees are +£3 if you enter on the day (if race is not full). Online entry for the 10k available at Results Base Entry form can be downloaded here. Route Map for 3K & 1K Race:- heaton-memorial-map-2018-3K-1K. Route Map for 10K Race:- heaton-memorial-map-2018-10K-5K. FAQs:- heaton-memorial-road-races-2018-frequently-asked-questions. Race Terms & Conditions:- heaton-memorial-road-races-2018-terms-and-conditions. For all enquiries please email


Senior sessions for Tuesday 25th and Thursday 27th

Tuesday 25th. Due to the darker nights closing in we’re starting back at the bus stop just beyond Stanners at One North East. The session will be 6 x 3 minutes with 1 min recovery.

Thursday 27th. Pyramid hill session of 20,30,40,50,60,70,60,50,40,30,20 secs with jog back recovery. After warm up meet at hill just before the sports centre beside the allotments.

This seasons Harrier League begins at Wrekenton on Saturday 29th. We’ve registered a lot of runners for this season so it would be great to see a good turnout. The club’s website has more info under the tab heading of cross country or visit the North East Harrier League website at If anyone wishes to take the club tent to Wrekenton, then please get in touch before Saturday morning: Either on a club training evening or via the club’s FB.