NEHL Junior Report Gosforth Park

The third NEHL took place at a cold and blustery Gosforth Park it could have been much worse. A thank you to Gosforth/Heaton and Tyne-bridge harriers for setting up the course in awful conditions.
The Elswick juniors results are as follows –

U/11 Boys 8th Jake Stroud 5.45 – 31st Ethan Housego 6.21.
U/11 Girls 1st Poppy Wilde 5.30 – 15th Louisa Hamilton 6.25 – 25th Sydney Bungay 6.42 – 30th Lola wood 6.49 – 31st Jessica Robinson 6.49 – 33rd Hannah Waterhouse 6.52 – 41st Evie Reed 7.38 – 50th Keira Bairstow 8.09.
U/13 Boys 13th Adam Robinson 14.20 – 25th William Butterworth 13.10 – (fast pack) 34th Jake Robertson 13.48(fast pack)  53rd Elliot Kelso 15.41 – 55th Charles Mason 14.03(fast pack) 58th Henry Young 14.14(fast pack) 59th Bailey Shore 16.03. 5th Team.
U/13 Girls 16th Caitlin Flanagan 13.55(fast pack) 20th Lucy Milburn 14.13 (fast pack) 35th Imogen Bungay 14.38 (fast pack) 42nd Katy Bullock 16.44 –  49th Sophie Henderson 15.19 (fast pack)  51st Lauren Stroud 15.27(fast pack) 67th Jayden Morton 20.31.5th Team.
U/15 Boys 17th Kieran Dixon 13.52 – 20th Zac Old 12.00 (fast pack) 50th Will Brown 17.49 – 52nd Connor Shore 19.37 6th Team.
U/15 Girls 34th Aimee Bairstow 15.57- 41st Charley Lee 14.38(fast pack) 45th Grace Ogilvie 16.49. 10th Team.
U/17 Boys 33rd Chris Mason (fast pack)
U/17/20 Girls 6th Suzannah Fielding 19.39 (medium pack) 15th Hannah Tumia 20.07(medium pack) 27th Kerry-Anne Simpson 22.46 – 38th Marissa O’Rourke 25.35. 5th Team.

Great to see so many turning out well done to everyone. Next NEHL is 17th November Aykley Heads hope to see as many out as possible as the club championships are all up for grabs.
Thank you to Rob Wilson who kindly brought the club tent.
Cheers Jan&ken

2019 London Marathon

We have 2 club entries for next years London Marathon. If you have a rejection letter or email from the ballot then please forward it to Steven Robertson or Tom Hanson asap if you wish to be entered into a draw.

Gillian’s England marathon debut

Gillian Allen, now based in Germany, made her England Masters debut at the Chester Marathon earlier this month. She’s kindly written a report about her England experience which you can read below. There are photo’s too but heads keep being chopped off when I try to upload them! Hopefully they’ll be added shortly by someone more skilled than myself!!  Well done again Gillian and thank you for a great report!




Chester Marathon

England v Celtic Nations Masters Age Group Marathon

Sunday 7th October 2018



The 2018 MBNA Chester Marathon played host to the second ever England Athletics Age Group Team, as masters runners from a wide variety of clubs across the country grasped the opportunity to represent their country with distinction.The Age Group Team once again took on a Celtic Nations line up in a challenge match, with England team members having qualified thanks to their performances at qualifying races over the past year (taken from the England Athletics website).

In April of this year I ran the Brighton Marathon, which was a selection race for the England Masters team. I was over the moon to qualify and earn my first ever England vest, having been a lifelong runner (I joined Elswick harriers in 1986 when I was nine years old, thanks to Anne Blight).

Unfortunately, I only found out about my selection to represent England days after I heard of the passing of my childhood coach, Mike Avery. I was gutted, really gutted, as I know he would have been so proud of me. He gave me, and others, so much of his time and patience when we were younger and became like a second father figure to me. I’m so pleased that I managed to see Mike in recent years and that he met my husband and kids on a few occasions, as I’d always wanted them to meet him.

Training for a marathon is tough at the best of times, but with the added stress of moving to Germany in the summer, a new job and two young children, this was a particularly challenging period for me. However, I often thought of Mike during these times and knew that I just had to get on with it and be the best that I could be on the day. The landscape for training in our new home city, Leipzig, was better than I’d hoped for, albeit a bit flat, and so Sunday morning long runs were reasonably successful despite the training time lost to moving house and enduring ten days without a kitchen on arrival (it’s a German thing, don’t ask!). The weeks of 30 – 38 degree temperatures were also a struggle and a lot of my normal key sessions were drastically reduced or aborted as I just couldn’t hit the paces I’ve come to expect, or I just felt dreadful.

However, one huge plus of our new location over our old (Belgium’s Waterloo) was a weekly Parkrun. Kuchenholz parkrun is a must for any parkrun tourists reading this (get in touch if you fancy visiting!). I knew that I was starting to close in on some match fitness when I clocked back-to-back times under 18.40 for this 5km weekly jaunt. And so Chester beckoned…

I was unusually excited for this marathon, which is strange as I’m usually a bag of nerves, but I felt pretty strong and my last few weeks of training had gone well and something just clicked into place. I was so determined to enjoy myself for a number of reasons. I had a lot of family coming to watch me and I wanted to be a good role model for my own kids and my nieces, whatever the result. Putting on the England vest on the morning of the race was both thrilling and nerve-racking. I was so grateful to have this opportunity at the grand old age of 42. Age really is just a number – I honestly believe I’m fitter than ever before since I reached my 40s.

The morning of the race was a real shock to the system as there was ice on the car windscreen and we were in a panic as to how to de-ice our rented car! My teeth were actually chattering on the start line as it was so cold. However, I still felt incredibly relaxed despite all the nervous athletes around me and I received the best good luck hugs and kisses from my kids and husband before the start. I was so determined to make them proud of me. As soon as the race began, I felt good, and as a beautiful morning unfolded, I felt comfortable hitting my splits and feeling as strong and comfortable as I ever had. I was really holding myself back and using my practised mantras in the first half telling myself over and over to be patient, which wasn’t easy as runners were streaming past me. I smiled back at the crowds and thanked the volunteers and settled into the race. It was a relief to get to half way as this is when I could start running more freely. They say the real marathon starts at mile 20 and this is so true for me as it’s when you have to start digging deep and, unfortunately, you start seeing people falling to the side, cramping up and dropping out. “Be relentless” was now playing over and over in my mind and I focused on passing as many people as I could. I caught up and over-took many male and female athletes in the last four miles. The last mile was tough but without sounding cheesy, I thought of Mike. Mike used to tell me about my dodgy left elbow and I have an image etched in my memory of him standing watching me during a track session at Lightfoot stadium, when I was approximately 14 years old, yelling “Elbows, Korky, elbows!” It still makes me smile as he is the only one who ever called me “Korky” and I still have a dodgy arm action when I run! I thought of this and it took my mind off the pain and as I rounded the corner of Chester race course I heard my Dad first (who is possibly my number one fan) and then I heard and saw the rest of my family holding up a banner that my Mum had had made as a surprise, which made me smile. I not only felt great but knew a huge PB beckoned. I ran down the home straight smiling the whole way, and my 3 hours, 3 minutes and 27 seconds was only bettered by the fact that I didn’t collapse in a heap at the end, but instead could talk, laugh and enjoy every moment. Oh, and I achieved the holy ‘marathon running’ grail of running a negative split! I finished 16th female overall and sixth in my age group, which I was pretty pleased with as there are some swift ladies out there.

For anyone thinking of doing the Chester Marathon I can thoroughly recommend it. The organisation is superb and the organisers are so friendly and supportive. The goody bag at the end is the best I’ve ever received (although anything beats the junior hacksaw that I once received at the end of a race in Belgium). The course itself it very scenic and takes you into Wales, but be warned that the second half is very undulating!



A reminder that the club’s AGM takes place at Newburn Leisure Centre, Ground Floor Meeting Room on Friday 2nd November at 7.30 pm.

Tom Hanson (Club Secretary & Senior Coach) has copies of proxy voting forms if you cannot attend the meeting. Thank you.

Senior training and Harrier League

Senior sessions this week will be…
Tuesday 23rd: 2 x 5 mins, 2 x 4 mins with 1 minute recovery. Starting from bus stop at One North East.
Thursday 25th: 10 x 75 sec hills with jog back recovery. Starting from hill beside sports centre and allotments
Saturday 27th is the next fixture for the Harrier League XC. The venue is on our doorstep at Gosforth Park so it would great to see a strong turnout at this new course.

The Castles Half Marathon – Bamburgh. Success for Team Elswick.

Team Elswick ventured north to the backdrop of Bamburgh and its famous castle. A typical late autumn Sunday day weather awaited Team Elswick and fellow competitors. A two lap, undulating course of Northumberland country side. What followed in the race of over 300 athletes was hard earned and success for Team Elswick.

For results go to > 2018 results Jude Nutt had a superb race and took first place in the women’s race (6th overall!) in 1.25.23 and took the title & trophy. Congratulations Jude!

Richard Houghton took a fine podium 3rd place (1.25.03) in the men’s competition. Congratulations to Richard – And together with Scott Brady (1.26.00 & 8th place) and Dave Armstrong (1.36.26 & 40th) were just edged out by NSP for the men’s team competition! Well done regardless gents! Below are the trophy photos: Jude & Richard. (Thanks to Scott for the news on the race). Well done to Jim, Karen and John for Team Elswick too…………… Keep it going!


Pos Name Club Race
Gender Gender
Category Category
Gun Time Chip Time
3 richard houghton Elswick Harriers 362 Male 3 Senior 2 01:23:05 01:23:02
6 judith nutt Elswick Harriers 465 Female 1 V40 1 01:25:23 01:25:18
8 scott brady Elswick Harriers 236 Male 7 Senior 5 01:26:00 01:25:57
40 david armstrong Elswick Harriers 209 Male 38 V40 9 01:36:26 01:36:22
205 john stewart Elswick Harriers 537 Male 164 Senior 78 02:02:13 02:01:55
273 karen routledge Elswick Harriers 504 Female 84 V55 2 02:18:28 02:18:07
279 jim ross Elswick Harriers 503 Male 191 V55 15 02:20:51 02:20:30

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 Russell & 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 Russell.




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