NE Harrier League – Aykley Heads – Saturday 18 November

Thank you to Andrea, Ken & Jan for the Durham Report (Enjoy the read and results! Cheers, GB). First up, the juniors: We started the third NEHL in the series. This is one of the toughest courses in the league. That didn’t deter the Elswick juniors on this demanding Durham course. Under 11 Boys: Adam Robinson 19th(5-24 ) was making his Elswick debut well done. Under 11 Girls: Lucy Milburn 9th (5-21) Isabella Russell 27th (5-53) Under 13 Boys Zak Old 16th fast pack(13-23) William Butterfield 18th (15-09) Jake Robertson  41st (16-09) Charles Mason 53rd (16-37) 7th Team Under 13 Girls Abigail Leiper 5th fast pack (14-23) Lauren Stroud 26th (17-05) Freya Guadagno 27th (17-05)  Caitlin Flanagan 36th fast pack  (15-38) 6th team Under 15 Boys Rowan Bennett 5th  fast pack (12-36) Under 15 Girls Kerry Ann Simpson 14th (16-11) Charley Lee 15th (16-15) Suzannah Fielding 17th fast pack (14-38) Hannah Tumia fast pack(14-38) Emily Allison 30th fast pack (16-15) 4th team Under 17 Boys Jamie Styles 8th (27-35) Chris Mason 32nd (32-20) Under 17/20 Robyn Bennett 2nd fast pack (21-22) Well done all that ran there are still three races to go. Don’t forget you have to do at least 3 races to qualify for the club championship, places are still up for grabs.

The latest harrier league fixture saw a superb turnout of senior men and women for Elswick.  The sun was shining, there was little wind and there was absolutely no mud.  Given the harsh conditions on this course in recent years, this came as a welcome surprise.  What it lacked in mud however, was more than made up for in steep hills.  The course differed slightly this year, which meant that there were more inclines to overcome.  Great news for those who like a hill or two (Jill Bennett, Jen Scarlett, Mark Turnbull come to mind), but not so great for the vast majority.

Following on from the junior races, was the senior women’s event, which for once, ran almost on time.  The team was enhanced by the arrival of three newcomers to the cross country scene, Elaine Henderson, Amelia Bailey and Vicki McPhee.  Despite not even possessing club vests, Amelia and Vicki arrived at the tent and were game on to compete, happy to rummage in the kit bag for the requisite vest.  Well done and thank you to all three for joining the team.

Relative newcomer to the club Collette Kirk had a fantastic run, finishing 21st and third scorer for the team.  Jen Scarlett and Jill Bennett took advantage of their penchant for hills and were delighted to finish 15th and 29th respectively, also scoring for the team along with Andrea Banner.  Their efforts and high finishing positions secured them the top position in the second division.  What is also impressive about the women’s team performance is that our B team consisting of Cath Lee, Sara Blight, Kim Matthews and Felicity Smith finished in 10th position (albeit this cannot score for the club), with Cath and Felicity both running from the medium pack.  You should be able to pick out every member of the team in the pictures below to include Amy Brown and Michelle Coleman. Enthusiastic smiles abound before the run:

The ladies competing at Durham XC

The “post race look” in various states of attire and a photo bomb appearance from Harry Matthews.

The Ladies’ results

7 – Andrea Banner 31:05:00 S FV45 31:05:00
15 – Jennifer Scarlett 32:14:00 S Fsen 32:14:00
21 – Collete Kirk Previous Name Byrne 32:48:00 S Fsen 32:48:00
29 – Jill Bennett 33:23:00 S FV40 33:23:00
52 – Catherine Lee 33:57:00 M Fsen 32:12:00
66 – Sara Blight 34:15:00 S FV40 34:15:00
111 – Kim Matthews 35:26:00 S FV55 35:26:00
134 – Felicity Smith 35:59:00 M FV40 34:14:00
145 – Graham Leslie 36:13:00 S n/c 36:13:00
230 – Vicki Mcphee 39:37:00 S FV45 39:37:00
263 – Amelia Bailey 40:53:00 S FV40 40:53:00
286 – Elaine Henderson 41:56:00 S FV45 41:56:00
298 – Amy Brown 42:49:00 S Fsen 42:49:00
315 – Michelle Coleman 44:37:00 S Fsen 44:37:00

Now the turn of the men.  It should be mentioned that Graham Leslie, running in the over 60’s category, completed the same two lap course as the ladies above.  He completed the course in his usual comfortable manner in a time of 36.13.  Well done Graham.

Following on from the ladies’ victorious performance, the senior men were able to match it by finishing first in the men’s second division.  The scorers for the team were Adam Bell, Steven Robertson, John Bell, Kevin Richardson, Mark Turnbull and Jason Old (Mark and Jason from the medium pack).

There was enthusiastic support from the sidelines, so many thanks for that and particularly the many photos by Ben Hall and Mary Lisle which have been posted on Facebook.  Mike Russell said that he heard the most inspiring comment ever, on his third lap of, ” Keep going Mike, you’re fifth counter for the team.”  This he discovered was a complete lie, but he attributes the comment to his spurt in the final third of the race.  In truth, it was only a white lie – he was fifth out of the B squad of Paul Robinson, Lee Bennett, David Jardin and John Lowes, which in terms of points scored, achieved 10th position.  The men were ably supported by Andy Middleton and the ever cheerful Jeff Emmerson.

Post race gathering of the men in the fading November light:

The gents at Durham XC

Men’s results:

11 Adam Bell 39:29:00 S MV35 39:29:00
32 Steven Robertson 41:09:00 S MV40 41:09:00
67 John Bell 42:28:00 S MV55 42:28:00
84 Kevin Richardson 42:53:00 F MV35 37:43:00
90 Mark Turnbull 42:58:00 M MV45 40:23:00
106 Jason Old 43:18:00 M MV45 40:43:00
157 Paul Robinson 44:17:00 S MV40 44:17:00
171 Richard Houghton 44:32:00 M MV35 41:57:00
180 Lee Bennett 44:45:00 F MV45 39:35:00
202 David Jardin 45:03:00 S MV45 45:03:00
341 Mike Russell 48:44:00 S MV45 48:44:00
354 John Lowes 49:12:00 S MV35 49:12:00
361 Andy Middleton 49:33:00 S MV40 49:33:00
511 Jeff Emmerson 58:16:00 S MV65 58:16:00

A scenic run on dry terrain – below: newbie Amelia enjoying her first XC outing


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