Thanks to Harry Matthews for the following trip down memory lane. We can only hope to replicate Harrys achievement. Harry writes: The recent North East Counties Cross Country championships staged at Redcar Race Course brought back memories of past successes for some of our current and former Elswick team members. The North East championships were last held at the Race course some 55 years ago in 1962. The senior championship included several Elswick members. First member to cross the finish line was John Ibbotson in 16th place. John was given the same time as Elswick’s second team counter, our Elswick legend, Colin Bolton in 17th place. Next to finish was Bob Fisk followed by Brian Harbottle. Completing the tam counters was John Backley who is the father of the famous Steve Backley a former Great Britain Javelin competitor. The senior team championship was won by Morpeth Harriers and included the great Jim Alder who placed 3rd overall. Our team was placed 4th behind Middlesbrough & Cleveland and Saltwell Harriers.
Elswick’s team in the boys age group championship also finished 4th with Harry Matthews collecting a silver medal finishing just two seconds behind the winner, Lynn Robson of Gateshead Harriers. Ian Davies was Elswick’s second counter in 10th place. Morpeth Harriers collected the top team award in this event also.
This year’s event at Redcar provided Harry with the opportunity to create a little history as he was the only athlete who competed in the 1962 championship to compete in the championship 55 years on.
Harry Matthews back at Redcar Racecourse 55 years on.
On the 9th December 2017 at Redcar Racecourse on a freezing cold but bright day our junior athletes produced some very notable performances. In the U13 girls race Abbie Leiper finished in a fantastic 8th place. In the U13 boys race Zak Old placed a superb 5th and Hugh Twelves looked strong and comfortable in 49th position.
Zak Old Flying towards the finish
In the U15 age category Elswick did well to field a complete team in the girls event. Hannah Tumia finished well in 17th place, Emily Allison finished in a very creditable 23rd position and the reliable and improving Charley Lee crossed the line in 34th place. The team finished 6th overall. Great team effort girls! U15 Girls team Emily, Charley and Hannah
Rowan Bennett was our sole representative in the U15 boys race which was arguably the most competitive race of the day, finishing in 8th place.
Robyn Bennett made the podium and automatically qualified for the North East Inter Counties team finishing 3rd in the U20 womens race.
The senior men did well to field 10 runners. 59th Lee Bennett, 75th Jason Old, 91st Mark Turnbull, 97th Steve Robertson, 118th Scott Brady, 125th Richard Houghton, 235th Dave Jardin, 245th Jonny Lowes, 278th Robert Lambert, 310th Harry Matthews. The team finished in 11th place.
The senior women had enough runners to make a scoring team and packed well with Cath Lee our first runner home in 53rd place. Felicity Smith finished 54th, Jill Bennett 55th and Melissa Bateson 96th. The womens team was 12th place on the day.
Blue Skies and smiles after the race.