Elswick’s Robyn Bennett selected for the Junior British 3 mile championships.

Robyn Bennett has been selected as a member of the North East team running at the Virgin London Marathon Mini Marathon event on Sunday 23rd April. The race is 3 miles long and starts at Old Billingsgate and finishes in The Mall. It is the British 3 mile Road Race Championship for Junior athletes. Robyn starts in the U17 womens race at 9:16 am. Selection for the team is based on performances in county and inter county cross country events over the Winter months. As Robyn is moving into the U20 age group this Summer it will be her first and last Mini Marathon.


Club presentation evening & This week’s senior training.

It was another sell out for this year’s presentation evening. 100 members attended the evening at the function room at Newburn leisure centre (Thanks to Rob for the photos 🙂 ). Below Senior men’s title went to Ben Hall (London marathon bound).el7

Mark Todd and the junior coaching team started the awards evening, culminating in Rowan Bennett receiving the Kevin Stephenson trophy. A worthy recipient indeed.

Lalage Brown then made a speech on behalf of the ladies section. Club championship awards followed, ending with the ladies Quantum award going to Lindsey Grant (for services to the club) and Elspeth Aspinall receiving the female Fred Stephenson trophy for the most improved athlete. Below: Melissa Bateson with 1st V40 award.el3


Above: Tom with Senior womens winner, Mary Lisle. Graham Bell then made a speech on behalf of the men section of the club. Club championship awards followed ending with the men’s Quantum award going to Steven Robertson (for services to the club) and Richard Houghton receiving the male Fred Stephenson trophy for the most improved athlete. Below: Richard Houghton with the Fred Stephenson award. Well done Richard (also London marathon bound!).el5

The awards ended with Robyn Bennett receiving a commemorative engraved glass trophy for Robyn’s exceptional year in the U17 / U20 female athlete category. Robyn’s achievements on the trails, cross-country and schools competitions, saw Robyn gain her first England vest competing on the intimidating trails of Skiddaw! Many congratulations to Robyn, thoroughly well deserved. Pictured below, Robyn and Colin.el6

The speeches ended with some words on behalf of the Bolton family, in particular to the club’s senior coach, Mr. Colin Bolton (who incidentally, is 76 in just a few days’ time). An all too brief précis of Colin’s dedication to Elswick Harriers:

  • Colin Bolton, an Elswick Harrier member for 63 years.
  • Colin Bolton, the competitive senior athlete. 
  • As a Vet aged 40, Colin ran a track 1500m in 4 mins 11 seconds.
  • Colin Bolton, the coach, for over three and a half decades.
  • Colin Bolton, the club treasurer, for three and a half decades. 
  • There followed a rousing, standing ovation by the club members to Colin, as a show of support and appreciation for this wonderful gentlemen. 

If club members read into the history of Elswick Harriers you would see that before & after two world wars, a gentlemen by the name of Norman Woodcock kept the club going through  many difficult times. Club athletes then and now, justifiably recognised that Mr.Woodcock was ‘Mr. Elswick’.


I for one as author of this wee scribe, would defensibly place Mr. Colin Bolton in equal esteem, as our modern day ‘Mr. Elswick’.

And so the evening was rounded off with food, ice cream, a raffle draw and Frank’s famous quiz! Thank you to the bar staff at the centre and especially to Michelle Coleman, the club’s new social secretary for organising the evening on behalf of the club and its members.


A timely reminder that this year’s club championship is underway and that coming up in April are the Blyth 10km & Cragside 10km championship races. C’mon Team Elswick, sign up and get racing!

Senior training: Tuesday. Leave the centre at 7.30pm & warm up to One North East. Meet at Feel Good Café.

One rep of each, progression run: 1 x 3.30 mins 1 x 5.30 mins (both with 90 secs rec) / 1 x 6.30 mins / 1 x 7.30 mins (with 2 mins rec).

Senior training: Thursday. Leave the centre at 7.30pm & warm up to new Warburton’s location >  New location  Thursday New Location 2 x 2.20 mins / 2 x 1.20 mins (1st 2 sets with 1min rec) / 2 x 40 secs  (40 secs rec) / 6 x 20 secs (4 @ 20 secs & 2 @ 10 secs rec).



Team Elswick deliver fine race results! This week’s senior training.

Thank you to Dave Jardin for compiling this weekend’s round up of racing: This weekend those famous red vests seemed to be getting everywhere: For many it started early Saturday morning with the various local park runs and as always Prudhoe was represented with runners and marshals.

After a long, hard winter of cross country Elswick Harriers were represented at junior level in the English Schools Cross Country Championships at Norwich.  You have competed hard and well all winter, well done everyone.

Talking of Cross Country, Kim Matthews ran well and was 8th in her age category at the British Masters XC Championships at Liverpool.

There was a great turnout of 16 Elswick runners at the Northumberland Half Marathon on Sunday at Kirkley Hall. We were runners up in the men’s team prizes but THE ELSWICK LADIES were the Ladies TEAM CHAMPIONS 🙂

There were many fantastic performances and pb’s on what is definitely not an easy course. 5th place Jason Old 1.19.06. 14th Richard Houghton 1.26.21. 19th Scott Brady who smashed the 90min barrier with 2.28.42 .29th Simon McGeary 1.32.23. 8th Lady Catherine Lee 1.41.14 (a 7 minute pb). 9th Lady Elspeth Aspinall 1.41.23. 98th Brighton bound Robert Lambert 1.42.35. 1st v45 Lady Debbie Spoor 1.43.24. Good teamwork by Simon Lynch and Tracey Sturrock 1.47.35 and 1.47.36. Melissa Bateson 1.57.31. Amy Brown 2.02.13.

V60 Lady Champion Tina McIver 2.08.32. Christianne James 2.10.34. Elaine Henderson 2.20.25. Tracey Redhead 3.06.06. Well done everyone, you all showed what Elswick Harriers is about.

Meanwhile up in the Cheviots Jennifer Scarlett was thrilling in the Thrunton Thriller with support from the side lines from Ian Leighton.

Down in Yorkshire at the Thirsk 10 “Team Connelly” were blazing a trail. Martin ran 63.59 and Shaun 69.56 (a pb) Good to see you back Shaun.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    IMG-20170320-WA0000Meanwhile on the other side of the country Dave Jardin was getting in a “marathon dress rehearsal race” at the Trimpell 20.  It has a very interesting finish with the final half mile a climb up from the river bank, up the castle ramparts to finish inside the old castle/HMP Lancaster.

Tuesday Training: Leave centre at 7.30pm & warm up to One North East. Meet at Feel Good Café. Session: 4 x 5 mins with decreasing recovery: ( Recovery per interval: 1.30 mins / 1.15 mins / 1 min / 45 secs).

Thursday Training: leave centre at 7.30pm. Mill Vale round the houses loop warm up. Meet at the new location at the bridge: New location Thursday New Location Session: 3 x 2 mins & 1min rec / 3 x 1 min & 1 min rec / 6 x 30 secs & 30 secs rec.

Gillian Allen’s half marathon in Holland. NEHL Junior summary report. The inaugural Birtley junior relays.


Gillian Allen, an Elswick Harrier team member was competing at the weekend in the NN half marathon road race, in the Hague, Netherlands. A superb effort by Gillian resulted in a finishing time of 1.26.31. 3rd placed V40 female and 315th overall. Great run, great result! Gillian’s average speed was 14.61km/hr. (Split times: 5km 21.08. 10km 40.21. 15km 1.00.47. 20km 1.22.05).

North East Harrier League Juniors. Thank you to Ken & Jan Heslop for the write up:

Now that the dust has settled or should we say mud there has been some fantastic individual performances. Looking from a team point of view we had teams out in every age group except U/17 boys hopefully that will be covered next season. The under 11s don’t have team standings but we are sure they would have done well if they had.

Final team places: Under 13 girls 6th place. Under 13 boys 8th place. Under 15 girls 4th place. Under 15 boys 4th place. Under 17/20 girls 7th place. Well done everyone for some excellent performances.

Birtley cross country junior relays: Just when parents thought no more spikes to clean until next season, Birtley AC decided to celebrate their 30th anniversary by hosting a 3 stage relay for junior athletes. Full credit to them for hosting an excellent, well organised event. Hopefully this will become an annual event.

Elswick had a total of 23 athletes, results as follows:

Under 11 girls: 3rd place Poppy Old Jemima Aspinal and Lauren Stroud 13th place Erin Blight Olivia Emmson and Charlotte Naughton. Under 11 boys: 3rd place Jack Naughton Omar Tumia and Zak Old 6th place Will Richards Charles Mason and Zach Ikwue

Under 13 girls: 3rd place Caitlin Flanagan Zara Naughton and Abi Leiper 5th place Maisie Aspinal Charley Lee and Emily Allison

Under 15/17 boys: We only had 2 runners Jamie Styles and Chris Mason so Jamie did the first and last leg and came in 4th position.

Under 15/17 girls: 6th place Anna Styles Marissa O’rourke and Hannah Tumia.

A great turn out for this new event with excellent support from parents and coaches. Special note of thanks to Judith Flanagan for organising as it is no easy task.

Cheers, Jan & Ken Heslop.


Mr. Nice Guy, Dave Jardin in Malta & London – Running & Training! – (This weeks senior training).

Our European running correspondent, Mr. David Jardin has been on his annual pilgrimage to Malta, stopping off on the way home, to London and just a couple of more races to finish off his early spring racing & training! Enjoy the read by Dave (this weeks senior training at the bottom of this report).

I’ve done a few running tours before but this one turned into a double one. Every year I head over to Malta for the half marathon.  Malta is a fantastic island and the half marathon starts in it’s own Mediterranean chaotic way at the highest point of the island, the ancient city of Mdina and heads near enough all downhill to the city walls of the capital Valletta and final 5k along the marinas on the front to finish in Sliema.

IMG-20170312-WA0003Course knowledge does come in handy and the fact I did 1hr 26.31 shows that this course can really be used.  Heading through the island you get a chance to get a feel for the country and I loved the battered brass bands and jazz singers playing Rod Stewart songs.


As the Newcastle flight is on a Saturday night thank you to Running Crazy for taking care of everything on the Saturday so all I had to worry about was running. A week in Malta is perfect for anybody marathon training, with the bus service you can just run and explore the whole island with your running kit on and when done jump on one of the many busses back to the hotel.  Every mile I ran was a complete pleasure.

With the “hard work” done I gave myself a little “treat” of an entry to the North London half marathon which finishes in Wembley Stadium.  This is a very well organised race that makes full use of the stadium’s facilities and the finish line was a little bit special with the 3,000 people inside the ground making as much sound as many premiership matches, a little chance to hold my finishing medal aloft pretending it was the FA Cup.


The race route itself is pretty much suburban with not many spectators but those who were there were very enthusiastic and supportive.  It is near enough an out and back course with the “runners camaraderie” being used to full effect from those passing the opposite direction. It is definitely not a flat course and with last weekend as my main race, a week’s beautiful warm weather training and a little parkrun tourism 🙂 at Parliament Hill (now my favourite parkrun course) my legs felt dead all the way round, mind 1:29.06 aint too bad for a “posh training session”. (Great Photos, great read, Thanks Dave!).

IMG-20170312-WA0002                                                                      Above: ‘Crazy Frog legs’ Dave!!!


This weeks senior training: Tuesday: Leave Centre at 7.30pm and warm up going to One North East: Decreasing Pyramid: One interval rep each of: 5 /5 /4 / 3 /3 / 2 /1 min(s) with recovery.

Thursday: Leave Centre at 7.30pm and warm up around Mill Vale House loop then, onto “new Warburton’s” > 2 maps available: New location  /  Thursday New Location : Session: 2 x 1.45 mins/ 2 x 1.30 mins / 2 x 1.15 mins / 2 x 1  mins/ 2 x 30 secs. All with recovery.



Club Championship Standings: In Belgium, Alex Goodhall claims Bronze! Presentation update. Helpers needed for the Good Friday Relays.

Alex on his way to a Bronze in the 800m final.
Alex on his way to a Bronze in the 800m final.

A follow up on Alex Goodhall: Alex returned to Belgium and competed in the the Junior Belgian Championships held on Saturday, at the Topsporthal in Ghent.  Alex ran the 800m again and in the final, took the bronze medal with a brand new PB of 1.54.06 – his best ever indoors or out.  The photo above shows Alex in full flight during the final in his White Star vest (credit: Sven Janssens).  The indoor season ends for Alex, where he will now focus his efforts on the outdoor season, which starts in April. Congratulations to Alex, a superb way to end the indoor season, a personal best and a podium place.

Enclosed team Elswick are the latest club championship results > club champs 2017 race 2

If you can spare a few hours on Good Friday Morning and help your club successfully host the relay races, please forward your name please to Graham Bell, Frank Watson or Lalage Brown, either in person or on the club’s FB page. Thank you.

The presentation evening has been sold out. Some members are on a reserve list. If for some reason you have a ticket & you cannot pop along on the 25th, then please do contact Michelle Coleman, as your place can be taken by someone. Thank you to Michelle for her work on managing the ticket sales.

Alnwick NEHL: the season finale & This week’s senior training sessions.

The last harrier league cross country meeting rolled into Alnwick, for end of season mud & glory. Alnwick and it’s castle, provided a magnificent backdrop to the end of season finale. Once again, Team Elswick  Junior age group athletes & fellow senior athletes, combined to bring some fine individual & team performances on the day. Very well competed Team Elswick, you were superb throughout. Here is a summary sheet compiled by Ben Hall: Grand Prix Results

If I may say, congratulations to Robyn Bennett who won the overall Individual Grand Prix for the Under 17/20 women’s competition. Robyn topped the table with 3995 points accumulated from the six NEHL races. Reward for hard work indeed.

It was great to see Judith Nutt, Samantha Crowe & Mark McLeod making a return to NEHL XC: The athletes contributing significant points for their teams. The collective efforts resulted from everyone on Saturday (and throughout the season) resulted in Elswick ladies finishing in 10th place overall in division 1 and the men finished in 5th place overall in division 2. Both positions are commendable: a credit to both teams. Well done once again. For all of the results from Alnwick, final team & individual grand prix standings go to: www.harrierleague.com 

Senior Training Sessions:

Tuesday: leave the centre at 7.30pm. Warm up. Go to One North East Est. Meet at Feel Good Cafe. 1 x 4.30 mins / 1 x 6.30 mins / 1 x 4.30 mins 1 x 6.30 mins (4.30 mins 90 secs recovery / 6.30 mins 2 mins recovery)

Thursday: leave centre at 7.30pm. Mill Vale round the houses loop warm up. Meet on the bridge: 1 x 2.15 mins / 1 x 2 min / 3 x 1 min / 4 x 45 secs / 5 x 30 secs. All with recovery. To view, click the link here > Thursday New Location


Alex Goodall at the British Age Group Indoor Championships

At the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, last weekend (25th & 26th February) new Elswick Harrier member, Alex Goodall was running the 800m, under 20’s British Age Group indoor championships.  The competition track is a banked, oval, 200m track, with a 130m straight.

Alex travelled from Belgium where he lives with his family. Alex was third in his heat running a personal best of 1.56.69 🙂 a superb performance by Alex, where he just missed out on a place in the final. Well done and congratulations to Alex for his effort on the track and that p.b.

As his mum Susan proudly said: “he was proud to wear the vest!” Below is a photo of Alex in his race. Thank you to Fotoccompli and its professional photographer(s) for permission to use their photograph.

Alex is competing in the Junior Belgium Championships, this weekend: We’ll keep you posted on how Alex performs.

Alex in full flight in the in the U20's 800m
Alex in full flight in the in the U20’s 800m