TBH 5 km handicap & Ncle University Cowbell 5 km

Thanks to Tom Hanson for the scribe: Elswick’s Amy Fuller, Peter Sloan and myself (Tom) met up early and completed a good warm up. Changing into race gear we were ready. Next tactics! The race is held, based upon a handicap system. The course takes in the main stretch of Newcastle’s Quayside, an out and back course route. As I had only started training at the last race in November my handicap was good and started 4 mins up on Amy & Peter. Amy was under instructions to stay with Peter for the first half and use his pace judgement to keep her in check. As I was on the way back, both Amy and Peter were together nearing the turning point. Amy pushed on from the turn and finished up with a 19 second gap on Peter. Amy 20.04 a new PB, Peter 20.23 best time for 18 month and I came in with 23.21 much improved from last race.

University Cowbell 5 Km.

Newcastle University stage this 5 km event. It is open to all clubs but mainly it is for the academics (Newcastle University v Northumbria University). Amy will be running, as will her friends. Clara Pettitt, race organiser would welcome fellow Team Elswick Runners to the event. If you are interested folks, The race takes place on Saturday 23rd March at 1 pm 2019. Entry is only £5 (or £5.50 on the day). Registration is at the sports centre in the University on Claremont Road. For more info visit:  Newcastle-uni-cowbell-race-2019

Juniors Report from Alnwick XC – grand finale to a fantastic season for our Juniors !

The last cross country of the NEHL season took place at the pastures at Alnwick on the 2nd of March 2019. On what is probably the most scenic course of the series, the weather was reasonably kind with the wind starting to pick up for the later races.
Results as follows.
Under 11 Girls 1st Poppy Wilde 4.15-12th Erin Blight 4.45-13th Louisa Hamilton 4.45-20th Charlotte Naughton 4.59-28th Zoe Fielding 5.12-29th Lola Wood 5.14-31st Jessica Robinson 5.19-49th Hannah Waterhouse 5.49-55th Keira Bairstow 6.14.
Under 11 Boys 7th Liam Coulson 4.21 -9th Jake Stroud 4.28.
Under 13 Girls 3rd Bella Russell 15.30-39th Caitlin Flanagan 15.27(fast pack) 42nd Ellie Winter 17.14-58th Lauren Stroud 16.25(fast pack)62nd Sophie Henderson-16.45(fast pack)63rd Katy Bullock 18.30-71st Jayden Morton 20.25.6th team.
Under 13 Boys 34th William Butterworth 14.31(fast pack) 45th Henry Young 15.10(fast pack)46th Charles Mason 15.12 (fast pack)49th Adam Robinson 15.20(fast pack)56th Bailey Shore 18.01. 11th team.
Under 15 Girls 40th Aimee Bairstow 16.42- 42nd Charley Lee 15.10(fast-pack) 50th Grace Ogilvie 17.34- 62nd Maelona Redhead 20.43. 9th team.
Under 15 Boys 28th Zac Old 12.51(fast pack) 51st Will Brown 17.09.
Under 17 Girls 17th Suzy Fielding 17.17(fast pack) 18th Hannah Tumia 17.19(fast pack) 22nd Kerry-Anne Simpson 19.58- 26th Marissa O’Rourke 21.22 .4th team.
Under 17 Boys 27th Chris Mason 15.28- 30th Jamie Styles 15.45 both from the fast pack.
Thanks to all NEHL officials for putting on a great season. Elswick Juniors have had a total of 52 athletes representing us some did one race and quite a few did them all. We don’t normally single out juniors however a special mention to Poppy Wilde who has been 1st in every race well done to her and everybody who has competed.Thanks to all the seniors who have brought the Elswick tent throughout the season.

Jan and Ken

Senior Training this week:

Tuesday 26th: 2 x 3 mins then 2 x 1 mile. The aim is to use the 3 mins to be properly warmed up as the 2 x 1 mile should be ran hard.

Thursday 28th: 10 x 75 sec hills. To be ran on the hill beside the sports centre and allotments

Good Luck to Scott Brady and Richard Houghton.

Just a note to say ‘safe journey & have a great race in Tokyo’. Elswick’s Scott Brady and Richard Houghton (pictured below left). They are both to run the Tokyo Marathon on Monday 3rd March. No doubt personal goals will be achieved. They and family members are flying out today (Mon 25th Feb).

When Richard crosses the finish line he will achieve ‘World Marathon Majors Status’. To qualify you have to finish each of the ‘majors’ – They are: London, Boston, Berlin, Chicago, New York and Tokyo. For members new to the club, beginning their Elswick running, I point out that Richard’s first marathon in 2014, as a new member to the club was a 3.53. On Monday Richard will be doing his utmost to go sub 2.50. 

Scotts first marathon in 2015 was a 3.57 in Kielder. In 2018 he ran a 2.58 in Berlin. No doubt too Scott will aim for a sub 2.50. He’s in good form having just pb’d on Sunday in a 10 km. Elswick’s motto of Committed, Determined, Passionate, sums up nicely what Richard and Scott are both about when they both pull on the ‘The Red Vest.’ Very Best of Running Luck 🙂 to both Elswick Athletes.    Cheers, GB

Juniors – Cross Country Report for Thornley, Presentation Night and Hot off the Press…

The penultimate Harrier League was held at Thornley Hall Farm,Peterlee. We were expecting a lot of mud but the conditions were not as bad as expected apart from the gale force winds higher up on the tops the start was in a dip so you did not get the full force of the wind. Results as follows Under 11 Girls 1st Poppy Wilde 6.13 – 10th Erin Blight 6.42 – 29th Jessica Robinson – 7.34 – 32nd Hannah Waterhouse 8.01 – 43rd Keira Bairstow 9.22.
Under 11 Boys
37th Ethan Housego 7.17.
Under 13 Girls
10th Poppy Old 14.51 fast pack 26th Caitlin Flanagan 15.50 fast pack 35th Bella Russell 18.23 – 41st Sophie Henderson 17.40 fast pack 49th Jayden Morton 21.58. 8th Team.
Under 13 Boys
30th Charles Mason 15.08 – 36th Adam Robinson 15.32 both from the fast pack.
U15 Girls
28th Emily Allison 15.02 – 34th Charley Lee 15.55 both from the fast pack 37th Aimee Bairstow 18.15 (despite losing one of her spikes on the course) 6th Team .
U/15 Boys
13th Zac Old 12.59 Fast pack 36th Connor Shore 16.26.
U/17/20 Girls
14th Suzannah Fielding 20.12 fast pack 18th Kerry-Anne Simpson 23.57.
U/17 Boys
23rd Jamie Styles 17.17 – 26th Chris Mason 18.26 both from the fast pack.
Well done to everyone who turned out our teams were slightly depleted through illness and other engagements .A big thank you to Sara Blight and band of helpers to get the tent to the venue .
Last NEHL of the season is on Saturday 2nd of March at Alnwick. We would love to see a big turnout for this race.
Don’t forget to book a ticket for the Elswick Presentation if you haven’t got one already all family and friends welcome £5 per person food included. Venue Blaydon Rugby Club 16th March contact Michelle Coleman for details it would be great to see as many as possible attending.
Hot off the press more success for Elswick juniors .These are our juniors representing Northumberland at the National Schools Championship – Hannah Tumia, Suzannah Fielding ,Zac Old ,Zara Naughton .Reserves are Emily Allison and Caitlin Flanagan .Running at the Minors championship are Poppy Old and Lucy Milburn. Well done a great achievement.
Ken and Jan

Safety – Newburn Activity Centre Access Road.

A note on behalf of the Club committee, penned by Club Welfare Officer, Keith Baety.

Safety – Newburn Activity Centre Access Road.

Can I ask that club members refrain from gathering on the corner of the footpath on Grange Road at the entrance to the activity centre. This seriously reduces the vision of drivers leaving the centre thereby causing a risk both to them and any club members standing at this point.

I suggest that any such gathering takes place on the grassed are to the West of the entrance (Blayney Row side) thereby minimising the risk to all involved. Thank you.

Inter Counties Competition

The inter counties schools cross country championships took place on Saturday 2nd February 2019. This is a five way meeting between, Northumberland-Cleveland-Cumbria-Durham-North Yorkshire.These are the top athletes from the schools in these areas, so to make it to this level is a fantastic achievement.

The race took place at Temple Park at South Shields the weather was quite brutal with a heavy layer of snow covering the whole area, with icy slippery conditions underfoot making it difficult for the athletes to compete in.

The following athletes who are all Elswick members did themselves their schools and the club proud with their performances, attitude and application on what was a very cold day. Also great to see so many parents supporting not only there own children but all the athletes who were competing.

Minor Girls – 12th Poppy Old 2nd Northumberland Counter. 46th Lucy Milburn 8th Northumberland Counter.

Junior Boys – 2nd Zak Old 2nd Northumberland Counter.

Junior Girls – 47th Zara Naughton 7th Northumberland Counter. 58th Caitlin Flanagan 11th Northumberland Counter.

Intermediate Girls – 28th Hannah Tumia 6th Northumberland Counter. 36th Suzannah Fielding 9th Northumberland Counter.

43rd Emily Allison 11th Northumberland Counter.63rd Charley Lee 15th Northumberland Counter.

Senior Boys – 40th Jamie Styles 10th Northumberland Counter.

44th Chris Mason 11th Northumberland Counter.

The schools selectors will be meeting later this month to decide who goes to the Nationals, however looking at the results it’s fairly certain Elswick will again have athletes representing their schools.

Well done everyone. Cheers Jan & Ken. Some photos of the athletes shown below:







Meet the Committee – Member profiles

Harry Matthews, Chairman

A member of Elswick since 1959 when he was just 12 years old, Harry is certainly one of our longest serving members. Over the years he has taken on various roles including boys, youths and veterans captain, chairman, vice chairman and president.

Now age 71, Harry continues to train regularly and to and compete to an excellent standard – quite an achievement. He is passionate about Elswick Harriers, which is all too evident from his 59 years of involvement with the club during which time Harry has seen many changes. Harry has commented,

“I am so pleased to have returned to the committee at a time when the club has much going for it. I am particularly pleased to see such a vibrant junior section that has some really enthusiastic coaches and helpers supporting it. The Bunnies group is a fairly new and expanding group and it is good to see how well they get on. The seniors’ section and masters’ section are well supported by some experienced coaching staff and I am so impressed by the turn out at cross country league meetings by so many of our members in all age groups.

In my role as chairman I would like to think I could support the committee members in taking the club to the next level. We have an enormous amount of skill and talent on our committee.
We do however, need more volunteers to help in various roles so that the club continues to thrive and develop.
Next year will be the clubs 130th anniversary. Let us enjoy the year and celebrate this milestone.
Best wishes to all our members and supporters. Harry”

Daniel Nettle – Treasurer

Daniel has been running for just over five years and a member of Elswick Harriers for four. He has certainly achieved a lot in running terms over those five years and is a fine example that you can take up running at any time in your life and excel at it.

Daniel is a stalwart of the senior training sessions and a regular competitor in all manner of races including Masters’ events. Daniel says,

Though I am not one of the fastest men, the club has helped me achieve a lot of goals that are very important to me, from the 800m to the marathon. I joined the committee as I wanted to help give something back. I am a scientist in my day job, and generally as comfortable with spreadsheets as with people, so treasurer seemed a natural choice. My role is to keep track of all the financial transactions coming in and out of the club.”

Such an enthusiastic, committed runner and Elswick Harrier, Daniel is a fantastic addition to the committee.

Graham Bell – Events Co-ordinator

Graham has been a member of the club since 2006 and joined the committee in 2012. Very soon Graham took on the role of the minute taker at all meetings and continues to undertake this task. In 2013, by popular demand, he was elected to Men’s Team Captain. Around the same time, Graham stepped into the breach when our senior coach Colin Bolton was hospitalised and became a temporary coach. “Temporary” turned into three years!

From there, Graham’s role continued to expand. At Frank Watson’s request, he began to assist with the organisation of the club hosted races: The Good Friday Relays, The Newburn River Run and the Norman Woodcock Memorial Race. As Graham says, “Together Frank and I forged a very canny team indeed! I took on an increased role in this respect, as an event co-ordinator on behalf of the club’s races. When Frank retired as Secretary in 2016, I took on the role full time.”

Thanks to Graham’s efforts, the Elswick races continue to thrive and prove ever popular. Graham also provides risk assessments for the club and its races. Given the extent of Graham’s roles, it was sensible for him give up the Men’s Team Captaincy in 2018 to focus on managing our events, which is a mammoth task, given the number of organisations that have to be liaised with to ensure the events can proceed. In addition to the three main Elswick races, Graham also organises the Boxing Day Paarlaufs, the annual presentations, event catering and is the main website administrator and contributor.

Graham is certainly our blue-sky thinker constantly coming up with new ideas for our events and general promotion of our club. You won’t see him on social media, so be sure to say hello at the beginning of the club sessions.

Keith Batey – Welfare officer

Keith takes on some very important and essential tasks in his role as the welfare officer as listed below:
• Ensure Safeguarding and Welfare of all club members
• Ensure all training / coaching staff are licenced and have a current DBS check obtained through England Athletics
• Ensure any safeguarding incidents / issues are dealt with as a matter of urgency and where appropriate reported to UKA
• Maintain a positive and proactive approach, across the club, to all matters relating to welfare.
We are very grateful to Keith for carrying out this role which requires a lot of commitment. Despite carrying the weight of these responsibilities, Keith still has time to participate in races and assist with leading the sessions for the Bunnies as their numbers continue to grow. Keith has recently acquired the Leadership in Running Fitness qualification. Keith is a very approachable and friendly gentleman who deals with our welfare matters in the most professional manner, so do speak to him if you have any welfare/safeguarding concerns. Alternatively, you can drop him an email using the following address:


Laura Clegg – committee member

As a relative new comer to the sport Laura joined the club in early 2017 as way to help her improve her running and she has never looked back.

Since joining she has enjoyed running on a more regular basis and says, “I have definitely benefited from the support of training with like-minded people and feel proud to pull on the Elswick vest at events. As a new member of the committee I’m looking forward to playing a role in ensuring the continued success and growth of the club over the coming year.”

We’re delighted that Laura has stepped up to join the committee. It is always good to have a fresh pair of eyes and ears to add to the views represented at committee meetings to ensure that all members’ needs are considered.

Michelle Coleman – social events co-ordinator

Michelle joined the club around five years ago. She particularly enjoys long weekend runs especially if they involve mud. Truly a hardy soul, cross country is her absolute favourite and when not running, she is also partial to a bit of open water swimming.

Michelle is a committee member and the Elswick Harriers Social Event Co-ordinator, and organises the Presentation Evening, the Boxing Day Paarlaufs and the Christmas do.

As well as sorting out our social calendar, Michelle is part of the Women’s captaincy group which organises the women’s teams and generally promotes and supports the women of Elswick.

Michelle can be contacted via Info@elswickharriers.org.uk regarding any general committee issues.

Richard Houghton – Men’s captain 

Having always been a keen footballer, Richard found himself seeking a new form of fitness training when numerous injuries prevented him from continuing to play.  The confirmation of his wife’s pregnancy in 2011 inspired him to get back to fitness, to allow him to be an active Dad and a positive role model to his child. On a tight budget due to nursery and baby costs Richard decided to try running.

Richard got started on his running journey by training alone adopting the method of running and walking to alternate lampposts and increasing the run distances around his rural Lincolnshire home.  He entered a few local  5k and 10k races, completing his first 10k race in 48:12. “I found I enjoyed the thrill of the race, and training for a set target – this was confounded by watching the 2012 Olympics and following its legacy I joined Bourne Town Harriers running club in late 2012.”

To be closer to his wife’s family, Richard and his wife decided to move to the North East.  Unlike most people who move to a new area, Richard determined that his arrival in Newcastle had to be by foot, so he planned and ran The Wall Ultra race in June 2015 – this was 69 miles from Carlisle Castle and finishing in Baltic Square. His first priority on arriving in Newcastle was to find a running club where he felt at home. “I sampled many clubs however Elswick Harriers stood out due to its friendliness and I joined this historic club in July 2015.”

I love running and everything that comes with it, I will compete in any distance on any terrain but I do favour the marathon distance strangely enough. I have been lucky enough to complete the Abbott World Marathon Majors in March 2019 in which incorporates 6 marathons across the world, Berlin, London, New York, Chicago, Boston and Tokyo, this has been a huge challenge alone just to fit in the necessary training in which there has been a lot of family understanding along the way. Upon finishing the Majors I received a silver platter from the club stating that I was the first Elswick Harriers to complete the set, this was a thoughtful touch from the club. 

Shortly afterwards I was shocked to discover that the men’s captain role had become vacant and that would I be interested in taking this on. It’s a huge honour to represent such a fantastic club and to guide the men along the way with Scott Brady in which I moved quickly to secure his services as becoming vice captain. I will be looking to add names that can support Scott and myself in our exciting roles, one of which is the experienced Dave Armstrong who has been at the club for many years.”


Andrea Banner – Women’s Team Captain

Andrea joined the club in 1999 having run in road races including marathons for five years as an “unattached”. She made huge improvements within months of training with the senior section of the club, taking off over 30 minutes in her marathon time. She was lucky enough to enjoy lots of team success with other females in the club like Jude Nutt, Susanne Stephenson, Yvonne Swinhoe and Kim Matthews. Andrea took around 5 years away from the club after the birth of her second child but returned in 2013 and took to training once again. She competes whenever she can when family commitments permit and continues to enjoy everything from cross country to marathon.

She joined the committee in 2017 as part of a new women’s collective of representatives to overcome the difficulty of finding a sole women’s captain. In order to formalise the role of the women’s collective, Andrea agreed to take on the role of Women’s Captain but continue to work with the other women in the group, namely Sara Blight, Cath Lowes, Arabella Arnott, Amy Brown and Michelle Coleman.

Andrea says, “The number of women joining Elswick increases year on year, and we have lots more females entering races. By working as a collective, we have a better chance of there being a women’s rep at each of the training sessions, the cross country and other team events. I’m delighted to be giving something back to the club, by doing whatever I can to help the other committee members to ensure the club continues to thrive.”

Derek Nelson – committee member

Derek is currently the Membership Secretary keeping our membership with England Athletics up to date with new members and resignations.

He joined Elswick Harriers in 1987 after completing two GNRs as a way of keeping fit. In 1993 Derek was “coerced /invited” on to the Committee where he has engaged in a number of roles. He took over the writing of the newsletter which was in a paper form back then, progressing to help set up the original web page with his daughter Sara’s help before it was moved on to our current website which is now run by Andy Middleton.

Derek was recognised for the variety of tasks he carried out when he was awarded the Quantum Services trophy in 1994 for services rendered to the club.

Thankfully, Derek did find time to train in and around his committee duties and pulled off some impressive race performances.  He says, “I have run numerous races from 5K to marathons, but with the help of the other members my best performances were London Marathon in 3.03 and Brampton to Carlisle in 59.58.”

Of his committee involvement, Derek comments, “Once you get elected onto the Committee then you get a lot of jobs to carry out, so since 1994, I have been the main Marshall for organising our races, setting up the events on the day, putting out signage, cones and barrier tape so that the events can be run safely.  Now currently still involved but would like more members to get involved with the running of the club.”

 Sage words indeed. You certainly get out of the club what you put in.  Without stalwarts like Derek, Elswick would not be the club it is today.

Noel Stoddart – committee member


 Noel is a new committee member having joined in November 2018, however he is not a newcomer to Elswick Harriers, having been a member of the club between the ages of 10 to 20.  His time as a junior member of the club clearly made a positive impact.  “I have great memories of training in big groups tearing through the streets of Fenham and of competing in muddy cross-countries and summer track leagues.”

As a senior Noel ran for Hounslow AC and was lucky enough to train with some very talented athletes and to enjoy being part of some very successful teams, making some life-long friends.

Not only a successful runner, Noel has turned his hand to coaching.  “I have coached junior and senior athletes at events from 800m through to marathon, including at the London and Rio Olympic Games. Having returned to the north east I was thrilled to be able to re-join Elswick and feel a part of what is a club with a real family feel. Getting ever slower, I still enjoy the trails, but mix running with other sports. I hope that as a part of the committee I can play a small role in the club being able to support athletes young and old achieve their goals.”

It is great to have Noel return to his Elswick roots and to bring his broad running experience and knowledge to the club.  He is clearly focused on making the club inclusive yet competitive and has already taken an interest in finding the best way to organise our internal club championship.


 Rob Emson – junior coach

On joining Elswick Harriers, Rob trained with the Seniors group.  He was lucky enough to win one of our ballot places for the 2016 London Marathon, a race that he had long set his sights on, and so he embarked on training for his first ever marathon.  His experience that day was eventful to say the least.  Rob recollects, “Although I stumbled and fell flat on my face at mile 20 (another take on “hitting the wall”), I jumped back up to finish, had a fantastic day and have always felt indebted to the Club for giving me the chance. Since then, I have done more marathons and like to think I can give some good words of advice on stamina training.”

A few years ago, Rob sacrificed his training sessions with the Seniors group to join the Junior coaching team, so that he could give something back to the Club.  He is now one of our newest committee members, having joined in November 2018.

“As one of the Junior coaches, I hope to help in all the good work the Committee do and to provide a link with our Junior section which is such an integral part of our great ClubI work with a very good team of Junior coaches and helpers which is very important if we are to help all the Juniors improve in their running. As we are all volunteers, it’s essential that we work well together in session planning and in actually delivering the sessions. I have enjoyed being able to gain from the knowledge of the other coaches and to explore the many different aspects of coaching methods. However, despite all the technical aspects of training, I think it’s fundamental to make training a fun experience so that our young runners can thrive in so many ways through running.”

It is fantastic to have a junior coach taking a place on the committee to ensure that the juniors’ needs are met.


Simon Lynch – committee member

Simon only took up running early in 2016 with a target of running his first half marathon in August that year. Having struggled to complete a 10K run, Simon joined Elswick in June 2016 with a view to radically improving his fitness levels ahead of the half marathon.  Simon remembers joining the club over two years ago, “To say I was nervous was an understatement; joining a club was quite a big step for me as I was anything but fit and there was this little voice inside my head telling me that I wasn’t good enough to run with peoplewho run weekin week out.I knew deep down I had nothing to worry about and was welcomed by everyone on my first session and again when I attended Newburn the following week. From there I began running regularly with the beginners/intermediate group which at the time was one combined run.

Moving forward 12 months, Simon approached the committee regarding completion of the LiRF (Leader in Running Fitness) course which would enable him to lead a separate group as the number of people attending the runs had increased to a size which could not be supported. (This has recently been expanded again to 3 groups with some club nights attracting up to 35 runners.)

In November 2017, Simon joined the committee as a member without a specific title or responsibility.  Simon’s aim in his volunteering at the club is to provide a voice to those in the Beginners & Intermediate groups as well as being able to feedback club information to Elswick members.  In the relatively short time that Simon has been at Elswick, he has made an invaluable contribution, not least with his running leadership.  He continues to develop new skills to enhance his running leadership.  In June 2018, he undertook the Sight Loss Awareness Course which enabled Simon and the club to support the development of visually impaired runners.  In February 2019 Simon will lead his first Couch to 5K group, which he hopes will inspire yet more new runners to join Elswick.

When not engaged in his many roles at the club, Simon also continues to set new personal bests in his running performances, currently training for his third, fourth and fifth marathons which he says would not have been possible without the help and support of his fellow Elswick harriers.

Track & Field 2019: Date for your diary.

Hello Team Elswick. Cath Lowes from our club has handed over the following Track & Field Competition Dates. They are: Sunday 19th May – University of York Sports Centre. Sunday 16th June – Eastbourne Sports Complexing Darlington. Sunday 14th July – Middlesborough Sports Village. Saturday 10th August Monkton Stadium Jarrow. Anyone wanting to compete in the composite Elswick/ Blaydon Track & Field Team, keep the following dates free. For further information about have talk with Cath Lowes on the club’s FaceBook page. Thank you (photos below from previous season(s). A good team competition, something different to road running, why not give it go? 🙂