The first Start Fitness Harrier League fixture was blessed with beautiful sunshine with all races attracting tremendous fields.
The afternoon commenced with 159 Under 11′s facing the starter over the 1.38k course, with BRADLEY FOGGIN leading for most of the race till being overhauled near the finish, still gaining a great 3rd spot in 5:03. Fine performances from our other five in red and white with GEORGE TURNBULL 23RD-5:47, EMILY ALLISON-36TH-6:00, CAITLIN FLANAGAN-67TH-6:30, and KIRSTIN McLEOD-91st-6:48.
The next race was the U/13 Girls with Elswick again performing well finishing 5th team, with SUZANNAH FIELDING 14th-15:27, closely followed by HANNAH TUMIA IN 15TH in the same time. MARISSA O’ROURKE running from the fast pack was 48th in 16:04, and new recruit LUCY CARDNO-51st-18:28. This race was run over a 3.32k course.
The youngsters continued their good afternoon in the next race – U/13Boys.
New recruit CHRISTOPHER MASON had a really strong run to come home in 8th place in 13:40, with BEN FLANAGAN up an age group, claiming 10th spot in 13:58 and MATTHEW GRANT close behind in 13th-14:16. LUKE GUADAGNO was 18th-14:22, and JAMIE McLEOD-20TH-14:27. SAM EDMUNDSON-21ST-14:29, superb packing by the boys.
MAX AUSTIN running strongly-31st-15:11 with JAMIE STYLES from the fast pack-13:42, and SAM BURRIN-42nd in 15:35. Another fine performance for Elswick to claim 3rd spot.
We only had the one entrant in the U/15 Boys race with new boy JOE BARNES finishing 27th-13:39 over the 3.32k course.
The U/15 Girls event saw a fine run from FRANCESCA BURRIN to finish in 3rd spot in 13:57, with ROBYN BENNETT running from the fast pack-15:16.
In the U/17/20 Womens event one runner from the club with new recruit CHARLOTTE BASTON 29TH IN 24:08 over the 4.9k course.
The Womens event was run over 2 laps, a distance of 6.52k, with the club having a marvellous turn out of 13 women. The total fields continued to grow as the afternoon progressed with 333 at the start. ANDREA BANNER continued her fine form with a 12th placing in 29:15, followed by new girl RACHEL WALMSLEY-19th in 30:28. Captain-KIM MATTHEWS and MARY LISLE finishing in 59th and 69th respectively in 31:42 and 31:54 made up the counters enabling the girls to claim 3rd Spot in Division 2.
TRACEY STURROCK was next home for the club in 112th-32:55, then YVETTE DEVLIN-157TH-34:02 just ahead of CATHRINE LEE in 157th-34:14. DENISE HUDDLESTON, KATY GOULDING, and JACKIE AVERY finished 211th, 218th, and 257th respectively in 35:30, 35:45, and 37:43.
Our other three ladies were MICHELLE COLEMAN-277TH-39:07, CHRISTINE LEE-282ND-39:28, and TINA McIVER-292ND-39:55.
A fine effort from everyone, with the aim to finish that bit higher at the next fixture!
Unbelievably the Senior/Vet Mens race had 590 finishers, making the total for both Women and Men over 900 competitors.
There was victory for the club as MARK McLEOD making a welcome return to the club strolling to a great win in 34:02 over the 9.9k course. Nice to see Mark back in the red and white vest again. New recruit JASON OLD had a fine debut -27th in 38:08, PHIL SANDERSON still seething over his problems on getting to the course scythed through the field from the fast pack to finish 71st overall in 34:44. New boy STEPHEN KNIGHT had a very promising debut -105th place in 40:40. Next home was IAIN HARDY running from the mediums-149th-39:04, with KEVIN STEPHENSON making a welcome return finished 174th-41.48, DAVID JARDIN -221ST-42:45, New recruit CHRIS PEARCE-235TH-42:58, SEAMUS KELLEHER-270TH-43:40, BEN HALL-296TH-44:08, SEAN CONNELLY-332ND-45:05, MICHAEL RUSSELL-354TH-45:44, ANTHONY BEYNON-361ST-45:49, JOHN LOWES-393RD-46:42, PATRICK GORDON-407TH-47:01, GRAHAM LESLIE-450TH-48:30, ANDY MIDDLETON-497TH-49:54, LEE COULSON-549TH-53:46, STEVE CURRY-561ST-55:23 and ROB KEVAN-566TH-57:04.
Summarising, there was a terrific turn out of members, and with the huge fields expected this current season it is essential that we maintain our position, as the Senior Men finished in 6th place overall in Division 2. This is a good base to work on and try to improve for the upcoming fixtures.
Thanks to all the encouragement to the runners around the course, in particular from Martin Connelly and the Heslops. Finally a big thank you to one of the unsung heroes – Dave Jardin for his sterling work in putting the tent up, and staying behind to clear up and dismantle.