September 23, 2011
Friday with the GB/USA teams As many people were cramming down carbs in preparation to the big weekend 17 Lord Lawson pupils who are members of Birtley had the honor of training with some of Team GB’s elite runners.Jenny Meadows and Christian Malcolm were on hand to give the young athletes expert advice and photo opportunities as well as joining in with the warm ups. Main organisor John Mayock decided to hold a couple of 100m races to find the fastest girl and boy who would be invited back the next day to race in front of a capacity crowd. Birtley coaches Vince Taylor and Ed Lown were in attendance and the following athletes benefitted from the experience: Andrew Baxter, Olivia Bateman, Hannah Brown, Danielle Coulson, Danielle Graham, Robbie Graham, Emily Laws, Ben Lager, James Lawrence, Jay Madine, Callum McClean, Matthew Norton, Kieran Ryan, Jack Smith, Sophie Taylor, Kieran Taylor and Erin Wesley Mini North Run It’s called “mini” but by all means don’t let this word undermine the efforts of Birtley ‘s youngster’s. So that the North Run experience can be enjoyed by everyone the mini marathon is a 1.5k loop around the Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside for boys and girls 3 to 8. The event is ran over three races and Birtley had around 15 mini runners ranging from as young as 3. Well done and look forward to next year. Sophie and James the sprint stars Why take the people to the track when the track can be taken to the people? That’s exactly what North Run organisors did for the City Games. Along with pole vault and long jump pit, a temporary 150m running straight was built on between the Baltic and Sage. For a number of years this has brought “stadium” athletics to the heart of the city. This year two of our Birtley athletes earned the right to race on the same track as team GB and USA. Racing against the fastest athletes from Fridays training Sophie Taylor and James Lawrence ran the 100m in front of the estimated 20000 spectators. Sophie finished 2nd and James finished 1st Sophie said it was a “surreal experience” racing in front of that many people “having a mint day and I have come back with Helen Clitheroe’s, Christian Malcolm’s, Oyepitan’s numbers and David Oliver’s USA vest and Dwight Phillips’ spikes” Junior North Run A change to previous years the girls and boys races ran separately. Within each race runners were staggered in waves from Blue Numbers (15-16 years) Red Numbers (13-14 years) Orange Numbers (11-12 years) Green Numbers (9-10 years). Each wave with 1 and a half minutes between. The course was 4k taking in the mini loop plus an out and back along the Newcastle side of the river. Being part of the biggest half marathon in the World and a major part of North East heritage, Birtley has always supported the North Run. We have produced several Junior Champions over the years. This year we have had 4 podium finishes. Sophie Forster finished 3rd in the 15-16 range. She also picked up the prestige’s Stan Long cup which is given to the first North East Athlete. In the 13-14 year olds last years defending champ Lydia Turner managed to retain her title recording the fastest leg of all runners, closely followed by Anna Fawcett in 2nd. Olivia Bateman had another impressive run in the 11-12 year old range. Like Lydia she was defending her first place from last year, which she did in style. Well done. 15-16 Girls 3 Sophie Forster 7 Paige Gilhespy 13-14 Girls 1 Lydia Turner 2 Anna Fawcett 18 Danielle Coulson 30 Danielle Graham 71 Sarah Karen Murray 94 Emily Laws 11-12 Girls 1 Olivia Bateman 37 Laura Kelly 42 Grace Turner 43 Jessica Morgan 9-10 Girls 14 Martha Laws 21 Amelia Bateman 40 Macey Bradshaw 15-16 Boys 7 Chris Peverley 11 Adrian Bailes 75 Sean Ridley 3-14 Boys 21 Lewis Morgan 139 Robbie Graham 208 Lewis Kelly 11-12 Boys 26 Luke Kelly 29 Jamie Johnson 59 Adam Ridley 9-10 Boys 140 Joshua Harvey 343 Jonathan Butchart Well done Everyone Great North Half Marathon Sunday was the day of the half marathon main event. Those who watched the BBC coverage would struggle to miss Darren Purvis with his toe almost on the line at the start of the elite men’s race, proudly showing the Blue and yellow of Birtley AC to the World. Well done to all the seniors. DARREN PURVIS 1:12:30 PETER FARNIE 1:21:56 Josh McEnaney 1:22:38 Michael Keenan 1:30:46 Andrew Hailes 1:31:36 David Coulson 1:35:17 Christopher Tiffen 1:37:40 GERARD MURRAY 2:19:5 Andrew Murray 3:02:42 Officials at the finish line It’s not just the runners who deserve a pat on the back. Without spectators and volunteers the race that has grown to be the Worlds biggest half marathon would not take place. For the past 20 years Birtley has been involved by providing officials at the primary finish. This year we had 22 members giving up their Sunday to help this event to take place. This is viewed as a developmental opportunity for some of our young athletes to see the event from a different perspective. All agreed that it was an exciting way to round off what had been a fantastic weekend of athletics. Thanks to: Danielle Coulson, Grace Turner, Robbie Graham, Kersha Russell, Lesley Russell, Margaret Hopkinson, Katy Wilson, Lydia Turner, Paige Gilhespy, Val Baxter, Susan Wilson, Alex Flowers, Sean Ridley, Emily Laws, Bethan Oakes, Carol Ward, Rachel Ward, Chris Peverley, Anna Fawcett, Sophie Forster, Adrian Bailes and Ed Lown.