February 9, 2014
This was gonna be awkward, Tommy wanted the tent at the race, but I wasn’t going to be able to get there early enough for the first races. The tent is a bit challenging, I had it from Liverpool and it was manky, so I put it up in the garage, cleaned it up and dried it best I could. That bit was easy, the challenging bit was folding it up, but now my mate Gary is an expert, because before we went out on Friday night he had to help me fold the tent up and store it away. Anyway, once folded it went in Ade’s car and he handed it over to Tommy at his training session.
I arrived at the race venue a bit later so couldn’t get parked in my usual space, so found a space across the road at the QE park and ride station. When I arrived the tent was already up, I had no intention to run today, I missed my massage last night, and was aching from my run the day before. At first I was worried because I thought I was going to be required to make up the team as the sixth runner, oh how I didn’t want that to happen. I kept a low profile at first, which is something you all probably know isn’t easy or natural for me.
The womens race was the one before the main event. First to line up was Val and Lisa. Val had just got out of bed after 3 night shifts (you could tell cos she had left one of her curlers in) and Lisa was running in her first harrier league for quite a while, in fact I believe this may have been her first one since she was a junior. Running from the medium pack were Ruth and Lorna Graham, with our Tracy chasing from the fast pack.
The field was big for the ladies, 216 I believe. I remember when the ladies races would have less than 100 entrants. I went to the start with Lorna B and together we seconded for Lisa and Val so they didn’t have to remove their jackets too early cos it was a cold wind blowing. We put the jackets in the tent then went off to watch from the hill, a good vantage point that meant we could watch and cheer on both the hills. Lisa ran a great race, getting up the first hill in the lead, but over the course of the two laps there were 4 people caught her, though she finished in a very creditable 5th place which means that she will join Lorna and Ruth in the medium pack at Alnwick.
I was pleased to see Ruth working so hard, cos I am running with her tomorrow, so that gave me heart, with luck she will be tired tomorrow (just joking Ruth). Cracking run by Tracy running into 16th place (with the second fastest time overall, great result) from the fast pack just ahead of Ruth with Lorna (fighting off illness) and Val completing the ladies team.
While the big lasses were running round I was pleased to see that some of the seniors had arrived later which meant that I didn’t need to run. We had a canny turn out in the end, Michael Keenan turning up latest of the team despite living 1/2 a mile away. Funny how he managed to get all the way to Wallington Hall on time by train!!
There was a lot of interest in this race, especially by me. Dave Cleugh has been running well lately and threatening to catch Dave Coulson, Conna Carruthers running from the medium pack without his mate Adrian who is starting to come back now, but had work at 3pm so couldn’t even get there to support. The battle at the front of the Birtley team was between Peter Gill and Jamie, Peter just managing to break away in the last lap to get the better of Jamie, Peter now should be looking to get promotion into the medium pack in the next couple of races as he was only 1 minute and a bit from top 30.
Chris Tiffin ran a strong race, third counter for Birtley, and a year older than his last harrier league, but that year didn’t seem to make any difference as he worked into the hills. Lee was fastest runner from the medium pack. Not to disappoint the spectators and pundits, the Dave versus Dave race within the race, I have to say I did have a 50p bet on the outcome (my money was on Dave) Coulson just getting the better of Cleugh on the run in, Conna making a big effort, after swearing he would never run another x country after Liverpool. We all had a little bet on that one Conna. We know ya love it really!!!
That was the team counters through, and they were supported by Mark Bell, Ian Goulding, Gavin Elliott, (Molly’s dad), Michael Keenan and Andrew Murray. Special mention to Gavin for his first harrier league for the club, and also to me for lending him my vest!
Ya know…forget the places, the results are wrong. Chris Tiffen is in twice, our Ade is in the results while he was at work, and Matty Coulthard is in and he was at Loughbrough uni.
If Val can put a link on to results, (of course I can, I’m clever like that 😉 Wrekenton results) check yourself when they have been corrected. Quote of the day…Dave Cleugh “I enjoyed that and felt strong all the way round.” Well Dave Coulson will probably agree with you Dave, so exciting at the end, just 1 second between you.
Well done everyone.
Refer back to the old disclaimers !! YB
There are some excellent photos of the day on Steve Garrett’s Flickr pages Senior Men and Senior Women.
Posted in Race report 4 years ago