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by Val Baxter

March 6, 2016

Alnwick report by YB – Bedsocks and broomsticks

This was much better than last week *smiles*. Started better on Friday night when I could turn the alarm clock off, then a good night sleep in my cot and woke up , warm and refreshed at the crack of 8:00, and snuggled back in cos there was no bus journey this time.

It was a big day for Team Birtley AC. There was the schools championships at Nottingham, Ade had been invited to put a team together for a relay in Nottingham, the Chester le street schools had their district X country champs and of course there was the Alnwick harrier league. My favourite X country since running it the first time I think 5 years ago. It took over as my fave from Prudhoe. I always used to say the first 5 harrier leagues were just a practise ready for the real event at Prudhoe but I think Alnwick have claimed the title.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, I have had a good sleep, and woken up after the heating has come on and there isn’t a 3 hour bus journey to look forward to. The world is already a brighter place. I had a leisurely coffee and toast while watching Naga on Breakfast. This is much more civilised.

I was car sharing with Stephanie so left at 10:30 to pick her up and that should have left plenty time for the hours drive to Alnwick. At this point I apologise to the lady sitting at the Angel with a puncture. Normally I would have stopped to help, but you just don’t be late for Stephanie, cos I don’t know if yous know this but she has a black belt in origami!!

In a parallel universe while all this was happening Gary Curtis was organising his wife and daughter, collecting athletes and erecting the tent for us. And I bet you thought all that happened by itself?

We arrived spot on when we expected. Stephanie and I arm wrestled over who paid the car park, thanks, but I just let her win.

As per my last couple reports, I don’t mention individuals, but there were some athletes who ran at school in the morning, and then ran for the club. The young athletes had great results, I believe we had a first second and a third in the youngest age group, so here is this weeks shout; well done all those youngsters who ran twice, or even once because you were all excellent, and Ruthy who was working at the school races, had to clear up after everyone, and then rush through to run herself into the fast pack.

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The course, well what can you say, Harry Potter land, but the real one, not the pretendy Disney one. When we arrived Gary had the tent up, but had to chase some younguns away who were playing Quidditch on the field so he could get space for it. The parking was smashing and only £2 or free when you give someone a lift, cos then they pay. 10 minutes walk to the event which was fine, some portaloos, and a burger van, what more could you want.

There were some pics on Facebook, a lovely setting, a hilly course, particularly the full lap …elevationAbove is my profile of the course, three laps worth…After the last few races this was decidedly firm, a couple of muddy bits, then along the top, which was only the top of the hill cos the ‘avenue’ was a gradual climb, there were four trees to negotiate, and then the down hill, and the whole race was either amongst the trees, or with the castle as a backdrop.

As I was running I was telling myself, this is my last X country, too old and unfit, but the last lap from the ‘avenue’ bit, I was striding out and all the horrible bits vanished from my mind, and at the tent I was happy and smiling, and looking forward to Wrekenton. (I reckon cross-country is a bit like childbirth – you mentally block out all the bad bits afterwards – Val)

I suppose I need to get faster, cos I was last finished, and last dressed, so I was the one to help Gary throw all the rubbish out the tent that was left, and luckily for him I was there cos there was so much left, …hats, spikes, umbrellas…We nearly had to go and get a barrow to carry it all back to the car! If you want your stuff back, it will be on ebay tomorrow.

Anyway, on another parallel world, in Nottingham, Ade said he didn’t run very well. Can’t wait to see when he does, cos his team got the silver medal in their relay race.

All in all, I guess we all had a canny day, it was definitely good at Alnwick, hope you all enjoyed it as much as me. See ya at Wrekenton for the last one of the season.

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For those who don’t know him, Brian (YB) is fifth from the left in this photo – Val).

YB

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