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Lord Lawson of Beamish

by Val Baxter

March 26, 2016

An Egg-cellent Elswick Event – The Good Friday Relays by YB

You must be getting sick of my version of the events by now.

Never mind here we go, it all started when…..well for me it started at 9 o’clock when Shannel texted to ask about one of the names she was going to register. Am guessing it started a lot earlier for the Curtis family cos when I woke up and replied, they were halfway to the venue. But they needed to be up early because they registered all the teams, and athletes (for the junior events), and still had the tent up in a strategic location, on a patch of grass they managed to find on the industrial estate before anyone else arrived.

He works hard does Gary, not only did he basically manage the event for Birtley, but he also found the time to be our secret weapon and run the fastest leg of the green team. Even that wasn’t enough to get him this week’s mention, although it nearly did.

We arrived early, after picking up Conna and as a result we missed most of the traffic on the bypass, cos I think most sensible people were still in their cots, or having cooked breakfasts, not like us dafties. It paid dividends though getting there early, I parked according to the instructions, on the industrial estate cos I had my bairn with me and you were allowed to do that. :O We also saw the junior races. I have to say, there were some good performances by the Birtley teams. I am not sure what the distance was, but this event is always a good standard across all the ages from bairns to oldies, and the junior athletes rose well to the occasion.

The junior races were run as a mixed bag, which meant brothers and sisters ran in the same race, now there is a recipe to cause some domestic unrest if ever I saw one. I didn’t see the junior results, but unless anyone has an aunt to visit at Throckley, I will be ‘popping across’ to collect the under 15 girls gold placing trophies, so well done young ladies, great performance and result. (Full results can be viewed here).

Meanwhile, I was approached by a mum, who asked what YB stands for? Well everyone knows that. She said she couldn’t think of a mans name starting with a ‘Y’ obviously hasn’t seen ‘The King and I’ or the ‘Magnificent 7’ westerns…(for those who are genuinely curious, answer at bottom of page – Val)

Anyway, I am a bit ahead of myself here, I haven’t mentioned the weather. It was ideal for running, very warm and just a gentle breeze to keep you cool when running. It was also a cold enough breeze to make you want a jacket or sweat shirt on if you were spectating.

Back to the racing; you know, I can’t remember where the ladies finished last year, I am sure Val can insert a comment here, I don’t think they were defending champions, but they will be next year!!!. (They were third last year :)) As mentioned earlier, these relays attract a good calibre of relay team, and you don’t get much better than lining up against international athlete Laura Weightman running first leg for Morpeth, but the ladies rose to that challenge and the first two teams finished in 1st and 4th place. In the interest of entering strong senior teams, the teams were mixed so the vet ladies were intermingled with seniors, but, had we entered a vets team, they would have just missed out on a medal, and judging from their times would have been comfortably 4th place finishers. So, you know what ladies, be proud you all did well.

The men had 4 teams entered, two vets teams, our young lads forming a senior team, and one composite team, two vets and two seniors. There were some good performances, the ‘peach’ team finishing in our top position, 12th which again endorses the quality of this event. Gary Curtis ran a good first leg for the ‘Turquoise’ team, ran well enough for his junior athletes to be proud of him, but not quite well enough to get this week’s outstanding performance mention.

At the end of the event we all dispersed, some of us to collect prizes, and some went to a garden centre in Durham to play with Easter chicks. (Rob). AND this week nobody left anything in the tent… there is a first!!

So, anyway, who do we laud above all others today? Well Morpeth ‘A’ team first leg runner got the fastest leg of the day, but Birtley ladies had the next four fastest legs, and won first prize. Chloe had the second fastest time in her first relay event for the club, and won first team prize, but that wouldn’t be fair on the under 15 girls ! So my nomination for person of the day, third leg ladies team, Sophie Burnett, who ran exactly the same time as Chloe, ran the glory leg, but did it on a day she celebrated her 18th birthday.

Well done and happy birthday Sophie.


PS – YB stands for Young Bri but shush, don’t tell everyone…


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