Huge congratulations to our Couch to 5K group on completing the course. They have really risen to the challenge and we are immensely proud of the progress we have witnessed over the last 10 weeks.
They were all a bit nervous before the dreaded 30 minute minute run but they smashed it! Most of them ran for nearly 40 minutes in the end and some even attempted the Harrass Bank finisher.
We hope to see some of them in our Joggers Group sessions going forward.
Our next Couch to 5K intake will be September 2021.
This week saw two of our members completing Ultra Distance Races.
Firstly, Jamie Graham completed the Cow Shed Backyard Ultra. He ran a staggering 70.84 miles over a lapped course in a time of 17 hours. What an amazing achievement.
Secondly, Steve Palmer ran the Ultra North 55km (32.86 miles for those who use old money!) Steve is a new club member and we are immensely proud of his hard work and dedication.
We also had a great turnout on Sunday at Churchill Playing Fields for the latest Northern Track League.
Chris Perkins stormed to victory in the 400m along with Katie Francis in the 3000m. Michael Graham also wowed the crowds with his amazing javelin performance and a win in the 200m.
Amy Drummond, Mia Openshaw, George Beevers, Kirstin Farquhar, Tess Graham, Lorna Graham, Mia Openshaw, and Rebecca Pottinger all represented the club and did us proud with their performances.
Last week Graeme Swaddle, Amy Drummond (along with Nala), Rebecca Pottinger and Zoe Towers competed in the Derwent Reservoir 10 Mile trail race. It was a challenging race with plenty of hills and baking sunshine. The beer at the finish was certainly a welcome sight!
Sunday saw a return to racing at Whitley Bay for our young Birtley AC team, with an amazing first team place for the Birtley AC/Tyne Bridge partnership.
There were some really fabulous performances by our athletes at all levels.
The U13 boys had a win with Noah Williamson in the 1500m and the discus, Gabriel Curtis in the Long Jump and 100m, and Callum Chambers in the shot. There were also some great efforts by Jamie Mcteer, Riley Weeks and Ollie King, and Ben Storey.
The U13 girls were represented by Niamh Phillipson who took part in the 100m, 1500m, and Long Jump. Well done Niamh.
The U15 boys saw a win for Martin Rahamann in the 200m, who also performed well in the 800m and 80mh. Mathew Drummond, Ben Brownless and Lewis Watson also gave some really great performances for their team.
The U15 girls included Ami Leigh Dodds, Terri Bouma, Maggie Graham and Daisy Graham. The girls all gave their all in their events and made us proud.
The U17 boys saw Chris Perkins win the 400m and 800m. George Beevers and Rowan Mason both had some fabulous results.
The U17 girls saw Katie Francis win the 1500m and Abigail Thwaites did a great job in the 200m.
It was lovely to see some of our newer members trying out track and field for the first time. They all tried to so hard for the team, while battling those first time nerves, so a special mention goes to Ami Leigh Dodds, Jamie Mcteer, Ollie King, Ben Storey and Niamh Phillipson. Huge congratulations on your efforts on the day.
The team won by 40 points overall and a great day out was had by all.
A relay is being organised for all Club members. The route will be from Whitehaven to Sunderland along the Sea to Sea (C2C) Cycle Path plus laps of the fields at Lord Lawson School, or if the school isn’t available we’ll detour to Chester le Street Riverside (C2C+). The idea of the relay is to encourage all Club members to participate in promoting the Club and to actively seek publicity for the event and therefore the Club.
The relay will start at 8:00pm on Friday 25th June and continue through the night until the finish at Roker Beach before (hopefully) 4:00pm Saturday 26th June.
There will be 24 legs on route, plus short legs at Lord Lawson or Chester le Street, with distances ranging from 2 miles to 11 miles and if you feel that 2 miles is too far then club members can still take part by completing a short leg, of 100m or above, at the school.
Hopefully a social night can held soon afterwards for all Club members/family and friends (venue to be confirmed). The event will require a large amount of organising and also help from as many people as possible i.e. cyclists to be with the runners, drivers for support vehicles, help at Lord Lawson School, and of course RUNNERS. We will need at least 2 mini buses and drivers, 6 cyclists to take it in turns from start to finish, 24 runners (although of course more than one runner can be on each leg).
Hopefully we can get local companies to sponsor towards the cost of the buses and also some event t shirts. We will also be asking members/parents/friends to raise sponsorship for Club funds and a local charity which will be confirmed. The Club has previously, successfully, done the event in 2008 and raised a large total for the Evening Chronicle Sunshine Fund. Everyone can take part in this unique event, (members/parents/guardians/friends) either as a runner on one of the relay legs or as a supporter. If you would like to take part please keep checking the face book page and/or web site, or if you need any further information send Tom a message or see him on Club training nights.
For those who are considering taking part in the above event, I’ve detailed some further information below regarding the times that would have to be committed, i.e. pick up and drop off times.
Minibus A - Pick up from Birtley 5pm with 5 runners, 2 cyclists, 4 drivers/helpers
Minibus B - Pick up from Birtley 9:30pm with 4 runners, 2 cyclists, 2 drivers/helpers
Minibus A - Leaves Penrith approx 3:15am to return to Birtley approx 5:45am with runners, cyclists and helpers wishing to go home.
Minibus A - Pick up from Birtley 7:15am with 6 runners, 1 cyclist and driver to meet Minibus B at Rookhope
Minibus B - Leaves Rookhope approx 8:30am to return to Birtley and will then return to relay on route at approx Waskerley.
Buses will then follow runners and cyclists to Lord Lawson and Roker
So the first 5 runners on Minibus A have to commit to leaving Birtley at 5pm and returning 5:45am.
The next runners on Minibus B have to commit from 9:30pm to 9:30am.
As you can see, if the event is to go ahead then we need people who are willing to commit to the above times. At least 24 runners (although some are willing to do more than one leg), 6 cyclists, 4 drivers/helpers are needed for the whole of the relay.
There’s 6 weeks to go and to date there’s about 8 people who have offered to either run or help, although no one has committed to a particular leg or when they’re available to cycle or drive. There’s buses to book, hopefully t-shirts to organise and the route to be double checked, which need doing about 2 to 3 weeks before, therefore, unfortunately, if there’s not enough commitment in the next 3 weeks then to C2C+ relay will not be happening. The list of legs with times and distance is shown below, please message Tom (or email and it'll be passed on) if you’re available for any (especially Whitehaven to Rookhope). See this link for the route.
Due to a kind donation by Müller in association with British Athletics, we have a pair of tickets for the Diamond League on 23rd May at Gateshead Stadium to raffle to our members. All proceeds will go to a charity (to be decided) and the draw is open to all paid up members of Birtley (athletes and/or parents of athletes). Entries will close on Tuesday 18th May (UPDATED due to ticket provision restrictions) and the draw will be streamed live on our FB page. Current draw hopefuls are shown on our noticeboard page
First, and most important for us as an athletics club, there is the National Association of Boys & Girls Clubs UK Club Athletics Championships 2021 which will be taking place on 12th June at Middlesbrough Sports Village.
This event is open to athletes from U11 to U20 age groups:-
U11 max 2 events + relay:- 75m, 200m, 800m, HJ, LJ, Shot & Relay
U13 max 3 events + relay:- 100m, 200m, 800m, 1500m, HJ, LJ, Shot
U15 max 3 events + relay:- 100m, 200m, 300m (boys), 800m, 1500m, HJ, LJ, Shot, Discus, Javelin
U17 max 3 events + relay:- 100m, 200m, 300m (girls), 400m, 800m, 1500m, HJ, LJ, TJ (boys), Shot, Discus, Javelin
U20 max of 5 events inc relay:- 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, HJ, LJ, TJ (boys), Shot, Discus, Javelin
Your coaches will soon be asking you if you'd like to represent the club by competing in this competition, and it's a great opportunity to compete against other athletes from all over the UK in a really good venue. Entry is free but the club is only able to put forward one athlete for each event in each age group, so places are strictly limited, and places must be confirmed by 4th June.
Do we have any aspiring pool players in the club? The annual County Pool Competition will be held at Lambton Street Youth Centre, Sunderland, in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines, on the 27th May 2021.
This competition is open to any young person in the club - if you'd like to enter, please email me for an entry form. There is a £10 club entry fee but this is only payable once, so if several people wanted to enter, the cost could be shared - there is a limit of two players per age group:-
Next up they have a "Britain's Fittest Teen Competition!"
Prior to lockdown NABGC had hoped to start their new ‘Britain's Fittest Teen’. Unfortunately that had to be put on hold due to lockdown. Now however, they are re-launching this event.
They are pleased to say that this will be taking place after the summer. For more information on this, please click on this link or check out the promotional video
Following discussions with the school, we will be returning to Lord Lawson from next Tuesday 4th May. All sessions will take place at the usual time of 7pm.
We will not have access to the indoor areas or toilets until Coronavirus restrictions are lifted further. We will, however, have to pay to use the school grounds, so could all members attending sessions please remember to pay their weekly fees of £2.00
It's been a great couple of weeks of racing for our Birtley athletes. It's so good to have racing back, with the blue and yellow vests popping up all over the North-East.
Last week we had a great turn out at the rescheduled Croft Pitstop races held by Darlington Harriers. In the Junior race we had some amazing efforts, first place went to Noah Williamson followed by Ed Moon, Poppy Graham, and Izzy Hall.
The 5K race saw another fabulous race by Katie Francis who was 2nd female overall. Also racing were Nigel Simpson, Brian Bailes, Jason Williamson, Sara Francis, and Dave Francis. Lovely to see Dave getting back to fitness after his bike mishap!
Craig Buchanan did us proud in the 10K race, well done Craig.
On Sunday we had two warriors braving the Derwent Reservoir Duathlon. Well done to Lee Drummond and Rebecca Pottinger. They raced a 10km run, followed by a 40km bike ride, finishing off with a 5km run. This testing course was "brutal", and they finished with times of 3:04.12 and 3:23.27 respectively.
Also, on Sunday Katie Francis had her spikes on for a 3K race on the track at Hexham. She finished in 10:25.8, a seasons best, finishing 3rd female. Well done Katie.
Lastly, Sunday also saw the Shildon Open where we had a number of junior athletes running and throwing. Some great performances by Izzy Hall, Ed Moon, Poppy Graham, Joseph Perkins, Ryan Cook, and Fynn Errington,
It's now been over a year since our last Couch to 5K group graduated and moved into our newly formed 'Joggers Group'. They worked so hard during all the challenges that 2021 threw at them and they have not given up. We are incredibly proud of the progress they have made with their running, especially when the club was unable to meet. They paired up to run during the last lockdown and continued to support each other during the difficult winter months.
We can't wait to see what the future holds for our new Birtley athletes and we look forward to running up many more hills together!
Well done Marines!!!
Zoe & Lee
...no, not Covid time (because we've all had enough of that)! It's April, which means Birtley AC memberships are now due for renewal. You'll be pleased to hear that we haven't raised the cost of membership, which remains at £35 for children, £60 for adults and £95 for a family. This is a great deal for athletes when you consider that you can get free entry into any (or indeed all) local or national championships (road, T&F, cross-country, relays, and masters), as the club will refund your entry fee once you've competed.
To help us develop the club and give our athletes the best training we can, we need our members to pay their weekly training fees as well as renewing their membership. This will allow us to fund more training opportunities for our fantastic coaches, buy equipment, and other things that will help our athletes to improve and reach their full potential. Thank you!
Katie Francis ran in the Middlesbrough endeavour graded 5k on April 11th, it was a very strong line up and she was the 4th female overall and the first female in her race (number 4), in a time of 17:55 which is a new PB for her - well done Katie! These are the full results
The races were live streamed on National squad Events Facebook page, and it's worth a watch to see a great young athlete in action - here is the link.
Remember, if you have any news to share of your own or your child's achievements, email me and we'll get it put on the website for everyone to see - Birtley AC is proud of all their athletes and likes to share their successes!
After a long dry spell due to lockdowns aplenty, it was lovely to see some of the Birtley athletes out there today giving it their all. Typically, like buses, the events both came at the same time, so we were spread out a bit, but everyone did really well in both races.
The NECAA Senior XC Relay Championships took place at Thornley, and weirdly for cross-country there was a dearth of mud - in fact, after a hard frost in the morning, the day was glorious, with blue skies and sunshine. The hard going suited some better than others, but our teams did really well, and we had some very fast times, notably from Lydia Turner with the 3rd fastest leg in the senior ladies race, and Lorna Graham snagging 4th fastest in the masters ladies race, with Andrew Beevers doing the same in the masters mens race. Full results can be seen here and pictures from the race can be seen on the links below (photos by Stuart Whitman)
Masters Women Masters Men Senior Women Senior Men
Meanwhile, we had quite a few juniors and adults out at the Lambton Castle X-trail events. Noah Williamson was first in the 2.5K race, and along with him, our young athletes actually grabbed the first seven positions, which is amazing and shows what young talent we have in the club! Another talented athlete, Lisa Short, finished first lady in the senior race - well done to both her and Noah.
Due to ongoing Covid restrictions, this year's AGM will be held via Zoom at 7pm on April 12th. The agenda will include election of committee members and setting of fees for the coming year. If you have anything you wish to be considered for inclusion in the agenda, or you would like to attend the AGM, please email me - items for the agenda must be received by 29th March for possible inclusion (following approval by committee).
Remember this is your club, and this is your chance to have a say in the future direction of the club - don't miss the opportunity!
This is a link for nominations for committee positions - please nominate or second at least some of these prior to the AGM, to allow us to elect our committee for 2021/2022.
If the government's phased return continues to go to plan, we hope to reopen the club for training on 30th March. We will be meeting at Birtley Baths (for the time being), with a start time of 7pm. We do hope to return to Lord Lawson in the near future, and we will give you any updates as soon as we have them.
Please remember we still need to maintain social distancing, particularly before the start of training and at the end of the session.