The bus which has been organised for the Northern XC Relays in Sheffield will be leaving Birtley Leisure Centre on Saturday morning at 7.15am promptly - please ensure you arrive in plenty of time to ensure a timely departure.
Due to adverse weather conditions (the car parking is under water) they have unfortunately had to cancel Druridge Bay Cross Country.
Info updated on the NEHL blog
To stop you from getting bored on a Sunday, some of the coaches are holding a session at Herrington Park, meeting at 11am - use the car park near the boating lake. A good workout is promised!
Just a quick reminder that Lord Lawson are hosting an Open Evening tonight, so there will be no access to indoor training areas tonight - most coaching groups are meeting outside (check with your coach) so remember to dress appropriately. Parking will also be difficult, give yourself plenty of time to find a space and be aware that you may have to park on the main road.
Athletes in years 4,5 and 6 - today is your last chance to get your name down for the Minors XC taking place at Jarrow on 20th October. This event is traditionally well supported by Birtley, and our athletes always enjoy the experience. Details and link to sign up form HERE
Saturday 28th September saw the first harrier league match of the season taking place at the familiar Wrekenton course. The day began with unpromising weather (depending on your point of view!) but the sun broke through mid morning, and the decent weather held all day, providing almost perfect running conditions, along with a few puddles - not much of the famed harrier mud though, but there are bound to be plenty of future opportunities!
The under 11s were first off, with Noah Williamson securing a 9th place finish in his first harrier run for Birtley, along with Callum Chambers, Gabriel Curtis and Curtis Fallon, while Skye Pottinger was the sole representative for the Birtley girls in the under 11 race.
Next up were the u17 men, with Robbie Mumford performing well as the only Birtley runner in the pack, whilst the u17 women managed to get a full team out, finishing in 6th place - well done to Amy Drummond, Chloe Fairclough and Eve Southern.
The u15 boys race saw Birtley stalwart Chris Perkins finish in 11th place from the fast pack, with the fastest time of the day, a full 30 seconds ahead of his nearest rival - great running from Chris. George Beevers and Rowan Mason also ran well, bringing the Birtley team home in 6th position.
The u15 girls were unusually thin on the ground yesterday - however, two girls ran, with Olivia Callaghan performing well, and Katie Francis running from the fast pack to finish in 16th position with the 4th best time of the day.
The u13 boys were well represented, with Thomas Francis, Ben Brownless and Matthew Drummond making up the team to finish in 8th place overall in a competitive field, with Lewis Watson running well to support his team mates.
The u13 girls finished in a great 7th place out of 18 teams, with 10th place finisher Daisy Graham heading the team lineup, followed by newcomers Terri Bouma and Ami-Leigh Dodds - well done girls! The team points were supported by great runs from Maggie Graham and Letitia Fallon.
Following on were the senior ladies, who performed well in what may be a record field of 500 runners! On the "undulating" course (which means a big hill in the middle!), Chloe Price finished 14th overall running from the medium pack, along with Lisa Short and Lorna Graham, with Kay Drummond running well to complete the all important team, with support from Julie Beevers and new to the league Zoe King. They finished in 4th place overall in the 2nd division - well done ladies.
Finally, the Birtley lads hit the ground running, with some incredible performances and an amazing turnout of 14 athletes (pic below). Notable performances include Lewis McConnell, running as an u20 to finish in 5th place in a time of 34:42, with Peter Farnie and Zak Scott also finishing in the top 15 out of a field of 666 athletes (not sure if that number means something or not!). Adrian Bailes produced another great run from the fast pack to finish in a time of 32:39, the 9th fastest time of the day, with Darren Purvis and Greg Poulton getting the 18th and 20th fastest times. Nigel Simpson finished in an amazing 30th place in his first harrier league run, and he was joined by fellow newcomers Graeme Towers, Graeme Swaddle and Fionn Oakes - well done, hope you all enjoyed the experience! The men's field was completed by regulars Phil Atkinson, Dave Francis, Paul Noble and Paul Agnew, and the fantastic depth of our team produced a 1st place finish for the men in the 2nd division, let's aim to keep that place at the top of the league with a view to promotion next season!
Some of our athletes went a little outside the local area this weekend, first off was Rowan Mason, competing in the Ivan Stringer Memorial Meeting and coming away with a gold in the long jump and a bronze in the 200m - well done Rowan.
Meanwhile, at an event that couldn't be any further away from a 200m track race, Rebecca Pottinger and Lee Drummond took on the Spadeadam Half Marathon - a notoriously hilly course which probably makes our local XC courses look flat in comparison! In a field of over 500 runners, Rebecca finished 14th lady and 7th in age category, whilst Lee finished 21st man and 12th in category. Rumour has it that Rebecca swore she would never moan about a hill again...
Saturday saw the first XC of the season, with the Farringdon relays - there were lots of junior athletes taking part, and a team each for the lads and lasses - there were some terrific runs over the hilly twisty course, and no doubt some very athletic jumps over the infamous stream. Results will be published soon.
The Lambton Estate Trail half marathon also took place on Saturday, with Phil Atkinson and Lee Drummond taking 5th and 6th category places, and Claire Mumford finishing in 18th place - well done all, tough course!
Sunday saw Chloe Fairclough winning the Christine Brass Memorial 5k, over an "undulating course" (which usually means lots of hills!) - well done to her!
Finally, the Northern Road Relay Champs took place at Sports City in Manchester - we had a girls U15 team composed of Abigail Thwaites, Katie Francis and Mia Openshaw. No results as yet but they'll have done an amazing job as usual - well done ladies!
If anyone ran in any other races over the weekend and would like a mention, please feel free to get in touch at the usual email - thanks!
With social media being filled with little else this weekend, it was hard to miss the fact that the North East was once again the host for the biggest half marathon in the world, the Great North Run. Almost perfect weather this weekend made the events enjoyable for spectators, if a little warm for those actually running, and some amazing results were seen from our athletes, starting with the Junior GNR on Saturday, where the youngest Graham twins showed off their racing inheritance with a 1-2 finish in their wave - well done to Nell and Kitty! Katie Francis also placed first in an older age group - great running from Katie as always!
Congratulations to all the younger Birtley athletes who ran on Saturday, we hope you all enjoyed the experience!
The Great North 5k was also held on Saturday, with Lisa Short finishing in a fantastic 25th place in a time of 18:17, followed not long afterwards by Scarlett Newby, with Lisa's daughter Milly also finishing well - congratulations ladies!
Sunday of course was the main event, and although Mo grabbed the first place finish and the headlines, it was great to see so many Birtley athletes out there on the course, with some really strong finishes from our men and our elite lady Tracy Millmore - congrats to Adrian Bailes who finished an amazing 67th in a time of 1:14.25, quickly followed by Darren Purvis (83rd, 1:15.25) and Greg Poulton (101st, 1:16.16) with Tracy hot on their heels to finish in a time of 1:19.11.
There were of course lots of other Birtley runners, too many to mention here, with lots of PB's as well as first timers, and of course let's not forget the amazing team of Birtley volunteers who kept one of the finishing funnels running smoothly - here's the crew ready for action at the start of the day.
Full results can be seen here
The following athletes are invited to attend the Durham Association of Boys and Girls Clubs Celebration of Youth Awards at Ramside Hall on 23rd September:-
George Beevers, Maggie and Daisy Graham, Ami-Leigh Dodds, Matthew Drummond, Callum Chambers, Fynn Errington, Rowan Mason and Abigail Thwaites.
Please bring your medals/trophies and hand them in at the front desk from 6pm to allow the organisers to sort them out for the presentation (7pm). A buffet will be provided for everyone after the presentation (approx 8.15pm).
The following athletes are winners in this year's NEGP and have been invited to attend an awards ceremony at Gateshead Stadium, also on 23rd September, 7.00 for 7.30 at Gateshead Stadium:- Joey Perkins, Fynn Errington, Ryan Cook and Rowan Mason.
Most of you have already confirmed your attendance at one of these events - if you haven't yet done so, could you please email me as soon as possible so I can pass your names on to the organisers, thanks.
All the names given so far have been submitted for this year's league - however, they won't appear on the Harrier League website until they update the lists, which will be a few days before the first match, so please don't panic if your name isn't showing yet!
If you look at the spreadsheet on the noticeboard page, all the names submitted to date are coloured in either blue (re-registrations) or green (new registrations). If you are a new registration, I have entered you in the slow pack - if you'd prefer to begin the league in the medium or fast pack (seniors/vets only), please let me know ASAP and I'll update the entry.
An amazing result for Chris Perkins in his first England Athletics U15/U17 age group champs, coming away with a well deserved silver medal in the U15 Boys 1500m, in what was a very tactical race. Very well done Chris!!
Meanwhile, at Cudworth, an Interleague match saw the combined NEYDL team, which included Birtley athletes Abigail Thwaites, Fynn Errington and Rowan Mason, gain a well deserved win over their opponents Yorkshire - well done to all who competed!
All in all, a very successful weekend for Birtley!
Signals Relays NECAA Road Relay Champs:- In a very competitive race, Birtley Senior Men's team (which didn't have many seniors in it!) came an impressive 11th place out of over 30 teams, with Adrian Bailes running 3rd fastest leg overall in a time of 10:55 - congrats to all who ran - Adrian Bailes, Darren Purvis, Zak Scott, Kel Scott, Karl Oakes and Brian Bailes.
Meanwhile, in Manchester, there were golds a plenty for both the Birtley athletes and the Durham teams they were competing for as part of the DABGC T&F Champs - full results will follow in due course.
Two Team Birtley athletes were entered to compete this weekend in the above English Championships.
Chris Perkins is racing over 1500m (heats Saturday with Final Sunday)
Molly Elliott’s Pole Vault was on Sunday, but unfortunately she has had to pull out due to injury - we wish her a speedy recovery.
The event is streamed live here.
Good luck to Chris, we know you will represent Birtley well!
Returning to its home at the Race Course sports fields, Green Lane, Durham. Postcode DH1 3JU on Wednesday 21st August (race times below) .
Running two laps of a 1500 metre course predominantly flat with a cheeky little bank which adds to the views over the river as you descend.
Please use on street parking around the city as none is available at the racecourse itself, there is plenty of parking within ten minutes walk of the course. Changing facilities will be available.
We have two vet men*, two vet women, one senior men* and one senior ladies team.
*One of the vet men's teams may have to run as a senior team, depending on who is available on the day - this has been agreed with the organiser who is keeping a number spare for us "just in case!"
Race 1 6.30 PM Senior Men and Women
Race 2 7.05 PM Vet Men (35+) & Vet Women (35+)
IMPORTANT - Please complete the form at the bottom of this post, even if you do not wish to attend.
The Birtley athletes names above have been selected as part of the team to represent the Durham Association of Boys & Girls Clubs at the National Athletics Championships which are being held at Manchester Indoor Regional Arena, Gate 13, Etihad Campus, Rowsley Street, Manchester, M11 3FF (adjacent to Manchester City Football Club) on Saturday 31st August 2019.
Travel Pick Up Points: Saturday 31st August 2019: The Bus Company is Compass Royston please be prompt as we need to be in Manchester to report by 10.30am.
6.00am – Compass Royston depot Stockton (pick up Simon Healey Group Leader)
6.45am - Birtley Leisure Centre, Durham Road, DH3 2TB (Birtley A.C)
7.00am - Chester-le-Street Market Place, lay-by next to Tesco (Chester-le-Street A.C. and Derwentside A.C. and Blackhill Bounders)
7.15am - Rainton Meadows Arena, Mercantile Road, Houghton le Spring (Houghton Harriers)
7.30am - Bus lay-by – diagonally opposite Board Inn on A690 /A19 side Sunderland heading out towards A19 (Sunderland Harriers)
Competition starts at 11.30am and is due to be completed by 3.30pm. We should therefore be back up in the North –East between 6.30-7.30pm.
Travel Cost: £5.00 for Competitors and £10 for Parents. Please note they only have one coach and a capacity of 60 so preference will be given to any parent of any U11 and U13 competitor first and limited to one parent per child in this age group in the first instance before then offering the remaining seats on a first come first served basis. All payments should be made on the day on the coach by either cash or cheque and cheques must have the full name of the association and be made payable to the Durham Association of Boys and Girls Clubs. Please provide names of athletes and any accompanying parents below. Parental Consent Forms will be sent within the next week for each of the competitors - please ensure that they are duly completed and handed to Simon Healey on the coach together with payment.
Kit: County Vests will be provided but you must supply and take with you the rest of your kit and have suitable footwear for Indoor competition.
If you are not available, please indicate this using the form below so that someone else can be given the opportunity of competing in this national event.
Congratulations to Katie Francis - first U15 girl and an amazing third place overall, with a time of 10:47. Her brother Thomas also competed in the 3k (full results here), whilst dad David represented the older generation of the family by competing in the 5k A race (full results here).
Meanwhile, Tracy Millmore flew the flag for Birtley with a first place Masters category win in a time of 17:58, while Adrian Bailes finished in a very respectable 9th place overall in a time of 15:34. Greg Poulton, Kel Scott and Keith Robertshaw completed the Birtley line-up in the A race, with Ian Goulding and Paul Agnew giving some fine performances in the B race (looks like Ian should be lining up for the A race next year!).