Saturday saw upcoming youngster Chris Perkins and Katie Francis take on the Cross Challenge at Milton Keynes, an event in which only a select few from our club have competed over the last few years, including current members Lydia Turner, Adrian Bailes and Sophie Burnett. Katie ran very well in a strong field, finishing in 11th place, while Chris not only took on the challenge, but managed an outright win in the U15 race - congratulations to both athletes on some great runing!
Sunday was, of course, Remembrance Sunday, and following the traditional minute's silence at 11am, lots of Birtley athletes competed in the popular Heaton Memorial 10k. As well as lots of PBs for the individual athletes, the men's team came 2nd overall in what is a very competitive race - well done to all who ran. Results will be linked on our results page as soon as they are available.
...but that didn't dampen the spirits of our young athletes, who threw themselves into the DABGC XC Champs with enthusiasm on a damp Sunday morning. The event was well attended by several local clubs including Low Fell and Houghton, and the wet and muddy course proved to be quite a challenge for many of the youngsters, some of whom were having their first taste of cross country (though hopefully not their last!).
Well done to the Birtley u11 boys team who were victorious on the day (apologies if other Birtley teams also won, I wasn't there yesterday and there are no results posted yet - please let me know if I need to include more teams!)
Many thanks to the stalwart volunteers, without whom the event couldn't have happened - your help is greatly appreciated by the club and by those who participated.
Saturday also some some cross country action, this time the prestigious National XC Relay Champs, which took place at Mansfield. The following report is by Tommy Millmore:-
National Cross Country Relays, Mansfield, 2nd November 2019
Despite only 3 Team Birtley athletes travelling to Mansfield to race in an incomplete Senior Men’s team, there were still good performances and experience gained by mixing with the best in the country. The conditions were very wet and muddy, an added bonus to an already good course.
Tom Goulding went off 1st and after a solid leg came back in 48th then Greg Poulton was next showing continued progress with his racing returning in 55th position, Adrian Bailes took on the 3rd leg and moved through the field to 37th, and with 161 full teams finishing, surely with another 4th athlete the team would have been top 50 (not too bad for a small club on the National stage, although that’s all hindsight).
Well done you three, and I’m sure you’ve gained from the experience.
Oh and 1st incomplete team, as Adrian says “we’ll take that”!!
...just in case you were wondering! A little bit of rain isn't going to stop us, so we hope to see you all there this morning :)
Following the cancellation of Lambton XC on Saturday, it looked like there wasn't much going on for our athletes last weekend...unless your surname is Drummond! Our kit manager Lee, along with wife Kay and their children Amy and Matthew, decided to hit the trails in the Lake District and make it a family affair. On Saturday, Matthew and Amy came in at very respectable 9th and 14th places in the Helvellyn Sport Trail 5k, whilst Lee ran in the 15k Trail Race and Kay did the 15k Helvellyn Trail Challenge, both finishing well.
As this obviously wasn't enough for them, Lee and Kay decided to run in two separate 14k events in Ullswater (nice bit of scheduling this weekend so the kids weren't left alone at any point!)
Also taking place this weekend was the Abbey Dash, with only a couple of Birtley athletes taking part this year - but it's quality not quantity that counts! Tracy Millmore ran well in a race distance (10k) that is well short of her current marathon aims, whilst Noah Williamson came 6th from a field of 131 in the Junior Abbey Dash in an great time of 8:09 for 2k - congratulations to both!
As always, if I've missed your event (or you!) out of the report, please get in touch and I'll get things updated!
Unfortunately, due to the heavy downpour this afternoon and evening, the parking area for Lambton is now severely waterlogged and the event can no longer take place tomorrow. However, it is hoped that an alternative date can be arranged, so watch this space for further updates (and another sign-up call out for volunteers!).
Important info about Lambton XC on Saturday - please read!
Lambton does not have a post code. If you try to follow a postcode you'll be directed to the wrong place and get lost.
ALL traffic must approach from the A1(M) junction 63 at Picktree. It's a major junction with the A1(M), A167, A693 and A183. You shouldn't need a post code to find it.
All traffic must come from that junction along the A183 and the entrance to the estate is on the left after about 300m.
Traffic coming along the A183 from the opposite direction will not be allowed to turn right into the estate. Instead, that traffic should continue to the A1(M) junction and loop around to come back along the A183 from the west with the other traffic.
Do not delay when driving in as we need to prevent any queue forming along the A183 as it will quickly back up to the A1(M) and block the junction.
After turning into the estate from the A183, cars will drive about 200m before being directed into a field on the left and down that (quite steep) field into 2 queues to park.
Once the car is parked then the £4 fee will be collected.
Follow the directions of the estate staff.
Parking is charged by the estate. It will be £4 per car. Try to share cars if possible.
This money goes directly to Lambton Estate and is their payment for allowing us to stage the event there. Make sure your runners know this and don't grumble when asked to pay the £4.
Don't stop to ask anyone questions, just follow the car in front until you're parked, and have your money ready.
There are roadworks near this exit so it will be near impossible to turn right and head back for the A1(M).
Instead, ALL traffic should turn left onto the A183 on leaving Lambton estate and those wishing to head back for the A1(M) can loop around the roundabout.
If you don't do this then the queue trying to leave the estate will be an hour long.
Special Info regarding U11 race
This Under 11 race is probably the toughest the U11s will run.
It will start a little up the hill from the main start line in the start/finish field and will be very nearly 1 mile.
There are hills and a long, uneven wooded section with mud.
The woods are off limits to everyone except marshals and those running their race so the U11s will be out of site for much of the race. We are still looking for marshals - why not volunteer and then you'll get a great view of your child(ren) as they go past, and you can give them a shout out.
There will be marshals in the woods and back markers to follow the last runners in.
It's up to the clubs and parents to decide if your U11 runners are up to the job.
I'm sure some keen U11 runners will love it but a first timer who maybe isn't confident might not be so happy.
Further details and any last minute info, plus course maps for all age groups, can be found on the NEHL Blog.
Sunday was a very full day for Birtley athletes, with several events taking place. A very special mention first of all for Ruth Dadswell with an amazing performance in the York marathon, which also happened to be her first outing in an England vest. Huge congratulations to Ruth on breaking the 3 hour barrier, giving her a "good for age" performance - she came 211th overall, 10th lady, 4th from 294 in her age category, and a fantastic time of 2:59.17 (gun time). Congratulations also to her fellow Birtley athletes Karl Oakes, Mark Hornsby, Gordon Smith, Paul Agnew, Kirsty Walker and Kelly Bentley, many of whom gained PBs - well done to all! Full results here.
Also taking place on Sunday was Pedro's 10k, an event which is obviously well supported by Birtley athletes due to Pedro's long association with our club. There were an impressive 5 Birtley athletes in the top 20 positions, including Nigel Simpson in 4th place, and Lisa Short coming in as 1st lady in 16th place overall - congratulations to all who ran in what were pretty horrendous conditions! Full results here.
The Minors XC took place at Jarrow, with good support from the younger Birtley athletes in the club (some of whom had also raced on the Saturday at Sheffield). Well done to all who competed, with special mention to the year 4 girls for their 1,2,3 finish (the team consisting entirely of Grahams, twins Kitty and Nell and unrelated Poppy!), and Noah Williamson who won the year 5 boys race. Results to follow when available.
Finally, turning to events on Saturday, well done to the huge club turnout for the Northern XC Relays in Sheffield, where we managed to field a team (sometimes more than one) in almost every age group. Too many names to mention all individually, but another great performance from Chris Perkins with a fastest leg (despite nursing an injured ankle), and an impressive 9th place finish for the men's A team, consisting of Tom Goulding, Adrian Bailes, Lewis McConnell and Zak Scott. Well done to everyone who ran for the club on the day! Full results here.
Minors Cross Country - this Sunday 20th October
The event will still be going ahead but with some route changes. Please make yourself familiar with the route on the day but remember we will have marshals and junior members as hares out on the course.
It will be wet and muddy so please wear appropriate footwear and bring spare clothes.
Please collect your numbers from the clubhouse. It is best one person from schools and clubs collect the numbers so the clubhouse does not become overcrowded! Bring some safety pins but we do have some spare!
There are NO Entries on the day, all entries are now on the computer system.
Team results will be completed as soon as we possibly can and will be posted on Facebook and our website.
Individual medals will be handed out at the end of each race.
School medals will be sent to the schools as soon as we have completed the results.
Please also remember to park with consideration or it will make our jobs harder for future events!
I do wish you all the best of luck and thanks for your support !! - Andrea Fyall on behalf of Jarrow & Hebburn AC.
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