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!).
In another successful weekend for Birtley, Tracy Millmore was once again first lady in a 10k race, this time crossing the line in the Darlington 10k with a time of 36:40, whilst Greg Poulton (also amid a heavy week of marathon training) managed a fantastic 62 second PB to finish in 34:38. Karen Bentley finished in 45:09 as second F50 and a with a season best time, whilst Karen Carr gained a fantastic 47 second PB, proving that she is gaining in speed and confidence over the season. Full results here.
The younger Birtley members also performed well at Darlington, with Noah Williamson finishing 2nd in his age group in the Junior 3k Race. Congratulations to all who ran.
Also at the weekend, the last Senior League match saw the South Shields/Birtley AC team finishing a magnificent 2nd place, with third overall in the final league standings. Huge thanks to Eve Southern, Rebecca Pottinger, Lyndsey Perkins, Shannel Curtis and the sole male representative for Birtley, Graeme Swaddle.
One last thing to mention - there are several relay races coming up with imminent closing dates - please visit the noticeboard and get yourself signed up if you haven't already done so!
Tracy Millmore was first lady in the Ray Harrison 10k, with a time of 37.20 - her marathon training is obviously working wonders!
In other news, Chris Perkins made the Athletics Weekly magazine with a photo of his winning performance of 2:01.31 in the 800m at Monkton on the 24th July.
Message from Tommy Millmore:-
RYDAL HALL LAKE DISTRICT TRAINING WEEKEND 16th to 18th AUGUST
There’s still 6 places left if anyone would like to come along for a very good value weekend at the Lakes. Total cost £35 including food.
The fine weather is booked and the training facilities are second to none.
There’s also free full use of 2 outdoor swimming areas, one is named Rydal Water and is just over 1km long and 17m at the deep end, the other is approx. 20m long and 2m deep and has a beautiful water fall feature at one end, but please note neither of these pools are heated.
For those who don’t participate in the training there’s plenty of walking (the pub is only a short walk) and, if you’re really bored, why not test your cooking skills on everyone else?
I’ll be posting the shopping list in a week.
Please note, if you’re going and already have your name down, the full payment to the Centre, is due this week, so I’d appreciate it if you could pay in full as soon as possible.
See me at the Club for any further information or message me.
Finally, there are several events coming up in the next few weeks - the last senior T&F league match, the Durham Summer Relays, the Signal Relays and the Farringdon Relays. There are lists to put your name down for all of these events on the online noticeboard.
Please could you pass this message on to your club members? We are looking for volunteers to come and get involved at the inaugural Try on the Tyne on the Newcastle Gateshead Quayside on Saturday 10th August. With sprint and standard distance Duathlons, 5K and 10K races along with junior events, we have lots going on so need your help to fill a number of roles including:
Radio Course Marshals
Water Station Crew
All volunteers will be given an Events of the North jacket (to keep) and a packed lunch. Approximate timings are 07:30-14:30
To find out more or sign up please email firstname.lastname@example.org
This weekend is the England Athletics Senior, UK CAU and AAA Track and Field Championships at Manchester. Sophie Burnett and Adrian Bailes have both qualified for the 1500m and Mile races respectively, and also will be representing the North East. Sophie’s event is scheduled as heats 3pm on Saturday and final 3:05 Sunday, and Adrian is racing at 4:10pm Sunday. The championships are being streamed live on
Why not have a look and give them a shout (Phil and myself will even give you all a wave from the back straight).
Good luck you two, work hard and you’ll certainly be competitive!!
Since their inception, I've always felt the Durham City runs (5k and 10k) have had a really special atmosphere. This year's was no exception and super-charged by the likes of people like Paula Radcliffe, circulating freely. Despite a burst water main at Neville's Cross throwing a curve ball at the event - with the published routes no longer being viable - the organisers did a great job at short notice in sorting out some alternative routing. Events of the North though could do nothing about the weather, which was HOT! A glance at the BBC weather forecast before leaving for the run, had indicated it would 'feel like' 31 degrees Celsius and it felt every bit of that. The potentially cooling threat of thundery showers .. never materialised.
Due to the enforced route changes, both the 5k and 10k set off at the same time from the same location. The start (just next to the Gala Theater) soon came about, and following a 10 second countdown we were off. A short dip was quickly followed by a long steady climb up past the market square; then the cathedral. With trying to pick out paths to avoid the cobbles, and the large numbers, it was difficult to pick-out other Birtley runners. The 1st km marker arrived on Prebends bridge, and the temperature did seem to cool, as you dropped out of the sunshine onto the riverside path. I'd been relatively happy with my 1st km pace, but despite the riverside path being flat .. there wasn't a lot of space, and found that my pace had dropped by the time I'd reached Framwellgate waterside and the route opened up some more.
By this time though, the heat had got the better of me...and my race from this point - despite a welcome call of encouragement from Karen Goulding - gradually went south. The waterside did bring with it a dog-leg, and provided a short opportunity to watch those ahead (in both the 5k and 10k) heading back towards the Footbridge (opposite the Radisson Hotel). I picked out Greg, Nigel, Tracy and Katie before making the turn myself and heading back towards the footbridge.
In an earlier year, returning to the east side of the river lead on to a direct return to the market and the finish, but over the past couple of years the organisers have thrown in 'another hill', and after leading runners towards the Gala Theater, the route takes you back on yourself, around the Sands car-park and then on to Providence Row. Its pleasant enough name is not reflected in its topography! I was fairly spent at the 'summit', but that did signal a downhill section which was welcome in the heat.
Back uphill again and past the market, the 10k runners split off to the left to start their next 5k (around the racecourse)...but I (being in the 5k) kept right and made my way towards the Cathedral. There's a tricky little sharp and cobbled climb up from Saddler street up onto the Cathedral square, but it's a lovely place to finish the run; which I eventually did...but not perhaps in the time I'd hoped for. Still, it was hot!!
Report by Dave Francis
What Dave is too modest to say is that daughter Katie was first female in the 5k - well done Katie! Full results here.
Our own Tracy Millmore also did well in the trying conditions, finishing 3rd in the 10k. Full results here.