Words of wisdom from coach Tommy:-
Have a look at the photo with this post. It’s a tweet from Ben Fogle which includes a photo that was taken on 22 May of the top of the highest mountain in the world and the queue leading up to the summit (unbelievable??!!). In a recent post I mentioned about there being more people who had conquered Everest than have run a sub 4 min mile, and that to get to the top of Everest you relied on a big team of people, (I didn’t mean going up virtually holding hands though) although when you step on the track or throwing circle or jump run up, it’s up to you to perform and your “team” can only watch.
My point is, don’t stand in a queue to get to the top of an “easy” mountain. Your win or your PB is your mountain and your goal, so give it a go. There are going to be bumps and bruises along the way just like climbing Everest, and if you don’t get there first time or you feel you’ve reached your limit, have a rest, have a rethink, ask for advice, and maybe even look for a different path. Then when you reach the summit, look from the top towards a higher one and move towards it.
As a coach (who I have a great respect for) once said - “There are 2 types of people, mountain people and valley people” Don’t stay in the valley aim for the mountain.
I’ll be at Herrington Park on Monday morning 10am for an endurance training session. It’ll be mainly on grass (it’s forecast it might be damp so maybe some spikes would be a good idea) and hills will be involved (not a mountain, although maybe at the end you might think different and there certainly won’t be any queues to the summit 🏔🤔). Don’t be shy
Club membership renewal date was 1st April - you've missed the early bird special, you now have less than two weeks to renew before late charges apply, please don't miss out! Click on the picture above to take you to the renewal page, prices have been held at £35 for junior, £60 for adult and £95 for family memberships. Remember our club offers fantastic value for money with free entry to all north east, northern and national championship competitions, plus subsidised (or free) transport to some events, but we need membership income to fund these activities. Also, if you haven't renewed, you aren't currently registered with England Athletics, so you won't be eligible for most competitions, and may be disqualified if you do compete.
Apparently they weren't so smiley on the hilly part of the course! Well done to all who competed, results when available will be published on our results page.
A beautiful warm and sunny day at Middlesbrough saw lots of Birtley athletes shining too, with another host of medals being won and almost a dozen new North East Champions. Joey Perkins made it a sibling double with his brother Chris in the gold medal stakes. Molly Elliott got an amazing CBP in the pole vault, adding a whole 20cm to the Champs record as well as winning the gold. Adrian Bailes and Sophie Burnett are regulars in the County winners list, with both of them winning in new age groups for the first time this year (Senior and U23 respectively). Katie Francis improved dramatically on last year's 3000m bronze with her first championship gold. Rebecaa Pottinger made a great comeback after several years out of thes sport, whilst Eve Southern tackled a new distance for her, both coming away with golds. Michael Graham retained his title from last year with another great throw, whilst Fynn Errington came away with a gold following his very first attempt at hammer.
There were many silvers and bronzes won too, and even the athletes who didn't manage to come away with a medal had a great experience, with lots of PBs and some new events being tried. Special mention to Ryan Cook in his first competition, winning silver in the hammer (a new event for him) and bronze in the discus. Here's the list of winners from the whole weekend:-
Adrian Bailes 1500m 04:01.67
Sophie Burnett 02:15.71 800m
Katie Francis 10:41.82 3000m
Molly Elliott 3.50 Pole Vault
Eve Southern 02:31.60 800m
Sophie Burnett 04:35.01 1500m
Rebecca Pottinger 1.50 High Jump
Joseph Perkins 7.52 Shot
Christopher Perkins 09:11.02 3000m
Fynn Errington 14.61 Hammer
Michael Graham 51.50 Javelin
Christopher Perkins 15 04:12.44 1500m
Keeley Llewellyn 26.3 Javelin
Adrian Bailes 1:55.53 800m
Rebecca Pottinger 1:13.14 400m Hurdles
Ryan Cook 13.67 Hammer
Kelly Bentley 20:40.64 5k
Ryan Cook 19.01 Discus
Katie Francis 4:54.58 1,500m
Pictures by Karen Harland can be seen on her Flickr account here and here.
Some amazing performances from Birtley athletes today at Middlesbrough, to open the 2 day T&F Champs in style. The performances are shown below, with those athletes winning gold medals now being reigning North East Champions!:-
Eve Southern 800m 2:31.60 Gold
Adrian Bailes 1500m 4:01.67 Gold
Kelly Bentley 5K 20:40.64 Bronze
Sophie Burnett 800m 2:15.71 Gold
Chris Perkins1500m 4:12.44 Silver
Katie Francis 3000m 10:41.82 Gold
Keeley Llewelyn Javelin 26.30 Silver
Ryan Cook Discus 19.01 Bronze Shot 7.20
Molly Elliott Pole Vault 3.50 Gold and CBP
Fynn Errington 100m16.13, Shot 7.217
Scarlett Newby 800m 2:33.3
Apologies for any Birtley athletes I've missed (let me know!) and look forward to seeing lots of amazing performances tomorrow too! Well done to all who competed!
A bus load of Birtley athletes went off for the day - and came away with a bus load of medals. Far too many to count or mention individual performances, but apparently a great time was had by everyone. Well done to all involved, and special thanks to the organisers, Gary and Shannel.
On a different note, Tommy Millmore posted an interesting article on the history of the sub 4 minute mile:-
It’s a bit of a read but maybe some of the older ones will be interested and hopefully some of the younger ones will also have an interest in the history of our sport.
I’ve always been interested in the history and stories of running a sub 4 minute mile and the “race” to be the first person to do it. The first person to succeed was of course Roger Bannister on the 6th May 1954, 65 years ago. I read the attached article which lists all of the athletes in the world who have, in the 65 years since Bannister, achieved the sub 4 goal and in total there’s 1,569. There’s always been a saying that more people have climbed Everest than ran a sub 4 mile, so I looked it up and yes, the total number of people who’ve conquered Everest is now well over 4,000. Does that mean it’s harder to conquer a sub 4 mile than to conquer the highest mountain? Well maybe not, although with years of training and the best equipment and the best team behind you, the mountain might be possible. The same applies for the mile although once you’re on the track it’s you alone who will have to achieve your goal. Have a look at the list of champions who didn’t achieve sub 4 and of course the full list of athletes who have, there’s some great athletes in both. The list is alphabetical so go to the “Os” and there’s a name you’ll recognise. Of course the mile isn’t raced as often now so the opportunity to run sub 4 isn’t there as often as it used to be, but wouldn’t it still be an achievement to get on that short list?
This is the article he refers to (for those who don't know, the O refers to Michael Openshaw, Hayley's husband and Mia and Dillon's dad!)
There have been quite a few outstanding performances lately from Birtley athletes. Chris Perkins was the first U15 home by a fair margin in the Good Friday Relays at Elswick, crossing the line in 7:52, and he also ran in the London Mini-Marathon, representing the North East, along with several other club athletes - well done all!
The London Marathon saw a fair number of Birtley athletes crossing the line, with 3 of them incredibly all finishing in 2 hours and 49 minutes - congrats to Darren Purvis, Martin Bell and Tracy Millmore (placing an impressive 32nd lady in a very competitive field). Ruth Dadswell also put in a great performance, finishing a mere 4 minutes over 3 hours and placing 21st in her age category. Phil Atkinson made his marathon debut, having won our coveted club place, and did us proud, finishing in a strong time of 3:25. The race also saw two recent Birtley members, Sally Riding and Chris Tiffen, with Sally putting a tricky year health-wise behind her, to make it to the finish line with pride.
Finally, slightly further afield, Adrian Bailes decided to enter a track 800m race whilst warm weather training in Portugal - and may have annoyed the locals by winning the race (and 50 Euros!), if their expressions are anything to go by!
…there's no access to the gym or sportshall due to an open evening at the school. Training will still be taking place but all groups will be outside, so depending on the weather, remember to bring a hoodie/jacket/sunglasses (well, you never know!)
There is now an easy way to get your name down for various events, relays etc. - simply visit our virtual noticeboard and add your name to the event you're interested in by filling in a short form. Your name will then appear on a list below the event for you, your team mates and your team manager to see.
As much as we all love FB, it's sometimes difficult to keep tabs on all the posts on there!
At our AGM on Monday (8/4/19), we had names proposed and accepted for our main committee posts (chairman Jeff Southern, secretary Val Baxter, treasurer Shannel Curtis, welfare officers Stephanie Young and Stephen Heywood) but we still have vacancies for a number of roles in the club, including the club captains (aside from the U15 boys, Chris Perkins). Any interested parties are invited to email Val.
The Early Bird membership renewal rates will be ending on April 30th as previously publicised. We also passed a vote on a proposal at the AGM, to impose a late payment penalty for members who have not renewed their membership fees within a month of the due date - this will be an additional amount per membership (£5 per junior membership, £10 per adult and £15 per family) for any memberships not paid by 31st May (this year).
This decision was not taken lightly, but late payments create a lot of extra admin work (composing and sending reminder emails/letters and making numerous separate registrations with EA, all of which are very time consuming) and puts a lot of pressure on volunteers who already have a heavy workload for the club, not to mention causing major problems with race entries as many organisers (and definitely the track and field leagues (both junior and senior) and NEGP) insist on a current EA registration, which won't be made until membership is renewed. Many other clubs in the area have similar penalties in place, for the same reasons.
Please take advantage of the early bird offer, to save yourself some money and the club volunteers their time and effort! Many thanks to those members who have already paid, it's much appreciated.
Payment dates and rates:-
Payments made up to and including April 30th 2019:-
Junior £30, Adult £55 and Family £85
Payments made from May 1st to May 31st 2019:-
Junior £35, Adult £60 and Family £95
Payments received from June 1st 2019 onwards (existing members only):-
Junior £40, Adult £70 and Family £110
Next year, renewals will be at the normal rate up until 30th April (£35, £60 and £95) and then the late penalty will be incurred from 1st May onwards.
This year our club Track and Field Trip away day is going to Lancaster and Morecambe AC Open Medal Meeting at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre, Lancaster LA1 5JS. The club (Birtley AC) are providing free coach transport to the venue which has events for U9s through every age category to seniors (that includes masters athletes too, no excuses!).
Full details on our fixtures page
Chris Perkins made a brilliant first outing in his England vest at the SIAB (Schools' International Athletic Board) XC International in Dublin, romping home in third place to help bring the England team to victory. Chris, who is still not back to 100% fitness after a viral infection last week, is showing a lot of promise, and it seems likely that this won't be his last outing in an England vest!
Early bird reduction in membership fees - don't miss out!
A committee decision was made to stop using Webcollect for our membership subscriptions, and move everything to our own website store instead. We have also moved the membership renewal date from 1st May to 1st April, as this fits in with England Athletics re-registration, and we had lots of problems last year with unregistered athletes taking part in the various T&F league fixtures because of the differing dates of registration.
To make up for the "lost" month this year, we are offering our members a special discounted rate for renewal, but only if paid before May 1st. It's easier than ever to renew your membership - there's a very short form to fill in, and you can now pay by credit/debit card at no extra cost. Here is the link to the renewal option in our store, and the full store (which includes free club entries for the NECAA T&F Champs and entries for the Angel View races) can be seen at the bottom of this post.
For those who would prefer to pay by cash or cheque - you can still do that at club, but please complete the online form and proceed through checkout to enable us to process your renewal. You will NOT be required to enter any card details at checkout, but it will ask you for your name and email address (phone no. is not required) - please provide these as EA now require valid email addresses for all members, whether registered as competitive athletes or not.
Additionally, we now have a Square card reader available at the club, which can be used to pay for memberships, race fees, club kit and even your nightly subs (no more scratching around finding loose change for a club night!). Again, this will not cost any extra for our members and we hope you will find the service beneficial.
So, in summary:-
After many enquiries and interest over the past few months, there will be two Pole Vault camps in March at Gateshead Academy for Sport indoor track.
Great way to learn pole vault to see if you have a hidden talent for it or if you just want to help your club get a few extra points in the summer leagues. All ages welcome from above 11.
Weekend 1 -
24th - 25th march - beginners (never pole vaulted before)
Weekend 2 -
30th-31st March - experienced (vaulted at least once before)
Beginners who attend the first weekend who wish to attend the second are more then welcome.