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.
Some hardy junior athletes (and parent volunteers!) braved the torrentially wet conditions on Saturday to compete in the fourth NEYDL match at Middlesbrough, where they won a hard fought second place, despite being somewhat depleted in numbers.
It looks like they have also come second overall in the league, what a great achievement for a small club - well done to all!
Full results can be seen here.
Elsewhere in the country, Molly Elliott wore her first international vest to take part in the SIAB International at Swansea, coming an impressive fourth place in the pole vault against some very stiff competition - well done Molly!
Finally, a magnificent seven Birtley athletes ran the iconic Northumberland Coastal Run from Beadnell to Alnmouth, an unofficial half marathon across some testing terrain, including lots of beach running. Despite some tough running conditions (rain and a headwind), there were some brilliant results, including a 9th place finish from Darren Purvis and a couple of top three age group results (step forward Kelly Bentley and Ruth Dadswell!) - well done to all who took part, and look forward to seeing lots more Birtley athletes competing next year.
Darren M Purvis 01:23:51 2nd M40
Keith Robertshaw 01:39:02 5th M50
Ruth Dadswell 01:39:14 3rd F40
Gordon Smith 01:42:46 20th M45
Paul Agnew 01:54:49 40th M50
Kelly Bentley 01:54:57 2nd F50
Kirsty Walker 01:55:57 11th Senior Female
Two Birtley athletes came away with medals from the English Schools Championships this weekend - congratulations to Molly Elliott, clearing 3.40m in the pole vault for a silver, and Chris Perkins, who gained a hard fought for bronze in the 800m with a time of 2:01.48.
Well done to the other Birtley athletes (Katie Francis, Michael Graham and Rowan Mason) who competed in this prestigious competition - you should all be very proud of yourselves, we certainly are! Full results can be seen here.
Team Birtley at the English Schools Track & Field Championships.
This week (Friday & Saturday 12th & 13th July) see the English Schools Track and Field Championships taking place at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham.Listed below are the Team Birtley athletes who have been selected to represent Durham County. The event is one of the biggest during the year and always has the top athletes for their age group competing to be National Schools Champion. Durham Schools are always strict regarding selection and all athletes are required to meet the national standard, so being selected, in itself, is a big achievement.
The event is streamed live (from 12pm) during both days so there’s a good opportunity to watch some young Birtley athletes competing.
Go to Runjumpthrow.com to watch, and to see the timetable for each day click here. Good luck and enjoy your weekend to all!!
Katie Francis, Junior Girl 1500m
Molly Elliott, Inter Girl Pole Vault
Christopher Perkins, Junior Boy 800m
Rowan Mason, Junior Boy Long Jump
Michael Graham, Inter Boy Javelin
The Sunderland 5k is also the North East Athletics and Northern Athletics 5k Road Championships. There were 5 Birtley athletes, racing each giving a good account of themselves in very warm conditions.
Nigel Simpson (great to see him in the blue and yellow and will be a good counter for the XC ), Greg Poulton (PB), Sophie Burnett, Kelly Bentley (once again turning out for the Club and finishing well), Kirsty Walker (well into marathon training and still showing a turn of speed over the short distance with a big PB), and Shannel Curtis (ever present at this race over the past few years).
Sophie raced to a fantastic 2nd place and is therefore the North East and Northern Athletics Silver Medalist (not bad for an 800/1500 track runner)