Following some fantastic performances, Birtley men picked up the team award, coming away with the impressive trophy shown below Bill's report - well done lads, and to everyone who competed on Sunday - amazing efforts by all!
Race report courtesy of Bill McGuirk
PERFECT conditions were the order of the day for the 500-strong field contesting the
Heaton Memorial 10k on Newcastle Town Moor which incorporated the North East
Counties and NE Masters Championships.
And competitors, who lined up for an impeccable minute’s silence before going on their
way, took full advantage as they produced excellent performances which was headed by the
newly-crowned men’s and women’s champions, Calum Johnson and Sonia Samuels.
Johnson, the current National cross-country champion, heads for Liverpool in two weeks’
time in a bid to make the GB&NI team for the European Cross-Country Championships in
Dublin, set out his stall from the gun taking an early lead and from then to the finish was
never headed. At the half-way point, reached in 14min 22secs, the Gateshead athlete had a
36-seconds advantage over second-placed George Lowry (Morpeth) who was followed 15
seconds behind by Sam Hancox (Morpeth), 2018 winner Birtley’s Adrian Bailes and Jariah
McKenna of Bristol and West, who was runner-up behind Bailes three years ago. Following
the leading five came Gateshead’s Conrad Franks and Tyne Bridge duo Tom Charlton and
Johnson continued to cut out a lone furrow on the second circuit extending his advantage
with every stride so much so when he hit the finish line (a course record of 28:28) he was
close to two minutes clear of his nearest rival which was Bailes who managed to outsprint
McKenna to claim the county silver medal with McKenna, now living in the North East,
picking up the bronze award.
Hancox, showing signs of getting back to his best after a number of problems, was delighted
with his fourth place after finishing ahead of Morpeth team-mate Lowry, who was fifth,
Franks (6th) and Hedley, who was the pick of the Tyne Bridge pair, who finished seventh.
Meanwhile, in the women’s section it was a triumph for Loughborough-based Samuels who
took in the race while visiting family for the weekend. The Rio Olympian, now 42, always
headed her rivals and by half-way, reached in 16:38 was over a minute clear of Elswick’s
Justina Heslop who had a similar advantage of fellow Elswick athlete Amy Fuller with Jarrow
and Hebburn’s Alex Sneddon back in fourth place.
On the run for home Samuels continued to up the tempo and she, like Johnson, was
rewarded with a new course record of 33:32 as she crossed the line in 25th place overall.
Heslop, like Samuels, a former National cross-country champion during their teenage years,
showed signs of that form in what was her first serious outing since finishing third at
Saltwell in 2018, finished a comfortable runner-up while Sneddon moved through in the
later stages to claim the bronze award. Elswick teenager Imogen Bungay finished in fourth
place followed by Kathryn Stevenson (Tyne Bridge) with Fuller, after earlier prominence,
crossing the line in fifth spot.
** Thanks go to Heaton Harriers’ and all their volunteers, and that, of course, includes all
the people who manned the cake stall which accumulated over £500 for charity, for once again hosting an excellent event
*** NOW that the dust has settled and having done my race report 24 hours earlier, it has been suggested by a number of competitors that the course for Sunday’s Memorial 10k road race may in fact have been slightly short. The organisers have taken on board the concerns and are looking into the matter and will make an announcement on their findings in due course.
Photos here by Stuart Whitman
Full senior results here (apologies, don't have the junior results link at the minute)
At the recent DABGC Presentation Evening, Ed Lown was presented with the prestigious Dave Lumley Lifetime Achievement Award, for his services to athletics. Congratulations Ed, much deserved!
This competition below is open to all Durham Association of Boys and Girls Clubs members:
The National Association of Boys & Girls Clubs are searching for Britain’s Fittest Teen from across their network of youth clubs and projects.
Britain’s Fittest Teen competition launches at 9am on Monday 1st November and runs until mid December!! Feel free to click on the image below to see the promotional video.
Britain’s Fittest Teen is the first UK-wide functional fitness competition for young people in youth clubs and projects and is fully endorsed by the Fitness Racing Federation.
The event will be a hybrid online and in-person event. The initial rounds will take place at clubs and scores registered online, before the top six competitors are invited to attend a final’s day at CrossFit Rotherham in the new year.
Any competitors can register for the event from 9am on Monday 1st November and have until midnight on Friday 17th December to register their scores.
Clubs are required to submit their entries to their local county office to be authorised, after which they will receive a code to register on the online portal, where they will be able to submit their scores. All the details of the exercises and accompanying videos are also on the portal. If you are interested in taking part in this, please email me.
All those who are invited to the final will have the opportunity to receive some professional Functional Fitness instruction at a nearby CrossFit Gym.
For more details and entry forms, please click here.
This is a great event that ALL young people can get involved with back at their clubs. I hope that you can encourage your young people to get involved.
Andy Hamill – National Director – National Association of Boys & Girls Clubs
It has been a mixed few weeks. On Tuesday I returned home after an unexpected overseas trip, and on Wednesday I received an email from the organisers of the Lanzarote Marathon due to be held in December 2021 that it was cancelled and they were refunding race entry fees.
The unexpected overseas trip had also affected the training for the Lanzarote Marathon, so unsure if the cancellation was a blessing in disguise. It was disappointing and a relief at the same time.
From a Facebook page, I noticed the North East Marathon Club had organised a Marathon/Half Marathon for Sunday 7 November on the town moor. Preferring the training not going to waste, I entered the half marathon. The last time I ran the race was in 2015 and this was ran in almost tropical conditions. The 2021 race was the first race I have competed in the UK for some considerable time.
The weather on Sunday was totally different to 2015 and was certainly not the best running conditions. The Town Moor was very cold and very windy. I do not think there was anywhere on the course where the wind was not blowing in your face. Certain parts of the course were blowing you off the paths that cross cross the Town Moor. Dressed in a Birtley Vest and shorts, when all of the locals strolling on the moor were dressed as if they were going on an Antarctic expedition was a strange experience.
The race was three and a half laps of the Town Moor, following in part the Parkrun course. It was well marshalled by volunteers from the NEMC and a local scout group. The laps were chip timed so I look forward to seeing the splits. The final lap was slower than the rest due to a combination of the cold and cramp. I did not take any fluids on board during the entire race – very bad move. Many thanks to all at the NEMC for making the race happen it was an enjoyable experience.
On finishing the race was given a medal – picture below. I love it – totally original. I was happy with the time to complete the half Marathon – it was where I expected it to be, with room for improvement.
On reflection was it the Town Moor Mooathon and half Mooathon?