Remember the date - Sunday 16th January 2022. The day that Birtley AC not only hosted an event but dominated it as well. Our annual Birtley AC XC Relays were once again held at our club HQ Lord Lawson of Beamish School with a healthy entry from our friends from other NE Athletics Clubs, and bolstered by a fantastic 13 Teams from our very own Birtley ranks. Myself and Kirstin had the unenviable task of picking the teams but fortunately most of the age categories sorted themselves with only a couple of adjustments needed. For once Kirstin wanted Lorna to be a couple of months older but this was solved with Kirstin and Lisa running 'down an age group'. It was especially pleasing to see lots of our newer members getting involved and wanting to take part in a club competition.
Conditions on the day were ideal for racing and the 2 lap 3K circuit proved popular with all the athletes and spectators alike. First race off was the Vet Mens Relay and our very own Andrew Beevers ran a storming first leg to come home in the lead and setting the Fastest Leg time in the process. Phil Atkinson and myself (PJB) continued the good work to finish in 5th place and more importantly second V45-54 Team. This earned us a NEMAA Silver Team Medal which was my first since joining Birtley AC and very much appreciated. Our other two V45-54 teams both ran well including David Money making his club debut and Nigel Simpson who despite recovering from Covid agreed to run 'A Team Down' to help me out.
Next up were our amazing Birtley Ladies and they certainly didn't disappoint. Katie Francis lead from gun to tape on Leg 1 setting the Fastest Time handing over to Hannah and Chloe who competed the job to comfortably win the race. Our V35-44 Trio of Lisa, Lorna and Kirstin finished a magnificent 4th which resulted in a NEMAA Silver Medal also. Stars of the show were our V55 Ladies who destroyed the opposition to win NEMAA Gold Medals - step forward Julie Turner, Stephanie Young and Maggie Pavlou. This was a fantastic performance from the ladies, and Julie also ran the Fastest Leg time too. All the ladies teams ran well and the support and camaraderie they have within the squad is clear to see and I can only see our Ladies Section going from strength to strength.
The Senior Men brought the curtain down and our A Team were unfortunate to come up against an extremely strong Morpeth Harriers on the day. Chris Perkins ran a brilliant first leg to set the second fastest time of the day. Craig Buchanan gave everything he had (post Covid too) and Adrian did all he could but Morpeth were just too good and our lads finished gallant runners up. B Team saw a welcome return to action for Ross Thraves, ably supported by Juniors George Beevers and Robbie Mumford. George in particular ran an unbelievable race to record 10.16 - ONLY 2 seconds slower than Dad Andrew.
All in all a fantastic day for our club and one which we can all feel proud of. Huge Thank You to everyone involved with the event - runners, course set up/take down, cake bakers/sellers and supporters. Our next Relay Event will be The Royal Signals Relays at Hetton Lyons Park on Saturday 19th February - let's build on our success from yesterday and have another fantastic Birtley AC Turn Out.
Race 1 Vet Men.
5 Birtley V45-54 A 34.43 Silver Medal NEMAA
Andrew Beevers 10.14 Fastest Leg
Phil Atkinson 12.20
Paul Brennan 12.09
18 Birtley V45-54 B 37.38
Paul Agnew 13.27
Graeme Swaddle 12.54
Nigel Simpson 11.17
29 Birtley V45-54 C 40.21
Ian Goulding 12.56
David Money 14.23
Jason Williamson 13.02
Race 2 Senior/Vet Ladies
1 Birtley SW A 36.08
Katie Francis 11.16 Fastest Leg
Hannah Linton 13.17
Chloe Price 11.35
4 Birtley WV35-44 A 38.42 Silver Medal NEMAA
Lisa Short 12.31
Lorna Graham 12.32
Kirstin Farquhar 13.39
14 Birtley SW B 41.21
Amy Drummond 13.30
Eve Southern 13.43
Scarlett Newby 14.08
17 Birtley SW C 42.22
Kirsty Robinson 14.46
Charlotte Coffield 15.53
Tess Graham 11.43
27 Birtley WV55 46.47 Gold Medal NEMAA
Julie Turner 13.55 Fastest Leg
Steph Young 14.51
Maggie Pavlou 18.01
32 Birtley WV45-54 A 47.31
Kay Drummond 15.08
Alyson McTeer 17.13
Zoe Towers 15.10
51 Birtley WV45-54 B 55.11
Kay Elliott 17.27
Elaine Brownless 17.02
Claire Braban 20.42
52 Birtley WV35-44 B 56.46
Leanne Adair 16.57
Natalia Jordan 19.14
Sara Francis 20.35
Race 3 Senior Men
2 Birtley A 29.31
Chris Perkins 9.10
Craig Buchanan 10.48
Adrian Bailes 9.33
7 Birtley B 34.53
Ross Thraves 12.38
George Beevers 10.16
Robbie Mumford 11.59
Happy New year, can you believe we are in to 2022!
I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting Heel & Toe over the past few years, it is greatly appreciated especially with the current pandemic we are facing, thank you very much.
The fundraising team are currently finalising events and we are excited to announce, we have some new events to try throughout 2022!!!
Although we are finalising most events, I just wanted to let you know the closing date to register your child/children interest in the mini/junior GNR is Friday 4th Feb 2022. You can register your child NOW at https://heelandtoe.org.uk/events/mini-junior-gnr-2022/, registration fee is £5 per child.
I would appreciate it if you are able to pass on this information to any child/children who attend your club.
I wish you all the best for 2022, and hopefully I will see you at a Heel & Toe event this year J
Following a lovely Christmas and New Year break, we return to our normal training routine on Tuesday 4th January, meeting as usual at Lord Lawson School. Parents, if you are coming indoors at the academy, please wear a mask if at all possible to comply with current regulations. Thank you, hope to see lots of you there!
Christmas sessions for my group and anyone else who would like to join us, as follows
Sun 19th Elba park 10am
Tue 21st Cong Burn 10am
Thurs 23rd Beamish woods 10am, meet behind Shepherd & Shepherdess
Sun 26th Boxing Day Beamish Run 10.30am Eden picnic area
Tues 28th Cocken woods 10am
Thurs 30th Cong Burn 10am
Sun 2nd Elba park 10am
Anyone who can't make it due to transport reasons as the sessions are during the day, just let me know and I will sort something out so you don't miss out on what will be a good block of endurance training ready for the championships next year.
Thursday 23rd December - Meet at Birtley Baths car park for 7pm start.
Sunday 26th December - The Annual Boxing Day Run / The Beamish Blow Eden car park 10:30 for 10:45 start, see the FB post for further information.
Tuesday 28th December - Wicker man session 10am. Meet Lower Burnhall Car Park DH1 3TX. Trail/off road shoes needed
Thursday 30th December - Watergate Forest Park 10am. Off road gravel paths
Friday 31st December - South Shields Beach session 10am. Meet on the beach behind the Sandhaven Beach Chalets. Towel and change of clothes and shoes
Sunday 2nd January - Beamish long easy run 9:30 at Eden Place car park. Mainly off road
Monday 3rd January - Chester le Street Riverside Park 10am meet in car park next to where the Park Run starts. Mainly off road and grass, spikes ok.
Tuesday 4th January - Return to normal training at Lord Lawson
Other coaches' sessions will be posted as they are announced, keep checking this page!
To comply with current Covid regulations, please wear a face mask at all times whilst indoors at Lord Lawson (i.e. gym/sports hall and throughout all hallways). As Thursday 16th is games night for the younger athletes, please come to club for approx 6.40pm if at all possible, to allow for team organisation etc. Thank you, and best wishes to everyone for the festive season!
Training will not be taking place at Lord Lawson over the Christmas and New Year holidays - the last session at the school this year will be held on Thursday 16th December, when the younger groups will be having a fun games night instead of normal training. However, most of the coaches will be putting on special sessions at varying locations over the holidays, so please keep an eye on our website and/or our social media pages for further details.
The club also traditionally takes part in a social run around Beamish Woods on Boxing Day, organised by Aurora Harriers, meeting at 10.30 in Eden picnic area carpark for a 10.45 start, approx 5.5 miles at a relaxed pace (walkers welcome!). Bring refreshments for afterwards if the weather is kind!
Birtley AC would like to wish all their athletes, parents, coaches, friends and supporters the very best for Christmas and the upcoming new year - let's hope 2022 is a better one!
Results from the NECAA XC Championships at Sedgefield can be seen on our Results page
Congratulations to all our athletes, for a small club we came away with quite a few medals, both individual and team, as well as the biggest turnout of any club in the whole race for the senior men! Thank you to everyone who competed, and the coaches and family members who offered their vocal support on the day! (Plus a certain Mr Darcy)
IMPORTANT - Remember to take £1 (exact change if possible) for parking (it's a voluntary payment, collected in a bucket as you exit the car park area, but let's do our bit for our local sports organisation!)
For timetables etc. please see our race info page
Results link HERE
A thank you note from the organisers, to everyone who helped out on the day:-
We are so sorry it has taken this long to send a note reflecting our huge gratitude for your support at the Great North Run - where does the time go? Having delivered the rest of the Great Run series we are now taking time to reflect. I find myself thinking where to start? Which is a nice change to the big question of this year which was where to finish?!
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?