So, despite being in tier 3 from next Wednesday, the good news is that we are allowed to resume training (outdoors, and with the usual measures to remain Covid secure, i.e. small groups, social distancing, etc.). For the next few weeks, we will be meeting outside Birtley Baths at 6.30pm as we have no access to the school grounds.
Message from Tommy below.
Endurance group meeting and training venue from Thursday 3rd December.
You've probably already seen on the news that the co-founder of Hays travel, John Hays, died last week, whilst at work doing the job he loved. John and his wife Irene had hit the headlines last year when they stepped in to save hundreds of Thomas Cook jobs by taking on the workers and some of the premises themselves. What you may not have realised is that Hays Travel has been a club sponsor for years, funding several awards and medals, and donating towards certain events hosted by Birtley.
As a club, we'd like to offer our condolences to his wife Irene, and we'd like to draw your attention to a fundraiser that has been set up to raise funds for a charity that was set up by Hays, the Hays Travel Foundation, which was one of John's proudest achievements. If you'd like to donate, below is the link to the Gofundme page.
We're sure it will come as no surprise to you, but training will not be taking place at Lord Lawson on Thursday (5th Nov), and will not recommence until the government announces it is safe to do so (currently December 3rd but that is subject to review). Anyone who has prepaid their weekly fees can be assured that the missing weeks will be carried forward, so you will not lose out.
Please keep an eye on both our FB page and website for updates in the coming weeks, and we hope that you will all continue to train and stay safe over this lockdown period. Also, remember you are allowed to exercise outdoors with one other person who isn't a household member, so you can always find someone to have a run with if you don't fancy doing it on your own.
Emily's athlete of the month is Riley Weeks.
Riley has been coming to us for a while now. He is a lovely young boy who is polite and always try’s his best. He takes part and all of the sessions and extra. He is a very keen runner and a brilliant runner to coach !
Fiona's athlete of the month is Louie McTaggart. Louie and his mum Laurie joined Birtley earlier in the year, and both seem to be going from strength to strength with their running! Well done Louie :)
...to please pay your membership fees and subs!
This is a request for those members who have still to renew their memberships, which were due at the beginning of August, to please visit our website and use the links at the top of the home page for membership renewal (still available at a substantially reduced rate) and weekly subs payment. We realise that there is not much opportunity yet for competition, and you may feel that if your training sessions don't take place at the club then you don't need to pay subs. However, your fees pay not only for EA membership but also for our club's insurance, as well as each individual coach's insurance cover through their coaching licence.
We are facing increasing costs for venue hire, and without each member paying their weekly subs and renewing their memberships, this will eventually put the club in a difficult financial position as we still have to meet ongoing obligations. I'd like to thank those of you who make the effort to pay their weekly fees online, and to those who have renewed their memberships (or joined for the first time), it's much appreciated!
I should also add that we are aware that some of our members may be in difficult financial circumstances due to lockdown etc. Any member who is struggling with finances can contact myself, or any member of the committee in confidence, and we will consider your situation sympathetically and try to come to some mutual arrangement, for example, paying membership in instalments - we also have a hardship fund if appropriate.
We’re having another 5k time trial Saturday morning 17th October at Rainton Meadows.
The course is on a mainly footpath route over 3 laps and is flat.
This month it will be done as a handicap, and, if you did the last one, your handicap will be based on that time, or if you are a first timer then let me know your target time, based on current fitness.
It’s a good chance to have a good run out and see where you are due to no current racing opportunities.
Meet 9:30am for an intended start around 10:00 to 10:15. See attached map for the start and finish.
Everyone welcome, current guidelines for organised training sessions will be followed.
No prizes, no medals, no t-shirts just a pat on the back (virtually of course) for the most improved and 1st runners and the chance to let the god of Strava (hail Strava!) know what you’ve achieved.
If possible let me know in advance if you’re running.
Post code DH4 5NL
Message Tommy Millmore if you want any further information.
A great morning for a run as 13 Birtley adult runners headed to Beamish Hall for the socially distanced start of the Beamish trail 10k. Great to see some familiar faces. It seems ages since we all trained and ran cross countries together.
Before the 10k was the kids 2k race, where Birtley were represented by 3 young runners. 3 of the Birtley youngsters finishing in the top 4. Noah Williamson winning, followed in 3rd by Ben Storey 3 seconds ahead of his sister Lexi. Well done all of you, the future is bright.
After a little bit of catching up, us adults headed to the pens for our socially distanced starts. The course began with a lap of the grounds, through the high ropes, through Beamish Wild and for some through the parked cars!!!! Once into the woods we ploughed through plenty of mud, puddles and began to tackle the hills of a lovely scenic course. Not too dissimilar to a cross country venue. A few large undulating loops of the woods and we headed back to the finish line in the grounds of Beamish Hall. A woolly hat, bacon sandwich and hot cuppa waited for us on the other side of the finish line.
Special mention to Lisa Short winning her age category and second female overall. Nigel Simpson also getting an 8th place finish. Well done both.
Also, a mention needs to go to 4 runners who came through the C25K group. 3 of the 4 running their first ever 10k. None of them stopped either!! Really pleased for you all, well done.
The overall victory however was seeing our club runners all back together, in their vests on the start line. It was also nice to see the other club runners from various North East clubs who we have battled with through various fields of mud. Hopefully we will get back to those days soon.
Athletes of the month for October
Fiona’s athlete of the month is Louie Grieves
Emily's athlete of the month is Poppy Graham.
Poppy attends every competition she can along with extra training sessions. Her parents always mention how she wants to go on runs, which shows how much dedication and love she has for running.
Louie is a relative newcomer to the club, having come along while his mam was taking part in our Couch to 5k group, but seems to have taken to running like a duck to water (he must take after his mother!), and I'm sure once competitions start again he'll be in there with the best of them - well done Louie!
After consultation with local government and our own governing body EA, the club already has appropriate Covid secure measures in place and we are therefore able to continue with our training sessions as usual. The only change to our usual arrangements is that parents are no longer able to enter the inner school gates so children must be dropped off and collected at the gates. This is a requirement that has been put in place by Lord Lawson and must be adhered to, as we don't wish to jeopardise the future of the club.
Sunday 6th Sept saw a few Birtley athletes on the wet drizzly road to Derwent Reservoir to run the 5k
and 10k trail races. There was also a good showing of young members running the kids 2.5k fun run.
Phil Atkinson, Rebecca Pottinger, Zoe Towers, Amy and Lee Drummond lined up for the 10k, with a
socially distanced start. All did really well, Phil 3rd in his age cat, Rebecca 2nd in hers and Amy winning
hers. All had really good times in what was a challenging but very scenic course.
However, the most pleasing thing was seeing the new members of the club lining up to do their first
ever run for Birtley. This group developed from our first ever ‘Couch to 5k’, they then had the set
back of lockdown but kept training as best they could. They have been turning up regularly as the
beginners group twice per week giving it their all, week in week out.
Of the new gang, Tony Storey challenged himself to the 10k and beat his 60 minute target by 2
minutes, so well done.
His better half Joanne ran the 5k, along with Natalia Maggiore. Elaine Brownless and Sara Francis
took to running rather than watching their families doing the business.
The kids 2.5k was well attended by Ben and Lexi Storey, Oliver King and also Clare Braban and her
son Toby. Again all newcomers to the club with the exception of Oliver of course.
It was a tough but enjoyable course that left the beginners group buzzing after their first ever run.
They have been a committed, hard working group who have finally seen their weeks of getting
robustly encouraged up Harris bank, Long Bank and any other bank pay off. Well done all, a great
turn out for Birtley.
Monday 31st the bank holiday there will be a session at Crimdon beach, meeting at the car park down past the chippy for 10am all ages welcome and bring a towel and wear gear you don’t mind getting a bit wet. Hopefully see plenty of you there.
August Athletes of the Month - The following athletes were nominated by their respective coaches:-
Noah Williamson (Emily's group) and Lexi Storey (Fiona's group)
Emily had this to say about Noah.
Noah is an incredible little runner, who is literally never tired even though we do hard sessions. Whenever I ask the group “was that hard?” He replies with "no it was easy" and asks to do it again. He improves his running every single week at coaching and always attends extra sessions outside the club.
He always smiles, always hard working and a pleasure to coach ! Well done Noah and also Lexi !
Athlete of the month for Fiona- Lexi Storey
Lexi is a newcomer to the club and is obviously giving it her all! Fiona says "She tries hard, does what I ask and never complains".
Well done to both athletes!
Emily and Fiona's group are having an extra session at Silksworth track this weekend, either Saturday or Sunday at 10 - if you aren't on FB and are interested in attending, please comment with your preferred day.
Tommy is holding a 5k time trial on Saturday 8th August at Rainton Meadows (photo below).
This is a mainly footpath route over 3 laps (First time we've used it although we're told it's fast and flat. It's a good chance to have a good run out and see where you are due to no current racing opportunites (apart from the one shown below!).
Meet at 9.30pm for an intended start at 10.30am. See photo for the proposed start and finish. Everyone welcome, and due to guidelines there could be more than one trial.
Message Tommy if you want any further information, or comment below
There is a rare opportunity to compete in a T&F event this month, but entries are strictly limited and close on the 9th August, so don't hang around too long! Info and entries can be found HERE
Finally, you should all have received an email at the start of July about this year's membership fees, which were due on 1st August. If you've already paid, thank you very much. If you still need to pay, remember you can do it at the same time as you book and pay for your weekly session fees - all links can be found at the top of the home page. Fees are currently reduced to account for the time lost due to lockdown, so grab the chance to renew your membership for a bargain price, and please be aware that you will be ineligible to compete in any races (for example Harrier league) if you haven't renewed, as you won't be registered with EA.
Emily's Group:- Izzy Hall
Fiona's Group:- Lily Pringle
Emily told us:-
Izzy is a great young athlete who has recently moved up groups. Her attitude towards training has been excellent, and always has a smile on her face after each part of the session we do. She has improved on her running enormously. She has engaged with running and always wants to improve !
Lily's coach Fiona had this to say about Lily:-
She always listens, tries hard, never complains and enjoys her running. Well done Lily!
Following confirmation that the school grounds ARE available, we will now be meeting at the school at 6pm as usual. Apologies for the confusion!