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!
As most of you are probably already aware, Ed Lown has decided to hang up his coaching hat after 30 years of service (though he will hopefully still be helping out now and again in an unofficial capacity). Ed has made a huge contribution to this club over the years, doing even more work behind the scenes than during his coaching sessions, with numerous grant bids applied for (and won), and countless committee meetings attended. Ed's enthusiasm and dedication is well recognised outside of as well as within Birtley, and we have been very fortunate to have had him at the helm for so long.
Also leaving the club is Christine Pearson, who after 20 years of coaching is taking a well earned break to focus on her own grandchildren's sporting interests.
Everyone at Birtley would like to wish both of these dedicated coaches all the best for the future, and we hope they have a long and happy "retirement".
Please read the documents below carefully before returning to the club. To book your place on any of our sessions, see our Noticeboard page. Please note, Tommy is unable to make a 6pm session so is holding his sessions separately at Chester le Street. To renew memberships*, please visit the Club Store. Membership renewals are due by 1st August, so no rush!
* Memberships are being charged at 2/3 of the usual rate to allow for time lost due to Covid restrictions - renewal date will remain the same, April 1st 2021.
If images below are unclear, the full document can be downloaded here
Katie Francis was the first woman in the Step Up Virtual Sunderland City 5k run with a time of 18.45. This was arranged by the events of the north earlier this month, since the actual races had to be postponed.
Katie has been enjoying following her training sent by Gary (which is obviously working!) and taking part in the occasional solo social distanced time trial style race. Congratulations to Katie on a brilliant time!
Next week (beginning 25th May) I just want you to complete 1 session and then one of the days next week complete a circuit of core exercises! (if you can’t get down I want your child to pick any of the sessions I have posted and go through them !) :
Pictures are displayed below, park just down from the priory (been circled on picture)
Warm up jog from the car park- follow the white line I created to the stairs which are pictured below. You are going to jog down one and run along path at bottom to get to them stairs.
Session on stairs:
1st) 10 seconds- as many single steps as you can ( keep count) walk back down. Repeat the same till you get to 45 seconds if your not up the top of the stairs by then
2nd) repeat the same again but double stairs at a time. See if you can get further by doing this (remember to drive up the stairs, bringing your knees up!)
3rd) fast sprint up the stairs (up to you whether you do single or double steps at a time, walk back down recovery. Repeat 3 times
4th) try and use the sand just down from the stairs- I want you to try and complete ramp ups- (slow to fast- start heel flicks Into bringing your knees from behind body up into high knees where you will end up into a sprint - fast as can count for 5 seconds when you get into the sprint - slow down gradually not just abrupt. Repeat 5 times, walk back recovery
Light Jog back to car park, static stretches
If you can send any pictures of your children doing the session, it may motivate others! Hope everyone is staying well and keeping safe !
It was intended this year to organise and rerun the C2C relay that the Club completed during June 2008, of course due to the current situation, it’s not possible. So why not have a virtual relay?
The route is along the C2C cycling path from Whitehaven to Roker and has up to 30 legs of various distances and terrain, covering 135 miles of continuous running. There would be 2 cyclists to accompany the runners with mini buses carrying the other leg runners to the next change over point.
This year’s date was to have been 20th and 21st June, depending on the race calendar, so the challenge is for people to choose a leg and run their distance during that weekend. More than one person can do the same leg, and you could do more than one leg, although the estimated time between them should be used, or run 2 or 3 continuous legs. Where possible you should try and run the same type of terrain and gradient as your chosen leg i.e. if you choose a leg in the heart of the Lake District you’re bound to have some uphill running so choose your virtual leg route to match your chosen leg’s terrain, (see the attached information regarding the route). To map a route near home and check out elevation, distance, gradients etc., Mapometer is a great free site that's easy to use.
The challenge is open to everyone in the club and all ages, it’s not about being the quickest, it’s about being part of the “virtual” team to cover the distance.
Below are links to the legs and the distance, and also some further information about the C2C route. Hopefully next year we can do the actual event.
It would be best to message me (Tommy) and not on this post, with your preferred leg/legs, and I’ll put your name against it.
Please note that all government recommendations regarding social distancing should be used, and all young athletes should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
C to C (or Sea to Sea) Route
Information about the route
Hope everyone is staying safe, keeping fit and healthy, and coping with the current situation. This is a bit of a roundup of what people have been up to during the club closure, and it looks like most of you are still training well, even on your own. Please comment on this post with your own news, training ideas, or thoughts on virtual challenges we could do as a club.
Fiona's group have been doing some solo time trials, as have Gary's group - if anyone has missed these because they're not on Facebook, drop me an email and I can give you details. Below are the the mile times for Gary's group.
We have special coaching pages on this website (links on the home page) with sessions and training suggestions, so keep checking back for updates there if you're struggling with your training plans.
Some of our athletes have been competing in virtual races, and there are various items by EA online such as this one - check your emails for regular updates and helpful advice from EA. If you haven't been getting any emails from EA, your email address has probably changed since you first registered with the club - drop me an email and I'll get your profile updated with the correct one.
Finally, no decision has yet been made on our membership fees - any news on this will of course be passed on both here and via email.