This weekend saw the National XC Champs which were held at Nottingham, where the recent (and current!) storms conspired to make conditions for both spectators and athletes as difficult as possible! The journey there was not helped by bad weather on the day, and because of the state of the ground, there were some last minute changes to parking which caused huge issues with traffic, resulting in young athletes jumping out of cars in queues of traffic to make it to their race on time.
However, this was, by all accounts, an absolutely amazing cross-country course, with tree trunk obstacles, small lakes (judging by the photos anyway!) and enough mud to keep a whole farmyard of pigs happy. I think this photo of Robbie Mumford (below) sums up the amount of mud and water on the course perfectly - thanks to Steve Haywood for braving the conditions to take some amazing photos (full album can be seen on FB here)
The sixteen Birtley athletes who tackled the course on Saturday all deserve medals in my opinion, but of course, being a National Championship, they were hard to come by - huge kudos then to Chris Perkins who was up against some very stiff competition, yet came away with a bronze medal, one of only two medals for the North East - well done Chris!
Full results HERE
The Saucony “English National” is going to be muddy and wet, so if you subscribe to Facebook, you can get some, probably spectacular, pictures of yourself directly to your page.
Saucony and the ECCA have teamed up with Pic2Go to give everyone racing in this weekend‘s National XC free race photos.
Simply click on the link below and enter your race number.
For any queries you get regarding Pic2Go, they will this week update the www.pic2go.co.uk website with some FAQs and if someone does want to email a query then please direct them to our email@example.com email account.
The weather on Saturday is looking very stormy with strong winds and possibly rain so please come prepared. At least the temperature will be 10/11C.
The infrastructure is now in place with final tweaking to the start and finish areas today. A big thank you to Notts AC and the various teams for working in difficult conditions all week.
More info on our fixtures page here
One of our club members, Jamie Graham, would like to introduce a talented artist friend of his, Owen Delaney, who recently decided to turn his hobby into his full-time occupation. Judging by the examples in the article about him in Runners World, he won't regret his decision - have a read and see what he could do for you too.
Runners World - The Mapmaker
Seems the Birtley ladies weren't quite as active as usual last weekend, with the boys doing most of the running (or throwing, as it turned out)!
Saturday morning saw the Signal Relays return to their proper place in the calendar, though sadly without a female team from Birtley this year. The men, however, did us proud, with a senior men's team that didn't have a lot of seniors, but still outperformed many of the younger teams - well done to Lewis McConnell 0:11:49 Phil Atkinson 0:14:12 David Francis 0:14:46 Ian Goulding 0:15:03 Zak Scott 0:12:53 Nigel Simpson 0::12:28
Full results here
Saturday also saw the start of two days of indoor competition at the North East Counties Indoor Championships. Birtley were well represented on the first day in the field events, with a brilliant Gold medal and a massive PB for Joseph Perkins, who, despite injury, threw 9.47 - not only North Eastern champ but number 1 in the UK. Well done Joey!
Congratulations also to Ryan Cook and Fynn Errington, with silver and bronze medals - great achievements in a competitive environment. Well done to all who competed this weekend.
However, some of our ladies did also compete this weekend - 8 miles through Chopwell Woods in the dark and the rain mightn't be everyone's cup of tea, but Stephanie, Karen and Kay seemed to enjoy it, and Stephanie was first lady in her age group too - well done you mad women! (Sorry Karen, didn't have a pic with you on!)
DURHAM ASSOCIATION BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS 2020 COUNTY 5-A-SIDE FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT
On the 29th February 2020 and 1st March 2020 we will be holding our annual 5-a-side football tournament at the Soccarana in Belmont Industial Estate, Durham City, DH1 1GG with winners from this will going on to compete in the National championships at Manchester.
The boys tournament will be held on Saturday, 29th February starting at 1pm and should be finished around 4.30pm. The girls will be held on Sunday 1st March also starting at 1pm.
Please could all teams be there for registration at 12.30 for a 1pm start on the day.
This tournament is open to all affiliated clubs of Durham Association Boys and Girls Clubs, if you have footballers in your organisation that would like to compete as a team in this tournament, we would love to see you there.
You may enter 2 teams from each category, under 12, under 14, under 16. If anyone is interested in doing this, the forms are linked at the bottom of this post. Please complete these and return before the 27th February to the address on the form.
Boys Team Application Form
Girls Team Application Form
Due to a school event, we do not have access to the inside areas of the school tonight. However, Ed and Fiona's group should meet outside the PE block for training as usual, and Gary's group will meet in the car park - all welcome.
Saturday saw around 20 Birtley athletes competing in the prestigious Northern XC Championships at Bedale, a new location for this competition. Reliable sources inform me that this was a tough course, with leg sapping mud, so kudos goes to everyone who took part, let alone finished well! However, we had a couple of athletes who performed brilliantly despite the heavy going - Katie Francis, finishing just outside the top ten against some very stiff competition, and Chris Perkins, snatching the gold from his rivals in a nailbiting close finish to become Northern U15 Champion. Congratulations to them, and to all the athletes who competed. Full results can be seen here.
Not forgetting that ours is an athletics and not just a running club, let's have a shout out for Callum Chambers, a Birtley Under 11 (Year 5), who achieved a Grade 2 equivalent to AAA Standard at the North East Youth Indoor Series in the Shot Putt event - well done Callum!
UPDATE Due to increased rainfall at the Camp Hill Estate in Bedale we have had to slightly alter the layout for the XC Championships on Saturday. Please see the picture below.
The information on parking, facilities, course maps etc. can be downloaded in pdf form here (apologies, that's all that's been sent to me so I can't reproduce all the info here.)
Remember, this is a stand-alone competition, with new bib numbers (which will be collected by one of the coaches first thing in the morning, I'd take a guess at Gary Curtis!) - please don't wear your Harrier league numbers or you'll be disqualified!
If anyone is happy to car-share, please comment with your name and how many seats you can offer on this post (rather than FB, which not all of our members are on)
Good luck to all our athletes, and just in case you've forgotten whether you entered or not, here's the list of entrants:-
David Francis Senior Men - 12.3k - 15.05
Katie Francis U15 Girls - 4.3k - 12.55
Kelly Bentley Senior Women - 8.0k - 14.15
Kirsty Walker Senior Women - 8.0k - 14.15
Paul Agnew Senior Men - 12.3k - 15.05
Shannel Curtis Senior Women - 8.0k - 14.15
Lee Drummond Senior Men - 12.3k - 15.05
Kay Drummond Senior Women - 8.0k - 14.15
Amy Drummond U17 Women - 4.9k - 11.00
Matthew Drummond U13 Boys - 3.08k -12.40
Darren M Purvis Senior Men - 12.3k - 15.05
George Beevers U15 Boys - 4.6k - 13.20
Ben Brownless U13 Boys - 3.08k -12.40
Christopher Perkins U15 Boys - 4.6k - 13.20
Eve Southern Junior Women - 6.2k - 11.25
Robbie Mumford U15 Boys - 4.6k - 13.20
Abigail Thwaites U15 Girls - 4.3k - 12.55
Scarlett Newby U17 Women - 4.9k - 11.00
Lewis Watson U13 Boys - 3.08k -12.40
Rebecca Pottinger Senior Women - 8.0k - 14.15
Olivia Callaghan U15 Girls - 4.3k - 12.55
Lorna Graham Senior Women - 8.0k - 14.15
Tess Graham U17 Women - 4.9k - 11.00
Maggie Graham U13 Girls - 3.08k - 11.55
Daisy Graham U13 Girls - 3.08k - 11.55
Adrian Bailes Senior Men - 12.3k - 15.05
Greg Poulton Senior Men - 12.3k - 15.05
Nigel Simpson Senior Men - 12.3k - 15.05
Ami-Leigh Dodds U13 Girls - 3.08k - 11.55
Chloe Fairclough U17 Women - 4.9k - 11.00
The male masters athlete who unfortunately took ill during the race this morning is now in hospital - many thanks for your concerns over his welfare, as soon as we have news of his recovery we will let you know. Huge thanks to the people involved in administering CPR which undoubtedly saved his life before the air ambulance arrived. Update - the gentleman is now sitting up in bed in hospital, dazed and a little confused but hopefully on the mend.
In other news, provisional results will be on this website very soon - check this link and email firstname.lastname@example.org with corrections please (there will be lots!).
Photos from the day, taken by Stuart Whitman, can be seen on the following links Senior Men, Women and Masters Men
Huge thanks to all the Birtley members who volunteered today (as well as running in many cases!), and of course thank you to all the officials who kept calm and carried on this morning. Thanks also to the runners who competed today - we hope you enjoyed the course and we look forward to seeing you again next year! Don't forget, the Junior Relays will take place on Sunday 8th March.
Due to waterlogged fields at Barnard Castle School, the Schools XC Championships have been cancelled and will not be rearranged. Selection details for the Inter-counties will be announced on the website ASAP.
We'd like to help new members to get started with our club by providing a group aimed at novice runners - those who have possibly completed a couch to 5k course, or who have recently come to running and don't have the confidence or skill set (yet) to get involved with the main coaching groups. To do this, we need more qualified run leaders - this involves a one day course (very local at Hebburn) which would be financed by the club, in return for you helping out with the group mentioned above every couple of weeks or so. You wouldn't need to do it every week as the workload would be shared, and you needn't miss out completely on your own training, as it would only be the odd Tuesday night session you'd be missing.
If you think you could do this, further info on the course can be found here - please email me if interested (as soon as possible, as the next course takes place in March).
Are you at least 35? Are you members of NEMAA (North East Masters Athletics Association)? If not, why not? Our XC Relays this Sunday incorporate the Masters XC Relay Champs, and the Masters Cross Country Champs take place on 1st February at Cramlington - with individual medals available in 5 year age groups, here's your chance to add to your silverware!
There are loads of races throughout the year that incorporate Masters Champs in them (e.g. the Heaton Memorial incorporated the Masters 10k champs last year), and let's not forget the Track and Field League, with six matches over the season at the bargain price of £5 per match (for up to 3 events), which is only available to NEMAA members.
Membership of NEMAA is only £15 for the year, and this also gives you access to any BMAF events as well as international competition. If you are already a member, make sure you renew before the end of January this year - here's the renewal link (it'll cost you £25 after the 31st January so don't miss out!)
The school is holding another parent's evening on Tuesday 14th January so unfortunately we don't have our usual access to the indoor areas. Each coach will be making their own arrangements so keep an eye on FB and this website for updates.
Gary Curtis's and Tommy's groups are to meet in the car park for a 7pm start. Ed's group will not be training due to the inclement weather.
The Couch to 5k Course will still be going ahead as planned - please allow a little extra time to find a parking space as it may be busy.
Firstly, thank you for showing an interest in our first C25k group and for choosing this great friendly club.
The club is full of nice, friendly and helpful people who will be wishing you well on this running journey.
You are probably feeling a little apprehensive and nervous, but honestly you really have nothing to fear, we have all "been there", and we are all striving to be better than we used to be. It is a proven programme, that works!! We understand that people will go faster and slower than others, but we will all get the same out of it and no one will feel out of place.
Advice we can give:
Each session is 30 minutes, plus a brief warm up and cool down stretch. It is also expected that you try and complete the same session in your own time twice within the week. Your homework!!
Lee Drummond and Stephanie Young will be your Runleaders throughout the 10 week course, we usually finish with an extra, totally voluntary Riverside Parkrun on the following Saturday.
Really looking forward to seeing you all on Tuesday 6pm in the main foyer of LLOB school. NOTE:- There is a school parent's evening this Tuesday, so the car park will be busier than usual - please allow extra time to find a parking space.
Any questions or concerns please get in touch.
Despite the conditions being atrocious on Saturday, the Cross Challange at Stirling saw victory for Birtley athlete Chris Perkins with another great win in the u15 race. Katie Perkins finished in a very respectable 9th place, and young Noah Williamson braved the elements to finish 5th as the sole u11 representative for Birtley.
Sunday saw another windy day, and several Birtley athletes competing in the Brass Monkey half marathon. Darren Purvis was first past the post for Birtley with a fantastic time of 1:13.42 and 2nd V40 male. Next over the line was Greg Poulton in 1:14.56, followed by Tracy Millmore who finished first in the V35 women's category in a time of 1:19.52, with Keith Robertshaw completing the Birtley lineup with 1:27.25. Full results here. Well done to all!