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Our Road & X-country athletes had a busy weekend and it was good to see that the Harrier League at Aykley Heads went ahead considering that the two previous venues were cancelled, but muddy conditions had to be expected and by the time our Senior Ladies & Men toed the line it certainly was.

The Senior Women’s race was first off with a great turn out from our Ladies in a field of almost 400 runners from the 3 packs, Beth Curran got the team off to a brilliant start, crossing the line in 3rd position and we did not have too long to wait for our next counter Freda Summerfield to finish (9th position). So with 4 counters needed for the team it was Danielle Pizzey and Liz Porteous who obliged, battling their way through the mud to finish 3rd & 4th counters for the club and thus enabled the team to finish in 3rd position. As said previously the team was greatly supported by Jane Giles, Faye Buckton (good to see Faye back) Phillipa Paterson, Amy Williams, Lisa Atkinson, Kristan Abrahams and Julie Richardson, well done ladies with the result putting the Team well placed in their league.

The Senior Men were the final race of the day with the course really cut up and set to be made even worse with over 500 runners pounding around.  Like our Ladies the men turned out in force as well so much so that they won the team race on the day, with some great performances on the day. Conrad Franks was the clubs first runner to finish in 8th position (joint fastest time), battling through from the fast pack, this was a great start and with good packing from Steven Asquith, James Cripwell and Paul Waller all finishing in the top 20, it set the team up well. We needed another 2 runners to seal the team and Ross Purcell and Kevin Connolly obliged with good runs supporting the team.  Again the club had great support from Steven Medd, Dan Alexander, David Dawson, Peter Grimoldby, Stuart Milburn, Andy Smith and David Herring, a great Team victory and augers well for the remainder of the season.

Liverpool X-Challenge @ Sefton Park – Sat. 23rd November

A handful of the clubs U17, U20 athletes traveled down to Liverpool to compete in the X-Challenge races at Sefton Park, these are a series of races which are run throughout the UK over the X-country season, Liverpool being the closest. The competition across the board is always very high, so a great opportunity for our athletes to race against quality opposition from all over the UK. Chloe Wellings lined up in the ladies U17-20 race and with the conditions being very wet the surface turned extremely muddy, as like at Aykley Heads, and Chloe(1st year U20) had to battle all the way through the race ending up finishing a very creditable 41st position.

Charlie McMillan in his first season as an U20 man toed the line in this age group and hoped to continue his good form of late and he did not disappoint, working his way through the field (which was full of quality runners) to finish in 33rd position, but was only just over a minute behind the leader. I’m sure this run augers well for the important races coming up over the next few months.

Charlie Daley and David Race both ran in the U17 Men’s race which was a large field for this age group and like all the other races full of quality and these two lads performed really well, with Charlie finishing in 44th position and David in 55th position. These X-Challenge races offering our young athletes some valuable experience to carry into the Championship races which lie ahead over the coming months.

Northumberland Big 10miler @ Kirkley Hall – Sun. 24th November

The Club had a double success in this undulating course ran over 10 mile which was held at Kirkley Hall – Northumberland, with  Ali Bailey taking first Male to finish and Gillian Manford (12th overall) but was 1st Female to cross the line, a great result all round.

We now focus on the North Eastern X-Country Championship on Saturday 14th December.

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