The first competition of 2019 was the Sherman Cup (Men) and Davison Shield (Women), which had been moved from October to it’s new date, with the weather being quite dry of late and no wind to contend with, the conditions for this Race were really good – no mud.
The turnout at Temple Park was affected by the holidays and illness. While it was disappointing that we did not have full teams in all age groups, there were still several encouraging performance by our young athletes.
Our group of under 11 Boys featured prominently in their race. Matthew Waters was the first to finish in 13th followed by Harry Hunter, Alfie Cooke and Samson Oliver. Skye Marshall, our only runner in the under 11 Girls, did well to finish 37th after being spiked at the start.
In the under 13 Girls, Jessica Milburn and Anya Crowder had a head to head race with Jessica prevailing in 7th position. With Anya 8th, Annabel Milburn 13th, Millie Watson 14th and Lucy Oliver 17th, the girls packed well to secure 3rd team position.
Noah Curran had a welcome return to racing, finishing 8th in the under 13 Boys. Matthew Das and Luca Shaw were 19th and 20th to enable the team to finish 3rd. They were ably supported by Oliver Ezeoke, Cassius Dornan, Innes Fordyce and Alex Biddlecombe – an encouraging turnout in this age group.
David Race did well to come in 11th in a high quality under 15 Boys, despite his jet lag. With Will Seager Rooke, Jack Garrett and Matthew Waters supporting him, the team was 5th.
Sophie Johnstone was our only runner to finish in the under 15 Girls running strongly to finish 21st.
Returning after injury, Charlie McMillan ran a well judged race finishing 2nd in the under 17 Men.
In the under 17 / 20 Women, Chloe Wellings continued to improve in 4th position. With Amy Baker doing well in 14th and Emma Dixon 31st the team finished 6th.
Laura Weightman and a strong Morpeth Harriers team were clear winners in the senior women but our team was an excellent 2nd. Brigid Dennehy was 1st counter in 8th, followed by Elizabeth Raven in 15th and Manréad Power in 21st.
Led by Jane Giles in 6th position, supported by Maggie Loraine and Philippa Pattison, the veterans women’s team was 11th. This was a creditable performance in a very competitive category.
This was another encouraging day for our women’s squad – a good turnout, some strong performances and newer members gaining experience of this level of competition. Well done all!
The Senior Men’s race was last on the programme having had all the age group races Male & Female beforehand, there were two Team Races within one race ie Senior Men and Masters Men with our Male athletes having a good turn out. Conrad Franks is starting 2019 the way he finished 2018 in really great form, in a very strong field Conrad was always in contention within the top 10 and he battled his way through to finish a very creditable 5th position this was also a good start for the team. Conrad was followed home by Matt Linsley who is starting to show some consistency in his racing finished in 16th position, this only being his second season in the sport, Matt is proving a great assett to the team. Our third counter for the team was Dan Alexander who has also come back into the sport and great to see as he has certainly work hard to get back into good shape and counting regular for the team, Dan finished in 27th. position. The Senior team just missed out on the top 3, finishing 4th but a great efforts by the lads.
As I said the Vets(Masters) Team Race was also incorporated, and they did not disappoint with Steven Medd leading the way in 31st position (but 2nd O/40 to finish) he was supported really well by Kevin Connolly (41st) and great to see Martin Slater getting into shape again, coming in as third counter, this was enough to give the Team 2nd in the Master category which was tremendous running, so well done to all Seniors and Masters who ran on the day.
This competition shows the overall strength of the club, as all the team scores are added together, again we just missed out on medals, the club finishing in 4th place.
Along with the clubs success in the North Eastern Champ. the above performances are encouraging, but we still have a lot more to aim for in the coming months.
Thank you to all club volunteers on the day the Team Managers and Coaches and to the organisation on the day. Also thanks to South Shields Harriers, the hosts for the day.