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Saturday, 23 May 2015

Birthday boy Max snatches victory

YOUNG runners from Tynedale led the way in the North East Harrier League at Shibdon Pond, Blaydon, last weekend.

Close run: Ben Dykins leads eventual winner Max Pearson.

The Tynedale Harriers U13 boys were in dominant form, winning the team prize with first, second and fourth placed finishes in their race.

They were led home by birthday-boy Max Pearson running form the fast pack, who just caught Ben Dykins on the line. The third counter was Charles Downs who finished 12 seconds later.

Ben and Charles, who will now both be promoted to the fast pack, were making their debuts in Harrier League, and this was an impressive start.

Also running for Tynedale in this age group were Chris Jackson, Jack Donaldson, Sam Myers, Dominic Peel and Joe Green.

The under 17 boys’ performance was almost as good, also winning the team prize, and again with a Tynedale runner leading the field home.

George Sanderson made the most of starting from the slow pack to win by seven seconds, with Toby Routledge

finishing in fourth place, less than a minute behind. Alistair Maxwell-Gray was the third counter in ninth place. Jonathon Currie running from the fast pack, finished in 19th place but fourth from the fast pack runners and one of the quicker times of the day.

First finisher for Tynedale’s U15 boys was Fergus Robinson with a typically strong run from the fast pack. Dominic Morley and Jonathon Anderson were the other counters, with Bryn Mordey and Ben Pickett also putting in good efforts.

NEHL attendance records continue to be broken in the senior fields, with a remarkable 460 finishers for the men and almost 200 for the women.

The sheer number of runners made a striking sight for the vocal spectators, as the athletes snaked their way around the leafy circuit.

Tynedale’s senior men saw solid runs from another good turnout of nearly 20 athletes. The race was won overall by Ben Douglas of Durham City Harriers, with Phil Thompson the first Tynedale Harrier home in 21st place, which sees him promoted to the medium pack.

The other 5 counters for Tynedale’s points were Syd Coxon, Paul Hutchinson, Andy Green, Rob Carter and Paul Pickett.

They finished as third placed team in their division for the second event running, behind Tynebridge Harriers and Birtley AC.

Tynedale need to aim for at least second place in future fixtures if they are to achieve promotion back to division one at the end of the season.

The women also finished in third place in what is proving to be a competitive division.

They were led home by team captain Steph Scott who had a fine run, finishing in fifth place overall resulting in her promotion to the medium pack.

Tynedale’s second counter was Kim Bluck who had a solid run and just managed to hold off Karen Robertson and Kirstie Anderson chasing from the medium pack. The women’s race was won overall by Tracy Millmore of Birtley AC.

For the under 13 girls, Ellen Rickets, in her debut NEHL outing, had an excellent run from the slow pack finishing in fifth place, earning herself a promotion to the fast pack. Sophie Speed and Elena Bluck were the other two counters, with Rhianna Nitsch and Phoebe Speed in support.

The under 15 girls were one short of a team, but Rhianna Stoves and Amy Ricketts both put in good efforts.

Four Tynedale athletes competed in the U11’s mixed race, which now fields over 70 runners. Gabriel Morley was first local runner home, with Freya Barr, Sarah Jackson and Bethan Nitsch finishing within 45 seconds.

The next fixture is next month at a new venue for the Harrier League – Bedewell Park in Monkton (Jarrow).

Several Tynedale Harriers’ athletes headed west for the popular Brampton to Carlisle 10 mile road race on Sunday.

Conditions were perfect for the race which often has a stiff head wind.

In a field of nearly 550 runners, Peter Hearn was first home for Tynedale in 45th place, in a time of just over one hour. Despite turning out for his club the previous day at the Blaydon Cross Country, Hugh Bingham finished not far behind, followed by Ian Brown who was third in his V55 age group.

In the women’s race, it was Jane Greening who came in first for the local club in 1:12.53 in 33rd place. She was followed by Steph Bingham and Jan Oliver, who put in a great performance despite tired legs from the previous day’s cross country. Tynedale athlete Eileen Armstrong won her L70 age category in an impressive time of 1:40:19.