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Saturday, 23 May 2015

Harriers shine in Durham relays

TYNEDALE Harriers women’s Vet40 team started the year with a silver medal.

The team of Kirstie Anderson, Karen Robertson and Steph Scott clinched second place in the V35 category at the popular Cathedral Relays, in Durham.

Tynedale’s Vet50 team also competed well in the 45 age category but were unable to defend the title they scooped last year when they finished out of the medals.

The event boasted a record number of entries with 70 women’s teams - double last year’s number - as well as 122 men’s teams.

The set-up saw three runners each having to complete two 1.5km laps of the fast, flat grass course.

Although Tynedale were at a disadvantage from the start as they were racing against women younger than them, they all fired up did their club proud.

Anderson started out for V40 and found the race being dictated at a frantic pace by international runner Rosie Smith, from Durham, who covered the 3000m course in nine minutes and six seconds to record the fastest time of the day.

Anderson paced herself well though, and ran strongly through the field, finishing in 10.33 to place her team second in the age category.

The club's second leg runner, Robertson, managed to reduce the gap on the leading Elswick team, running 10.47 for the two laps, before handing over to Scott for the final leg.

But, as all the senior and veteran women's teams were running at the same time, it was difficult to gauge progress due to the high number of runners and how spread out the field had become.

Scott stuck to her task of passing as many athletes as possible on her two laps.

After crossing in 10.53, an agonising long wait for the results followed, but it was worth it as it brought the news they had finished second in the V35 group.

Finishing only behind the younger Elswick Harriers, Tynedale were named as North East silver medallists, while finishing eighth overall out of 70 teams.

Just as impressive was that the Tynedale ladies posted the fastest three times of the day in the V40 age category!

The V50 team was led off by Steph White, and she ran a commanding first leg before handing over to Lynne Marr.

The experienced runner ran a strong race to hand over to Jan Oliver for the anchor leg, but the combined performance of the ladies was not enough to earn them a medal.