Old Monks Race, 8th January 2012

Hart Village was buzzing on Sunday morning with Burn Road helpers all over the place.  David Kirk was shouting instructions out (sorry using his police trained organisational skills) to all who were within earshot or sight.  Dave Edwards and I got an ear bashing so we jumped in Dave’s car loaded with race paraphernalia under the pretence of doing something useful, and sped to the far end of the course, phew!!!!  The organisation must have gone well as the runners did go past my mine and Dave’s marshal points without a problem.


Well, our squad was certainly out in force with 36 members entered, expanding the record turn out to a magnificent 237 runners.  I know that was a good entry from us, but these days it should not be too difficult to reach 50, maybe next one.


 Brian Rushworth the Sunderland Harrier legend won the race in a cracking time of 30 mins 57 seconds, the ladies winner was Michelle Holt also from Sunderland Harriers who ran brilliantly for 24th place (36.40).


 First home for the club was in form Paul Wilson putting in an outstanding performance for 9th place against quality athletes.  In the chasing pack our very own Mr Motivator Mick Lamb fought all the way finishing a well-deserved 14th place, still in the local elite group.  Third man home was a much improved Darren Armstrong who should be very pleased with his run, within just a couple of months he has shown great potential.  Fourth man back was John Howey who just eats up the challenges thrown at him.


More at home on flat roads was Richard Hambly who has grown in stature himself since joining.  He put in a solid run, keeping Rovers man and Pointless (tv quiz) finalist Darren Smith at bay.  Darren overwhelmed his coach Ian Cook just after Nesbitt Hall (a case of student overtakes Master).


Fell runner in the making John Mansfield was in touch with the previous three athletes but all these hills he has been training on had sapped his strength, and he could not exploit his killer finish this time out.

If you think some forms of training are strange ask Richard Robson who has also improved somewhat by running around the Fens area of town with a large Christmas tree over his shoulder.  Luckily for those around him today he went without one!


Another athlete who is going from strength to strength is Jane Wistow who led the ladies in fine style.  Jane who had never ran this race before did not know what to expect, but battled every inch of the way whether it was up or downhill.  Super sprinter Trevor Sherwood was up next scalping a determined Dave Wallace today.  Mark Addison ran well, he had to, as the quicker, slimmer (was going to say good looking, but that is taking it too far) Matty Dawkins was closing down on him fast.  Matty paced himself well amongst other runners and had a good finish knocking two and a half minutes of his previous time.


As birthdays go, Half a century is a quite a milestone (or millstone depending on your viewpoint) to reach and usually spent celebrating with a drink and a nice meal etc etc, but not Shaun Bruce.  The supa dupa 50 year old (today) veteran runner turned out for his club to burn off some festive indulgences.  He realised he had lost a bit of fitness and latched on to Kevan Stephenson (also unfit from a long layoff).  These two characters kept themselves going, finishing (suffering) together.  They looked like twins ( Danny Devito and Arnie Swarzenegger) but as Arnie once said “Me and bro will be back!”.


Larger than life Neil Simon must have had the twins in sight but due to his lack of training could not make up the ground.  In his first run since Summerhill XC he was a little nervous about pushing the pace, needing to keep something in the tank for the latter stages.  Having never ran this race before his tank drained on the first big climb which knocked his rhythm for six.  Before hitting the next hill he was just managing to put one foot in front of the other, but his iron will (stubbornness) kicked in and he managed ok.  Someone then told him free tea and cakes were on offer and whoosh there he was GONE!


Relative newcomer Graeme Surtees who has worked hard in training over the recent months showed what can be achieved.  After having a confident well paced run he finished in high spirits rightly pleased with his performance.  Merchant Navy Captain Dave Clouston must have dropped his sea legs off today as he did not sway at all from the task in hand.  


Learning how to smile before the camera catches her is the iridescent Lesley Strickland (second BRH lady) who enjoyed her run immensely.  Lesley is one of the driving forces of the ladies team which are enjoying competitive success in the cross country races.  This will no doubt be replicated in the coming road races.


Trevor Sherwood Junior and Stephen Armstrong (Alf Tupper) had a tussle over the route and went over the finish line together.  Another tussle was going on just seconds behind with Jon Bathe and Suzi Martin, Jon just keeping ahead.  Suzi, third Burn Road lady home always puts 100% hard work in and still manages to smile all the way.  Amy Dixon was next to the finish line, coming in fourth Burn Road lady with a spirited run.  The miles glided by as she was thinking of articles for the newsletter, loads of material there today Amy.


New member and marathon runner Denise Bell ran well ahead of two Halls, Richard and Michael who were joined at the hip along with Andy Lamplough.  Andy kept busy looking at athlete’s trail shoes trying to decide which pair to buy next.


Next up with a brilliant run was Cary Surtees, who has made the jump from Wednesday training with beginners to the full time squad and went around this off road course in fine style.  Cary had the experienced athlete Julie McGrath beside her for company and guidance.


Regular at training and running this race again was Joanna Cammiss, who took it in her stride to run at a perfect pace. Two friends side by side also were the cheerful Amy Ralton and Emma Whitaker.  These two were not fazed by the hills or uneven surfaces as they made their way around the course. Following just behind were Kelly Noble and Linda Whitaker also extolling the virtue of being cheerful.  Another Whitaker in the form of Stuart encouraged these four runners most of the way around the route.


A big thank you goes out to all the Marshals, timekeepers/ recorders, catering helpers, result compilers (team Johnson), and anyone else I have forgotten to mention who made this such a great event, WELL DONE.


Burn Road results: Paul Wison 9th (33.40), Mick lamb 15th (34.53), Darren Armstrong 40th (38.09), John Howey 54th (39.13), Richard Hambly 56th (39.24), Darren Smith 59th (39.37), Ian Cook 60th (39.42), John Mansfield 62nd (39.48), Richard Robson 82nd (41.44), Jane Wistow 86th (42.20), Trevor Sherwood 96th (43.15)  Dave Wallace 98th (43.22), Mark Addison 112th (44.48), Matty Dawkins 113th (44.50), Shaun Bruce 121st (45.18), Kevan Stephenson 122nd (45.18), Neil Simon 130th (46.06), Graeme Surtees 135th (46.39), Dave Clouston 138th (46.57), Lesley Strickland 141st (47.10), Trevor Sherwood Jnr 171st (49.50), Stephen Armstrong 172nd (49.50), Jon Bathe 175th (50.03), Suzi Martin 176th (50.05), Amy Dixon 181st (50.31), Denise Bell 187th (51.25), Richard Hall 205th (54.31), Michael Hall 206th (54.32), Andy Lamplough 207th (54.32), Cary Surtees 217th (58.24), Julie McGrath 218th (58.24), Joanna Cammiss 223rd (61.18), Amy Ralton 232nd (67.22), Emma Whitaker 233rd (67.22), Kelly Noble 236th (68.15), Linda Whitaker 237th (69.38).


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