Race Reports

Northern Men's 12 Stage and Women's 6 Stage Road Relays, 20th March 2011

The 2011 Northern Men’s 12 Stage Road Relay Championship and the Women’s 6 Stage Relay Races were held on the surrounding roads of Catterick Garrison.

 

Burn Road’s men and women faced very stiff competition from the best and biggest clubs in the North, Morpeth, Leeds, Salford, and Liverpool just to name a few.  It was noticed that quite a few local clubs were missing from the entries, they must have heard we had Angela’s Angels in attendance!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The men’s race started at 11.30 am with the first leg runners covering a distance of 8 kilometres and then alternating to 4 kilometres until the 12th man was over the finishing line, the women’s relay started 5 minutes later and saw all 6 runners do 4 kilometres.

 

With the start minutes away Mark Calvert had his number with capital A pinned onto his vest and was in the line up unaware of the Dads Army moment going on next to the tent. 11 runners left to dish out numbers with letters on to denote which leg they were on, so thinking B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L  would be no bother for the men to handle, B,C,D,and E were handed out along with timing chips, but then we could not find the F anywhere.  After minutes of searching and head scratching the words “DON’T PANIC” were uttered by Dave Edwards.  We carried on with the next G and H, then it was noticed there was no letter I either.  That was it, next we heard was “WE’RE ALL DOOMED” there is no F and I. 

 

With this going on it was realised our reserves names had not been changed, then came “DON’T TELL HIM YOUR NAME PIKE”!!!  At last a cool head (not sure who) realised we had an M and P left in the package, sorted.  The organisers don’t use F, I or N as they can be easily confused with other letters by recorders.  We all gave a sigh of relief - panic over!!!

 

The Women had it all under control with no sign of any nerves, and their change-overs ran like clockwork, not bad as it was the first relay race for most of them since leaving school!

 

Gail and Husband did a great job of supplying the runners with fresh cakes bought from Catterick market and also took quite a few photos.  The cakes disappeared in record time once Kevan had finished his run.

 

Peter Johnson and Stuart Pailor were there from the start to finish supporting the club, Peter kept turning up at different points on the course and taking plenty of snaps, and Stuart seemed to have a bait box that never emptied even though he always had a sandwich in his hand.

 

Our top man Andy Minister picked the men’s team and made a good choice of who ran the 8k and 4k legs, whilst in-form Angela Lawlor picked the women’s team and encouraged all to put in their best performances.  All Burn Roads men and women gave 100% in their efforts for the team and were rewarded with brilliant times, better than expected.

 

Results as follows:

 

Women’s 6 Stage (22nd team),

 

Katherine Ward (17.39), Lesley Strickland (16.55), Angela Lawlor (18.26), Amy Dixon (19.19), Lisa Dawkins (17.56), Felicity Beedle (16.29).

 

Men’s 12 Stage (33rd team),

 

Mark Calvert (27.39), Richard Robson (15.46), Bryan Astill ( 26.36), John Mansfield (15.02), Kevan Stephenson (26.10), Karl Edwards (13.55), Paul Wilson (27.46), Dave Edwards (14.24), Andy Kelly (27.07), Graham Stevens (15.47), Andy Minister (25.16), Matty Dawkins (16.31).

Link to 12 Stage Official Results

Link to 6 Stage Official Results

Link to photos courtesy of Peter Johnson

Link to Steve Angus' athletesinaction website

Richmond Cross Country / Glaisdale Fell Race, 13th March 2011

Sunshine and a stiff breeze greeted the runners on the Old Race Course high above the Historic market town of Richmond for the 7th and final NYSD Cross Country. The route consisted of four laps for the men and two laps for the ladies around the original gallops, and proved to be a tough challenge on the upward and windy slope towards the derelict grandstand.  Once around this the going was much quicker being wind assisted over firmer ground.

 

Loftus and Whitby athletes only had to field a team to win the seasons title, whereas Hartlepool had to keep up the pressure on New Marske to stay in second place. The club had another great turn out of fourteen men, but unfortunately only had two ladies available so no counting team this time out.

 

Andy Minister once again proved his worth and fired off from the start without looking back,  to maintain his number one title amongst the club.  Andy finished in an excellent 8th place (37.21).

 

An athlete who has just got stronger throughout the season is Kevan Stephenson.  He has worked really hard to get fit over the last few months and must be over the moon with his progress.  Kevan joined the leading group from the onset and stayed with them on the first lap, then settled into a strong but more sensible pace to keep his 19th position finishing in a time of 39.22.

 

Over 50 veteran Keith Galbraith must be another athlete pleased with his performances as he claimed the hotly contested seasons O/50 title.  This can only be done by being dedicated and consistent over the full season and in this race he did just that again.  Keith held of early challenges from Bryan Astill and Mark Calvert to come in 27th (39.50).

 

The next two athletes Bryan and Mark had a great battle over the three laps up until the last lap they were inseparable.  Bryan the more experienced of the two must have been thinking how to shake a much improved Mark of his tail. This was Marks 3rd cross country and his best performance to date.  Half way around the last lap Bryan using all his marathon training experience to open up a gap, but still had to keep the pace high all the way to the finish to keep Mark at bay.  Bryan was 30th (40.33) and Mark 35th (41.13).

 

Due to a few of the clubs faster and younger athletes out with injury it was left to battle-hardened O/50 veteran Karl Edwards to complete the scoring team.  Karl put in a solid run to finish 40th (42.26).  The other Edwards in the club is still waiting for his old form to kick in, and fought all the way around the course.  Dave is a battler and finished 53rd (44.19).

 

Next home was Michael Phillipson who ran well even though carrying a foot injury, he finished strongly for 64th spot (46.23).  Closing in on Michael was the phenomenal David Kirk.  Not satisfied to just do the afternoons cross country, he opted to run a fell race on the morning at Glaisdale.  David set off steady as one would expect after all that exertion at his age (very wrong side of 50), but then started working harder and reeling people in to finish 68th (46.50).  Neil Simon was passed by Kirk but hung on and finished just behind in 72nd place (47.03).  Neil who is new to XC running will no doubt be after revenge next season.

 

The tenacious Trevor (more hills please) Sherwood who prefers the hilly courses gave a good account of himself on the flat to finish 81st place (48.27).  Tracking Trevor was the duo of Peter Johnson and Matty Dawkins.  It was a case of old campaigner up against new blood in the club, Peter, (still running injured - PJ) managed to keep ahead of Matty on the final tough climb to the finish line.  Both had put every ounce of effort in against the wind for 88th (51.16) and 89th (51.55).  Not a lot of people know this but Peter has not missed an NYSD cross country race for the last five seasons, quite an achievement! 

 

Stephen Armstrong who has been so strong and consistent all season had an off day and finished 91st and two minutes down (53.16) on his main rival Peter Johnson, but knowing Stephen he will put that down to experience and continue his relentless training.  On observing Stephen pre-race he was drinking a pint of tea and I thought he had  something wrong with his hand but it turned out to be a double decker bacon and egg sandwich, could this have slowed him down a bit!

 

The Hartlepool club were very happy to take second team place, and finish second in the league.

 

The ladies race saw gritty performances from Felicity Beedle and Lesley Strickland.

In a strong field Felicity ran well and made good headway on the first lap and held on for 23rd place (25.30).  Lesley who has shown great determination in the previous races had to endure these two tough laps suffering from a sore adductor muscle but kept pushing to the end finishing 34th (27.11).  Hopefully Lesley will be winter captain next season and encourage the clubs ladies to train for these events.

 
Alf's presentation

Alf Walsh who has been a member of Burn Road for over 50 years and holds the position of President has just retired from the NYSD XC league as an official timekeeper.  Alf who is 92 has turned out season after season in all weathers to make sure all the athletes had their race times recorded accurately.  He was presented with a framed plaque and other gifts from all the participating clubs for his sterling service.  Although he has retired from the winter events he may still officiate at the track and field events held over the summer months.

 

Link to Official Results

Link to photos courtesy of  Christine Johnson

Link to photos courtesy of  David Aspin from NMH

Glaisdale Fell race

 

A man who is flying lately took off again at the inaugural running of this scenic race organised by Esk Valley Fell Runners.

 

From the village David Kirk joined the throng to steadily climb on road, tracks, over heather and through bogs for approx 3.8 miles, the course then eased off onto good ground.  Light rain kept the runners cool on an unusually warm day for this time of year.  The route went through a really dark wood, but David was not too scared as he had company with him in the shape of Shelli Gordon of NMH.  Another short climb and out of the woods David feeling safe now left Shelli behind to forge ahead, although not too quickly due to a steep descent with large tractor tyre ruts to contend with.

 

Captain Kirk finished strongly in 37th place (72.31) to win the o/55 category and pick up 3 bottles of wine for his efforts.  Unable to hang about and chat he had to dash off to get to Richmond for the afternoons XC race, just making it in time for Alf’s presentation and the gun going off.

 

A great effort in anybody’s book, this should inspire some of our younger members to attain this type of determination and tenacity.  

 

Just do it! Keep on Running!

High Cup Nic, Commondale Clart, Snake Lane 10, 26th, 27th February 2011

Runners from the Burn Road club were split last weekend, some decided for the difficult terrain of Cumbria and North Yorkshire and others a fairly flat 10 mile road race below the Yorkshire Wolds.

 

High Cup Nic Fell Race

 

Andy Minister was the first to set off on Saturday afternoon at Dufton in the tough 9mile High Cup Nic fell race. On a great day for running the fells Andy pushed hard amongst the regions top quality fell runners all the way up the valley with his head down, this is probably why he veered off the direct route and was overtaken by 5 runners to the right of him, a mistake that cost him dearly.

 

Undeterred Andy kept pushing hard even on the precipitous climb out of the valley, once the top is reached the hard work is done and followed by an exhilarating 4 mile descent off the fells through fields back to Dufton were hot soup and a bun await the finishers.

 

Andy finished a creditable 17th in 72mins 34secs.

 

Commondale Clart Fell Race

 

Staying with the off road theme David Kirk and Karl Edwards who have been competing in the Winter series of North Yorks Moors, tackled the 5.5mile Commondale Clart race, aptly named as the moors in this area hardly ever dry up.

 

The race was a counter for the NE fell championships so it was well subscribed which made passing anyone difficult on the boggy single tracks over the first half of the route. The 150 runners faced a massive climb from the onset out of Commondale and onto the sodden moor. Karl only just managed to stay in front of the revitalised Captain Kirk (who has been born again as a Jack Russell, have you ever tried shaking one off your leg, they just don’t let go) on this climb and up to the half way point, both runners used all their experience to keep a steady pace and remain upright.

 

The turning point of the race saw Karl pull away slightly but David hung on over the next few miles and both runners flew down the rock strewn muddy paths defying their tender years and feeling like teenagers but unfortunately not looking like them.

 

Both had strong runs, Karl finished 39th (41.45) while David slashed his previous time by 1min 45 secs to finish 51st (42.50).

 

Pocklington Snake Lane 10 Mile Road Race.

 

Bryan Astill and Davey Lake chose to do the Pocklington Snake Lane 10 mile road race. As the name suggests it has some winding stretches through scenic villages below the beautiful Yorkshire wolds.

 

This popular race attracts a massive amount of runners and this year had 662 finishers. The route winds its way from Pocklington passing through Meltonby, Bishop Wilton and Yapham Mill back to the start.

Bryan and Davey who train and race together were inseparable for the first 5miles until the elastic band snapped. Bryan whose marathon training came into play then eased in front to create a gap that Davey could not close no matter how hard he tried. Bryan powered into the finish pleased with his run for 31st position (59.40) and will have given his confidence a boost for the forthcoming London marathon.

Dave who held on and kept his training partner in sight was rewarded with a personal best time of 1hr 19 secs in 39th position, the magic hour time that club runners strive for will soon be reality for this ever improving athlete.

Summerhill Cross Country, 20th February 2011

Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers played host to the 6th NYSD Cross country at the hilly Summerhill venue.  This course is the toughest test on the XC calendar and was made even more demanding with the amount of mud to plough through and a stream crossing that only those with the jumping ability of Jonathon Edwards would clear it and stay dry (ask Neil Simon).  The athletes also had to contend with three stiff hills on each lap that break up any stride pattern that can be managed in the glue like mud.


The Hartlepool club had a tremendous turn out of 23 Senior Men, 6 Senior Ladies and 2 under 13 Boys.

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