Race Reports

Guisborough Moors Race, 10th April 2011

Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers entered an intrepid team to partake in the gruelling 12.5 mile Guisborough Moors Race that takes in the three major climbs in the area, Highcliff Nab, Captain Cooks Monument and Roseberry Topping.

 

The team consisted of battle-hardened veterans and relative novices, Karl Edwards, David Kirk and Dave Edwards provided the good looks and battle scars along with Kevan Stephenson and Mark Calvert who provided middle age and youth!!!  Mark who had never done any trail/fell type races before and Kevan who had done a few 20 years ago were given some advice by their elders to take it easy on the first climb, Kevan heeded the information a little but Mark (Flash) Calvert was having none of it!!!!

 

In brilliant sunshine with clear skies, a mass of runners left Guisborough Rugby club at 11 bells to hit the first steep climb of the day.  Mark shot off like a bullet and was way ahead of his team mates on reaching the first climb.  Kevan actually did hold back as told,but on seeing a large gap forming he hit the accelerator and closed the gap within a mile over the level terrain of Sleddale.

 

The older contingent were gathering their pace after conserving energy on the leg sapping climb, on topping out the positions were Karl closely followed by Dave and David. (Conserving energy really means they could not go any quicker).  At this point Dave Edwards managed to find one of the two bogs on the course, if you believe him he went up to his armpits, (think that’s what he said) and looking at him after the race you would have to believe it.  He was a rusty brown type colour from head to foot.  Unfortunately for Dave, this is where David passed him, saying “Good Morning, nice day for a bit of bog snorkelling, must dash”, and left him to extricate himself and shoes from the mire!

 

Andy Minister Burn Roads top man also ran this race but under the guise of his second club Durham Fell Runners.  Andy surprised all by admitting he had been out until the early hours and added more amazement by cycling to the race on a fixed wheel bike.  He then astounded all by running his socks off for a brilliant 5th place (90.28) and then cycling home again.  He was promoted to HERO of the day, Karl was that impressed he actually found his wallet and bought Andy a pint!

 

By the time Captain Cooks climb was over, in form Kevan had bit the bullet and powered on to Roseberry, leaving Mark who was now paying for his early exuberance.  Mark has learnt a valuable lesson and as his race experience builds up will not be caught out again by such an Olympian effort early on.  Karl caught Mark on the next daunting climb up Roseberry Topping and managed to get in front on the vertiginous descent and keep ahead until the finish, two miles further on.  Mark was then caught by the clubs Jack Russell a certain David Kirk who will not let go once you are in his sights.

 

David has had one of his best seasons as a veteran bettering most of his previous race times and this race was no exception with another PB.  Dave Edwards who had fought courageously dug in to maintain his pace in the heat and managed to get over the last moor without making a beeline for the other bog.

 

The lads all enjoyed their race experiences with Kevan coming home first for the club in 28th (99.10), Karl 38th (102.40), David 48th (104.55), Mark 53rd (106.47), Dave 77th (112.24).

 

This was the last race of the winter series and the Hartlepool club had great success in the over 55 veteran category, not only did Karl Edwards and David Kirk  come 1st and 2nd in this race they came 1st and 2nd over the entire series, a feat in itself to remain consistent over the winter months.

Link to Official Results

Link to Photos courtesy of David Aspin of New Marske Harriers


Marina 5 Mile Road Race, 27th March 2011

The Hartlepool Marina 5 Mile Road Race took place on Sunday 27th March in perfect running conditions.  As expected International athlete Ricky Stevenson of New Marske Harriers stormed to the finish winning in a brilliant time of 23.52, the ladies winner was Tracy Millmore of Chester le Street finishing 15th overall in an excellent time of 29.26.

 

Burn Road had 25 members entered and most of them will have known the promenade section so well, with all the training that happens there on a Tuesday evening.

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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!

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