Race Reports

Thirsk Cross Country, 6th February 2011

The 5th NYSD cross-country was held at Sowerby Flatts, Thirsk, on a wet and breezy day.  The runners had to contend with 5 flat laps, an ideal course for the faster runners, with no hills in sight.  Hartlepool Burn Road turned out 14 senior men and 3 ladies, making a team up for the first time in many years.


A feel good factor within the club was enhanced as the men’s team took 2nd place and the ladies team getting on the scoreboard in 7th place.


The hardest part of this race was getting all the Hartlepool squad out of the warm tent and into the fresh air!  The senior men’s race saw Andy Minister maintain his top position in the club even though he had a below par run and was about two minutes down for 14th position (38.06). Andy said,” I never touched a drop either on Saturday night”.


Storming in behind him wind assisted was the in form sleek 0/50 veteran Keith Galbraith who rolled back the years and his sleeves to show some of the younger members how it is done, finishing 16th (38.41).  Kevan Stephenson 17th  (38.51) grafted hard again showing his strength and was determined to close the gap on Keith, this time though he narrowly ran out of runway, thinking he should have taken off earlier.


Vaughan Godber put in a strong run, whilst taking a break from his intensive training for the Iron Man event later this year - some break running a tough XC, I would not want to see his proper training plan.  He finished 18th (38.58).  Next home was indomitable Bryan Astill in 23rd (40.22) who relished the idea of a flat course thinking he was back on the tarmac.


 Davey Lake was just behind, off the pace due to losing a shoe in one of the boggy sections, (when he was passed by the two Edwards whilst sitting dejected and head done in trying in vain to undo his lace, he was heard to mutter in a posh voice “Oh spiffing what a to do, my bally shoe came of in that blasted quagmire, oh well tally ho and all that, must crack on”.  Someone else thought they heard him say, “Flipping heck that’s all I flipping need, my bloody shoe to come of in that sh-t- , I might as well flipping jack in!!! (replace flipping and you get the picture).  All credit to Davey he got back on with the task passed, the old codgers to complete the scoring team and finished 30th (41.03)


Karl Edwards paced himself to the line in 36th (42.10), for the first two laps Karl and David Edwards were joined at the hip but Dave faded slightly and was heard to sing Harold Melvin’s song “Don’t leave me this way”.  Karl had no choice knowing that David Kirk enjoying every stride was bearing down on him terrier like towards the finishing funnel for 40th (42.59).  Dave Edwards still humming the tune was waiting to hit form on the last lap but nothing happened so he fought all the way for 42nd place (43.12).


An unfortunate Mark Calvert on his debut at cross country ran two laps strongly but had to ease off due to a knee injury, he has youth on his side and will surely return stronger, he finished 46th (44.18).

In only his second XC Michael Phillipson showed potential and finished strongly in 64th place (47.39)


A battle of wills had been taking place over the 5 laps with Stephen Armstrong and Peter Johnson, Stephen was grinding out the pace consistently whilst Peter hung on, with 150 metres to go Peter dug in hard and produced a sprint finish even Linford Christie would have been proud of, and Stephen had no answer to that sort of speed. They finished 72nd (50.51) and 73rd (50.52).


To complete the squad Matty Dawkins who has only ran with the club for 6 months and in his first ever cross country ran a determined race finding it a lot tougher than road running, he showed true character fighting all the way to finish 78th(52.47).


In the ladies 3-lap race newcomer Katherine Ward sprinted off from the gun leaving Lesley Strickland and Felicity Beedle in her wake, soon though the testing ground underfoot subdued her exuberance. Felicity was first to past Katherine early on then Lesley showed her strength and experience to pass a little later.  Katherine then did well to hold her position in what was a baptism of fire for this road runner.


Felicity and Lesley both ran strongly but know they still have some work to do to get back to their former fitness, smiling throughout the race showed they are enjoying competing again.  The ladies finished 7th team, positions were, Felicity 26th (29.35), Lesley 31st (30.23) Katherine 34th (31.04)


Just in case anyone was worried about David (Magic) Johnson and I putting tent away plus other gear it went very well once you lot had all disappeared, our PB to date is 10min 25 seconds.

Northern Athletics Cross Country Championship 29th January 2011

Herrington Park in Sunderland was the venue for the spectacular Northern Counties Cross Country Championships, well over 1,200 athletes took part in category races.  The winner of the senior men’s race was Tom Lancashire of Bolton Harriers in 38.09.


Only two men from Hartlepool Burn road entered the senior men’s race, top performer Andy Minister and top veteran 0/50 Keith Galbraith .  Hartlepool were not the only the local team to be under represented.


Andy who has hit a rich vein of form lately was involved with the cavalry style charge from the onset with 700 runners taking off after the gun went off.  Burn Road’s number one could not believe the quality of the field and was up with international runners in the early stages.  As Northern Counties suggests, runners from as far as Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria and the Borders were all fighting it out.


Keith Galbraith who has been one of Hartlepool’s ultra consistent runners for over 20 years kept Andy in his sights for all of lap 1, but on this very muddy leg sapping course of 3 long laps Andy’s strong youthful legs eventually pulled away.


Both men were very happy with their encounter in this very demanding race, Andy finished in 129th place (47.43) and Keith 172nd (49.50).  Andy who is Burn Road’s winter captain has vowed that a full team of 6 and more should target this race next year.


Not having enough of racing for one weekend, Andy Minister decided to run the rescheduled fell race “Eskdale Eureka” on Sunday, a 9.4 mile moors run from Castleton over to Baysdale and back.


Andy was joined by another one of Burn Roads long standing veteran runners Karl Edwards who has been out of action most of January due to flu, and was making a comeback with a steady run trying to maintain his series position in the 0/55 category.


Even though he had run the tough XC the previous day Andy flew around the hilly and rocky course with a real chance of winning, but went off route in the last 2 miles and ended up 6th - still a brilliant position but feeling gutted at his route choice.


Meanwhile Karl took it relatively easy on his first race back just to make sure he finished in one piece, he had no problems with navigation as being approx 50th he had plenty to follow.

Brass Monkey Half Marathon, 23rd January 2011

The Brass Monkey half marathon is one of the most popular events at this distance in our area, its 28th running saw 1561 runners complete the course.  Paul Martelletti from Tower Hamlets club won the race and set a new course record in 1.05.21.


Runners from Hartlepool Burn Road made the trip to York racecourse for the event, the course is fast and flat and conditions were excellent for running through the villages of Bishopthorpe, Acaster, Selby, Appleton, Roebuck and back to the finish.


Whitby Cross Country, 16th January 2011

Whitby was the venue for the 4th NYSD league cross country.  Luckily the rain stopped for the afternoon allowing the athletes to enjoy the scenery, if they wiped the sweat out of their eyes.  The club had two ladies turn out today a very rare occurrence over the last few years.  Let’s hope more will join Lesley Strickland and Felicity Beedle on their comeback trail.




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