Races that weren’t cancelled

It’s not all been flooded car parks and cancelled x-countries this season. While we await rescheduled fixtures (and for storm Ciara to pass) I thought we should look back on some of the New Year highlights…

It was a very wet and chilly (although thankfully not too windy) Brass Monkey on the 12th January when an optimistic band of 17 Green and Golds caught the train down to York to take on the famously fast half marathon course.

Beginning and ending at York race course, there were PBs in sight, and many were grabbed with both hands!

Andy Graham was first Wallsend male in an incredible 1hr16. He was 74th overall and 19th in his age category. Our captain Simon was not far behind in 1h18. Ian Elder, John Firby, Joe Collins, James Duthie, Dave Diston and Adam Hamilton all came in under 1h30. As did our fantastic females! Jen and Sarah Robson were seconds apart for the duration, powering each other onto amazing finishes and both achieving PBs of 1hr28.

Then came Keith O’Donnell, Ian Gowing, James Torbett, Paul James, Kerry Spencer, Brian and Mish. I know Kerry and Mish were both over the moon with their PBs too. I’m told there 12 out of 15 PBs in total! Congratulations to everyone who ran. It was great to see such a strong Wallsend contingent representing us in this landmark Northern race.

Full results here.

The following week it was another wind free race, this time Birtley Relays XC. The sun was shining and so was the bling our vet men’s team collected! Andy, Kevin and Simon had a belter, taking third prize in their category. Each leg was just shy of two miles and Andy was fifth fastest male overall, third in his age category in a cracking 10.53. Kevin’s leg was an impressive 11.20 as was Simon’s in a time of 11.06. Massive congratulations to you all.

And our senior women weren’t far behind, just missing out on third space, despite the run of her life from Jen, whose legs looked like roadrunner’s down the home straight on the last leg! What a finish! The excitement was every bit as rewarding as any medal.

Other teams could only look on in envy at the support us Wallsend Harriers can muster up for our fellow team mates. Most of us were hoarse from shouting and some probably ran faster across that field to cheer our ladies on than they did their own leg! Alex (13.15), Sarah (13.21) and Jen (12.35 and fifth in her age category) did us so proud.

Next time ladies, next time I’m sure of it.

We had a great turn out once again so thank-you to all that ran. They were:

Ian Elder, John Firby and Mark Taylor (17th)

James Duthie, Iain Hall, Dave Diston (14th)

Andy Wigmore, Paul James, Dave Hall (37th)

Dan Tobin, Alan Heslington, Mick Lindsey (54th)

Danielle Watts, Catherine Graham, Laura Murphy (24th)

Julie Williams, Emily James, Kerry Spencer (42nd)

Julie Collinson, Christine, Mish (51st)

Full results here.


The first weekend of February saw our oldies take on the NEMAA Open XC Championships at Cramlington.

New vet Sarah Robson showed you only get better with age by charging through effortlessly to sixth overall and fifth in her age category in a time of 26.25. Julie Williams was eighth in her age category in 31.40. It’s a shame we didn’t have a full team this year, especially as we have so many strong vets. Let’s really go for it next year! I’m sure we could win a prize.

Over to the men and Andy Graham was first Wallsend male again in 35.16 (20th overall and 11th in his age category), followed by Simon Lyon 37.01, Iain Hall 38.46, James Duthie 37.14 (4th) in his age category),  Andy Wigmore 38.59, Dan Weatherill 8th in his age category), Dave Diston 39.45 and Keith O’Donnell.

Simon, Andy and Ian were 6th MV35-44 team and James, Dan and Keith were 4th team in the MV45-54 category. Well done to everyone!

Full results here.

This weekend the Road Relays Championships at Hetton-Le-Hole and the rescheduled XC Harrier League fixture at Peterlee. Hope to see you all there!