Finally, a weekend without a storm, or storm-related car-parking implications! Us green and golds were chomping at the bit to get back out at a Harrier league x-country. The sun was out at Alnwick (as was the wind unfortunately) and we had some secret weapons up our sleeve!
Making her Wallsend Harrier x-country harrier league debut was our duathlon champion Alex Hemsley. Starting from the slow pack, she was sure to make an impression. And she most certainly did. Flying solo from the start Alex rocketed to first with seeming ease and a clear lead, breezing through the finish in 33.22. But who was this green and gold gazelle only two places behind her? Only our Jen Berry, powering into third from the medium pack in an astonishing 32.58! Sarah Robson flew from the fast pack to be our third counter in 34.09 and new recruit Marie Costello had a cracking run to come in as our fourth counter.
A fantastic result from our women. And with Joy, Nina, Emily, Marion, Katharine and Christine giving it their all through sleet, gales and mud, the women secured top spot in division two! A shout out must be made to Kerry Spencer, who turns out time after but unfortunately had to pull out part way through with an ankle injury. Wishing you a speedy recovery Kerry.
Lucky for the men, the crazy weather calmed down somewhat and it was time to bring out super Sam! Of course we had high hopes but you never know what x-country is going to throw at you. Fortunately nothing untoward on this day, and Sam was able to show us what he’s made of, storming it from the medium pack to take first place. He even had time to high five our women’s champion Alex on the home straight! How we love this lad.
Following him as first Wallsend team counters were John Firby, Simon Lyon, Iain Hall, Ian-James Elder and Colin Russell. The rest of the dream team were James Duthie, Kevin Wilson, Andy Wigmore, Dave Diston, Tim Nicholson, Lee Pattinson, Keith O’Donnell, Mick Skeldon and Alan Heslington.
The course was longer than previous years (although still a glorious course in beautiful surroundings) and in testing winds so hats off to all who ran and did us proud. The support was as usual, second to none. I don’t think anyone can beat Wallsend for camaraderie and there is an immense feeling of pride from all concerned.
So another first for the Wallsend record books, with first male and female. What a day! After Saturday’s results the women’s team is now sitting second in division two, just one point behind Jesmond Joggers. The men are seventh in division one. Saturday showed just how important it is to get the numbers out. Every single person running in a Wallsend vest is a vital part of the team. Even if you’re not a counter, you are still helping to push other runners back and that could make all the difference. We should be aiming for the women to be top of division two and promoted to division one and the men to stay comfortably in division one. Come on Wallsend, let’s do this! Let’s see a sea of green and golds out for the last two fixtures and make history once more!
Full results here.
Next up is the rescheduled Lambton fixture on Saturday 14th March. Please be there if you can.