Cross Country season in full swing

The GNR is over for another year, the days are feeling crisper and we’re all wondering how much longer we can last without putting the heating on. It must be time for cross country!

We’re barely into October and we’ve already got two under our belts. Wrekenton kicked things off at the end of September. Mild conditions but there’s some pretty brutal inclines, and with it being the first one, it’s always dry under foot.

Our Juniors showed us how it’s done with Archie Brown, Finlay Diston and Isla Aiston representing the Hawks in the under 11s. Kasper Pearson came an impressive third, with Tom McCann 11th in the under 13s. Joseph Duthie-Brown had a cracking run from the fast pack and Conner Mills made his debut, putting our boys in second place overall! Well done to Amelia Cleathero who came in 13th for the girls. It would be great to have some more team mates for her at future cross countries.

Over to the women, and the new mums were out proving they were still a force to be reckoned: Sarah Robson was first counter and in the top 10 per cent, catapulting herself quickly into the medium pack for the second fixture at Druridge. Women’s captain Jen Berry was just outside the top 50 having overtaken hundreds from the medium pack. She was closely followed by the increasingly rapid Alex Ross. Wor ever dependable cross country stalwart Laura Murphy completed the first team. Emily, Joy, Chrystal, Laureen, Christine and newly-wed Zahra all put in gutsy performances.

The men put out a mighty team of 25, securing an impressive fourth position in division one. There was much excitement as our superstar Sam stormed from the medium pack to third and second fastest on the day (just one second behind the fastest). Proud dad Simon completed the first counter team with Mark Covell, Jimmy Hill, Martin Crozier and Andy Wigmore in between. The rest of our green and gold army was Daniel Wilson, James Duthie, Adam Hamilton, Simon Lyon, Lee Pattinson and Tom Sursham, Tim Nicholson, Kev Wilson, Marsh, Hall, Andrew Crozier and Ian Gowing, Dave Diston, Mick Skeldon, David Sundin, Paul Stretesky, Calvert, Jamie Ward and Alan Heslington.

Fast forward just two weeks and we were ready for more at a beautiful and sunny Druridge Bay. After a busy old day for our juniors at a rearranged GNR mini/junior run on Saturday, they were at it again the following morning, representing the green and golds in the second meet of the Harrier League cross country season.

Fresh from their sensational 4k performances the evening before, Noel James and Archie Brown showed no signs of tiredness in the under 11s. Isla Aiston was in the top 20 under 11 girls, followed by a great performance from Isobel McCann. Kasper Pearson powered through from the fast pack to come 25th in the under 13s and Hugh Fenwick secured a fantastic second place in the under 17s! Lily Robson and Megan Pattinson were our under 17 female runners (exciting times ahead for our seniors once these two come through). Congratulations to all of our young runners.

It was a small but feisty women’s team that followed. And the new mum power streak continued, with our captain Jen going top 20 (and straight into the fast pack for the next race), Sarah Robson was our next counter, followed by Emily (who tried her best to chase Sarah down but to no avail), Laura Stout, Chrystal, Laureen and Christine. Despite low numbers the tenacious team came an impressive seventh overall. But it’s going to need big numbers out for Lambton if the women are going to be in with a chance of staying in the top division.

The men put the women to shame again with their 20-strong team. Captain Simon led the way for the men, finishing first counter and getting stronger with each fixture. Thereafter was James Duthie, Martin Crozier, Chris Axon, Tom Sursham, and Andy Wigmore for the first team. Ian Marsh, Alan Durney, Tim Nicholson, Lee Pattinson, Jimmy Hill and Ian Hall. Robert Dixon, Keith O’Donnell, Adam Hamilton, Ian Gowing, David Sundin, Paul Stretesky, Jamie Ward and Alan Heslington. Sixth overall and holding their own among the region’s top teams in division one. Cracking stuff guys!

Full results here.

Next up, Lambton on Saturday 29th October. Be there (especially the women!) and enjoy lots of guilt-free post-run cake! 😀💚💛