Tyne Bridge Harriers to host Cross Country Championships

GREAT DISPLAY: Hardie twins, Eva and Lily in action. Picture by Andy Hardie.
GREAT DISPLAY: Hardie twins, Eva and Lily in action. Picture by Andy Hardie.
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THE 109th North Eastern Counties Cross Country Championships will be staged at Newcastle’s Town Moor for the first time on Saturday, December 13.

Newcastle club Tyne Bridge Harriers have come forward to host the championships after difficulties in finding a suitable venue.

With the sport of cross country running becoming ever more popular, car parking for the hundreds of runners and spectators is proving extremely difficult for host clubs to manage.

To get around this problem, intended competitors and supporters are asked to use public transport with Jesmond Metro just a short distance away.

This will be the first championship event held on the Moor since the English National Cross Country Championships were held there in 1986.

Since then there has been a Harrier League event hosted by Elswick Harriers, but a club cross country event on the Moor is still a rare occasion.

Morpeth Harrier Archie Jenkins is the new championship secretary and an online entry system will be in use for the first time. Entries close on Friday, November 14.

The race headquarters will be at the Royal Grammar School Eskdale Terrace NE2 4DX. The first of nine races will be at 11am and the last at 2.30pm.

The first three in each race will be automatically selected for the North East team for the Inter Counties Cross Country Championships at Birmingham on Saturday, March 7.

Other important cross country events for the forthcoming season are: Sherman Cup and Davison Shield, South Shields, Saturday, October 25; Northern Championships, Pontefract, Saturday, January 24; English National Championships, London, Saturday, February 21.

Jarrow and Hebburn AC Minors Cross Country is staged on Saturday at 11.00am at Bedeswell Park, opposite Monkton Stadium.

H Twins Eva and Lily Hardie proudly wore their Houghton vests in the BUPA Junior Great Yorkshire Run in Sheffield.

They wore their own unique numbers presented by Nova International. The twins were invited guests and wore numbers 1 and 2014 as recompense for the mix up at the finish of the Junior Great North Run.

In hot conditions and facing some of Yorkshire’s finest 12-14 year-olds, Eva was the first North East finisher in fifth and was the first under-13 girl over the 2.5k course.

Lily was just three seconds behind her sister in seventh. These were superb performances from the twins who have been impressive athletes for Houghton over the past year.

H Sunderland Harrier Steve Potts finished eighth (74.44) in the Redcar Half Marathon won by Andy Burn (71.45). The Jarrow and Hebburn athlete finished just seven seconds ahead of veteran runner-up James Bulman of New Marske.

Durham City Harrier Ian Crampton, an over-50, finished a superb fourth (74.12).

Sunderland also had John Hunt in 92nd (88.33) and Steve Tiltman 195th (94.49).

Sunderland Strollers placed Andy Powell in 27th (80.44), Kevin Blyth 72nd (86.56), Kevin O’Neil 116th (90.08) and Brian Cairns 134th (90.50).

The women’s winner was Helen Cross of Pocklington Runners, who finished 19th overall (79.21).

In the first Haltwhistle Half Marathon, Border Harrier James Buis took the plaudits, winning in 75.24. Houghton Harrier Steve Johnson was eighth (86.33) and Stroller Malcom Cox finished 14th (90.35).

H Sunderland Harrier Oliver James continued his good form while in the States on an athletics scholarship.

He finished sixth in the Cowboy Stampede in Lake Charles Louisiana. It was a four-mile cross country and he clocked 19.47. Again he was third for his university and second Englishman to finish.

H The Kielder 10k and Marathon is held this weekend from Leaplish Waterside Park.

The 10k on Saturday (1pm) is full with a record field approaching 1000. The marathon on Sunday (10.15) is still taking entries, but closes today.

H Derwentside AC promote their Hellhole multi-terrain race on Sunday (10am). The race combines sections of the coast-to-coast cycle route with a visit into Hellhole Wood. Registration is in the Louisa Centre, Stanley.

H Sunderland Harriers’ annual meeting is next Monday at Monkwearmouth Hospital boardroom (7.15). The presentation of club trophies will also take place. All members are asked to attend.