NE Harrier League, Aykley Heads, 18th November 2017

Thousands of enthusiastic tourists headed to Durham on Saturday as it showcased the best of the North East.  Whilst most were there for the Lumiere Festival, the running community enjoyed the latest Harrier League event at Aykley Heads.  On a bright, sunny but cold afternoon there was once again a good turnout of runners in sky blue.  Conditions were good underfoot – it is now halfway through the season and we have yet to have any mud worthy of the name.  I’m not complaining as I am still recovering from the trauma of Thornley Hall Farm 2!

The ladies had 3 full teams and while all finished behind Olympic finalist Laura Weightman, there were some very good individual performances.  Lucy Dunbar had a superb run to finish in an impressive 25th place and will now increase the Claremont contingent in the ladies’ medium pack to 5 (7 if we add Hannah in the under 20s and still count Robyn from her new home in the South).  Sarah Kerr, Mandy and Nicki completed the A team, having been given great support by the next Claremont generation of Charlotte and Danielle (I’m very impressed by Dean’s babysitting skills).

The A team were 8th in their division on the day to lie 5th overall (by my calculations).  The B and C teams also did well, with the B team being 4th out of the Bs and Heaton were the only team in the division with a C team that did better than ours.

For once the men’s race started on time and a number of runners still hadn’t made it to the start line.  At least all the Claremont runners were there and got a reasonable start.  We were led home by debutant John Lea-Wilson who enjoyed his run and finished a brilliant 47th.  So John will also join the medium pack and give us slow coaches a start next time around.  John helped us to a 6th placed position, our best performance of the year, though I wonder if we would do even better if half the team didn’t use parkrun for a warm-up!

Special thanks to Rose for mending the tent, it did the job perfectly and was still standing to welcome us back after a tough run on a difficult course.  Even more welcoming was the excellent spread of cakes, biscuits, fudge and other goodies – we might be 2nd and 3rd division for running but I reckon Claremont are in the Champions League for baking!

Here are the results.

Position Runner Time
25 Lucy Dunbar 33:08
85 Sarah Kerr 34:31
104 Mandy Herworth 35:11 Medium pack, actual time 33:31
127 Nicki O’Brien 35:49 Medium pack, actual time 34:09
158 Sarah Bowen 36:32 Medium pack, actual time 34:52
163 Rose Hawkswood 36:45
178 Nina Jensen 37:26
189 Julie Dumpleton 37:45
225 Kat Truong 39:17
253 Bill Milbourne 40:25
258 Catherine Robson 40:38
285 Gillian Milne 41:53
305 Serpil Bulut 43:36
47 John Lea-Wilson 41:45
92 Roberto Marzo 43:02
155 Anthony Liddle 44:16
264 Tom Tinsley 46:13
290 David Lydall 46:58
333 Matthew Diment 48:26
364 Dean O’Brien 49:38
445 Howard MacLennan 53:24
532 Ken McCormick 61:43


Thanks to Kat for assuming photo duty while the men were running:

Tom Tinsley -