NEHL Lambton Estate, 14th March 2020

A new venue for the NE Harrier League at Lambton Estate which, thankfully, went ahead following an earlier postponement due to flooding. Another great performance from the Claremont Ladies with a first place finish that puts them top of Division 3 with just one event to go (and a fair chance that that event will be cancelled).

The ladies are also doing well in the individual league tables. Leading the way are Sarah Kerr (4th vet) and Maria Duenas (6th senior), whilst Maddie Day (21st senior) and Julie Cross (29th vet) have also been consistent performers. Highest placed for the men is David Lydall at 43rd place in the veteran’s league, though Claremonter Jonathan Gilroy is 10th senior man – just a shame he runs for Jarrow!

32Maddie Day38:07 (medium pack, actual time 35:42)
51Sarah Kerr39:04 (fast pack, actual time 33:49)
60Maria Duenas39:13 (medium pack, actual time 36:48)
76Nina Jentl39:48
86Julie Cross40:00
165Julija Stoniute42:57
195Marie Slack45:48
176David Lydall53:34
188Stephen Huntley54:15
247Dean O’Brien57:53
252Howard MacLennan58:20
325Rob Newton81:18

Report Howard, captain on the day, returning from his travels.

This was the rescheduled race that was cancelled in October 2019; a new race course, better weather and no cars were required to be pulled out of the mud. 

At the start, there was a small gathering at Jesmond Metro Station for a pick up from Marie Slack. Comical motivation, chat started early with reference to opening an email at work, reading about some old Scouse chestnuts being roasted next to a fire and hoping no child would read that!There were no Captains today, but back from his Indiana Jones travels and long period of absence was the Hawaiian, Tropic Bronze, Vice Captain, Howard MacLennan. The Ladies were in the tent, he let them have it! With the cancellation of so many races, Lambton may be the last cross country race of the season, currently in promotion position, this might be the final decider! Watch this space! Pre-recce of the course; taking advantage of the downhill paths at the start, again after the short field, and staying hard right when the track got muddy. On reflection it maybe wise to have Fell shoes for this course. 

Nina Jentl; Julia Simpson, Julie Cross, Marie Slack started off enthusiastically. Shortly followed by the newly promoted Maria Dueñas, perfectly in sync with Madeleine Day, not seen since the black and white films of Laurel and Hardy! And then finally Sarah Kerr, missing her Top Gun partner! 

Both Dean O’Brien and I were encouraging the Ladies once they finally came through the final gate of the last wall, for the sprint finish. I recall Julie Cross’s facial expression, and it dawned on me we were missing something about this race course! What is it?

Madeleine Day was first to come in, afterwards describing the race as Hell. But was kindly requested to pop into the tent by Rob Newton who forgot his Claremont top! Shortly followed by Sarah Kerr; Maria Dueñas and our vastly improving Austrian running colleague Nina Jentl who got the last 4th position counter. Only 12 seconds behind was Julie Cross; followed by Julija Simpson and Marie Slack, all making a contribution to getting ahead of other Division Club Runners. The Lionesses came in 1st for this race for their respective Division, and come Sunday are now 1st in Division 3. A very hard and well fought victory by the Ladies, you should be very proud of what you achieved to get around that course! You got stuck in!

Whilst the men were waiting on the start line; false rumours relating to Rob Newton’s voice stating ‘Chase Me, Chase Me’ from within the tent with Madeleine Day was the comical chat between David Lydall, another returning runner Stephen Huntley and I. This will be the day, we will remember Rob Newton as the first Claremonter to run in a Claremont smartie tube crop top! 

The Lads started; and the first cross country mile was pretty fast, some of us were just under/over a 7 minute mile. Then it hit us; one mother of a massive incline on the grass, shortly followed by the mud. The more you continued, the deeper it got. The Vice Captain, jumped over the only broken tree on the course and lost his right shoe, taking a while to place it back on, while Dean O’Brien got his chance to overtake. The first lap was well over 2 miles and became an endurance battle to finish. I am sure Dean wanted to walk up the remaining lap inclines, but he knew I was always closing in on the hills and couldn’t give up! 

David Lydall came in first, the first time in his Club history being the first counter. Shortly followed by speedy Stephen Huntley, Dean O’Brien, Howard MacLennan and lastly Rob Newton. 

Unfortunately Kenny McCormick pulled out within the last mile of the race, very close, but understandable. Get well Kenny! 

Other clubs had their successes on this course; but I am proud we all made our own, as always collectively, especially the Ladies and a shinning example!