NEHL Lambton, 30th October 2021

It was an interesting and varied day at the latest NE Harrier League at Lambton. First variable was the weather. We left Jesmond Metro in a monsoon and some pretty awful driving condition, but by the time we were making the return journey, it was bright sunshine causing the problems for driving.

Second variable was the course. The mix of tarmac, gravel and grass paths led to much pre-race discussion as to suitable footwear – and I, for one, made the wrong choice! It is certainly a course that has everything – stretches on road and paved surfaces, long flat stages on grassy paths, steep descents and ascents and the ingredient that had been missing so far this season – mud! In fact the mud added a little extra spice, especially on the downhill sections. The one thing that it had throughout was wonderful scenery – through woodland, along the River Wear and, of course, a castle (though there are no longer any lions).

Grace Scott led us off in the Under 13s. Grace was sporting her new birthday present – a pair of spikes! She seemed to enjoy running in them as she put in her best performance of the season.

The ladies were next and the Claremont lasses put on a tremendous display. In the absence of the fast pack superstars and with the leader from Druridge, Nicki O’Brien, having to start from the medium pack, the mantle was taken up by Isabel Neatrour and Vicky Moore. Izzy and Vicky were up with the leaders from very early on and stayed the pace to finish in 14th and 24th place respectively. Great running that will see both promoted to the medium pack from now on. They were ably supported by the other ladies, with Nina and Violeta being the other 2 counters for the “A” team as they secured 4th place in their division on the day.

However the award for the individual performance of the day should probably go to Kris Axon. Kris finished in 19th position despite starting from the fast pack. Unfortunately the rest of us lads could not give Kris the same level of support as the lasses gave Izzy and Vicky – though we did all try our best!

There may have been disagreements beforehand over footwear, but we all agreed afterwards that it had been a good course – tough with some brutal uphill bits and slippy descents, but definitely around a nice part of the world. Everybody had certainly earned the treats back at the tent – the usual fine selection of cakes, biscuits and flapjacks.

Back home, this time there was also a difference of post-race rehydration strategy with your team captain opting for a bottle of cheap, French supermarket beer while your membership secretary chose gin and tonic. I’m not sure if Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe would approve!

Here are the Claremont results.

Under 13 Girls
47Grace Scott22:16
14Isabel Neatrour34:00
24Vicky Moore34:45
100Nina Jensen36:58
106Violeta Tsenova37:05
114Julie Cross37:21
158Nicki O’Brien38:21 (Medium pack: Actual time 35:54)
189Hazel Juggins39:18
243Hannah Fishburn40:55
274Tara Hipwood42:04
348Cath Robson45:20
372Gill Milne46:46
19Kris Axon44:16 (Fast pack:Actual time 39:01)
250Tom Tinsley50:25
287Chris Jones51:20
319Duncan Scott52:19
357David Lydall53:55
417Jamie Harding56:55
433Howard MacLennan57:33
436Alex Harding57:39
457Dean O’Brien58:47
531Rob Newton72:39

The photos are our own plus those kindly made available by Stuart Whitman Photography, Paddy Hutchinson and Geoff Fenwick.

Tom Tinsley -