Sherman Cup / Davison Shield, 6th January 2024

Although part of the North East Harrier League season, this is a one-off event with clubs scoring points for the performance of all their teams from junior to veteran. The Sherman Cup is the male version, with the Davison Shield being the female competition. In the races that Claremont are involved in, there are separate teams of 3 for senior and veterans – though for some reason men are veterans at 40 and ladies at 35!

The weather on the day was bright, not too cold with very little wind, almost ideal for cross-country running. However the conditions underfoot could best be described as challenging! Though those of us who ran in the NE Championships at the same venue before Christmas can confirm that it was even worse then! At least it was shorter for this event!

The mass start very quickly hit a short, steep climb into the wooded area and then we were into the mud. Soon it was deep, thick, gloopy mud and very difficult to run through as we reached the undulating section which included the “stream” – not as deep as December but still over the ankles. Shoes cleaned, they were soon caked in mud again on the climb up to the tarmac path and the clunking sound of numerous spikes as runners decided that was probably better than the mud on the side of the path. Here we had a Claremont marshal, Marie Slack, to encourage us and supply updates on the Sunderland v Newcastle FA Cup tie. Then it was around the fields and back through the mud again … and then a third time for the men.

We were well rewarded at the end as the Claremont baking machine had gone into overdrive with more cakes than we could possibly eat! There may need to be some co-ordination for the next cross-country or we will all be too well fed to run.

The 3 senior women – Izzy Neatrour, Chloe Glover and Niamh Garratt – formed our single senior team and came home 10th. We had 4 complete female veterans teams, but the first 3 counters of Sarah Kerr, Kimberley Metson and Nicki O’Brien finished in a very creditable 9th place. For the men, we were one short of a senior team and the 3 vet men (Mark Anderson, Eric Adams and Tom Tinsley) couldn’t quite make it a full house of top ten finishes, but I think 11th place is not bad at all.

16Sarah Kerr27:47
37Isabel Neatrour29:41
87Kimberley Metson32:26
113Nicki O’Brien34:01
114Chloe Glover34:04
142Lucy Keating35:47
156Liz Denyer36:24
158Lynne Cornell36:29
175Cate Walker38:07
179Niamh Garratt38:26
180Tara Hipwood38:28
188Hazel Juggins38:57
211Gill Milne41:14
237Ann Smith47:09
244Lena Lou48:47
81Mark Anderson39:26
106Laurie Johnson41:23
126Eric Adams42:47
150Tom Tinsley44:12
230Dave Roberts51:15
Tom Tinsley -