01 Apr 2015

Ladies and gents,

You may remember that a few weeks ago, following an extensive search process and the tapping-up via agents of various elite runners, we were able to announce that we had secured the services of Jon Ayres to take the post of male VC. With the enthusiasm for which he is known, he immediately volunteered to take the club run tonight (usual time at MC) and it will consist of some kind of looping format. Many thanks to Jon in advance for what should be an interesting night's training, following on from the recovery/training sessions taken from the DOW (by Eric Green) and Low Burnhall (by Tom Reeves) two nights ago.

But what, you may ask, were we recovering from? As is becoming common in the weeks prior to London and the big northern marathons of Manchester and Sunderland, people have found a lot of ways to fill the post-XC void... - Saturday, obviously, was for trotting around Waldridge Fell, amidst the increasingly-verdant undulating terrain left by decades of mining, as well as for parkrun. First Strider at Durham this week was Chris Wade (4th), with several notable absentees presumably saving themselves for the next day's racing. First lady Strider was Sarah Davies in just over 23 minutes and the turnout, as usual, was enormous - 285 runners, a good sixth of them Striders. Gateshead, Sedgefield, Hackworth, Riverside and Middlesbrough also had Striders present, with Chichester hosting Kevin Williams once again.

Looking forward, beyond tonight, the Easter Weekend has many treats in store:

Finally, on the subject of the GP seeing as there have been so many counting races of late, we are pleased to report that competition remains intense. At this stage of the season tables are definitely skewed by the effect of XC's races all being in the winter (at this stage last year both Will Horsley and Paul Evans were in the top three; neither held their position when road-racing season began in earnest), but things are tight, with Katy Walton, Penny Browell, Fiona Jones, Elaine Bisson, Lesley Charman, Sarah Savies, Rachael Bullock, Susan Davis, Steph Piper and Lucy Cowton all viable contenders for the overall prizes, and Jan Young, Anita Clementson and Camilla L-M in the mix for the hills. The male contest remains equally hard to call, given that the racing intentions of many are not known - Rob E and Gareth P lead by a good margin, but neither race the fells and Rob has in the past favoured the shorter races (the Sprints are shaping up to go to the wire, when you consider that Simon Gardner and Stephen Jackson are in the hunt also). Graeme Walton is third and may compete once again in all categories, in which case he's a good bet to win, then Paul Evans and Scott Watson, neither of whom are likely to tread the roads too often - in short, the Sprints will be a four or five-way fight and the overall contest is wide open.

See you tonight, at the weekend, or both

Anna and Paul

Paul adds ...
The usual ommission - Alex Witty completed the Northumberland Half at the same time as David Lumsdon and, it transpires, the large entry fees being bandied about were substantially higher for the late entrants than for the earlier and more-organised runners (of which I am rarely one). Thanks to Alister for pointing this out.

Flip adds ...
To add,
Good runs from Kathleen B, Kerry L at the Liverpool half as well . Kerry using it as another training run for London marathon and coaching a first timer home.

However Denise B, continued her amazing improvement with a massive 25 minute pb (2.04 I believe) despite drowning in alcohol and having 3 hours sleep the night before .

Paul as usual his modest self neglects to mention he finished 54th /242 at the tough and very hotly contested edale skyline fell race. This is a race where a lot of the top fell lads and lasses come to battle it out which should give you some indication of just how good this result is .

Great running everyone.

Dave Spence adds ...
I am so hurt. I run the Hartlepool 5mile I beat my best time by 30secs and I don't get a mention in dispatches. I just have to ask myself is all the pain of the track sessions really worth it. I think I will just pull the sheets over my head and hide away.

But of course I will not. I say to myself I am Strider so North Tyneside 10k here I come. But I have to nurse my 34 year old son to the finish so no best time this time. Look forward to seeing everyone at the seaside.