Race Reports, December 2007

Christmas Handicap, 22nd December


Controversy rocked Elvet Striders' Christmas Fancy Dress Handicap!

Pam Kirkup

Runaway winner, Andy James, disqualified himself from first place following a preposterously low handicap. Having romped home first without seeing a single Elvet Strider in his two-lap run, Andy realised his mistake. The time-travelling transport manager had increased an hour (1.00hr) to a hundred minutes — even Brussels wouldn't dare tamper with Greenwich! So his most recent previous 10k was actually 60 minutes not 100. A Senior Moment? More like 40! However, Andy got the Honest Loser Spot prize for disqualifying himself and having the good humour to see the funny side of it!

The theme this year — pop culture down the decades — inspired some spectacular costumes so Santa (alias Nick) & his team of elves were hard put to choose a winner. However, the flowing flaxen hair and conical chest of Debs (Madonna) Goddard won the day...and stopped the traffic! And then there was the King!! Now starring on Youtube Elvis has left the building!! Tom sacrificed the fastest man award to pose for his many fans (& general passers-by)!

We also had a collection of punks, spice girls (or was it Jimmy Hendrix/Dennis the Menace, Mike??) Axel Rose, Flower Power, various other pop icons I am clearly too old to recognise, a selection of Christmas Elves...and the Fairy, resplendent in a pink tutu!

The results will accompany this article but it was a very good day. Thanks to everyone who took part, to Harry at the Court Inn and to the staff at MC who had to work an extra half hour so that we could all use the showers etc!

London Marathon Club Numbers went to Maggie Thompson, Steve Lindsay & Christine Farnsworth.


Name Position Time Handicap Actual time Notes
Leigh Mason33:010:0033:01One lap only
Andy James1st43:361:0042:36Disqualified!!
Ben Thompson1st48:5911:0037:59Generous handicap - no 'form'
Andrew Thompson2nd49:4711:0038:47Generous handicap - no 'form'
Wendy Rowell3rd51:2911:0040:20First lady, fastest lady
Callum Young4th51:4911:0040:49No previous form
Tom Reeves5th53:1319:0034:13The King! 2nd fastest man
Steph Barlow6th53:3613:0040:362nd fastest lady
Gary Davis7th54:5316:0038:53Very little previous form
Dave Robson8th55:2816:0039:282nd prize fancy dress
Mike Bennett9th55:5522:0033:55Fastest man
Nina Mason10th=56:158:0048:15Spot Prize
Jan Young10th=56:150:0056:15Spot Prize
Alan Smith12th58:4717:0041:47Only 21 more miles for London!!
Debs Goddard13th=59:5217:0042:521st prize fancy dress!!!
Ray Partridge13th=59:5219:0040:52Spot Prize
Keith Wesson15th=59:5817:0042:58Spot Prize
David Shipman15th=59:5817:0042:58Spot Prize

Harrier League, Blyth, 15th December

Alan Purvis

After waiting for years for a new Harrier League venue two came along at once! No sooner had we found our way to Wrekenton last year than we were taken right out of our comfort zone, last Saturday, to East Cramlington Nature Park. Fortunately host club Blyth had clearly signposted the roads and there were acres of parking space at the Nature Park.

The course consisted of three two-mile laps on grassy paths alongside coniferous plantations. It was undulating rather than hilly without the killer climbs of, say, Farringdon or Prudhoe. The surface was mostly frozen after a week of sub-zero temperatures with one particularly difficult stretch over what had been churned up mud before the freeze. The faster runners found some corners quite slippery and there was one deep ditch which brought the downfall of at least one competitor.

The Strider tent had another outing and was big enough to also accommodate Durham City whose captain, Alan Rowell, had thought there were going to be insufficient Harriers to justify putting up their tent. In the event they had eight men while Striders had nine men and seven women.

There were debut runs for Steven Lindsay and Phil Owen for the men. Tom Reeves was the our first male counter while Donna James was our fastest woman and third overall, justifying her one hundred and fifty mile round journey from Thirsk. Fiona's son, Robert, had his first senior outing with the Harriers and we saw, back to the Harrier League scene, long-term injured Bob Brown and Roger Wright.

As usual there was plenty of support in both races and plenty of replacement carbohydrates aftewrwards.

Shaun adds:
Very nice undulating (only) grassy course (round a central 'bowl') which was either frozen solid or boggy depending on whether it was in the sun or not. Probably even better next time - i.e. without the rock-hard churned up mud sections.

Fiona adds:
Well done to all at Cramlington, freezing cold but at least sunny - not nearly enough mud for you Sue!



Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 RUSSELL, Kristopher Low Fell RC 34:26
121 REEVES, Tom 40:48
133 BENNETT, Mike 41:11
178 ROBERTS, Shaun 42:47
189 LINDSAY, Steve 43:30
202 WHITE, Conrad 44:06
204 WESSON, Keith 44:12
239 ROBSON, Dave 47:12
256 OWEN, Phil 51:03
265 PURVIS, Alan 56:27

267 finishers.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 MATTHEW, Kerry Chester-le-Street 25:34
7 JAMES, Donna 28:01 * fast pack
34 LAYTON, Roz 29:54
42 ELLIOTT, Karen 30:23
57 SHENTON, Fiona 31:30 * fast pack
62 SCOTT, Stephanie 32:17
66 GODDARD, Debs 32:32
72 YOUNG, Jan 33:39

78 finishers.

Hexhamshire Hobble, 2nd December

Shaun Roberts

The weather forecast had looked grim for this one, but it didn't turn out at all bad - not too windy or cold, just a bit of drizzle to keep us all cool. Much nicer than last year! Pretty similar underfoot, though - running through streams, huge puddles, bogs ... ironically the worst sections were the road ones, of course, which were pretty hard on the knees, running in fell shoes.

Geoff had a typically strong run, as did Susan who was first lady in her age group. I was pleased to do this one a tad faster than last year - quite enjoyed the muddy bits this time, actually. Nigel also had a good firm one, and Dave did well, getting round in his (well-cushioned) road shoes - a good tester for the Calderdale. Big queues for the showers afterwards, then a good selection of cakes washed down with bucketloads of hot sweet tea. Excellent race, which I recommend to anyone with a taste for the squishy stuff.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Charles Stead NFR 01:08:01
20 Rachel Vincent Tynedale L 1 01:18:23
31 Geoff Davis V50 01:21:27
45 Shaun Roberts V50 01:28:00
55 Nigel Heppell V50 01:33:03
63 Susan Davis LV45 1 01:36:37
87 David Shipman V50 01:48:40

100 finishers.