Race Reports, June 2007

Beamish 10K, 30th June

Dave Robson

A cracking course, different from when I did it two years ago, but still pretty hilly. Its started with two and a bit laps of the tram track and then a hilly off road section along paths and across fields which was pretty muddy in the final section. The tram challenge itself was the first lap of the tram track only, so the tram could really go for it and it did, I have heard that only two runners beat it. I had also heard that the tram had been practising on the route and there is a rumour that it takes on board some liquid of a chemical nature. Whatever, after its usual slow start it caught me even more quickly than two years ago. Maggie, Jackie, Tom, Katherine and I ran. Debs did the fun run with her children and Tom did it as well with his son. The goody bag contained orange juice, ham (!) sandwich, water, two chocolate biscuits and something I have never had in a goody bag before - a boomerang !


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Nick Swinburn Morpeth JM 34:31
36 Julia Atkinson N Aycliffe FV 46:18
10 Thomas Reeves MV 42:31
70 Dave Robson MV 50:56
148 Kathryn Raine FV 1:02:46
157 Jackie Smith FV 1:05:41
158 Margaret Thompson FV 1:06:11

169 finishers

Court Inn Clamber, 27th June

The Court Inn Clamber took place on Wednesday night at 7pm. 112 runners finished the 5 mile course through Houghall Woods while many more enjoyed the food and presentations afterwards in the Court Inn. The full results are here and there are some photographs here.

Many thanks to Pam for organising the event and to the many marshalls who helped out on the night.

The prize winners were (with their overall place in brackets):


Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 Rob Hand Durham City H&AC M40+ 29.11
7 Will Horsley M 31.16
19 Michelle Holt Sunderland Harriers F 33.46
18 Mike Bennett M50+ 33.30
20 Tom Reeves M40+ 34.08
24 Fiona Shenton F40+ 34.56
34 Shaun Roberts M50+ 36.00
35 Conrad White M50+ 36.19
38 Steve Lindsay M40+ 36.39
42 Colin Blackburn M40+ 37.25
47 Karen Elliott F 38.32
49 Roz Layton F50+ 38.51
55 Alan Smith M60+ 39.24
59 Steve Walker M50+ 39.48
63 John Everett M50+ 40.04
66 Debs Goddard F 40.51
69 Steph Barlow F 40.57
70 Jan Young F50+ 41.06
71 Liz Lamb F50+ 41.20
84 Sue Pearson F 44.08
89 Jean Bradley F50+ 44.50
90 Jill Hall F40+ 45.45
96 Alan Purvis M60+ 47.37
105 Mary Gibson F50+ 51.41

112 finishers

Newburn River Run, 20th June

Dave Robson

Mike Bennett and I took part in this race on a lovely evening. The outward leg was via an old railway line close to the River Tyne to Wylam Bridge where we crossed over and headed back to Newburn Bridge where we crossed again and headed back to Newburn Lesiure Centre. An almost completely flat route through very attractive countryside. There was free food for all finishers afterwards.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 I Hollingsworth Morpeth H & AC 34:51
47 Mike Bennett M50 43:06
180 Dave Robson V55 11 51:54

330 finishers

Newton Aycliffe 10K, 17th June

Dave Robson

It was cloudy day and initially I thought it felt a bit cold for June, but once the race had started I realised it was humid and I wished I had decided to run in a vest. The course was the usual small lap followed by two bigger laps all on roads. There were some gentle upward drags which seemed to last a long time. Conrad, Alan and I ran this one.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Terry Wall Morpeth AC 32:23
71 Conrad White M50 42:58
162 Dave Robson M50 48:32
249 Alan Purvis M60 57:54

277 finishers

Bowderdale, Eden Valley, 10th June

Shaun Roberts

Only Nigel & I were at this one - we said we'd give it a go despite it being the morning after Blaydon, and in what was a very hot race over the hills, we both had plenty of opportunities to have second thoughts ... doh!

Incidentally, Bob Walker, the American visitor who came along to run with the Striders earlier in the year, had a bloody good run, and won this one with half a mile to spare!


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Robert Walker Durham City 77.14
23 Shaun Roberts M50 103.44
40 Nigel Heppell M50 114.49

90 finishers

Swaledale Marathon, 9th June

Pam Kirkup

Like another event, " 'twas on the ninth of June"... and aren't we all so pleased it was not a week later, after the river Swale had burst its banks?

No deluge, thunder and flooding for the marathon; it was a bright sunny and eventually quite hot day. A good contingent of Striders turned out for a 9.30 start at Grinton. A few hundred yards along the road and then a gruelling climb up (and up!) to Fremington Edge. This tends to concentrate the mind (lungs and legs) somewhat and certainly spreads out the field. By the time I got up to the top the fast lads up front would, no doubt already be at Langthwaite. I met up with Peter McDermott on Fremington Edge, which was unusually dry and unboggy! We discussed our various injuries/ailments (as you do!) as we walked along and then he decided to jog down to Langthwaite. At the first checkpoint, Stang Bridge, I dropped out as planned and walked back to Reeth along the river banks.

For the others it was a stiff climb and then an undulating route to checkpoint 2 at Whaw. This small hamlet used to have a very nice coffee shop in the B&B which was very tempting — especially when faced with the steep hill up from the bridge to the main road. However, it's now closed so it was up the hill, over the road and then across the fell and the meandering path up to Great Punchard Head. The path in front of the checkpoint is now quite narrow and eroded. The next part of the route has a few options — one of which (not a good choice!) can involve clambering over high peat hags. Not advisable if you're my height! In addition it can be very confusing if there is rain, mist or both! Thankfully, the weather was good, the ground was very dry so route finding was easy.

From here the green path takes you in the direction of Little Punchard, after which comes what is usually the world's most flooded/boggy gate, onto a long (usually boggy!) path to a rocky moonscape, Friarfold Rake, and then on to the self-clip checkpoint. From here the path is good down to Level House...and the feed station! The valiant ladies from the WI make wonderful sandwiches, cakes, flapjacks and endless cups of tea at what is just past half way.

Then it's good paths, through yet another moonscape, up to the high point of this section; a small rocky plateau and a self-clip checkpoint. The route then turns along and then gently down the side of Gunnerside Gill, dropping steeply at the Winterings to the valley bottom and along to Gunnerside village where more tea and refreshments await the weary runner. For some people the Gunnerside 'curse' kicks in after leaving the village and attempting the gruelling climb up towards Blades. This section to Surrender Bridge certainly takes prisoners! By the time most runners reached here it was quite hot and the humidity took its toll. Paul found the cramps difficult and had to walk for quite a bit; Barrie dropped out before Gunnerside and got a couple of lifts back to Reeth; Peter's legs really hurt in this section; Graham said that he was suffering and Brad had to drop out at Surrender Bridge.

From here there's only two and a bit miles to go but on knackered legs. Then there's a steep gully to cross. Peter came down on his backside and Jean fell and cut her knee. But probably the most tiring part of this final section is the narrow, steep and rubble strewn path, agony to the soles of your feet after 20+ miles, down to the main road and the short run down to the village and the finish.

As always there was a huge welcoming group of family, friends, and other interested parties at the Buck Inn, conveniently placed on the corner, just before the finish. In spite of the heat and the difficulties of parts of the route, Striders and friends finished well and with some excellent performances:

The Swaledale Marathon is a great event. It's a fantastic course and it can be tough even if you are very fit. It's challenging at every level — whether you're a runner, walk/jogger or just out for a long distance hill walk and yet you see the same people every year. The race fills up within days of entries being published in January which could indicate how popular it is. If you're interested in off-road running give it a try.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Jim Rogers East Hull Harriers 3:13
20 Phillipa Weir Totley A C F40 3:54
122 Jane Nathan F40 5:02
161 Jan Young F40 5:24
178 Christine Farnswortn F40 5:33
181 Graham Daglish M50 5:35
225 Mary Gibson 6:00
235 Wendy Rowell F40 6:07
236 Clare Outterside F 6:07
246 Margaret Thompson F40 6:19
261 Linda Mcdermott F40 6:26
337 Peter Mcdermott M50 7:10
444 Janet Wyngard F40 9:24
446 Joyce Hindhaugh F40 9:24

452 finishers

Blaydon Race, 9th June


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Tewodros Shiferaw Birchfield 26:28
22 Cathy Mutwa Birchfield 30:35
365 Shaun Roberts 39:36
370 Greta Jones 39:42
488 Sandra Graham 41:04
566 John Robson 41:57
613 Mandy Dawson 42:29
691 Nigel Heppell 43:13
752 Alan Smith 43:44
799 Dave Robson 44:01
893 John Hutchinson 44:49
1108 Louise Billcliffe 46:30
1170 Stephanie Barlow 46:57
1481 John Redfearn 49:19
1516 Philip Todd 49:32
1685 Michael Kitson 50:47
1730 Julie Mitchelson 51:10
1801 Joseph Thornton 51:42
2106 Andy James 54:01
2358 Jenifer Crilley 55:59
2498 Elizabeth Lamb 57:14
2499 Jackie Smith 57:16
2853 Jim Nicholson 1:00:47
2932 M Caulkett 1:01:37
3027 Mike Elliott 1:03:13
3247 Debra Goddard 1:09:17

3338 finishers