HARTLEPOOL Burn Road Harriers have been busy competing over lakes, marathons and relays.
The Hawkshead 17k Trail Race took place on at Hawkshead.
The race takes place along well marked and marshalled footpaths and bridleways, taking in panoramic views of Lake Windermere and the surrounding peaks of the Coniston Hills, the Langdales and most of the Lakeland fells. There is a mile-long, near vertical, killer climb of the ‘Coffin Trail’.
475 runners started the challenge out of Hawkeshead village which was a gradual climb for a few miles then it was very undulating till you reached the coffin trail at around seven miles but after this it was all downhill back to the village.
Harriers’ Nicola Swinbourne and Stuart Whitaker stayed together for a good part of the run before Nicola pulled away finishing in a superb position of 84th (13th female) in a time of 1:39:19.
Stuart followed in 122nd place in a time of 1:44:17 after taking a heavy fall on the final downhill section.
Greg, who was feeling good beforehand, went over on his ankle (par for the coarse on these trails) at approximately four miles and had to slow down a little to get himself to the finish in 1:56:08 (240th).
Great performances all round from these three athletes, who love long distance trail running, and great support from Linda Whitaker.
A day later, another three Harriers took on the longer challenge of the ASICS Manchester Marathon.
Paul Wilson, Andy Kane and Christopher McGrath all travelled to Manchester with individual goals after a good period preparing for the race.
Building mileage up over a period of months, while maintaining speed is very difficult and an added concern is risk of injury leading up to the marathon race.
Luckily, all three went into the run fit and injury free and ready for the test.
Paul Wilson was running his second marathon, after winning the inaugural Sunderland Marathon in 2012 in 2:43:31.
He had high expectations for this race, if he could execute his 26.2 mile race plan correctly.
His strategy was working well as he passed the half marathon point in 1:19:27, he was on track for another sub 2:45 marathon if he could maintain the combination of his fast speed, keep well hydrated and take on nutrition over the next 13.1 miles.
In a great show of endurance, speed and determination, Paul raced to the finish line to complete the marathon in 2:41:57.
This is the 65th fastest male marathon time by a UK club athlete to date this year, proving what a great athlete Paul is.
Andy Kane also had not run a marathon since 2012.
He completed the Manchester Marathon in
5:40:47, which is a way off his best time and does not reflect his potential as he regularly runs sub 1:45 half marathons.
It was a good result on the day and a great experience for Andy.
Christopher McGrath showed great determination to complete his marathon in 5:58:04.
A great result for Chris who races a lot around the North-East and is a very popular runner amongst his peers.
Croft Road Relays, Darlington
The NYSD Road relays also took place on Sunday.
The relays are run around the Croft Racing Circuit, and the teams comprise three women who run a lap of just over two miles each.
It was a bright day, but the wind was extremely bad everywhere on the course apart from a 600 metre stretch a quarter of a mile in.
The head wind was particularly tough over the last half mile when runners’ energy was running out.
Due to a change of date, Harriers were only able to send one female team to the event.
Jane Wistow ran the first leg in 13:37, handing over to Lisa Dawkins for a solid 15:33 lap.
At this point the team were in sixth place, but the gap between them and fifth place looked like something Lucy Stones could conquer with a really good run.
She dug deep and produced a great leg of 14:10 and the ladies took fifth place overall.
Sand dancer 10k
Steven Howe went to South Shields for the Sand Dancer 10k Multi Terrain Race.
The course starts on the promenade and continues up onto the Leas and consists of one large and one small loop on coastal foot paths and must be considered as one of the most scenic coastal runs in the country.
Steve had a great run, finishing 190th of 341 runners in 49:52.
On Wednesday evening, Sedgefield Harriers hosted the Neptune Relays at Hardwick Park.
The relays are a figure-of-eight route around the park, with twist and turns, and teams comprise four runners doing a leg of 1.7 miles each.
Harriers Senior Men’s Team finished 20th of a field of 121 teams.
Ian Waterhouse led the team out with a 10:10 lap, followed by John Davis in 9:52.
Ian Bilton ran his 1.7 miles in 10:01 before handing over to Vaughan Godber for the fastest harrier lap on the night of 9:10.
Hartlepool were also able to field a Male Vet 50 Team who were the third fastest Vet team on the evening.
Dave Wallace had a great run to complete the first lap in 10:46, followed by Karl Edwards with another fast lap of 10:19.
Ian Cook ran a 10:08 leg, with Chris Sharp bringing the team home in 12:05.
Harriers Women’s Team finished eighth female team.
They were led out by Sharon Stephenson in a time of 11:24 who handed over to Jan Naisbitt for a 12:15 leg.
The next two runners were running their second relay for the club this week.
Lucy Stones ran her 1.7 mile in a great time of 11:57 before handing over to Jane Wistow for an 11:15 leg.