Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers enjoy success in final fixture of NYSD Cross Country League

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
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Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers enjoyed succes in the final fixture of the North Yorkshire South Durham Cross Country League at Richmond Old Race Course.

Hosted by Richmond and Zetland Harriers, the event attracted a good turnout as individuals and teams were competing for various league prizes

Burn Road Harriers were also competing for the HBRH Cross Country Handicap Male and Female Trophies, awarded to those how beat their predicted time around the course by the greatest margin.

The course is flat along one side, but a very long 1K incline on the other, with two hills to tackle at one end.

The course was made even more demanding due to head-on wind when runners were taking on the long incline.

The Under-17 Boys’ 5K Race was first, with Hartlepool’s Bradley O’Donoghue completing well against the region’s top young athletes and finishing in ninth place in 21:52.

The Senior Women’s 5K Race was next, with Sharon Stephenson and Laura Jones leading the Hartlepool contingency around the course.

Sharon pulled away to finish 15 seconds ahead of Laura in 24:22, Laura finished in 24:37.

Laura has performed exceptionally well over the cross country season and her final efforts at Richmond secured her the NYSD League U20 Ladies Trophy and also the Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers Cross Country League Championship.

Jan Naisbitt had a great season over the hills and trails and raced strongly at Richmond, crossing the finish line in 26:46.

Christine Bruce has improved tremendously over the six fixtures and raced well at Richmond in 28:32. Claire Minton was close behind in 28:44 which was enough to win the HBRH Cross Country Female Handicap Trophy.

Angela Lawlor always races consistently well, crossing the line in 28:55, with Kelly Turnbull completing the ladies team in 29:49.

Dave Clouston had another good run in the Vet65 5K Race, coming second in 27:31 and winning the NYSD League Vet65 Runner Up Trophy.

In the Men’s 10K Race Richard Darling led the lads out and had to work hard to hold off a challenge from Paul Wilson.

Richard finished in 13th place in 36:15, with Paul just 10 seconds behind in 36:25.

Vaughan Godber had another brilliant run to finish the 10K in 37:40, with Ian Wilson next in perhaps his best race of the league in 37:57.

Ian won the HBRH Cross Country Male Handicap Trophy.

Paul Stephenson was the fifth harrier to cross the

line in 38:38 which secured him the NYSD League Trophy for Third Vet45.

Karl Edwards had another great run in 41:46, with Ian Cook next in 44:14.

Simon Lawlor grit his teeth to climb the long incline to the finish in 45:22, with Nigel Shaw next in 48:24.

Hartlepool’s Carl Marchant took the course in his stride as it was his first race after jarring his ankle a week or so earlier, he finished in 50:08.

The final Burn Road Harrier to cross the line was Peter Johnson in 54:54, jubilant as it was his 70th consecutive cross country race.

Peter has not missed a fixture in the last 11 years, which is a great example of his dedication to his club and team.

He was duly rewarded with wine and cake!

Despite missing this final race, Hartlepool’s Dave Wallace won the NYSD Vet60 Trophy, four points clear of his closest rival from Thirsk and Sowerby.

Last Sunday, the remains of storm Doris had hung around long enough to greet Alan Robson, Graeme Surtees, Cary Surtees and Julie McGrath on what was a bitterly cold morning in Pocklington for the Snake Lane 10 Mile Race.

Some 900 athletes took to the start line and it took the first two miles for the field to settle down and find its natural order.

The course is an undulating and run predominately on rural roads.

Alan Robson hung on the back of a group running around his target pace, which provided a good shelter from the wind as well.

The race proved difficult this year as headwinds seemed to tie in with the uphill sections of the race.

The first real climb of the race came around mile eight followed by another climb around half a milelater.

When runners finally reached the summit it was a gentle descent into the market square at Pocklington to the finish.

Alan finished in 1:17:50, followed by Graeme Surtees in 1:30:10, Cary Surtees in 1:33:29 and Julie McGrath in 1:43:46.