Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers take on Blaydon Race, Swaledale Marathon and Marske 10K

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Newcastle’s famous Blaydon Race took place on 9 th June, a 5.6 mile road race starting from Collingwood Street in Newcastle, heading along Scotswood Street and finishing in Blaydon.

This year over 4,000 runners finished the race, which took place on a very warm evening.

Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers were represented by six runners, with Bill Hornby first to cross the line in 39:33.

Chris Sharp was next in 43:26, followed by Peter Johnson in 44:44.

Angela Lawlor was supported by her husband Simon around the course, having a good run to finish in 49:05.

Jason Unwin completed the Burn Road Team, crossing the line in 52:35.

The Swaledale Marathon took place at Reeth in the Yorkshire Dales on Saturday the 11 th June, with runners charged up and ready to take on the challenge of the 23.2 mile escapade across and up and down the dales.

There are various checkpoints runners must go through to ensure they have completed the full course, which slows athletes down but also ensures they take in vital nutrition and stay

hydrated.

The course is a very challenging mix of trail with a little tarmac and some excruciating climbs resulting in views of the spectacular dales.

The race is very dear to the Burn Road Harriers having been set up by their president Stuart Pailor back in 1979.

Stuart passed away in September 2015 and his memory was strongly present at Swaledale.

As with most races there are the standard prizes for finishing in the top three, but this year all eyes were on Stuart’s good friend Karl Edwards who was competing for the Stuart Pailor Trophy for first veteran over 60 years to cross the line.

The race starts as it means to go on, with an excellent climb to Fremington Edge which sets the scene for the course: it is going to be tough.

The runners then take on the various ups and downs of the course with the next two major climbs testing legs, heart and soul at Great Punchard, 12 miles in, and Gunnerside, 17 miles in.

Once out of Gunnerside there is a further challenging section of rocky road before a final gruelling hill and a race to the finish line to the cheers of the club members who travelled to support the squad.

Some 451 runners completed the course and the competition was stiff, with Karl closely followed round the course by a veteran runner from Ripon for a good period.

Despite lack of training over long distances and targeted hill running,

Karl drew on his vast experience over the course and his general excellent level of fitness and pulled away over the latter stages to finish five minutes clear of his closest rival in a time of 3:43, claiming a fantastic 27th place overall and clear winner of the coveted Stuart Pailor Trophy.

Andrew Minister was the next Burn Road Harrier to cross the line, following issues with his foot mid-race he had to borrow someone else’s trainers and dig in. He finished in 60th place in 4:02. Andrew Lilley was on Minister’s trail and crossed the line a minute later in 4:03 for 61st place.

On Sunday 12th June, New Marske Harriers hosted the Everyone Active 10k race.

A good route for times, if there is no wind along the promenade.

Hartlepool had five runners at this event, which sells out every year.

Paul Wilson was up at the sharp end, finishing in sixth place in 34:57.

Simon Bennett was next in 35:23, knocking over 30 seconds off this pervious personal best time over the 6.23 mile distance.

Gareth Foreman was next, crossing the finish line in 38:36.

Andy Kane was the fourth Harrier to cross the finish line in 50:20, followed by Pauline Ranson in 52:07.

On the same day the Hardmoors 26.2 Mile Rosedale Trail Marathon was raced.

This was Greg Swinbourne’s first attempt at a full marathon over the trails, a decision not to be taken lightly given the fitness level required, as well as the discipline to stay hydrated and keep energy levels up.

Greg was supported round the course by wife Nichola, both finishing in a great 70th position. Hartlepool Burn Road are currently organising The Stuart Pailor Memorial Race which will take place on September 4 this year. Further details will follow in next week’s Hartlepool Mail, or watch the club’s website for details.