Busy week for Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers

Darren Armstrong
Darren Armstrong

Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers have had a busy week racing with some great results.

Last Wednesday, the annual Clive Cookson 10K run was hosted by North Shields Polytechnic Club

Twice round a 5K course starting at Monkseaton High School with a few short inclines and one long downhill are the challenges that this course provides

With 378 finishers this was a considerable turn out on what was a mild dry evening surrounded by very menacing clouds.

All of the top Tyneside clubs were represented with the winner being Marc Fenwick from the Tyne Bridge club in 31;49.

Dave Wallace was the lone representative from Burn Road who was looking forward to the challenge as this is the course that always produces his 10K PB for the year.

This year was no exception in that Dave dipped under 42mins for the first time ever after many years of trying and finished in 41:43 which was one minute quicker than last year.

Bryan Astill and Darren Armstrong travelled to Scotland at the weekend to take part in the Edinburgh Running Festival.

On Saturday Bryan came seventh in the 10k event, with a time of 38:08.

Darren Armstrong had prepared well for the marathon race the next day and was predicted a good time by many of his fellow club members.

The weather was not in marathon runners favour, it was a hot day with little breeze.

Passing the half marathon mark in a time of 1:33:17, Darren was on course for a sub 3:10 marathon.

In a fantastic display of athleticism he actually ran the second half faster than the first which is extremely hard to do, especially in the heat, and completed the marathon in 3:05:03.

A fantastic performance from Darren.

On the same day, 20 Harriers travelled to Raby Castle in Staindrop to take part in the 10k race.

This is a notoriously difficult 10k, with runners completing two laps of a course which has a very long hill of over 500metres at the start and a 300 metre incline at the end of the lap.

Very testing on the legs and this was made even harder by the heat of the sun.

The race was won by Mike Jefferies in 34:23.

Paul Wilson continued his great return to racing by placing a time of 35:58, swiftly followed by Mick Lamb in fifth on a hilly course and among a very strong field of athletes suggest that both are going to do exceptionally well over a flat 10k this season.

Alex Marshall was next to cross the line in 40:01 for 21 Sarah Black, both in 45:30, with Sharon Stephenson closely following in 46:22. Very strong performances from the girls over this testing course.