Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers gan canny in Blaydon Race

Richard Darling.
Richard Darling.

Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers members were on song in Newcastle’s famous Blaydon Race.

It is a 5.6m undulating road race starting from Collingwood Street in Newcastle, heading along Scotswood Road and finishing in Blaydon.

The popular race sells out very quickly each year and five Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers were lucky to get a place on the

start line.

Dave Wallace was the first Harrier to cross the line in 41:31, followed by Peter Johnson in 48:25 and Neil Harker 48:34.

Anita Gaffney is currently running with an injury and worked hard to complete the run in 49:40, with Kim Watson completing the team in 50:17.

At the same time, Burn Road Coach Richard Hambly took on a different challenge, running for 24 hours at the annual Endure 24 in Reading.

The race takes place over a 5-mile course and runners pitch their tents and test themselves against the clock.

Richard started out well but had some issues with refuelling and took the second half of the event more slowly.

He completed 104km in the allocated time and enjoyed the experience with lessons learned for next time.

Closer to home the Durham Coastal Half Marathon took place last Sunday.

Another very popular race, which is organised by The National Trust, sees runners racing from Noses Point in Seaham to Crimdon Dene along the beautiful coastal trail.

It is a very challenging run, undulating with 320 steps along the route.

Hartlepool’s Richard Darling led the race from the start and was seen at various sections of the route by supporters extending the gap between him and the other runners.

Taking into account the terrain and steps, as well as the heat, Richard had an astonishing run, racing to the finish line in pole position in 1:25:45.

Another podium position was won by Burn Road’s Vaughan Godber who took second place in 1:30:49.

Darren Armstrong had some stiff competition around him and did

well to stick with a strong group battling in the hot conditions. He crossed the line in 7th place in 1:33:46.

Tony Oliver was the next Harrier to cross the line in 19th place of 357 runners in a time of 1:39:42, followed by new Burn Road member Steven Walker in 1:44:18 and 30th position.

A stunning run from Steven who knocked over 20 minutes off his time from 2017.

Steven Liddell was the next Harrier to cross the line in 1:51:18,followed by Burn Road’s first female, Sharon Stephenson, in 2:00:07.

Greg Swinbourne was next in 2:05:26 and Clair Minton in 2:17:26 almost 14 minutes quicker than last year.

Christopher McGrath continues to set new personal best times this season, he crossed the line in 2:37:10 with Pauline Ranson next in 2:51:58.

Julie McGrath had a great run, crossing the line in 3:11:12.

Runners at the Everyone Active 10k, hosted by New Marske Harriers last Sunday also had the heat to contend with.

Victor Brudnell ran a great race to cross the line in 37:14 for second Vet50 position and 13th overall of 189 competitors.

Gemma Harcombe-Moore knocked two and a half minutes off her previous time around the course to finish in 43:03 and Bill Hornby ran 43:38.

Ian Donnelly represented the club at the Cragside 10 Mile Race, another challenging course which Ian was glad to finish in well under two hours.

Gail Smith took on the challenging White Horse 18 Mile Trail Race which is hilly and mixed terrain and involves various checkpoints and kit requirements.

She had a great run and was smiling as she crossed the line in just over three hours.

The Harriers also had some great performances on the track at Middlesbrough midweek.

Vet 50 athlete Carl Marchant ran 70:51 for the 400 metres and 15:17 for the 100m, with Christopher McGrath showing he has speed by racing his first 100m in 17:48.