Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers tackle Leeds Abbey Dash and Filey cross country

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Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers were split between the Leeds Abbey Dash10K last Sunday morning and the NYSD cross country at Filey on the afternoon – some brave souls did both.

Burn Road athletes were among the 12,000 who had entered The Leeds Abbey Dash.

First home for Harriers was in-form Paul Wilson pushing himself to the limit knocking half a minute off his 10k PB set at Billingham in August of this year, setting himself a new standard of 34:07 (PB).

Next up running strongly was Andrew Minister who also managed a PB with a time of 35:15,

Not far behind Bryan Astill who is racing extremely well at the moment put in another great performance at Leeds after his recent run at Maltby.

Bryan finished in 36:06, a little way off his PB of 35:28 set at Leeds last year, but an outstanding run from the club coach nonetheless.

Darren Armstrong was the fourth harrier to cross the line, he stormed to the finish to record a new PB of 36:27, slashing 11 seconds off this previous best set at Middlesbrough in September.

Darren was pursued by his mate David Lake equalling his PB set at Leeds in 2010 he crossed the line in 36:39.

Male outstanding performance of the day must go to Simon Bennett, who smashed his PB of 38:08 set at the Victorian 10k back in July.

He finished in 36:39, knocking a huge 1 minute and 29 seconds off his previous best.

Another member accustomed to smashing PBs is John Davis. He raced to the finish line in 38:01 (PB), knocking 19 seconds off his previous best. Jack Hutton kept the trend going, knocking 10 seconds off his best from Darlington in August to finish in 39:34 (PB).

Jason Bland declared his interest at ducking under the 40 minute barrier for the first time and rose to the challenge with nine seconds to spare, finishing in 39:51 (PB) and an immediate pat on the back from the next Harrier to cross the line, John Mansfield.

John finished in 40:05, proving he is very close to his best of 39:52.

Sarah Black was able to shave two seconds off her PB set at Darlington to cross the line in 41:20.

Emma Watson claimed the female outstanding performance of the day, knocking almost two minutes off her previous best from Darlington to finish today in 52:55 (PB).

The third NYSD league cross country race took place last Sunday at Filey.

Amazingly, half a dozen of the senior men and one woman had travelled up from Leeds to compete after their morning 10k Abbey dash.

In the women’s race Sharon Stephenson took off from the start and never looked liked slowing down, with a determined grimace she fought hard against rivals being rewarded with an excellent ninth place (21.28).

Lesley Strickland showed her strength over this terrain, her effort was incredible as she came into the home straight sprinting for 16th position (22.28).

Next up was Jan Naisbitt who could not lose concentration for a second as team-mate Lisa Dawkins was digging in right behind her.

This friendly competition drove them both to have great runs Jan pulling away over the last lap to finish 27th (25.01) and Lisa pushing very hard to the line knowing that she was the final team counter for 30th (25.35).

Not far behind another clash was going on between Emma Watson, Sam Dixon and Cary Surtees,

Emma took control pushing the pace while Sam had to dig in to try and stay in contact while Cary worked hard trying to catch Sam.

These positions did not alter, Emma even after her mornings exertions created a good gap finishing in 32nd (26.46),

Sam did well to hold on to her advantage for 34th (27.26) and Cary who is short of races hung on determinedly for 35th (27.43).

The men’s team seem indomitable at the moment winning the top spot here with local clubs Scarborough and Loftus coming second and third.

In the men’s race Paul Wilson had an outstanding run considering he raced on the morning, he even found the strength to overhaul in form Richard Darling, Paul finished 3rd (36.25), an excellent achievement.

Richard had a stormer of a run for 4th place (36.31) and was full of praise for his team mate’s performance.

Another strong run from Barry Coulter saw him dip into the top ten to take ninth (37.17),

Barry had been pushed by Paul Stephenson who is improving with each race his 10th position (37.55) well deserved.

All these experienced athletes will have to keep on top form as Ben Ward (under 20 men) is rapidly approaching and will strike if any chink in the armour appears.

Ben eats these runs for breakfast and is only going to improve, his run today for 13th (39.29) shows his appetite for the sport.

The sixth counter bringing the team home for a win was Mick Lamb, his run today was the mark of a hard man, he ran even though feeling under the weather gritting his teeth to get to the finish line in 16th place (40.25).

The rest of the lads each giving it their best efforts and having personal battles were as follows:

Karl Edwards 24th (41.41), John Davis 25th (41.50), Ian Cook 28th (42.08), Jack Hutton 30th (42.53), Mark Armstrong 37th (43.44), John Mansfield 40th (43.59), Ian Anderson 44th (45.11), Jason Bland 54th (47.13), Andrew Elsdon 57th (48.49), Peter Johnson 59th (49.31), Graham Surtees 63rd (53.31).

First on the start line of the junior races were under 11s Joe and Sam Coulter, Joe ran well again

in his third outing gaining another top 10 spot in ninth place (7.31).

Sam finished in fine style for 19th (8.55) over the 1.2 mile route.

Alex Lamb (under 13 girls) ran a well paced race and once again gave a good account of herself over the two undulating miles, finishing 12th (14.05).

Over the slightly longer distance of 2.5 miles Lucy Surtees (under 15 girls) showed she has the stamina and a great attitude for running these tough events finishing in 13th place (18.30).

The next league meeting is next Sunday, December 1 hosted by Darlington Harriers at Croft.