Report by Dave Aspin
For the first time since 1962, the North Eastern Counties Cross Country Championships returned to Redcar Racecourse. Over 1300 runners from clubs all over the North East and beyond entered the races hosted by New Marske Harriers AC.
Redcar Racecourse, with its ideal facilities for hosting a large event, provided a tricky challenge for the runners many of whom expected an easy course. The cold weather meant the conditions were good to soft, with the inside of course providing tufty energy sapping running.
The Senior Men had a 12k course and Stockport’s Jack Martin edged to a 30 second victory over Calum Johnson Gateshead in 2nd, Carl Avery Morpeth Harriers 3rd and local runner Grey Jayasuriya of Middlesbrough & Cleveland. Lewis Gamble-Thompson was first home for the host club New Marske in 10th.
Olympic Marathon runner Sonia Samuels ran from the front to take the victory in the Senior Ladies race with a 50 second victory over Emma Holt and Jane Hodgson both of Morpeth Harriers. For the host club Sharon Bulman was 10th (1st V40) and Kath Aspin 18th (1st V50) both having excellent runs.
Run of the day for New Marske came from Eli Barnbrook picking up a Silver Medal in the U20 Ladies race behind Sophie Burnett from Birtley. Darlington Harriers India Pentland & Eli Phillips picked up 1st & 3rd in the U7 girls race.
Middlesbrough Mandale’s Archie Lowe picked up a bronze medal in the U15 boys race being outsprinted in the home straight.
Showing the popularity of the sport and the commitment of parents, 85 U11’s attended for the non championship race, Eden Creasey of Middlesbrough Mandale winning the girls race.
Thanks must go to Graham & Di Hall and the rest of the volunteers from New Marske Harriers and other local clubs who did a fantastic job in putting on a well organised event. And to our sponsors without whom the event could not have been staged, Tees Valley Community Foundation, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, Drive Vauxhall and Start Fitness.
Results inc team results can now be found here
Just a few words re last weekend's NECAA XC Championships.
Despite numerous reservations by athletes about the course prior to the championships the vibes I caught after racing was the course was much tougher than expected and everyone I spoke to said they had really enjoyed the event.
So, to you, and everyone at New Marske who had an input, however small, congratulations you did a fantastic job.
Hosting a major championship is no easy task but NMH should be very proud of the fact that the programme went off extremely smoothly. I for one would have no qualms in coming back to Redcar in the future that's for sure.
Thanks again, Bill McGuirk, Chairman North Eastern Counties AA