Thermal hats, sealskin underwear, yak fur boots and arctic-standard gloves were called for to support the annual Memorial Race on Remembrance Sunday, organised by Heaton Harriers. The wind seemed to be arriving fresh from Murmansk, and yet there were several runners wearing vests and shorts who were without gloves.
Most of the runners struggled with the wind on the exposed moor. However, once again Poly ladies triumphed. Rachel McIntyre(41.27), Katherine Davis(41.37) and Alison Smith took the first team prize (42.40). The men were up against some class runners from Morpeth, Gateshead, Tyne Bridge and a contingent from Darlington Quakers who had hired a bus in order to compete. Jon Heaney was first Poly man in, in a creditable time of 36.23, followed by Rory McConnachy (37.22) then Neil Dick (a very respectable time for MV55 category-40.58).
The Heaton Harriers Memorial Run always begins with a 2 minute silence to remember all those UK servicemen and women killed in conflict. Some of you may be aware that Poly also remember our own athletes who joined up to fight and were killed in both World Wars. There’s a memorial shield, which bears the names of all the war dead who competed for North Shields Poly. There are also other names on the shield, as it’s is awarded to the first male runner in the Clive Cookson run. The shield has pride of place on the wall in the club committee room.