There was a real cross country course for runners competing in the Harrier League at Tanfield on 26th September. This very definitely wasn’t a run round a school field and up a bit of a hill. No, there was woodland, a few logs to jump over and perhaps most unexpected of all, a water jump. I was very pleased I’d done a recce of the course and had also watched some of the young athletes race through the water jump then over the sticky mud on the other side. I had my strategy worked out. However it was clear that as we approached the water jump (Sneakily hidden behind the trees) that to many of the women it was a complete surprise. My theory about the course is that it’s actually meant for horses-a point to point perhaps? At intervals by the side of the trail were wood constructions that looked like horse jumps. Thankfully they hadn’t put those out for us!
There was an excellent turnout of 20 senior and masters women runners for the Poly with Lucy Robinson (29.09), Katherine Davis (31.22-1st in age group) and Alison Cummings (31.52-1st in age group) taking the first 3 places for the club. Christine Burns was 4th Poly woman (32.39), closely followed by Suzanne Thew and Lourdes Bradley. Of the men, 45 took part with Robert Walker (39.12, 5th) Danny Richardson (39.37, 9th) Guy Bracken (40.50) and Sean Maley (40.50) leading the Poly men, followed by Michael Parkinson (41.11).
There was a good turn out by the younger members of the club with Isobel Berry (7.48) and Lily Bradley (8.04) 1st and 2nd Poly runners in for the U11 girls. Josh Blevins-fresh from his success in the Junior Great North Run where he came in 2nd-was also 2nd overall in the U11 Boys race (5.15). In the U13 boys race Jonny Kidd (13.36) was 1st in for the Poly and 9th overall. In the U13 girls race Lucia Bradley was 1st in for the Poly in a time of 16.22. Thomas Sursham (13.43) was first U15 boys Poly runner in, and Eira Hegarty (14.16) was 1st in for the Poly U15 girls, gaining a creditable 6th place overall. Isaac Noble (27.24) took the honours for 1st Poly U17 boy home, and Alix Pennington (30.46) for the U17/U20 girls.
For all the Tanfield results click on the link below-
Apres race there was an excellent cake feast (jealously watched over by a hovering hawk). There was also a special supporter, Holly the Poly dog sporting the latest fashion in Poly vests for dogs, made by owner Jenny.
The next Harrier League event isn’t until November-on 21st at Aykley Heads. Plenty time to practice running in spikes but hopefully a water jump won’t be included in the course!