This report of the South Shields XC is from Roger Mosedale who obviously enjoyed a grand day out (thank you Roger). If you want photos of the ladies in action go to the Poly Facebook pages. My personal favourite moment at South Shields had nothing to do with running. It was when one of the tents (not ours thankfully) took off into the breeze like an inverted zeppelin. The look on the guy’s face inside was priceless. He’d just been sitting on his folding chair enjoying a quiet moment with his paper and suddenly there was no roof! Noreen
Race Report-South Shields XC at Temple Park
The sun shone once again on the North East’s cross country runners, as they convened at South Shields for the Sherman Cup and Davison Shield. Temple Park, just off the John Reid Road so achingly familiar to GNR veterans, was a fine venue for the annual cup fixture. While it was a sunny day, a stiff breeze kept things a little cooler for the competitors, but also provided it’s own challenges, particularly on the last stretch around the football pitches.
First up, as ever, were the Under 11s, with Josh Blevins finishing in a creditable fourth place. He was accompanied by another seven Poly youngsters, all of whom excelled on the day. The club was well represented too in the Under 13s boys race, most notably by Josh Collinson (fourth) and Thomas Sursham (sixth). Freja Smith and Marlie Gardiner did their bit meanwhile in the Under 13 girls race. Jake Hill did his bit in the Under 15 boys race, while Isobel Robinson went one better after her fifth place in the Under 15 girls race at Cramlington, finishing fourth here, with Elen Carter not far behind.
Gina Rutherford had a cracking run for the senior women, coming in third. She was joined by an impressive 23 of her club-mates in the race; another fine turn-out for the Poly. All 24 did the Poly proud, with particularly notable performances from Captain Lucy, Michelle Thompson and Alison Dixon. The senior Poly girls finished second overall, with the vets ninth. There were more debutants too, including Sue Hill, who’s decided to join in the fun after watching husband Johnny and son Jake doing so well. The Hills also deserve thanks for once again taking charge of the tent, and so giving up a good chunk of their Saturday for the club.
There was consternation before the mens’ race, as a runner who’d apparently escaped from a nearby Neon Run strayed into the starting area. It turned out to be none other than Chris Waite, wearing a daring combo of a Poly vest and the brightest, most lurid pair of dayglo yellow shorts ever seen. Rumour has it that he’d been up all night at a rave, and had just discarded his glowstick and whistle on arrival. Barry Young is apparently still traumatised at this breach of dress code, and some spectators were compelled to turn their backs.
The race itself saw Iceman Guy Bracken return to XC action. He was to be first Poly man in, with notable performances also from Chris Morley, Paul West and (sartorial outrages notwithstanding) Chris Waite, among many others. There were 28 men in total for the Poly, with Steve Dodds and Terry Brown amongst the debutants. The end result was the seniors 17th and the vets third in their respective tables.
So, well done everyone, and we hope to see you at Durham on November the 22nd for the next league fixture, swiftly followed of course by Wallington Hall on the 29th. Thanks to Captains Lucy Robinson and Ian Woodward for their organisational skills, advice, encouragement and so on, to Peter Gallagher for another fine set of pictures, to the tent crew and cake-bakers, and to all those who provided excellent and noisy support around the course.
Full results from the race can be found here.
Pictures courtesy of Peter Gallagher
PS I should also mention Poly folk in action elsewhere over the weekend. Jon Heaney knocked one out of the park in the Dublin Marathon, with an impressive time of 3:14:34. Meanwhile, Jim Richardson was off in Greenland doing the frankly batty Polar Circle marathon. Snowdrifts, Polar Bears (and that’s just the car park!). Jim finished 21st in the race, and was the first Brit to finish, with a fine time of four hours twenty minutes. Well done to them both, and to all Poly runners competing anywhere over the weekend. Thanks for reading. Up the Poly!