Sean Kelly sends in this report from The Farringdon Cross Country Relays
TBH Taking it to another Level
Traditionally, the introduction to the cross-country season, the Sunderland Harriers’ Relays is a useful ‘toe in the water’ after the lasses and lads have been pounding the tarmac. For many in our club it was a step into the unknown. For the virgins, it was a toe in the muddy water of cross-country. Those memories of bullying PE teachers (Brian Glover in ‘Kes’ springs to mind… yes I know that it was football but it’s the same sort of thing) making you burst your lungs on Wednesday afternoons… well this was a lot different, now you had Paul Hilton shouting at you!
A few of us began training from Paul Hilton’s house (almost exactly) a year ago, we could not have forecast putting out so many teams at this race months later… never mind dominating the proceedings so much.
Walking the course with Mike Norbury, I missed Leodhais MacPherson’s majestic run to the silver medal in the first event of the day, the Under 11′s Boys & Girls Race of 1,000 mtrs of the XC Course in a superb time of 4:32. However, he was still wearing his silver medal in The Cumberland Arms this evening. Leodhais had predicted a top five finish but his dad was skeptical, well, he did the club proud. A longer course would have suited Leodhais, a lad to watch. Meanwhile, Mike Norbury was biding his time to shock the rest of us…
The Senior and Veterans’ race set off with our much loved and respected, Marc Fenwick at the front. Kenny MacPherson was trying to match his son’s performance but he was well down on where he should have been after the initial sprint. Kenny opened his legs and showed his class though and brought the Vets home in 1st place. Marc was imperious and showed the North-East a glimpse of his immense talent, there’s more to come. He came in second in a time of 9:05
Captain Paul Hilton had bags under his eyes so big that you could have put your track-suit in them before your run. Despite this, he put in a FABULOUS performance and brought the vets home in second place. Dave Moir held onto second with a sprint finish worthy of Usain Bolt and handed across to me…
I was very worried (a good state to be in, lots of nervous energy) but managed to run a good 1.5 miles. I hit ‘the wall’ and my legs went bandy with quarter of a mile to go. My head was in a bad place, but my legs were worse. How could I be so tired after less than 2 miles? Well I was wrecked but the sight of the massed ranks of TBH on the top of the final hill kept my legs moving. I staggered across the line keeping second place. Mark Hall followed me, storming home in 10:01.
Tony did what we asked of him, he brought the senior team home in 1st position. As I write this, he is celebrating in The Cumberland Arms. Well done young man.
Special mention must also go to the legend that is Jimmy Turnbull who has been amazing since joining Tyne Bridge Harriers.
This man literally ran his soul out for the club at the Relays or should that be ‘ran his sole out’. Within 400 mtrs of starting his leg of the relay, Jimmy’s ‘well worn’ spikes started to give way underfoot and basically fell to pieces. However, unlike the shoes, Jimmy is made of stronger stuff and also unlike the shoes, did not fall to pieces and continued the whole of the 1.8 miles with his shoes falling away from his feet with every step and leaving little bits of his footwear as a ‘trail’ for other runners to follow.
To cap all of that, & if the pain in his feet wasn’t enough, Jimmy then went straight on from the XC Meeting to watch his beloved Football team get defeated (deFEETED) 2-1 at home.. painful days indeed !! Jimmy T you are a hero and one of TBH’s most valued members.. so pleased you made the decision to join us. Well done fella !!
The land that we were running on was owned (in the past) by Cuthbert Pepper, a rich landowner, who lived in Farringdon Hall. Our own Cuthbert (Mark Reynolds) ran the course in 11:31. However, our very much-appreciated Rob Kirtley ran him close in 11:32. COME ON ROB! A massive part of the collective is the man, Mr. Kirtley. Much thanks to Mrs. Kirtley too. Our tent was ‘massive’.
For me the best part of the day was the performances of our women. WHY DO THEY RUN LAST? Emma Moir must be the slimmest o/40 in the business. She finished in the top 20, great run, followed by Kerry Reed and Lisa Walker. Watch this space, our women know no boundaries.
We have the 6 stage, Northern Relays in 2 weeks’ time. It will be a hard task to get into this team. Our new runner, Mike Norbury set his stall out today with a 10:01 performance. WOW, this really made us think about training harder and gave Captain Hilton a big headache for picking teams.
The main story from today is: WE HAVE COME FROM NOWHERE, WE ARE GOING TO THE TOP!
Once again our loyal supporters and club mates did not let us down and cheered our club on throughout the races. Thank you so much for your valuable support. It always means so much.
Tyne Bridge Harriers – U11′s 1,000 mtrs
Leodhais Macpherson – 04:32, Silver Medal
Tyne Bridge Harriers Senior A – 1st Place (38:32)
Marc Fenwick – 09:05
Louis Goffe – 10:02
Sparrow Morley – 10:04
Tony Carter – 09:21
Tyne Bridge Harriers Senior B – 4th Place (40:39)
Dave Appleby – 10:13
Mick Norbury – 10:01
Piers Watson – 10:24
Mark Hall – 10:01
Tyne Bridge Harriers Senior C – 14th Place (46:15)
Micky Baker – 11:53
Chris Thompson – 12:23
Dave Daniels – 10:32
Dale Wallace – 11:27
Tyne Bridge Harriers Veterans A – 2nd Place (40:33)
Kenny Macpherson – 09:43
Paul Hilton – 10:07
Dave Moir – 10:30
Sean Kelly – 10:13
Tyne Bridge Harriers Veterans B – 7th Place (45:20)
Daniel Birchall – 10:59
Mark Reynolds – 11:31
Rob Kirtley – 11:32
Derek Reed – 11:18
Tyne Bridge Harriers Veterans C – 11th Place (58:22)
Jimmy Turnbull – 15:10
Micky Duff – 15:51
Dave Anderson – 12:15
Steve Allerdyce – 15:06
Tyne Bridge Harriers – Senior Women – 1.8 miles
24 Emma Moir – 13.08
29 Kerry Reed – 13:46
31 Lisa Walker – 14:03
There were loads of positive comments about Tyne Bridge Harriers overheard around the course yesterday and to field 28 athletes..comprising 6 complete relay teams with every team being a counter!! 3 ladies and an under 11 competitor taking a silver medal in the warm up to the XC Season proves that we have the strength, depth, commitment & enthusiasm in the club to carry us further onward and upward & in excellent spirit.
See you all out in the field in the months ahead
Full results can be found HERE