‘Blaze Of Glory’ for Tyne Bridge at Prudhoe

In ‘blazing’ conditions Tyne Bridge Harriers blazed to glory at the final Start Fitness NEHL meeting at Prudhoe today.

On a challenging and gruelling course, both Mens & Womens teams cemented their promotion into their respective divisions. The men move into division two next season as they were announced champions of Division 3, while the ladies move into Division 1 being placed 2nd in Division two !!

TBH Mens Captain Paul Hilton receiving the NEHL Division 3 Champions Trophy

Well done & THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed to the success of Tyne Bridge Harriers in their first year of competition in the NEHL
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Report

Dave Appleby sends this report from the Mens days activities

Saturday 24th March will be remembered in local athletics folklore for a number of reasons, it marked the unprecedented clean sweep of victories in all six races by one Club in a season and it marked the day that the infamous Prudhoe Harrier League was ran in tropical conditions.

Ask any athlete about Prudhoe and you will be regaled with tales of the hills and mud. The course basically involves running up and down big hills through farmers fields in the Tyne Valley. Previously I have run it in foot deep snow, been knee deep in water crossing the river in the valley and almost been on hands and knees crawling up the hill in thick claggy mud. It is one of the more bizarre aspects of running and cross country running in particular that the tougher the course and the worse the conditions are, the more credibility the race has. The actual difficulty of the Prudhoe course was no different this year, with ‘The Hill’ being faced twice, but the usual claggy mud was replaced by bone hard ground with deep ruts and tractor treads, which made the underfoot conditions a little treacherous, particularly on the downhill sections.

The first race of the day with Tyne Bridge representation was the under 13 Boys with our own Leodhais Machperson running in the fast pack for the first time following his promotion at Alnwick. Louis rang another strong run looking comfortable even managing a smile for our photographer in residence, Rob Kirtley as he passed him on the way to the finish. We are still awaiting publication of the results for the age groups so can’t report exactly where Leodhais finished.

Next up was the Senior Men, this year Prudhoe clashed with a couple of other races over the weekend, with Wallington Half Marathon and Thirsk 10 miler depleting the Tyne Bridge contingent somewhat. We still managed to field 9 athletes, more than enough to finish a team and hopefully take that all important sixth first place in Division 3.

The race set off at the usual time of 1.15, TBH had four runners starting in the slow pack, with Dave Embleton making his return to the Harrier League, Dave was supported by Shaun Brown, John Tollitt and Andy Lisle. The medium pack set off two and a half minutes after the slow pack, with Dave Moir, Keith Smith, Sparrow Morley and myself all representing TBH, this gang of four were set to be chased down by the fast pack a further two and a half minutes later, with Kenny Mac also making his first fast pack debut following his promotion at Alnwick.

The course set off, not unsurprisingly, up a hill before taking a left turn and hurtling steeply down into the Tyne Valley. This required navigation through farm gates which were deeply rutted from the farm vehicles. This provided some anxious moments after hitting the gates at pace and trying to pick the best line through the rock hard ruts. The course continued downhill before hitting the first ‘small’ hill on a switchback, heading across the stream and a loop around large field at the bottom of the valley before facing the long, long drag up ‘The Hill’. This proved to be as difficult as I remember it from the last time I did Prudhoe about 17 years ago. It can only be described as a long painful slog up through the woods and into an open field at the steepest point before turning right onto a ‘slight rise’ and heading back to the starting point, only to do the whole thing again for a joyous second time, just for fun! The second lap proved more painful than the first; approaching the hill for the second time I was passed by Kenny who seemed to be gliding over the ground as opposed to by laborious trudge. Watching him disappear up the hill, I caught sight of Sparrow who was, it turned out struggling with a calf problem, I used this as incentive to try to work up the hill, but boy was it hurting. I still managed to pull back a few more places on the run in to the line passing Sparrow on the way, I’ll probably never be able to say that again so I have included it in the report.

As the race evolved Dave Moir had moved through the field from the medium pack to finish in an excellent 43rd place outsprinting Dave Embleton to the line, with Dave finishing in 45th position 1 second behind Mr Moir, who was extremely proud of his achievement in ‘doing’ his club mate in a sprint finish. Shaun Brown was next counter in an excellent 68th position; Kenny Machpherson had a storming run to move through from the fast pack to 79th position with the final counters for the team being John Tollitt and Keith Smith. This proved to be enough to secure the unprecedented sixth first place for the team and with it the Division 3 title. On the day TBH were 8th team overall out of a total of 25 counting teams being beaten only by Clubs from Division 1 and two teams fighting for promotion from Division 2.

Thanks must go to all of the supporters who turned out to witness the achievements, with Captain Hilton, Davey Anderson, Ron Murray, Mickey Duff, Rich Tailford and Danielle Rutherford amongst those in attendance. Very special thanks must go to Rob and Sue Kirtley who have been ever present this winter from Alnwick to Pontefract bringing the Tyne Bridge Hospitality tent and camera to capture TBH making history across the North of England.

As Kenny has said on numerous occasions the Harrier League is unlike any other competition, every single runner is important as any other regardless of whether you are first counter or the last in the club. On Saturday Andy Lisle was as important as Dave or Kenny, every runner he held off or passed helped push another club further back. That is the beauty of the Harrier League. In 2011-2012 Tyne Bridge have placed ourselves well and truly on the Harrier League map with some exceptional performances, winning outright from Division 3 on at least three occasions is unheard of. Hopefully we can build on this in the 2012-13 season and move straight through Division 2 and secure promotion. If you haven’t experienced the Harrier League yet please make every effort to next season. There is something special about it; you won’t experience team spirit anything like it on the roads. You might get a bit muddy and your legs might get a bit tired but it is great fun.

Dave Appleby

Tyne Bridge Harriers Mens Results

43 Dave Moir 38:09
45 Dave Embleton 38:10
68 Shaun Brown 38:47
79 Kenny Mac 38:54
82 John Tollitt 38:58
88 Keith Smith 39:14
117 Dave Appleby 39:55
122 Sparrow Morley 40:03
230 Andrew Lisle 44:53

boys & ladies results to follow

Permanent link to this article: http://www.tynebridgeharriers.com/2012/03/24/blaze-of-glory-for-tyne-bridge-at-prudhoe/

16 comments

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    • Micky Baker on 24th March 2012 at 17:46
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    Well done everyone this is more than anyone could have wished for.

    • Apples on 24th March 2012 at 17:51
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    Another great turnout from TBH on perhaps the toughest course in the Harrier League series, and some fantastic performances across both teams, and of course Louis in the under 13’s. Performance of the day must go to Amy Hodges, who despite being sent off course still held on for fourth place, being beaten by two international athletes and a runner from the City of Hull club.
    I think we should all be very proud of what we have achieved in our first season and I am sure we can build on this in 2012-13, when we will hopefully secure promotion to Division 1.

    • Simon Pryde on 24th March 2012 at 18:23
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    Well done to all concerned. Great achievement.

    • Steve Allerdyce on 24th March 2012 at 18:39
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    Well done to everyone concerned, an excellent result fro first year in the Harrier League!!!

    • elspeth on 24th March 2012 at 19:49
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    excellent and well done everyone! Proud to be TBH! :)

    • kenny mac on 24th March 2012 at 20:04
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    Well done everybody, enjoyed every minute of today. Great first season and wait til we release the new Gladiators getting honed in preparation for next season.

    Special thanks to the Kirtleys for the hospitality tent, for the club Captains for getting the teams galvanised and for every person who ran cross country who made the brave effort to put their spikes on and race.

    • Big Ron on 24th March 2012 at 20:25
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    Well done everyone today.

    With the men having already been promoted there was a feeling that perhaps we wouldn’t field a strong team but those who ran made sure that we won the division 3 race again and, if my memory is good, we are the first club to win all divisional races in one season.

    Not to be outdone though, girls, you were superb and fully deserve your place in division 1 next winter. Amy, oh what could have been had you not been sent off course. However you should still be more than happy with a 4th placing.

    Thanks to everyone who ran over the winter months and to all who offered their support, we couldn’t have done it otherwise. This is a remarkable achievement for a club as young as ours.

    • Diane Pringle on 24th March 2012 at 22:05
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    Brilliant. Well done

    • Richard S on 24th March 2012 at 22:39
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    What a brilliant day for TBH, well done all :)

  1. I just want to say thank you for everyone who got me round that course. It was my first experience of a cross country race and I have to say i couldnt of done it without you all. thank you. ami

    • double d on 25th March 2012 at 21:24
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    it was widely expected that the men’s team would gain promotion to division 2, but nevertheless, their results throughout the season has been exceptional and massive congratulations to all involved.

    But the ladies team, wow, they’ve surpassed all expections and everyone who contributed to their success must take enormous pride in their performance. I know some of the ladies were hesitant about competing in cross-country races at the start of the season, but this is they reward for showing guts and courage on behalf of the club. each and everyone is a star.

    • Brother Louis on 26th March 2012 at 11:08
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    Fantastic stuff, incredible effort from all involved. Proud day for the club

    • Paul Hilton on 26th March 2012 at 12:51
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    Can I personally thank every single person that has ran , supported, fed and sheltered (Rob and Sue) us in our very 1st season in the Harrier league.

    It just goes to show from Ami’s experience that it can make all the difference with support from fellow friends.

    Can I just also mention a big thank you to Richard Tailford who despite being injured has travelled miles and miles to give his support in these fixtures – hope your back running soon Richard.

    Oops, nearly forgot to say the 2 most popular words in TBH dictionary – WELL DONE

    • Lynne Cornell on 26th March 2012 at 14:41
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    Well done to everybody. Fantastic achievement.

    • alex on 27th March 2012 at 11:16
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    well done everyone. massive achievement. really looking forward to getting back on track once fit again and becming a better running and representing TBH. These web reports are great for maintaining interest and enthusiasm while off injured, so do keep them going. Cheers Dave.

  2. Still can’t help but have a little chuckle to myself about that run in, even now. There’s a lesson to be learnt there though. Always aim to finish your race 10 meters after the finish line, and not 10 meters before it, or some unscrupulous git whose been chasing you down for the last few hundred meters, may spoil your day!!

    Mr M.

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