(updated 22nd March 2013)
Following an ‘eventful’ day at this year’s British Master’s Cross Country Championships, a couple of members have submitted race reports.
Firstly, inspirational Club Secretary, Kenny Mac, writes this report.
The British Masters Cross Country Championships took place this year at Herrington Park, Sunderland, the same place as the National XC, however the course was very different both in conditions and layout. I should also add the event also incorporated the VAANEE Championships.
First off and the only female representative for the club was Lisa Walker. Lisa ran an assured race and seemed to enjoy the course, and definitely looked and sounded better compared to her last Cross Country at Alnwick. Lisa has been a stalwart of the cross country since the inauguration of TBH and she has only missed the Northern XC this year.
Next off was the Mens Race and we had young David Moir in the 35-44 age category and then a plethora of pensioners in 45-54 category namely Stevie Cairns, Kenny Mac, Mark Hall, John Tollitt and Keith Smith and the flying Mackem Ronnie Murray in the 55-64 category
To hear the banter from this category was hilarious and they were talking about some young upstart who had just came into the 70 category. I can visualise Messrs Smith, Appleby and Kelly doing this in 2033.
Our race was 4 laps of an undulating treacle toffee quagmire. The only decent bit was a downhill section before a sharp left up a wee hillock.
Stevie Cairns was quickly up the front of the race. Stevie had worked 5pm-3pm the previous night and after a few hours sleep drove down to Sunderland arriving at 11.30am. He is without doubt an inspiration to any runner, his positivity, his drive, his focus, his preparation are second to none and you don’t have a 15.25 5k or an 8.51 steeplechase unless you know your onions.
Keith Smith had to pull out of the race due to a niggling injury and Keith’s strength lies in the warmer Summer weather and the 5k/10k on the roads. He will be back, he will pb again and he made the right decision as he has a long Summer ahead.
Dave Moir was the only representative in the V35-44 age group and he could just enjoy the run, take it easy, without any pressure. OH RIGHT. He was snapping at my heels for 3 laps out of 4, like a refined well oiled aged Steam Engine, pistons kicking, cylinders firing and smoke billowing from every orifice.
I had a wee chat with Mark Hall before the race and Mark was relaxed as ” he wouldnt count anyway” and ” I did aqua bloody running last night” Well I thought v45-54 would have a chance of a medal and quickly explained that Keith Smith was carrying an injury. I quickly explained how important Mark Halls’ role would be and how prophetic I was.
John Tollit was the last Gladiator in our category and John did not have the best of starts because he left his vest and his numbers at home. So I could not give John a pep talk. Again John talking up the vanguard had an equally important role to play as he was fighting off other athletes coming through from behind to augment their teams result.
A wee quote from the Badger afterwards ” it was another Saturday spent running round a muddy field with a bunch of old blokes” Yes we seem to have been doing a lot of this muddy field malarky this Winter.
Ronnie Murray and I stayed behind for the results and eventually we got the individual results. Stevie Cairns 2nd vet 45 and my pal from Cambuslang Kerri Liam Wilson 1st vet 40.
Then the North East results came out and I was 2nd vet 45 losing out to, back to form, Paul Waterston from Morpeth. Big Ron finished 3rd in his age category (after the initial winner was disqualified).
The overall team results took longer to work out because they estimated on time rather than on position. Eventually the 45-54 result was mentioned and ” 1st is Tyne Bridge“. I was lost for words, I knew that Stevie had ran a blinder and I had ran average but I wasn’t sure how Mark Hall or John Tollitt had done. First bloody place, well I never. Unbloodybelieavable.
Tyne Bridge Harriers are the British Masters XC Champions of 2013.
Yes if this team had appeared and had this runner who would have done this time well they would have won it. Poppycock, WE WON IT, WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS.
Now next year the Masters Cross Country is in Scotland. We need to get all age categories covered with strong teams. Do you know that only 1 club completed a team in the 55-64 category so if we had support for Ronnie Murray we would have had a Silver Medal in this category as well. We have a real chance of repeating this feat in Scotland next year. STOP, get out your 2014 diary, mark the date, your going to the land of Kilts and Whisky, no excuses if your Over 35.
A massive well done to all our supporters, to all the North East clubs who competed today.
Next up, a report from the equally inspiring Dave Moir.
This was a race I’ve been looking forward to for a while. The VAANNE championships tend to be fairly poorly attended (wrongly so in my opinion), but with it being the British masters at Sunderland this year, numbers were going to be much bigger. I had a look at last years results and realised the standard would be very impressive, and on that basis I’d have to up my game to come anywhere near the top third.
Despite entering the race months back, I didn’t bother to read the instructions until the night before, and was rather disappointed to hear about a couple of things. Firstly the course wasn’t going to be the same as the one used for the Nationals, but a much flatter short loop of about 2K that we’d have to cover 4 times, and secondly, Stevie Cairns, Kenny Mac, Mark (Horlicks) Hall and John (Badger) Tollitt who are all categorised as VERY old men would be in the 45-54 age category and with me being a sprightly 44 year old, I’d be in the youngters age category of 35-44 and there would be no others to make up a team in that category.
We (Badger and Horlicks) arrived just in time to see the ladies and men 65+ unusually setting off first with our only representative Lisa Walker giving good account of herself. Speaking to the ladies after their race we were in the unusual position of being given a few tips about the lay of the land from the girls, which turned out to be very useful.
Heading to the line a few minutes before the gun, we saw a lot of unfamiliar vests in amongst many more from closer to home. The ground was fairly soft, but hadn’t been cut up too badly, and there were only a few sections of bad mud. I was also pleased to discover that the course wasn’t pan flat, and it turned out to be one of the best Vets XC course I’ve ran for a few years. There were no big hills, but there were a few long descents and a few short sharper hills back up again.
Stevie disappeared from sight as soon as we had got to the first corner, but I managed to keep about 15 yards behind Kenny up until the 4th lap. Kenny then did his usual hard push for the final lap and dropped me unceremoniously so I finished about 30 seconds behind him in the end. Next in was Mark Hall followed by John Tollitt and finally Big Ron, the only representative in the VERY VERY old man age category from TBH.
No results as yet but I do know that our V45-54 team took the gold medal beating Sunderland by 8 seconds!! A special mention Stevie Cairns who finished work in Edinburgh at 3am, drove down to Sunderland for 11:30 doing the race on 4 hours sleep (an overrated occupation apparently as “you’ve got to get your run in” , coming 2nd v45 and 5th overall and then driving back to Edinburgh for a 5pm start tonight.
Still can’t believe we’ve only got Prudhoe left! What are we going to do with ourselves over the summer??
Men V45-54 Team Results
|5||0:28:42||CAIRNS, Steve||Tyne Bridge Harriers||Male 45 to 54||93.01||FIRST||106|
|32||0:30:55||MAC, Kenny||Tyne Bridge Harriers|
|69||0:33:24||HALL, Mark||Tyne Bridge Harriers|
|16||0:30:18||RUSHWORTH, Brian||Sunderland Harriers & AC||Male 45 to 54||94.09||SECOND||114|
|41||0:31:17||FIELD, Tim||Sunderland Harriers & AC|
|57||0:32:34||REDMAN, Paul||Sunderland Harriers & AC|
|8||0:29:45||LOCKETT, David||Salford Harriers||Male 45 to54||94.25||THIRD||123|
|51||0:31:43||LEYBOURNE, Phil||Salford Harriers|
|64||0:32:57||BIRKETT, Paul||Salford Harriers|
Full Results can be found here