British Masters Cross Country Championships: March 16th 2013

(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

Weather conditions were cold, dry with a little wind. Clubs from all over the UK were represented, I saw Tipton, Crawley, Cambuslang, Salford to name but a few. I also met one of the great characters in the field of running Watson Jones from Clydesdale, aged 71, who can run a 10k in 45 minutes.The amazing story with Watson was he only started running aged 67!!!
Another amazing story from the day was North Shield’s runner Dave Morris completing the 4-lap course after being forced to watch last year’s event from a wheelchair. Dave is one of the true characters of the North-East running scene and it was a humbling experience to see him back running and competing at this level.

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 MorpethBig 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.

Who’s In!!!!

A massive well done to all our supporters, to all the North East clubs who competed today.

Kenny
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??

Dave

 

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

Permanent link to this article: http://www.tynebridgeharriers.com/2013/03/16/british-masters-cross-country-championships-2013/

14 comments

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    • Apples on 16th March 2013 at 21:08
    • Reply

    Fantastic, simply fantastic, TBH are now on the national map. A massive well done to the team and everybody who ran today. A proud day for TBH, lets try to replicate in the Road Relays in May

    • Badger on 16th March 2013 at 21:41
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    Well done Stevie C, Big Mac and Horlicks, Black and Whites winning gold in Sunderland. How good is that.
    Cheers for the lend of the vest Csp’n Hilts, (I found mine in the back of the car afterward.

  1. Congratulations to everyone involved in a fabulous performance.
    To win any team prize is a fantastic achievement, but to do so in a national race is a truly stunning result.
    Yet another historic day for the club.
    Well done too, to all the other members who competed on behalf of Tyne Bridge.

    • Denise on 16th March 2013 at 22:14
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    Great reports and fantastic results. Well done everyone.

    • Stevie Cairns on 16th March 2013 at 23:05
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    My race: Kenny’s enthusiasm to join TBH was consistent and unrelenting, but I am glad I did. To receive such support while running around a muddy field in Sunderland made me feel proud to be a part of something special that is TBH. I went into the race, knowing I was fit as I’ve been doing the training; 60-80 miles a week including 3x sessions. I arrived and saw some of my rivals and knew I was going to have a tough race. On the first lap 1 settled into 5th, and then moved up to 4th on lap 2, I knew the 1st V45 runner was just ahead and I tried my hardest to catch him, which I managed a few times but he kept me at bay and even pulled away on the final lap to finish 2nd overall, where as I held my position on the final lap, crossing the line as 2nd V45. I was pleased with my run and I then waited to see how the other TBH runners got on. The support I got on the course from the TBH support crew was amazing, on every corner I heard a Geordie accent cheering me on so winning the team prize is where the club should be.

    • The Chair on 17th March 2013 at 09:55
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    Unbelievable! What a brilliant run from the owld gadgees (and young Lisa!) Congratulations to all of you – National champions! Is there no end to what this club can achieve?

    • Stu Dickson on 17th March 2013 at 12:25
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    Two great reports Kenny & Dave & well done all involved yesterday achieving such a fantastic result! TBH onwards & upwards!

    • Cuthbert on 17th March 2013 at 14:49
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    Yowzah! NATIONAL CHAMPIONS – brilliant running lads and lass. TBH top of the tree at national level. Great write ups and sorry to have missed it. Many congratulations to the country’s BEST XC squad :)

    • Brother Louis on 18th March 2013 at 09:34
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    CHAMPIONES, CHAMPIONES, Ole Ole Ole!

    Thanks for the reports, what a way to start the week reading such great news. Fantastic running all round. Well done to all

    • Si on 18th March 2013 at 14:38
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    The saying “Respect your elders” has just gone to a completely new level. Massive congrats to all!!!

    This club has no limits- Newbees cranking PB’s left, right and centre. And our veterans getting faster and faster each year.

    Can’t wait to be a veteran. Bring on maturity- BOOM

    • Big Ron on 18th March 2013 at 19:37
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    Great report lads, or should that be “Gadgies”? Course wasn’t that challenging apart from the horrible sticky mud. I started off wearing new spikes and ended the 4 laps on 6 inch platform soles!

    Great and well deserved result for the younGreat report lads, or should that be “Gadgies”? Course wasn’t that challenging apart from the horrible sticky mud. I started off wearing new spikes and ended the 4 laps on 6 inch platform soles!

    Great and well deserved result for the younger vets. I must say though, that seeing as this was a national event, the total number of runners, not only from TBH, but also from all other NE clubs was hugely disappointing. If we’d had more runners out across all of the age groups, both male and female, who knows how many medals we’d have won, not only in the National event, but also in the NE race. Still, there’s always next year and no doubt the “flying Scotsman” will be his usual, forceful self encouraging us to enter seeing as it is in Glasgow.

    “flying Mackem”? Nice one Kenny. That’s a new one and one I like. I’ve often been called a mackem but with rather different words either before or after……………..
    ger vets. I must say though, that seeing as this was a national event, the total number of runners , not only from TBH, but also from all other NE clubs was hugely dissappointing

    • Big Ron on 19th March 2013 at 12:14
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    Don’t know what happened with my previous comment but this is what I meant to say!

    Great report lads, or should that be “Gadgies”? Course wasn’t that challenging apart from the horrible sticky mud. I started off wearing new spikes and ended the 4 laps on 6 inch platform soles!

    A well deserved result for the younger vets. I must say though, that seeing as this was a national event, the total number of runners, not only from TBH, but also from all other NE clubs was hugely disappointing. If we’d had more runners out across all of the age groups, both male and female, who knows how many medals we’d have won, not only in the National event, but also in the NE race. Still, there’s always next year and no doubt the “flying Scotsman” will be his usual, forceful self, encouraging us to enter seeing as it is in Glasgow.

    “flying Mackem”? Nice one Kenny. That’s a new one and one I like. I’ve often been called a mackem but with rather different words either before or after……………..

    • Big Ron on 21st March 2013 at 07:49
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    Found out that the VAANEE results were incorrect on Saturday, I actually finished third, not fourth as originally informed, more glory for the club.

    • Simon Pryde on 21st March 2013 at 23:39
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    Brilliant performance, an achievement to be proud of. How many people win a National title? The nearest I’ve come was freaching the semi finals of Countdown in 1997!

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