The North East Harrier League (sponsored by Start Fitness) returns on Saturday, 28th September, with the first fixture taking place at Wrekenton (Gateshead).
What is the Harrier League?
It’s a series of 6 cross country races for clubs in the North East of England. You have to be a member of a club to take part and you have to wear your club vest to compete.
Once registered, you receive a race number that you keep for the season and have to wear at each race. Look after it, as wearing the wrong one leads to disqualification! You don’t have to compete in all of the races and you can start at any point in the season. The races take place at different venues across the North East, with a wide variety of terrains included.
The League has a handicap system with slow, medium and fast packs for the various races.
The senior men’s race is approximately 6 miles. The packs start at 2.5 minute intervals with the slow pack starting first. Slow or medium pack runners finishing in the top 10% will be promoted to the medium or fast pack respectively.
The senior women’s race is approximately 4 miles with packs starting at 2 minute intervals and a top 10% finish seeing you promoted into the next highest pack.
Junior age groups have fast and slow packs only, with a top 20% finisher gaining promotion to the fast pack.
If you are promoted to a higher pack, you stay in the higher pack for the remainder of that season and for the following season. See the rules for the full details.
The league has divisions for the seniors. Runners score points for their club depending on where they finish. The finish position of the club’s first 6 men (or 4 women) are added together for the team score. Teams are then ranked (men and women separately) and vie to win their division or avoid demotion. But all runners matter as non-counting runners affect the position of counting runners from other clubs, so everyone plays their part!
There are races for junior age categories as well. They have their own pack system and team competition. Even Under 11s are catered for with a non-competitive short run before the main competition.
You don’t have to be of a particular standard to take part, so even if you’re new to running you can give it a go. All abilities are represented. But you will need spikes or trail shoes – all races are off road. A love of mud helps too!
(the above was taken from the Harrier League website – DD)
All TBH members are encouraged to take part in the competition, regardless of which training group they run in or whether they’ve done cross country before. The club covers all entry costs, and in return all it asks is that members do their best and enjoy the event. As mentioned earlier, there’s no commitment to do all six races, and member can run as many or as few races as they like.
These events really are great fun (well, once you’ve returned home, washed up and had something to eat) and help develop you as a stronger runner over the winter months.
And..as an added bonus, there’s usually tea, coffee and cakes post-race.
An email – asking for members name’s – will be sent around the club soon, so watch out for it and get your name down.
If you have any queries, please talk to either Alasdair Blain or Becky Parkin.
Below are a set of fixtures, together with approximate start times and a link to the NEHL website.
Saturday, 28th September 2019: NEHL 1 – Wrekenton
Sunday, 6th October 2019: NEHL 2 – Druridge Bay
Saturday, 26th October 2019: NEHL 3 – Lambton Estate
Saturday, 23rd November 2019: NEHL 4 – Aykley Head (Durham)
Saturday, 4th January 2020: Sherman Cup/Davison Shield – Temple Park (South Shields)
Sunday, 9th February 2020: NEHL 5 – Thornley Hall Farm (Peterlee)
Saturday, 29th February 2019: NEHL 6 – Alnwick Castle
Timetable (Approximate Times)
12.00 Under 11 Boys
12.05 Under 11 Girls
12.15 Under 17 Men
12.20 U17 and U20 Women
12.35 Under 15 Boys
12.40 Under 15 Girls
12.50 Under 13 Boys
12.55 Under 13 Girls
13.05 Senior & Veteran Women
13.50 Senior & Veteran Men
Please note, these times are very much subject to alteration depending upon the nature of the course, so at all times pay attention to the Starter’s whistle for call up to your particular race.