Closure of the Central motorway resulted in a slightly later arrival time for the Moirs than was planned, but luckily both Heather and DD were already there, and started organising the teams. It was a bit of a windy morning that seemed to make the temperature feel a lot colder than it actually was, but thankfully it also resulted in a lot less mud than we were given to contend with at the recent National XC champs at Wollaton Park
Race 1 of the day was the combined U11 race, which yielded our best results. Liam Whitelaw was first in for TBH, finishing strongly to put the team into 4th overall, handing onto his brother Jack (the youngest member of the team) who put together a brilliant run just dropping a couple of places against much older runners, finally handing over to Freddy Palmer, who pulled the team back a place and was agonisingly close to putting them into medal position, with the 3 teams ahead only finishing 7 seconds in front. The girls race was also an exciting competition, with Florence Snaith leading them out to come 9th overall on a fiercely competitive first leg, Alanah Perowne pulled them back 1 place to put them into 8th place, but run of the day for me goes to Kora Howorth, coming onto the final field she was 7th in the girls race (having already caught a runner) , and upon hearing she needed to catch the 2 in-front, went into overdrive passing the 2 female runners I had asked her to catch, and followed it up with several of the boys for good measure.
Leg 1 for Race 2 included Jake Moir for the U13 boys, Zoe Brissenden-Lang and Evie Powton (in an incomplete team) with Jake finishing first putting his team into 10th place, Jake handed over to Luis Nichol who fought hard to try to maintain his position, eventually yielding a few places coming in 13th and handing onto Harry Snaith who posted the fastest time for the team, pulling a couple of places back to bring the team home in 11th place. Evie posted a time of 7:42 but with no one to hand over to, that was it for her, but she gained some valuable racing experience over a fairly technically demanding course, which will put her in good stead for the next Harrier League.
Zoe finished in 18th place, handing onto Laura Whitman who produced a run that despite the position being maintained, seemed to involve a fair amount of position swapping back and forward throughout it’s course, finally handing onto Caitlin Attley who steadily worked her way through the field to bring the U13 girls team into 13th place.
We had 3 teams in the final race of the day with 2 girls teams in the combined U15/U17 race and 1 boys team. Zak Kettle (the youngest member of the team, who was still in the U15 category) was first in for TBH on leg 1, bringing the boys in in 12th place, handing over to Fraser Bigg who pulled the team up 1 place by the end of the 2.5k course in 11th place, then it was left to Joshua Bruce who posted the fastest leg pulling them back into 10th place.
Anna Dorman and Nina Hirt were the first leg runners for their respective teams and both posted the fastest times in each respective team. Anna handed over to Amber Maynard in 8th place, Amber worked really hard to maintain her position, only losing 1 place, bringing the team back in 9th place with Hope Moir maintaining the team’s position, finishing in 9th. This team were all U15s in a combined U15/U17 race. Nina’s team finished in 13th place, handing over to Katie Smeaton who came home in 11th place handing over to Abigail Noone who had her own personal cheerleading squad on the course bringing the team back in 11th.
This was another great event put on by Birtley AC. We have supported this every year since it’s inception, and it never fails to deliver, so thanks to Birtley AC again for a very enjoyable morning’s relay action.
Thanks to Emma Snaith for the photo of the U11s girl’s them and Stuart Whitman for the other photos.