National Cross Country Championships 2015 (Pt 2)

As already mentioned in a previous article, Tyne Bridge Harriers had a fantastic day-out at the National Cross-Country Championships, with both the men and ladies finishing teams for the first time in the club’s short history.

Sara James and Kevin Cheetham summarise TBH’s weekend in London.


It was a bright and early start – everyone meeting at the Newcastle Central station with time to spare for our departure, or so we thought….

On leaving Newcastle the topic of conversation had nothing to do with running but at which drinking establishments we would be frequenting.

We did a quick register check which showed we were missing Nick Pearson. The reply came back “oh, he’s getting on at Durham”…

On arrival at Durham there was no Nick.  It turns out he’s not alarm clock friendly :-(

The journey continued with the usual TBH banter and we soon arrived in That London. On arrival at King’s Cross we headed straight to our accommodation to drop our bags off. Thoughts then turned to pre-race meals, and it must be said, it wasn’t the usual athlete’s pre-race fuel!

John Tollitt and his 'not your usual pre-race fuel'.

‘not your usual pre-race fuel’ being polished off by John Tollitt.


We checked in and discovered we needed some form of identification. Step forward Si Kristiansen with his dodgy driving licence!! Then only to find out a hefty deposit was also required… After a quick whip round a £150 was raised :-o

DD inspects his top bunk in the hostel dorm.

DD inspects his top bunk in the hostel dorm.

It was time to head over to Parliament Hill to support Freddie Baker, who was competing in the Junior Men’s race. This is when things started to not quite go to plan… The squad of TBH members branched off into several groups heading in different directions.  Myself (Kev), Sara and Lindsay Walsh followed one of the groups heading towards the 168 bus. On turning a corner we saw the group boarding the bus and bystanders looked in amazement as I led the charge across Euston Road, dodging traffic to reach them, only to find it was the wrong bus! We then decided the tube was a better idea!

We eventually regrouped on Parliament Hill, complete with James “the bucket” Dunce. [if anyone has a photograph of James and his bucket, please get in touch – Kev]

The tent soon arrived and was put up in no time. It was then time for the Ladies race and off they went!

Start line of the Women's race.

Start line of the Women’s race.


For the first time in TBH history the Ladies closed a team in the Nationals XC championship (40th out of 93) and due credit to them – Sophie Marr, Kym Eden, Charlotte Carpenter, Lindsay Walsh, Emma Moir, Louise Kelly and Izzy Knox. Unfortunately on arrival we were advised that Stephanie Mcfarlane had not been registered to run and was unable to take part.  She played her part, however, supporting her team mates :-)

It was team photo time for the men and North East running legend Brendan Foster came across to wish us all the best in the race.

TBH men and Brendan Foster

TBH men and Brendan Foster

The men’s team finished a very credible 31st place out of 145 teams (and 27th (out of 74) in the nine man team competition. Each and every one played their part [too many to mention individually].

Somewhere under all the mud is Simon Pryde.

Somewhere under all the mud is Simon Pryde.

We then enjoyed some post race beverages and caught up with ex TBH’ers Lizzy Clamp, Darryl Davison and Katie Monnelly. For some the post race drinks went on into the early hours. Rob Wishart and Lindsay Walsh being top counters for the vets!!

Sunday wouldn’t be Sunday without a social run and a number of TBH’ers headed out around Hyde Park for their run.

We were soon checking out, which I was dreading, but this went without a hitch. The £150 was thankfully returned!

The weekend started with a train journey and ended with one…. Whilst having our Sunday morning food and drink (see photographs below), our very own Mr Baker took a call from someone whose identity we will not reveal, asking if he could assist in getting them home as they had incorrectly booked their return journey back on Monday…

Due to some earlier changes of travel plans (and an alarm clock which didn’t work) we were able to ensure that Jake and Hope Moir would be at school on Monday morning.

The Fabulous Baker Boys

The Fabulous Baker Boys

Arnie, Jimmy D & Ally

Arnie, Jimmy D & Ally

DD, Rob, TC and Sophie

DD, Rob, TC and Sophie

Steph, Steve, Alan, James and Stu.

Steph, Steve, Alan, James and Stu.

Matt, Hannah, Kev, Sara & Linze Lou

Matt, Hannah, Kev, Sara & Linze Lou

Charlotte, Ed, Simon & Annette

Charlotte, Ed, Simon & Annette

I’m sure everyone will agree it was a fantastic weekend for TBH – both on and off the field – and on behalf of us all we would like to thank Catherine Eaton for doing a tremendous job with the organisation.

Kev and Sara

(thanks to everyone who shared their weekend photographs – DD)

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    • Annette on 22nd February 2015 at 23:29

    Super weekend! Well done to all who ran, that course looked torturous. Hope yous managed to get all the mud washed off somehow! Looking forward to doing it all again next year

    • David on 23rd February 2015 at 16:51

    A terrific read Kev & Sara, which will bring back great memories in years to come ;-)

    We must have been the most well behaved bunch of geordies (and adopted geordies) ever to have hit London.

    Now, all together, “Ah me lads, ye shud only seen us gannin”

    • RobW on 23rd February 2015 at 16:53

    Yep, eXCellent weekend and thanks especially to Cath, Kev and all others with organisational skills!

    • Simon Kristiansen on 23rd February 2015 at 17:33

    Good read, fab company and an overall great weekend. Thanks heaps to all those who came to support and cheer us on. Massive thanks to Cath for organising and especially Kev for carting the TBH tent around London!!!

    • Nick on 24th February 2015 at 11:12

    Haha! Named and shamed! Well done everyone who did make it!

    • Colin Dilks on 24th February 2015 at 17:37

    Great weekend, challenging race, fun company. Thanks for all the organisation that went on. Proud to be a part of the team.

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