Mar 192017

A good turnout from Claremont in the Run Northumberland Kirkley Half-marathon for what must have been a windy run:

92   Mungai WAIRIA        01:42:21  (1st M60)
145 Richard SLACK        01:48:05
230 Daisy MARTIN          02:00:41
325 Catherine ROBSON 02:19:09
328 Leanne SALEM        02:20:23
330 Mary MARTIN           02:20:24  (1st F60)
331 Marie SLACK           02:20:25

Dan Edwards was also running a half-marathon, posting a very impressive time of 1:34:57 to finish in 268th position in his home town of Stafford.


Obviously 13 miles isn’t far enough for the running machine that is Roberto Marzo.  Having run a mere 15 miles on Saturday, including a sub-19 minute parkrun, Robbie was off to Lancaster to compete in the Trimpell 20 mile race.  He came 57th in a time of 2:21:50.

However, all of these races were far too conventional for Nina Jensen and Julie Dumpleton.  Having survived the zombies last week, they were out in the wilds of Northumberland this Sunday competing in the Thrunton Thriller.

In Nina’s words, “13.4 miles of mud, bogs, hills,  trees, more hills and more trees. However we were also treated to a lovely view from the top of the crags and a rainbow. ”

No photo or time, but Kenny McCormick was Claremont’s sole representative at the British Masters Cross-country in Liverpool on Saturday.  He says it was wet and quite tough!

Well done to everyone!

 March 19, 2017  Posted by at 8:23 pm Photos, Results No Responses »
Mar 192017

Newcastle parkrun:

18:58   Roberto Marzo
19:39   Tom Tinsley
20:17   David Lydall
20:18   Paul Hughes
20:56   Mungai Wairia
21:41   John Grimshaw
22:18   Richard Slack
23:26   David Devennie
24:40   Alice Vialard
24:58   Heidi Swaffield
26:51   Susannah Orr

Gateshead parkrun:

19:44   Paul Robinson

Rising Sun parkrun:

20:51   Alasdair Wilson Craw
22:36   Luke Woodend

Whitley Bay parkrun:

25:43   Daisy Martin – Free, timed, 5k runs every Saturday 9am

 March 19, 2017  Posted by at 1:07 pm Results No Responses »
Mar 182017

An eventful, enjoyable and successful cross-country season came to an end with a good day out at Alnwick. The season had a bit of everything – sun, rain, hard dry ground, ankle-deep mud, thigh-deep streams to cross, logs to jump over, olympians for competition, broken tents, mini-tents, massive ground sheets, cars that wouldn’t start, Roberto getting lost and, most importantly of all, great camaraderie and cake! Claremont Ladies also had success to celebrate – an under 20s silver medal, a top 5 finisher and promotion to Division 2. As for the Men, well …

The season opener is now traditionally at Farringdon, where the men compete in a 4 leg relay and the ladies in a short, individual race. The heavens opened that morning and proceeded to drop vast quantities of water onto what had been dry ground, thus catching a few runners out with the wrong choice of footwear. The small stream on the course had swelled to become an alarmingly deep one, meaning that the men had to step into water that was up to the thighs. This was deemed to be too dangerous for the gentler sex, and the ladies race was diverted on to the road – cue spikes now being the inappropriate footwear!

The Harrier League season started with events on two consecutive weekends – at the contrasting locations of Wrekenton and Druridge Bay. Both races were notable for warm, dry weather, hard ground and excellent performances by young Claremont ladies. Wrekenton saw the first outing of the very promising and enthusiastic Grace Scott, not quite 7 and competing against much bigger girls in the under 11s, and Druridge marked the debut of Hannah Mainprize in the under 20s. Grace did herself proud, while Hannah made a clear break with Claremont tradition by coming second and winning a silver medal. Who knew that medals were awarded at the Harrier League?

Super-size tent at Wrekenton!

The Claremont team tent had not made such a good start to the season.  The “blow-up” tent was in need of repair, so Bill kindly lent us a tent for Wrekenton, but it was a tad on the small side!  The repair made, we looked forward to having a proper tent for Druridge Bay but that went pop too – we blamed Rose! – but luckily it was nice and sunny and none of were too shy to change in the open air!

The good weather continued into November as the Sherman Cup was contested in glorious sunshine.  We now had a proper tent but, in a sign of things to come, no men’s team.  The girls did very well though, finishing 9th overall.

The girls can laugh now we have a proper tent

Next up was the first of 2 events at a new venue – Thornley Hall Farm.  I couldn’t make this one but was told that it was a tough course and quite muddy.  I should have listened!

Then it was on to the NE Championships which this year was held at another tough and quite muddy course, Aykley Heads.  The weather had changed by now and was much more wintry, as we expect for the cross-country.  It was also the third event on the trot where the girls did well but we failed to field a complete men’s team.

The first opportunity to run off the excesses of Christmas and New Year was at Herrington Country Park.  With Penshaw Monument as  a backdrop, this is a lovely course around lakes, over the hill and back through the woods.  Mud was now the order of the day, particularly in the woods, but this didn’t stop Catherine Young storming to a 5th placed finish on her first cross-country outing for a few years.  We even had a full men’s team!

The Durham Cathedral Relays offered a break from the Harrier League.  It had been so wet in the buld-up to this that it had to move from its usual course to Maiden Castle.  This was a momentous occasion for Terry Welsh as it was the first time that he had competed in the sky blue in a team event in over 30 years as a member!  In true Claremont spirit, Terry ran through the pain barrier to claim a silver medal in the over 65s with the other gadgies, Dave and Ben.

On a cold, wet, windy, miserable day in February it was Thornley Hall Farm part 2.  Bill’s car wouldn’t start, Catherine got a flat tyre but they were the lucky ones!  Those of us who did make it there were wet and caked in mud even before we got the tent up.  Then we had to drag ourselves up and down hills through ankle-deep mud – not fun, so let’s move on.

We had a good turnout for the season finale at Alnwick with 9 of each gender.  Though wet and muddy in places, it wasn’t a bad day for racing.  The Ladies knew that if they performed as they had all season, then promotion was in the bag.  Even with 3 runners starting from the medium pack, they were led home in style by Robyn Wynn to confirm that they will be in Division 2 next year.  This meant that we could all enjoy a glass or two of plonk at Antico’s in Jesmond to celebrate the end of the season (thanks to Howard for organising an excellent evening out).

In total 35 Claremonters participated in the Harrier League with an additional 4 turning out for the relays.  Mandy Herworth, Rose Hawkswood and Sarah Bowen were ever-presents in the Harrier League, with Rose and Sarah running in 9 of the 10 events in total.  There were no ever-presents for the men, but David Lydall only missed one run overall and I joined him in running 5 out of the 6 League races.

However the cross-country season is a team event and all who took part made a contribution.  In the words of the legendary Mary Martin, “everyone did brilliant!”.

 March 18, 2017  Posted by at 5:34 pm Cross Country, North East Harrier League No Responses »
Mar 122017

Congratulations to Mary, Julie and Nina for escaping Hamsterley Forest from a zombie horde with their brains intact.

 March 12, 2017  Posted by at 6:20 pm Results No Responses »
Mar 122017

Newcastle parkrun:

19:02   Roberto Marzo
19:39   Dan Edwards
19:49   Sichao Yang
20:35   Gordon MacFadyen
20:51   Mungai Wairia
20:51   David Lydall
21:07   Paul Hughes
21:14   Robyn Wynn
22:38   Brian Hegarty
22:49   Alan Dunning
24:12   Dave Kear
25:17   Alice Vialard
26:41   Susannah Orr

Gateshead parkrun:

20:23   Paul Robinson
31:22   Dave Manners

Rising Sun parkrun:

20:48   Alasdair Wilson Craw

Whitley Bay parkrun:

25:38   Daisy Martin

Riverside parkrun:

22:19   John Grimshaw

Knowsley parkrun:

20:31   Tom Tinsley – Free, timed, 5k runs every Saturday 9am

 March 12, 2017  Posted by at 11:47 am Results No Responses »
Mar 052017

Alnwick Castle provided a fitting background for the final event of the 2016/17 North East Harrier League and for the Claremont Ladies to seal a well deserved promotion to Division 2.  Though heavy overnight rain meant that the course was wetter and muddier than I have known it in the past, the afternoon itself was dry and mild with no real wind to speak of.  So, all in all, not a bad day for racing.

A strong Claremont Ladies team knew that if they performed as they have all season, then promotion would be theirs and they did not let us down.  Robyn Wynn, who is improving all the time and developing into a very good runner, led the team home in an excellent 23rd position.  Catherine Young was very impressive too in finishing 36th when starting from the medium pack.  Rose Hawkswood split the other two medium pack starters, Sarah Bowen and Mandy Herworth.  The supporting cast of Nina Jensen, Alice Vialard, Mary Martin and Gill Milne all coped well with the mud, puddles and fallen trees to complete a good day for the girls.  Once again they finished 2nd on the day to finish the season in the second promotion place and earn themselves a glass or two of prosecco that evening!

This was the best turnout for the men’s team all season, with 9 runners meaning that not only did we have a complete team but 3 reserves.  This included 3 cross-country debutants in Francesco Carrer, Brian Hegarty and Dan Edwards – and Dan was first man home (although 200th place is not quite as impressive as Robyn’s 23rd, it means that we have room for improvement!).  Alnwick is probably my favourite course and, even though I wasn’t very happy with my run (started too fast, bit of a stitch on lap 2, OK by the end for a reasonable finish), I was 2nd Claremonter home.  Yang, obviously not put off by the horrendous conditions last time out at Thornley Hall Farm as he came out to play again, couldn’t catch me this time but wasn’t far behind.  David Lydall, Richard Slack, Howard MacLennan and cross-country stalwart Kenny McCormick completed the team.  Special mention must also be made to Alasdair Wilson Craw who turned up to offer lifts even though he had been ill overnight and would even have run if needed – the true Claremont spirit!

An end of season report will follow shortly.

Position Runner Time
23 Robyn Wynn 33:32
36 Catherine Young 34:15 (Medium pack, actual time 32:35)
75 Sarah Bowen 35:02 (Medium pack, actual time 33:22)
124 Rose Hawkswood 36:02
128 Mandy Herworth 36:08 (Medium pack, actual time 34:28)
202 Nina Jensen 39:02
244 Alice Vialard 41:05
276 Mary Martin 43:13
288 Gillian Milne 44:19
200 Dan Edwards 47:52
241 Tom Tinsley 48:47
286 Sichao Yang 49:44
295 David Lydall 50:06
361 Richard Slack 52:37
404 Francesco Carrer 55:21
413 Howard Maclennan 55:50
453 Brian Hegarty 58:43
483 Ken McCormick 63:34

Some more photos:

Mar 052017

Newcastle parkrun:

19:27   Paul Robinson
20:35   Gordon Macfadyen
20:45   Mungai Wairia
23:23   John Grimshaw
23:30   David Devennie
24:02   Dave Kear
26:11   Alex Anslow
27:13   Susannah Orr

Gateshead parkrun:

41:57   Sumanth Nayak

Rising Sun parkrun:

23:38   Luke Woodend

Whitley Bay parkrun:

26:32   Daisy Martin – Free, timed, 5k runs every Saturday 9am

 March 5, 2017  Posted by at 9:26 am Results No Responses »
Feb 262017

Newcastle parkrun:

21:34   Gordon Macfadyen
21:47   Mungai Wairia
22:05   Paul Hughes
22:28   Robyn Wynn
23:43   Brian Hegarty
23:46   Richard Slack
24:25   John Grimshaw
25:55   Kenny McCormick
25:58   Alice Vialard
26:46   Rose Hawkswood

Gateshead parkrun:

19:54   Paul Robinson
22:11   David Lydall

Rising Sun parkrun:

25:13   Luke Woodend

Riverside parkrun:

20:07   Catherine Young – Free, timed, 5k runs every Saturday 9am

 February 26, 2017  Posted by at 12:14 pm Results No Responses »
Feb 222017

The single Claremont team to compete at this year’s Hetton Lyons Relays was the “Ladies Team of Every Decade” – with Hannah Mainprize representing the 10s, Rose Hawkswood the 20s, Alice Vialard the 30s/very nearly 40s and Julie Dumpleton the 50s. The girls had a good day out and finished a respectable 56th out of 96 teams – with a time in the 60s to complete the sequence (65:42 to be precise). Individual times were:

16:26 Rose Hawkswood
17:04 Julie Dumpleton
17:32 Alice Vialard
14:40 Hannah Mainprize

 February 22, 2017  Posted by at 9:18 pm Photos, Race Reports, Results No Responses »