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.
|36||Catherine Young||34:15||(Medium pack, actual time 32:35)|
|75||Sarah Bowen||35:02||(Medium pack, actual time 33:22)|
|128||Mandy Herworth||36:08||(Medium pack, actual time 34:28)|
Some more photos: