Northern X-C Champs 2015
[Thu 5th Feb]
The Championships were held at Pontefract Race Course, Pontefract Park. The hundred year history of the Northerns tells us that the Northern Cross Country Champs were always held on race courses in Manchester and Haydock over the early years-then later spread to include North Eastern, Lancashire and Yorkshire Districts.
The Championships returned to Pontefract- just three years after the last visit in 2012. Blyth members also returned to compete in the under 13s, senior women and senior men races. Six members made the journey to Wakefield on Saturday 24th January. Conditions were bright, cold and breezy-with plenty of mud to plough through.
Under 13s got underway at 12.35pm covering 1 lap of 3100m, with young Josh Fiddaman- finishing 42nd out of 189 and was 8th northeast placing.
The senior ladies race at 2.00pm was 8k (2x4000m). A mainly flat course with a couple of small hills and a long drag towards the end of each lap. Considering the heavy mud quagmire conditions and incomplete team - the ladies showed great spirit and ran exceptionally well, displaying their passion for cross country running.
Helen Morris- 242nd
Claire Mason- 287th
Anne Craddock- 333rd
The race was won by European athlete Elle Vernon (wife of Steve Vernon), Stockport Harriers and Rosie Smith was the first northeast runner from Durham Harriers in 4th place.
The Senior Men Race at 2.55pm. (3 laps of 4000m). Almost 700 runners came out the pens for the start of this blue riband event which is always a great sight to see. The race was won by Andy Davies of Stockport Harriers, with Olympic triathlete gold medallist Alistair Brownlee from Bingley Harriers runner up, third place went to Patrick Martin, again Stockport Harriers; Martin Scott and Dave Bradley were the sole representatives in the race from Blyth and they both ran superbly, chasing Brownlee all the way, showing their strength and endurance over the three gruelling laps.
Local club Morpeth Harriers claimed the Northern team title.
A great day at the Northerns was enjoyed by all with many thanks to NSP for the trip to Pontefract and sharing their tent.
All results can be found on: http://www.northernathletics.org.uk.