Articles from the local press - submitted by Keith Willshire
News Post Leader - December 06 - 47th
Blyth Running Club recently organised the annual ‘Sands
Race’, which runs from Seaton Sluice to the South Beach at Blyth and
back. This was the 47th running of the race and the weather conditions were the
worst in memory for the the runners and marshals. A strong southerly wind
ensured that the times were fast on the outward journey but when they ran
around the ‘oar’, positioned at South Beach by long serving member
Ken Gibson they faced the prospect of running into a gale force wind which
whipped the sand into their faces. As if this wasn’t bad enough it then
started to rain! The height of the tide meant that the runners had to run the
majority of the race on soft sand and overcame the groynes at the Blyth end of
the run – no easy task for some of the runners. The run is a handicap
race, with the handicap based on sex and age, this meant that the last group of
runners were set off 12 minutes after the first age group. Morpeth youngster
Natalie Young overcame the difficult conditions to win by 30 seconds form
Elswick veteran Steve White, who has won the race three times. The ageless Rob
Hall of Blyth Running Club was in third place with another former winner Archie
Jenkins in fourth. The team prize was won by Morpeth, with Natalie Young
leading Archie Jenkins, Marc Cochrane and Mike Hegarty to first place.
Fastest on the day was Keith Heron of Gosforth, who finished 7th, giving up to 12 minutes to most of the field. In winning the race Natalie Young also set the fastest time by a Lady, with just under 100 runners finishing the race.
Prizes were awarded in all age categories and were:
Winner: Natalie Young (Morpeth) - Second: Steve White (Elswick) - Third: Rob Hall (Blyth)
Under 18’s Boy: Marc Cochrane (Morpeth) - Senior Man: Keith Heron (Gosforth) - Senior Woman: Jane Goble (NSP)
Over 35 Woman: Amanda Watson (Elswick) - Over 40 Woman: Helen Morris (Blyth) - Over 40 Man: Vaughan Hemy (NSP)
Over 45 Man: Steve Clark (NSP) - Over 45 Woman: Lynne Marr (Tynedale) - Over 50 Man: Archie Jenkins (Morpeth)
Over 50 Woman: Cath Young (Blyth) - Over 55 Man: Stephen Borlos - Over 55 Woman: Sheila Greener (Blyth)
Over 60 Man: Dave Cox (Blyth) - Over 65 Man: Eric Appleby (Heaton)
News Post Leader - November 06 - Winter Series Race 1
Blyth Running Club recently held the first race in their popular Winter
Series. Weather conditions were ideal for running with very little wind and no
rain to affect the runners on the 2.5 mile route around the Kitty Brewster
Trading Estate. For the first race there was an excellent turn-out of over 50
finishers. The first runner home, and winner of a coveted “Yellow
T-shirt”, was new comer John Herron who was running the race for the
first time. In second place was 12 year old Stacey Robinson with Stevie
Gillespie a few seconds behind in third place. The fastest time of the evening
was set by Leo Talbot, with Helen Morris setting the fastest time by a Lady.
The handicap system again worked well, with the first 48 runners within two
minutes of the winner.Once again the runners would like to thank all the
marshals and officials who ensured that the race took part.
Sunday 3rd December sees the Blyth Sands race, which is unique in the north east for the handicapping system it uses. Runners receive handicaps according to age/sex i.e. ladies over 50 years of age will receive 12 minutes start on the men under 40. Runners and spectators should be aware that this years’ race will now start at Seaton Sluice and run along the beach to Blyth harbour and then back to Seaton Sluice, an approximate distance of five miles. The first runners will be off at 11am. Entry forms are available at Blyth Sports Centre, although entries will be taken on the day at Seaton Sluice Community Association, Taylor Gardens, Seaton Sluice.
News Post Leader - October 06 - Club Autumn Relays
Blyth Running Club recently held their Annual Autumn Relay races around
the Blyth Industrial Estate. The Junior section held their own relays on a one
mile route with twelve teams taking part. With no wind running conditions were
ideal as the first runners were set off. The winning team was Andrew Gray,
Josef Anzcak and Jamie Darling. Josef Anzcak set the fastest time by a boy
while Kirstie Johnson set the fastest time by a girl.
For the Seniors there was 13 teams taking part in the 20th running of Blyth Running Clubs Annual Relays and the winning team was Dave Logan, Cath Young and Rob Hall. The fastest runner on the night was Paul Whalley, while Helen Morris was the fastest Lady. Although not a prizewinner this time, special mention must be made of Stevie Gillespie, who is the only person to have run in all the autumn Relays since the event started.
The runners would like to thank all the marshals and timekeepers who ensured that the event went off smoothly and without whom no race could take place.
Sunday 3rd December sees the Blyth Sands Race, which is unique in the north east for the handicapping system it uses. Runners receive handicaps according to age/sex ie ladies over 50 years of age will receive 12 minutes start on the men under 40. Runners and spectators should be aware that this years’ race will now start at Seaton Sluice and run to Blyth harbour and then back to Seaton Sluice, an approximate distance of five miles. The first runners will be off at 11am. Entry forms are available at Blyth Sports Centre, although entries will be taken on the day at Seaton Sluice Community Association, Taylor Gardens, Seaton Sluice.
News Post Leader - August 06 - Blyth
Every year Blyth Running Club organise a 10K race and they invite runners from other clubs in the region, this year over 200 runners finished and the clubs represented included Morpeth, Alnwick, Blackhill, Blaydon, Bingley , Elswick, Claremont , Concordia and North Shields Poly. Club official Dave Kitching had marked out an accurate 10K course which used the path through the sand dunes, up to Collywell Bay, along the cliff top path, past the Delaval Arms pub and then back down Collywell bay road onto the dunes path. Running conditions were practically ideal on a bright, warm sunny night although the runners had to run into a slight breeze on the return journey. The race was won by North Shields Poly runner, Ian Twaddle. Ian had previously won this race in 2001 and regularly finishes in the first three. In second place was Robert Walker also of North Shields Poly, while one of the regions top veteran runners, Les Atkinson of Morpeth was third. The first Blyth runner was Paul Whalley in 8th position.
The first lady home was Meryl Dodd of Bingley Harriers, while Helen Morris was the first Blyth Lady home.
Every body in the Club would like to thank all the marshals, time-keepers, stewards etc who ensured that everything went according to plan and without whom no race could take place.
Newcastle Evening Chronicle - August 06 - 25th Anniversay celebrations
The Great North Run has been the inspiration for many to carry on
running and go on to join one of the many local athletics clubs in the area.
And while the GNR has been the breeding ground for many individuals it has also
been inspirational in the forming of least one club here in the North East. The
very first GNR, 25 years ago, was the cornerstone for the formation of Blyth
Running Club, which has grown from small beginnings to one of the
well-established and well-run athletic organisations. It all came about in
June, 1981 after a number of joggers had competed in the first Newcastle to
South Shields extravaganza.
After the run had finished small groups of those joggers continued to appear on the streets of Blyth doing their own thing, as the nearest club to the town was 10 miles or so away in Morpeth. So Peter Hawkes, who had run the first GNR, decided that it would be a good idea to try to merge all those groups into a proper club. He advertised around the town and in the local newspaper which resulted in an excellent response, so much so Blyth Joggers - now Blyth Running Club - was formed. With an original membership of 26 seniors and four under-16s, the new organisation was up-and-running and now, after 25 years, plans to celebrate the occasion in the best possible way with a social event at Blyth Golf Club on Saturday, September 23. Keith Willshire, a member of the Blyth committee, said he is hopeful that many of Blyth's past members will be able to attend.
"When the club was first formed it was never envisaged that the membership would snowball the way it has," said Willshire, who has helped join the dwindling ranks of officials at local meetings by being available to stand in as a judge on race days.
"During the 90s the club's membership peaked at over 250, though the current number has edged back to somewhere around 200.
"The 25th celebration is something everyone is looking forward to and it will be a great occasion to see many of the old faces who have competed for Blyth over the past 25 years."
One member who has been there since the beginning is Dave Cox and he still competes in many local races today. Though he is not on the committee, Dave has always been available to lend a hand whenever the occasion occurs.
"Dave is what I would call a stalwart member of the club," added Willshire.
"It's members like him who keep clubs and races going throughout the North East. He turns 60 in November and still competes as often as he can and, despite not being on the committee, he finds time to audit the club's finances as well as helping out in other ways."
Over the last 25 years, Blyth's vests have been seen at most local and national events and, though the members have a serious side when it comes to competition, it doesn't mean that they ignore the social side of things.
"Every year since 1987 the club have organised a weekend to include the London Marathon and, in some cases, the marathon has been known to get in the way of socialising," added Willshire.
"But we still have had success on the running front, most notably with Andy Brown, who won the Keswick Half-Marathon, and Gill Priest, Cath Young and Sheila Greener winning the National Half-Marathon team Championship"
Further details of the club's 25th anniversary party can be found on the club's website: www.blyth runningclub.org.uk.
News Post Leader - July 06 - Newburn / Tynedale 10k / Coastal Run
Runners from Blyth Running Club have had a busy time lately and the majority of races have been held in extremely hot conditions. At the recent Newburn River Run there was a record turn out of over 350 finishers with 35 entries from Blyth. Paul Whalley was the first Blyth runner home in 12th position, with Robbie Barkley second Blyth finisher in 18th position, Cath Young was the first Blyth Lady home, while Gloria McCabe was the first Lady in her age category. The next race was the popular Tynedale 10K road race which attracted just under 500 finishers, with over 40 from Blyth. The hot weather conditions meant that times were generally slower than usual, although Paul Whalley continued his good form to be first Blyth runner home in 15th position, while Gary Jones was second in 23rd. Helen Morris was the first Blyth Lady, followed by Cath Young and Kirsty Huntingdon and they combined to take the Ladies Team prize. Four days later and 30 Blyth runners were in a field of nearly 700 finishers who took part in the Beadnell to Alnmouth 14 mile race. Due to a strong headwind times were down on previous years, and once again Paul Whalley was the first Blyth runner home in 18th position with Gary Jones the next Blyth finisher, while Suzanne Hunter was the first Blyth Lady.
News Post Leader - June 06 - Junior Beach Races
Blyth Running Club recently organised some races for young runners and
nearly 70 children took part, with the ages ranging from 5 years old to 14
All the races were on the beach and the under 9’s ran a distance of 800 metres and for the second year running Caitlin Hall won the girls race and James Young won the boys race. In the under 11 categories the youngsters had to run 1 mile and the first girl was Sarah Wilkes who had travelled down from Warkworth and the first boy was Callum Johnson of Delaval Middle School. The under 13’s also ran a distance of one mile, with Lucy Gray of St. Benedicts winning the girls race, while Joshua Barry of Delaval Middle School was the first boy. The Under 15 girls race was won by Leanne Tonks from Astley High School , while Adam Smith won the boys race for the second year running.
The full results can be viewed on the Junior Website by clicking HERE
News Post Leader - June 06 - Junior Beach Races
On Saturday June 24th, Blyth running Club are organising some Junior
races for children under the age of 15. The races will all be held on Blyth
Beach and the first race will be at 11:00 and the categories will be:
UNDER 9’s will run 800 METRES UNDER 11’s will run ONE MILE
UNDER 13’s will run ONE MILE UNDER 15’s will run ONE AND A HALF MILES
There will be separate races for both boys and girls in each category, with trophies for the first placed runners in each race while all runners will receive a medal.. All ages will be as on the day of the races. It is hoped that as many children as possible will turn up and they just need to turn up at the Mermaid Car-Park to register and receive their numbers before the start of the race. There will be a charge of £1.00 to enter. Anybody requiring further information can ring Keith on 01670-362668
News Post Leader - May 06 - Presentation Night
Blyth Running Club recently held their Annual Presentation Night at
Blyth Golf Club. Nearly 100 members and guests turned up to show their
appreciation to the trophy winners.
Every year Blyth organise our own Grand Prix Leagues which consist of eight races with the runners divided into leagues according to ability. In 2005 - 2006, the races spread from the Lake District to Beadnell Bay, Carlisle to the Kitty Brewster trading estate and covered distances ranging from 2.5 miles to 14.5 miles.
For the third year running Division One was won by Robbie Barkley who was winning the award for the fourth time, in second place, only two points behind, was Martin Gaughan, while Mal Derbyshire was third, the Vets award went to John Mallon. Division Two was won by Peter Brown, who was the first runner home in his league in every race that he did. While in second position was Kevin Freeman, with Dave Roberts third and Ged Baister winning the Vets award. In Division Three the first two runners could not be separated as long serving member Dave Cox and Club Chairman Ralph Dickinson both had exactly the same number of points. Keith Willshire took the third place while John Patterson won the Vets award. Division Four was won by Terry McCabe, with Dave Bradley second and Sharon Percy third. The Vets prize was won by Cath Young.
The trophies for the Club’s Annual Handicaps were also presented and these were: Dave Cox with Adam Robinson second and Mal Derbyshire in third, while Ellen Martin won the Junior Handicap.
The winners of the Winter Series also received their prizes, with the seven individual race winners all receiving a Yellow T-shirt, these were:
Steve Bangs, Stevie Gillespie, Barry Metcalfe, George Young, Shaun Dodd and Kevin Westwood. The overall Winter Series winner was Tristan Kent.
Finally, the members also voted for their Sports Personalities of 2005. Members used different criteria for their votes: which athlete had improved most during 2005, which athlete had contributed the most to the club during 2004 or who was the best runner during 2005. The Men’s Award was won by Club Secretary Pete Brown, while the Ladies Trophy was won by Kirsty Huntington.
On Friday June 9th Blyth will be taking over 50 runners to run the Blaydon Races, transport has been arranged and information is on the Club notice-board.
News Post Leader - May 06 - Club Handicap
Blyth Running Club held their Annual handicap on May 7th, over a 6.5
mile route which started at the Beach Car Park, along the beach path, up
Collywell Bay road, past the Delaval Arms pub and then back along the cliff
tops and then along the road back to Blyth.
The weather was kind to the runners but not so kind for the marshals who ensured that the race went ahead, with very little wind and cool, misty conditions. Starter Dave Kitching set the first runner, Gloria McCabe off at just after 09:15 and from then on it was a steady procession of runners until Sean Kirtley was the last runner off. Gloria managed to hold onto her lead for nearly six miles before long time member Dave Cox passed her with half a mile to go. Dave managed to hold onto his lead and finished 30 seconds in front of second placed Adam Robinson, with Malcolm Darbyshire another 40 seconds behind in third place. In fourth place was Paul Whalley who set the fastest time of the day, while Helen Morris set the fastest time by a lady.
Thanks to the organiser, Dave Kitching for another excellent event, and to Dickie, Steven, Brian, Jocelyn, Sandra and George for assisting.
News Post Leader - May 06 - London Marathon 2006
The latest social event organised by Blyth Running Club saw 7 of their
members undertake the annual trip down to the London Marathon, where they were
ably accompanied by athletes from other Clubs around the region. The runners
from Blyth all completed the 26.2 mile course in less than 4 hours, with times
ranging from 3 hours 05 minute to 3 hours 57 minutes. Steve Walker was the
first runner back for Blyth, whilst Dave Roberts finished inside the automatic
qualifying time of 3 hours 15 minutes. The first Blyth lady back, who was also
overall third finisher for Blyth, was Cath Young. Cath’s finishing time
of 3 hours 29 minutes meant that she easily finished inside the Ladies
automatic qualifying time of 3 hours 45 minutes for next years race.
The next major race in the Club’s Calendar is the Annual Handicap race which is taking place on Sunday 7th May, with the first runner off at 09:15 from the Beach car-park. On the following Wednesday night (10th May) the Juniors will be holding their own handicap race and the first runner will be off at 18:45 from the beach car park. The race is only open to Club members, full details are on the Club’s Notice-Board at Blyth Sports Centre.
The Club are also holding their annual Presentation Night on Saturday 13th May at Blyth Golf Club. Further details are on the Club Notice-board at Blyth Sports Centre
On Friday June 9th Blyth will be taking over 50 runners to run the Blaydon Races, Transport has been arranged and information is on the Club notice-board.
Blyth Running Club are well established as one of the leading clubs in the area and as well as the running they also arrange various social nights/activities. Blyth welcome any new runners of any age/ability, so if anyone is interested in coming along to training nights, or learning more about the club, then leave your name and contact number at Blyth Sports Centre and a member of the Club will contact you to discuss, or Blyth Running Club can be contacted by e-mail at: email@example.com
News Post Leader - April 06 - Blyth Valley 10k
Sunday 2nd April saw the second running of the Blyth Valley 10K run.
Conditions were ideal for running at the start, with the runners running into a
slight headwind on the route out towards Seaton Sluice. Although entries were
down on the previous year, there were still over 160 finishers all receiving a
souvenir T-shirt. After the first mile Morpeth Harrier Mark Brown had a
commanding lead over the rest of the field, with Sean Kirtley and David
Kirkland in second and third. For the rest of the race Mark Brown increased his
lead, while Dave Kirkland managed to pull away from Sean Kirtley and for the
second year running Dave Kirkland finished in second place. Over the last mile
Sean Kirtley managed to pull away from Les Atkinson to finish third with
Atkinson finishing fourth. The first lady was Michelle Holt of Sunderland in
38th position overall, while her team mate Ingrid Hope was one place behind her
as second lady, with Michelle Woodley of Morpeth Harriers the third Lady. As a
result of a lot of hard work by the members of Blyth Running Club, the race
went very smoothly and drew praise from several of the runners. The first Blyth
runner back was 17 year old Ryan Robinson, the first Blyth lady was Helen
The next major race in the Club’s Calendar is the Annual Handicap race which is taking place on Sunday 7th May, with the first runner off at 9:15m from the Beach car-park. While the Junior section will be holding their own handicap race on Wednesday 10th May and the first runner will be off at 18:45 from the beach car park. The race is only open to Club members, full details are on the Club’s Notice-Board at Blyth Sports Centre.
News Post Leader - March 06 - Winter Series 7
Competition was fierce as Blyth Running Club held the final race in
their Annual Winter Series. Conditions were excellent for running and there was
another excellent turn-out of 46 runners taking part in the 2.5 mile race
around the Kitty Brewster Trading Estate, with several of the runners saving
their best performance for the final race. The race was tight all the way to
the finish with George Young winning for the second time this year. In second
place was 15 year old Jess Cunningham, who was five seconds behind George,
while Aynsley Heron was only two seconds behind Jess. The fastest time on the
night was again set by Sean Kirtley, while Kirsty Huntington again set the
fastest by a Lady. The overall Series winner was Tristan Kent, who although he
never won a race, his consistency and steady improvement across all the races
ensured that he was the overall winner of the seven race series, with Iain
Singer and George Young tying for second place, only two points behind Tristan.
Each race winner won a ‘Yellow’ T-shirt and these went to: Steve Bangs, Stevie Gillespie, Barry Metcalfe, George Young, Shaun Dodd and Kevin Westwood.
Once again the runners would like to thank all the marshals and officials who ensured that the race took part.
Currently Blyth Running Club are preparing to hold the “spirit Of The Staithes” 10 kilometre run on Sunday 2nd April. The race will start at Blyth Quayside at 10:00am.
All finishers will receive a T-shirt. Walkers and cyclists using the beach path should be aware that the runners will be running along the path from about 10:10 but hopefully they will not be too inconvenienced. Entry forms and further details are available at Blyth Sports Centre or online at www.blythrunningclub.org.uk
Entry costs £8.00 for Club runners while unattached runners pay £10.00. Runners will be able to enter on the day at Blyth Sports Centre until about 09:30, but the entry fee is £10.00 for Club runners and £12.00 for unattached runners.
News Post Leader - February 06 - Winter Series 5
Blyth Running Club recently held the fifth race in their Annual Winter Series. Weather conditions were ideal for running with virtually no wind, although the temperature hovered around zero all night, which made it very cold for the marshals and helpers who had to stand around – this is much appreciated by all the runners. Once again there was another excellent turn-out of 47 runners taking part in the 2.5 mile handicap race around the Kitty Brewster Trading Estate. The runners were set off by organiser Dave Kitching at regular intervals, with Sean Kirtley the last runner away some ten minutes after the first runner, Gloria McCabe. The winner of the race and a coveted yellow T-shirt was new member Shaun Dodd who was running the race for the first time. In second place was Alex Sewell, with the next 37 runners all finishing within one minute of Alex. Sean Kirtley again set the fastest time on the night, with Kirsty Huntington again setting the fastest time for the Ladies. The runners would like to thank all the marshals and officials who ensured that the race took place.