Trail 10k, 23rd September 2018. A coolish but pleasant morning for
racing. This run was re-established in 2014, with the original Coxhoe
10k on a different route dating back to the 1980s. The modern version
was put together by local runner Iain Twaddle and our own Ean Parsons
and attracts a decent number of Harriers. The course is a good one,
an out and back along the old Kelloe railway line, with a loop around
the plantation (‘pit heaps’) at the far end. This doesn’t really
hint at the two or three taxing hills on the route, the last one a
particular energy sapper, especially with another half mile still to
go once back at the top before the finish. The finish area is where
Coxhoe Hall used to stand (once the home of the Victorian poet
Elizabeth Barrett Browning) and offers a good vantage of those
struggling up the final hill. Well, I always struggle anyway.
is down at Coxhoe Leisure Centre, followed by a fifteen minute walk
up to the start/finish area in the woods. This year I got chatting to
folks at the finish area for too long and only just got to the start
in time. It meant I was right at the front and after just the
briefest of intros we were away. I’ve never started a race so
quickly. I dare not do anything other to avoid tripping other front
runners and only eased off once we were halfway down the first hill.
Turns out it was a successful tactic as normally I’m tripping over
folks on this bit myself. I kept a decent pace throughout, for me,
and beat my best time in five attempts at the course by a minute and
a half. The organisers moved the date back three weeks this year, to
avoid Tees Pride 10k, and I think the cooler morning helped too.
Either way, I was pleased with my performance.
record 200 runners completed the event this year. First Harrier was
Ben Smale (a Coxhoe lad) and first female overall was Lisa Darby, a
brilliant effort. A special mention also to 15 year old Daniel
Avery-McAleese who finished 33rd
overall in 44 minutes. Fifteen Harriers in total took part. It’s a
great local event and even more next year would be super.
This race doesn’t
need much of an introduction, with it being perhaps one of the most
iconic half marathon races in the world. Being a fairly novice
runner I wanted to set myself a challenge and with the race pretty
much on the doorstep I thought why not enter the ballot?! Training
in earnest started in June and I gradually built up the miles through
the weeks. Then came race day – my first attempt at 13.1 miles! I
think I was more nervous in the morning about getting to the start
line having read a lot about busy metro lines but in the end it all
went smoothly and I even had time to meet up with friends from work
who were also racing.
After that, it
was time to go to the start along with approximately 43,000 other
people, unfortunately I didn’t see any of the other 21 Harriers who
were also racing. It is quite an experience to be lined up with that
many people and to know I was in the same race as Mo Farah!
I crossed the
start line 12 minutes after the gun went off, I thought it was going
to be busy at the start but we were all pretty well spread out. I
went off too fast (definitely need to work on my race pacing) but as
I got down towards the Tyne bridge I tried to settle into it, however
that proved tricky with so many people on the road. This wasn’t
helped by people starting to walk at around 3 miles, if you’re
doing a half marathon do some training!
By mile 7, the
legs were starting to complain, time to dig in, and focus, however
easier said than done with everything going on and the heat. Had to
make use of all the water stations and the showers and by mile 10 I
was beginning to slow, the long drag uphill really does take it out
of you. It was quite a relief when it levelled out. Then there was
the short downhill to the sea front, round the corner and then the
end was finally in sight, but that last stretch, it felt so far. I
never thought the finish line would come but getting closer I took
one final look at my watch, saw there was a chance to still get under
2 hours and just went as fast as I could (admittedly not that fast at
the end of 13 miles) but crossed the line exhausted in 1:59:47. I’d
done it, first half marathon completed and really pleased to meet my
goal of sub 2 hours, even if it was only by 13 seconds!
I am glad I can
tick the Great North Run off the list, but I won’t be entering the
ballot this year – too many people and the logistics of trying to
find the family afterwards and getting home put a bit of a dampener
on the day. However, it certainly gave me the bug for running, I’m
For the second year running, the Annual Dinner was held at Hardwick Hall Hotel. After dinner, Tracy Brown and Steve Foreman reminded the assembled guests about FoSH and the ways in which we could all help before conducting a fun game of heads or tails. Together with an auction for a pair of hand-crafted medal hangers generously donated by Ray Carmichael, £120 was raised for FoSH. Star of the night was Lisa Darby who added 4 trophies to her already bulging cabinet: Newcomer of the Year, Runner of the Year, Time Trial winner and Divison 1 Grand Prix winner. Justin Coxtook Performance of the Year for his superb York marathon and qualifying for England. For her astonishing return to sprinting, Frances Barlow took Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Supporter of the Year was won by Ray Carmichaelfor supporting other athletes despite being a very active competitor himself. Ray also won the Division 1 Grand Prix. For her fantastic work with the beginners’ groups and for her all round enthusiasm and generosity, Sheree Lyons was chosen by the committee as Volunteer of the Year. Club Member of the Year was awarded to Tracy Brown for her hard work behind the scenes with the minis and minors and her work with FoSH and co-organising the Serpentine race. The Grand Prix winners were: Division One – Ray Carmichael (men) and Lisa Darby (women); Division Two – Helen Letts(women) and David Round (men). Kieran Walker was the fastest man in the Time Trial and Lisa Darby took the women’s title.
A celebration of the first ten years of the club was held at Hardwick Hall Hotel. Archie Jenkins, secretary of NECAA was invited to speak and gave an enthusiastic assessment of all the club had achieved before proceeding to present the awards. Deb Pennick took Newcomer of the Year award after making strong improvements and representing the club in many races. Individual Performance of the Year was awarded to Gary Thwaites for his astonishing year of marathons which saw him complete his 50th marathon. Gary also took Club Runner of the Year. Track and Field Athlete was presented to James Oldfield for “having a go” at track and field and taking the club steeplechase and javelin records in the process. Kev Archbold took Supporter of the Year for his many hours of coaching and behind the scenes work. The committee chose Helen Letts as Volunteer of the Year. Helen gives up a lot of time to support the juniors as well as being actively involved in the beginners group and helping co-ordinate coaches and the club’s accreditations. Club Member of the Year was taken by Ean Parsons, in this the anniversary year, having previously ruled himself out of the voting. As it was the tenth anniversary of the club, two further awards were made: Club Runner of the First Ten Years of the Club was awarded to Ean Parsons. Club Member of the First Ten Years of the Club was award to Marie Walker. Additionally, the club presented three bespoke trophies made by Ray Carmichael to say #THX to three people who have been instrumental in building it to what it is today: Marie Walker, Scott Hydon and founder and chair for the first ten years, Ean Parsons. The grand prix winners were: Division One – Paul Weir (men) and Tracy Glaister (women); Division Two – Paul Glaister (men) and Deb Pennick (women). The Time Trial winners were James Oldfield (men) and Tracy Henderson (women).
The club Annual Dinner and Awards night was held at the Parish Hall in Sedgefield on Friday 14th November with guest speaker Alan Bell. Chief International starter, Alan Bell describes himself as ‘I’m not famous but when I speak the world listens’. He regaled the Harriers and their partners and guests with anecdotes form his long and illustrious career as an international athletics official including disqualifying Usain Bolt in the World Championships 100m final and about his unforgettable experiences at London 2012. The evening was one of celebration for Sedgefield Harriers at which awards were made for performance and contribution to the club. Paul Glaister was named as Supporter of the Year for supporting his daughters and his wife at competitions; James Oldfield was voted as Newcomer of the Year for his fantastic performances since joining the club; Jane Spink, Track and Field Athlete of the Year for competing in Javelin; Tracy Brown was voted by the club committee as Volunteer of the Year for all the work she does coaching juniors and in support of many club activities; Paula Warwick was voted by members as Club Member of the Year for competing and her contribution to the club generally; pride of place went to David Sawyer who was voted both Performance of the Year and Runner of the Year for his fantastic achievement of competing in 5 marathons, 5 half-marathons, 5 10k’s and 5 5k’s and if that wasn’t enough, running 98 miles between Sedgefield and Bamburgh on the last weekend of his challenge to race in the Castles Half Marathon – all in aid of Breast Cancer Research. Christine Hearmon and Paul Weir received the annual club Grand Prix trophies and Abie Hearmon and James Oldfield were winners of the annual time trial trophies. There was a fantastic raffle and half the proceeds went to the club and half to Marie Curie Nursing Care, the clubs’ adopted charity for the next twelve months in memory of Club Secretary Gail Bell who sadly recently lost her personal battle with cancer.
The club dinner of 2013 was held in Sedgefield Parish Hall with guests Peter Barron , Editor of the Northern Echo, Mel Carr, Mayor of Sedgefield and John Stacey, England Athletics who all said a few words in praise of the club and made two awards each. The award winners were; Marie Walker, Club Member of the Year (for the thrid time); Gary Thwaites, Club Runner of the Year; Kevin Archbold, Volunteer of the Year; Matthew Jones, Individual Athletic Performance of the Year; David Round, Newcomer of the Year; Alan Tait, Supporter of the Year. The club also made a special presentation to Club Chair and Founder Ean Parsons in recognition of his on-going contribution to the the club. There was a record list of nominations for awards and of votes cast; a list of the nominations is below.
The 2012 dinner was held on Thursday 29 November at Sedgefield Racecourse. Guest speaker was Olympian Alison Curbishley who talked about her experience the 2012 London Olympics. Funds were raised for the club as well as Alison’s partner Steve Cram’s charity, COCO. Club member of the year went to Jane Spink, Runner of the Year was Diane Baines and Volunteer of the Year was Tim Dredge.
Our club dinner in 2011 was held at the Hardwick Arms in Sedgefield. Guest speaker was Olympic Marathon Bronze Medallist and current English marathon record holder, Charlie Spedding who comes originally from Ferryhill. Charlie provided us with a mementous evening and made awards to Diane Baines for Club Member of the Year and Volunteer of the Year and to Jason ‘Ferryhill Flyer’ Catterall for Club Runner of the Year.
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