Cramlington Harrier League X-C 2011
[Thu 13th Oct]
THERE was a superb turnout as over 700 cross-country enthusiasts made their way round East Cramlington Nature Park during the opening fixture of the Start Fitness North East Harrier League.
The senior men’s event attracted 353 competitors alone, an increase of 48 on the corresponding meeting last year while the senior women’s race – 137 finishers – also saw an increase, albeit on a smaller scale.
And the younger age groups were also encouraging, especially the under-13 boys where 50 athletes completed the testing 3k course which is extremely reassuring for the future of the sport in the North East.
League secretary Alan Wears, who is standing down at the end of the season after two years at the helm, was thrilled to see such a huge turnout, especially when, thanks to Blyth Running Club, the fixture was quickly rearranged and slotted into the calendar at the beginning of the season.
Once again we are indebted to the Blyth club for hosting the first harrier league fixture of the season and I’m sure they appreciated so many athletes turning out,” said Wears.
Despite the fixture clashing with a number of other events in the region the turnout was really amazing and it augurs well for the rest of the season. I can see the senior men’s event breaking the 400 barrier in the not too distant future and that will be down to the likes of Blyth and all the other clubs whose members work really hard to host a fixture.
The popularity of the harrier league continues to amaze me but we have a tried and tested format that appeals to athletes of all abilities and we have a sponsor that backs the league wholeheartedly and I think that is why we are on to a winner.
The league’s next fixture is the Sherman Cup and Davison Shield races at Temple Park on October 22 and that will be followed by the next NEHL meeting at Farringdon seven days later. Sunderland Harriers always lay out a testing course but we have had huge turnouts in the past and I cannot see that changing.”
The remaining NEHL programme is: Sat, Oct 22: Sherman Cup/Davison Shield, Temple Park, South Shields (hosted by South Shields). Sat, Oct 29: Farringdon (Sunderland). Sat, Nov 26: Shibdon Pond (Blaydon). Sat, Feb 11: Wrekenton (Saltwell). Sat, March 3: Alnwick (Alnwick). Sat, March 24: Prudhoe (Tynedale).