Blyth Running Club in the news

Articles from the local press - submitted by Keith Willshire

News Post Leader - December 2001

Blyth Running Club recently held their Annual Autumn Relay race around the Kitty Brewster. Handicapper Ron Hope had his work cut out to ensure that all the teams had an equal chance to win. The conditions seemed ideal for what was the 15th running of the Relays, although there was a slight breeze on the outward trip. The first 14 runners were set on their way by starter Dave Kitching and just under 15 minutes later, the first runner Ron Ingram returned and handed over to Club Chairman Ralph Dickinson to run the second leg. Ralph held onto this lead for the 2.25 miles and he gave third leg runner George Young a healthy lead over the chasing pack. However, a superb run by Robbie Barkley saw him overtake George in the last half mile and lead his team to victory, George had the consolation of holding onto second place for his team. Robbie Barkley had set off in ninth position but managed to pass all the runners in front and crossed the line first.

The winning team was: Nina Reveley, Steve Walker, Robbie Barkley, followed in second position by Ron Ingram, Ralph Dickinson and George Young, while the third team comprised Angie Brown, Kevin Freeman and Dale Stafford. Dale also set the fastest time on the night with 12:36. The fastest lady on the night (and setting a new Ladies Vets course record) was Cath Young who recorded 15:31. The fastest Vet on the night was the evergreen Rob Hall who returned from lengthy spell out injured to record 14:00. A special prize was presented to Steve Gillespie who is the only person to run all the Autumn Relays since the event started.

The runners would like to thank all the marshals and time-keepers who ensured that the event went off smoothly and without whom no race could take place.

News Post Leader - November 2001 –

Winter Series 2 – 14th November / Brampton to Carlisle – 17th November

Over 40 runners turned out for the second race in Blyth Running Club’s Winter Series, on a clear, crisp night conditions were ideal for running. The first runner back was Mark Martin who recorded a time of 16:27, finishing six seconds in front of Ian Cansfield with Angie Brown in third place two seconds behind.

The fastest time of the night was set by Robbie Barkley who recorded 13:32, while Cath Young set the fastest time for the Ladies with 16:18.

Three days after the Winter Series, over 40 runners from Blyth took part in the Brampton – Carlisle 10 Mile Road Race. Once again the conditions were ideal for running with very little wind and no rain. With a field of over 500 finishers, there were plenty of good times from the Blyth runners. The race was won by Mike Scott of Border Harriers with a time of 50:26, while the winner of the Ladies race was Lynne MacDougall of Glasgow with a time of 55:28. Andy Brown was first back in 16th position with a time of 54:42, second Blyth runner back was Elliot Makin in 26th position with a time of 56:09. Two more Blyth runners managed to finish in under 60 minutes for the 10-miles and they were Dale Stafford and Gareth Hope. The first Lady runner back for Blyth was Cath Young who managed to record a time under 70 minutes and just beat Anne Potts by nine seconds. Cath and Anne combined with Pauline Cunningham to take the second prize for the Ladies Vets Team.

The next event on the running calendar for Blyth is the Clubs’ Annual Relay Races which take place on Wednesday 28th November.

Preparations are also well under way for 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. The date of the race is Sunday 3rd December and entry forms are available at Blyth Sports Centre.

CONISTON 14 – 13th October

A small contingent of Blyth Running Club members visited Cumbria on October 13th to take part in the rearranged Coniston 14. Postponed from its original date in March due to Foot and Mouth restrictions, the race attracted nearly 1,800 entries, but disappointingly, only 850 turned up to run. The race takes in a complete circuit of Coniston Water, and the scenic route is undulating all the way, with a tough climb at 11 miles.

The event was won by Ian Fisher of Otley A.C., in a time of 1:15:30, with the first lady recording 1:32:34. First Blyth runner to finish was Andy Brown in 16th place in 1:23:39 followed by Ian Richardson in 1:29:19 and Steve Walker in 1:35:04. Angie Brown was first Blyth lady to finish in 2:01:06 with Jocelyn Smith in 2:06:23.

Blyth Running Club members have a busy period coming up, Wednesday 14th November sees the second race in the Clubs Winter Series. A series of 2.5 mile races around the Kitty Brewster Trading Estate. Then on Saturday 17th November, the next race in the Clubs Grand Prix takes place with the Brampton – Carlisle 10 mile road race. On a traditionally fast course Blyth runners will be hoping to record a fast time. On Wednesday 28th November the club will hold their annual Relay races, where teams of three compete on a similar course to the Winter Series.

Preparations are also well under way for 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. The date of the race is Sunday 3rd December and entry forms are available at Blyth Sports Centre.

News Post Leader - October 2001 - Winter Series Race 1 – 17th October

Blyth Running Club recently held the first race in their annual Winter Series, which is a series of seven handicap races around the Kitty Brewster Trading Estate. For the first race over the 2.5 mile course there was a healthy turn-out of 45 runners who were all looking to win one of the coveted ‘Yellow T-shirts’ awarded to the race winner.

Race organiser Dave Kitching was out early setting up the start/finish areas, and handicapper Andy Brown was on hand to set the runners away at their allotted time. Christine Willshire was the first runner off, followed shortly after by Jocelyn Smith, then it was a steady stream of runners until eight minutes after the first runner Dale Stafford set off in hot pursuit of the 44 runners in front of him. Newcomer Barry Richardson was the first runner back, covering the 2.5 miles in just under 16 minutes, followed 8 seconds later by Michael Brown. In third place was 11 year old Ryan Robinson who ran the distance in 15:16. The fastest time of the night was set by Dale Stafford who recorded 13:06, while Anne Potts was the fastest woman with a time of 16:36.

All the runners would like to thank the marshals and helpers who turned out to ensure that everything went smoothly.

The next Winter Series Race is on Wednesday 14th November and is open to all Club members

TYNEDALE TEN MILE – 30th September

There were just under 180 runners who ran this years Tynedale 10 Mile Road Race, with over 30 from BRC. On a tough hilly course from Hexham to Ovingham and running into a strong head-wind for most of the way it was to be expected that the times would be down compared to other 10 mile road races. None the less there were the usual excellent performances from Blyth runners. The race was won by Stewy Bell of Chester-le-street in a time of 53:20. The first runner back for Blyth was Andy Brown who finished in seventh place, this following his excellent position of 87th in this years Great North Run. Next back for Blyth was Dale Stafford who finished in just over the hour in 16th position, while Gareth Hope continued his good form to finish in 23rd position. These top 25 positions meant that those three won the second team prize for the Senior Men, behind the North Shields 'A' team. The NSP 'B' team included Elliott Makin in 14th place and Ian Richardson in 20th (BRC is their second claim club).

Despite struggling up the steep hill at nine miles, Cath Young was the first Blyth Lady home, recording a time of just over 72 minutes. Cath finished as seventh lady overall and third in her age group. The next Blyth lady was Sharon Percy, followed by Angie Brown, who with Nina Reveley combined to take the second team prize for Senior Ladies. Another popular winner was Club Treasurer Dave Kitching who was second vet in his age group.

News Post Leader - September 2001

Members of Blyth Running Club have been travelling the region in the recent months running a variety of races. Seven of the Ladies section ran in the Ladies Only race at Jesmond Dene. On a warm, dry night Helen Morris was first Blyth Lady back in 23rd position, just five seconds and one position in front of Cath Young. Out of over 250 runners, Pauline Cunningham, Trish Goodwin and Christine Thompson all had good runs to finish in the first 100, while Christine Willshire recorded under 30 minutes to finish in the top 130, while Liz Freeman struggled a bit on the hilly course but still had over 60 runners behind her.

Later in the month, Helen and Liz both took part in the North East 5K Championship held at Silksworth. Helen set a PB for the distance and was third lady in her age category. They were accompanied by Gary Blanks who had a steady run to record a time of 23 minutes, and Kevin Freeman who showed he is returning to form with a time of 18 minutes.

At the recent Cramlington 5 mile run around the cycle tracks of Cramlington, starting and finishing outside the Library, Gareth Hope continued his excellent recent form with a fifth place position, while newcomer Nina Reveley was the third woman home.

News Post Leader - September 2001 - GREAT NORTH RUN – 16th September

Sunday 16th September saw the 21st running of the Great North Run, one of the most popular races in the world, and as usual Blyth Running Club was well represented.

Club President Andy Griffin is one of the elite few runners who have taken part in all 21 runs, this despite having a replacement hip operation a few years ago. Even with an artificial hip Andy still managed a very creditable 1:44. Before his hip replacement operation Andy was one of the leading vet runners in the area and used to hold the club record of 69 minutes for the Great North Run. Running the GNR for the twentieth time were Club Treasurer Dave Kitching (with a time of 1:43) and Kenn Reay who recorded 1:27. The first Blyth Lady back was Cath Young who recorded an excellent time of 1:34, while Sheila Greener was next Blyth lady with a time of 1:35.

Seventy Four year old Katie Seccombe was putting a lot of younger runners to shame by finishing in under 2:45, this despite taking over 17 minutes to reach the start line.

Terry Hart and his wife Sylvia both ran the race with Terry recording a very creditable 1:38. The first runner back for Blyth was Andy Brown who ran 1:16 while his wife Angie finished in under 2:00. Other Blyth finishers included Aynsley Herron (1:39), Trish Goodwin (1:57), Pauline Cunningham (1:49), Keith Willshire (1:41), Sharon Percy (1:43), Ron Ingram (1:38), John Bryan (1:34), Brian Hedley (1:36), Mark Martin (1:44), Clinton Young (1:36) and Suzanne Humphrey (1:48)

Sunday 30th September sees the next event in the Clubs Grand Prix – the ‘Tynedale 10 Mile’ run form Hexham to Ovingham. Transport has been arranged and information is on the Club notice-board.

News Post Leader - September 2001 - Blyth Links 10K – Tuesday 28th August

Every year Blyth Running Club invite runners from other Clubs in the region (Morpeth, North Shields Poly, Blackhill and Blaydon) to a social night which includes the Links 10K run. Over 140 runners took part in this year's run with Blyth and North Shields providing over 40 runners each. Club Official Dave Kitching had marked out an accurate 10K course which used the new 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. The first three runners home were all from North Shields Poly, with Ian Tweddle winning from Tony Wallet by nine seconds with Terry Mellor in third place. The first Blyth runner home was Dale Stafford in eighth position, while young Michael Stott was second Blyth home in fourteenth place, with Gareth Hope just one place behind him. In a successful night for the Stott family, Michael's father Eddie was the first Blyth vet home. Lesley Miller was the first lady home and she also runs for North Shields Poly. Lesley beat Blyth's Helen Morris into second position by six seconds, Jane Saul of Claremont was the third lady home.

After the race all runners were invited to Blyth Sports Centre where Blyth had provided a buffet for everybody.

Everybody in Blyth would like to thank the marshals, time-keepers, stewards etc who ensured that everything went according to plan and without whom no race could take place.

News Post Leader - August 2001 - Morpeth 10k7th August 2001

Thirty four BRC runners were amongst the 232 runners who got absolutely soaked taking part in this year's Morpeth 10k road race, held on the 7th of August. Torrential rain ensured that all the competitors got absolutely soaked and parts of the course resembled a steeplechase! The downpour lasted for the duration of the event, which consists of two laps around Tranwell Woods, near to the Pharmacia factory (formerly Searle). The race was won by home runner Terry Wall, while first home for BRC in 29th position was Gareth Hope, continuing his excellent recent form, and maintaining his 100% record in the five Grand Prix events to date. He was followed 10 seconds later by Robbie Barklay in 31st place, and 7 seconds later, by Michael Stott in 32nd. Gareth is now the only competitor in this year's Grand Prix to have a 100% record, after Andy Brown and Sharon Percy missed this event.

The sole Blyth prize-winner on the night was Helen Morris, who took the 3rd Lady v35 prize (7th Lady overall), she was also first Blyth lady home, 20 seconds in front of Cath Young (9th). Kevin Westwood was first home in Division Three, while Dave Hendry was first in League four, with Clinton Young first in division five.

On Tuesday 28th August BRC organise their annual invitation Links 10K. Blyth have sent invitations NSP, Blaydon and Claremont and usually attract well over 150 runners to this run/social night. Any member wishing to enter or assist then please see the Club notice-board at Blyth Sports Centre and put their name down. The course of the race is from Blyth Beach car-park, along the Beach Road to Seaton Sluice to Collywell Bay road, along the cliff tops, up past the Delaval Arms, then back along Collywell Bay road and then back to the car-park. Details are on the Club notice-board at Blyth sports centre.

News Post Leader - July 12th 2001

Nearly 600 runners took part in this years Tynedale 10K which was held on Wednesday 4th July, with BRC supplying 50 runners. The race starts at Ovingham and then they follow the banks of the Tyne to Wylam, cross over the Tyne and head back to Ovingham. The weather was hot, humid and sticky for this race and this may explain why the majority of runners recorded slower times than normal for 6.2 miles. However, as usual Blyth runners accounted themselves well with the Ladies section being particularly successful. It will come as no surprise to regular readers to hear that Andy Brown was the first Blyth runner back in tenth position overall, with Dale Stafford next in 16th position overall, while the evergreen Rob Hall was the third runner back for Blyth and was third in his age category. Gareth Hope showed that all his hard training is working with a tremendous run to finish in 49th position.

Helen Morris was the first lady home and was third in her age category, while Cath Young was next Blyth Lady finishing just two seconds in front of Sharon Percy. Cath and Helen were joined by Suzanne Humphrey in winning the Women’s vets prize, while Trish Goodwin was the third Lady home in her age category.

Veteran Bob Soulsby was the first over 70 male finisher in the race.

News Post Leader - June 21st 2001

The first three events of Blyth Running Clubs Grand Prix have now been completed and the five leagues are now starting to take shape. The events were the Keswick half Marathon, the annual Club Handicap of eight miles and the Blaydon Race of 5.7 miles, so there was a distance to suit all abilities.

In Division One, Andy Brown has proved that he has recovered from his injuries to have a 100% record by being the first runner in Division one in the three races so far. Ian Richardson lies in second place with Robbie Barkley just in front of Dale Stafford.

In Division Two, young Gareth Hope also has a 100% record and is certainly training hard to keep some experienced runners behind him, with Steve Walker and John Mallon leading the chasing pack.

Division Three sees Club Chairman Ralph Dickinson having a small advantage over Kevin Westwood and John Bryan. While in Division Four Mark Martin has the advantage over Anne Potts and Helen Morris. Sharon Percy in Division Five is another runner with a 100% record and leads from Angie Bosworth and Clinton Young.

The next event in the Grand Prix is the Tynedale 10K on Wednesday July 4th, transport has been arranged and details are on the Club Notice-Board at Blyth Sports Centre. If anybody is currently training for the Great North Run in September and they wish to have somebody to run with or need any assistance or training advice then they just need to turn up at Blyth Sports Centres on one of the Club nights which are Monday and Wednesday at 6:45pm

News Post Leader - June 14th 2001 - BLAYDON RACE – 9th June

This years Blaydon Race was run in the worst conditions since the race started in 1980, there was continuous rain as the runners congregated outside Balmbra’s in Newcastle for the start of the 5.7 mile race to Blaydon which follows the route in the song. The weather deteriorated further as the race got underway but this did not deter the runners as over 3000 finished the course – a record number for the race. Over 70 of these were from Blyth Running Club and as usual there were some outstanding efforts in the conditions. The race was won by Kenyan Julius Kimtai, while the first woman was Gateshead’s Karen Hind who broke the course record by 45 seconds. First runner back for Blyth was Andrew Brown with a time of 30:37 and finishing just in front of Mike McLeod’s son Ryan. Next back was Dale Stafford who confirmed his potential with an excellent run of 31:06, while Rob Barkley was third Blyth runner home and finished inside the first 100 of a top quality field. The first Lady home for Blyth was Helen Morris with a time 38:05, while Sheila Greener was second Blyth home and the first Lady Over 50 to confirm her standing as one of the top Lady Vets in the region, Cath Young was the third Blyth Lady home.

Two of Blyth’s older members had exceptional runs as Dennis Moss was second in the over 70 category while 75 year old Bob Soulsby was 6th in the male over 70 category.

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