COMMENTS  Aug’10



When we compete in the Track and Field League we have to provide our quota of officials and this can sometimes be a struggle as we need 4 field officials, 1 track judge and 1 timekeeper. If anybody is interested in becoming an official and helping out at T&F meetings (senior and Juniors), there is a one day officials course at Gateshead on Sunday November 21st. There is a cost which will be met by the Club. The first session is a generic session (Introduction) and then there are different sessions depending on whether you wish to be a timekeeper, track judge, field official.

Currently the club has three timekeepers (Kevin Freeman, Liz Freeman and Craig Birch) and two Track Judges (Keith Willshire and Steve Bush – Steve being one of the NE top photo finish people).  To progress you need to officiate at meetings during the year, but there are plenty of them, it’s up to the individual how far they wish to go. So far I’ve officiated at the NE T&F Championships, English Schools Championships, GNR and the Grand Prix at Gateshead

Anybody interested in becoming an official see Ralph or Keith for further details






Total League Points

Total Match Points

Match 1

Match 2

Match 3



Wallsend / Blyth



7   355

5   349

7   401

6   394


Scarborough AC



5   267.5

6   374

6   390

7   404


Midd & Clev /Hartl.



6   352

7   386

1   221.5

5   336


Tynedale Harriers



4   266

2   223

4   285

3   236


Houghton AC



3   243

4   344

3   274

2   234


Blaydon / Elswick



1   231

1   177

5   343

4   283


Richmond & Zetland



2   240.5

3   292

2   222.5

1   178


The Blyth/Wallsend combined team won their division of the North of England T&F League in only their second season in the league.  Hopefully before next year’s competition starts we will arrange some more specialised coaching and more of the Seniors may even attend.

Even though very few Seniors actually attended the fixtures, I know the ones who did really enjoyed the atmosphere and trying out new events.

The green and gold joined forces with the green and white for the final showdown of the season at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow. Although in a strong position for promotion as the top two go up, the thought of going up as champions was the inspiration for the day. Second placed Scarborough fielded a very strong team in the hope of overturning our lead. Testament to that is the fact they won the match with the highest winning points total of the year.

It was not enough though to dampen the high spirit shown throughout the season by the division 4E CHAMPIONS, who finished second on the day a mere 8 points behind. Everyone involved; competitor, official, helper and supporter played their part in what has been a most enjoyable season. A comment made to Martin Telford at the end of the match by league secretary Stuart Pailor, summed it up "today has been grass roots athletics at its best" True and every team in the league should be proud of that. Good luck to those teams and I hope you all made some friends along the way.

After a very strong start on the track by our 400m Hurdlers Craig Birch and Phil Jones, both picking up 2nd spots and Phillipa Baxter 3rd, it was business as usual as the track programme got underway.

For the men, outdone by the women in terms of victories, it was young Chris Lillico who recorded the only win on the day with a high jump of 1.70. A string of 2nd placed performances, following on with Craig Birch adding three more to his 400mH in the Long Jump, Triple Jump and 110mH. Dave Rowe also clinching 2nd in the `B` string Long Jump. Flat 400m 2nd`s came from Chris Lillico and Martin Telford respectively. Simon Gibbs adapted well to the 1500m `B` , as did `DD` David Daniels 2nd in the 5000m, in what was his first appearance this year. Another debutant Terry Hart lifted one of many 3rd placed performances in the `B` Shot and ever present Rob Kirtley the only other male field competitor to pick up 3rd in the `B` Discus.

Stalwart Tony Maddocks ground out 3rd in the `B` 5000m whilst a more gruelling time was to be had for our Steeplechasers Dave Moir `A` string who still managed 3rd despite an Ironman 6 days before and ever willing Ian Baxter 3rd in the B. Chris Lillico just edged out of 2nd in the 200m and finally Simon Gibbs finished a strong 3rd in the 800m `B`

Solid performances by Eric Smart, youngster Jake Janson and throwers Ralph Dickinson and Ken Turnbull all amassing valuable points.

Danielle Hodgkinson continued her dominance of the womens 1500m this year winning all her races. Youngster Rebecca Nail nailed the triple jump and Laura Murphy elevated herself to 1st in the `B` High Jump to conclude the wins. Once again as with the men there was a series of 2nd and 3rd placed finishes cementing a solid team performance.

The winner of the most 2nd placed efforts has to go Stephanie Ramsay, celebrating 4 in total including the 100 and 200m the Triple Jump and the Hammer!...... Hammer! Emma THOR Walton extended her p.b. in the `B` event and also threw a mean Javelin to 2nd in the `A` string. Other 2nd placed contenders were Lisa Dean `B` Discus and Sarah Cawthorn `B` Shot Putt. Rebecca Nail rounded on two 3rd placed jumps in the Long and High Jumps. Phillipa Baxter and Emma Walton 3rd place in the 400mH and 400m respectively.

`B` string 3rd places were achieved by Helen Morris in the 1500 and Lisa Dean in the Javelin. Other sterling performances by Stacy Davidson, Crystal Skeldon, Julie Hind, Vicki Hindson and last but not least Alison Lowes all contributed greatly to the teams` success.

Finally what can I say about relays? The fitting finales to the day. After defeating Tynedale at Hexham the Tynedale lads were determined to beat our teens/fifties blend of speed and experience. Even though, Eric Smart onto Chris Lillico blasting down the back straight handed off perfectly (take note team GB) to Craig Birch gave Martin Telford a 6 metre lead going onto the final straight, a nippy Lea Stevenson admitted he thought he was not going to catch him, he eventually ran Martin down. At 48 dead the fastest ever time for Blyth/Wallsend gives the team a target for next year.

There is something about our womens 4x400m that inspire, a never give up attitude. Vicki Hindson and Emma Walton had the team right up there, and the best of Phillipa Baxter’s valiant efforts did leave Danielle Hodgkinson with a bit to do, but what an exciting finish as Dynamite Dan tore up the ground between her and the leader and almost pulled off an amazing win. That team can be proud to now hold the fastest 4x400 time in the joint colours. Here is to as much fun next year as we have had this! Thanks to all involved.


Grand Prix 2010

With only two races left in this years Grand Prix (Tynedale 10 mile and Brampton/Carlisle 10 mile), the leagues are starting to take shape. While Division One is the closest with Robbie and Peter level on points, the other leagues are just as competitive. In Division Two, Stevie having a seven point lead over Shaun and Chris who are tied in second place, while Terry and Chris are not out of it yet. Dave Bradley has a two point lead in Division Three over Heather Christopher, while Ian Baxter and Dave Cox are tied in third place.  In Division Four, Julie has a slight advantage over Ron, with Claire riches in third place. Philippa has a100% record n Division Five, with Heather Barrass in second and Sharon in third.

Full league standings and results on web-site.



For a while now Blyth Running Club have had a group on Facebook where we put up photographs of events and it also gives members somewhere to talk to each other (often about relatively prosaic things like who needs a lift to a race, or whether anyone knows what the training session is that evening). There is a link on the main page of the Clubs web-site



Cross Country Running?  Why not!

No sooner have the spikes cooled down from the successful track and field league – than it is back to the fast approaching cross country season. Ask any good coach – and he’ll tell you cross country is a must to get those performances in the summer. Alternatively you just might enjoy grass, mud and water more than tarmac.


Are you looking for a little variety in your training or racing? Are you considering trying a trail run or fell race? Do you want to escape the constant pavement of urban running? If so, then cross country running might be the answer for you.


What/Where – Cross country races are run over almost any non paved course. Country parks, old pit-heaps, school fields are typical venues. A good cross-country course will contain a variety of terrain. Typically, the course will contain 1/3 uphill running, 1/3 downhill running and 1/3 flat running. Rough ground, mud, and even creek crossings are often incorporated into courses. Blyth enter teams in the Harrier League and there is no cost to the athlete, with the races being handicapped, and the format this year is:

            Under 11’s: New for this year, there will be a short course of about 1000m for 9 and 10 year olds who wish to try cross country. There will be one race for boys and girls and will start about 12:15

            Juniors: The Under 13's will start as normal at 12:30, followed by Under 15's. There are two packs, Slow and Fast. Anyone running in their first Harrier League should start in the slow pack. Depending on number of entries, anybody finishing in the first six will be promoted into the next pack. Depending on the distance (normally about 2 – 3K), the slow pack will start off 50 - 90 seconds before the fast pack.

            Senior Men: Races are generally between 5.5 and 6 miles, and start at approx 1:15pm. There are three packs, Fast, Medium and Slow. Anyone running in their first Harrier League race will start in the slow pack. Finishing in the first 30 in any league race will result in you moving up to the medium pack for the rest of the season and the whole of the following season, and you will start two and a half minutes after the slow pack. Running from the medium pack and finishing in the top 20 results in you moving up to the fast pack for the rest of the season, and the whole of the following season, starting 5 minutes after the slow pack. The first 6 Blyth members to finish the race, irrespective of which pack they started in, will count for the team. Scoring points is easy: the first 6 runners home will score – the exact total is dependant on the position you finish the race in relative to other competitors from other Clubs competing in our league.

            Senior Women: Races are normally around 3 or 4 miles, and start after the Senior Men's race finishes. This year there will be three packs, Slow, Medium and Fast, which work along similar lines to the men's. Finishing in the top 5, I think, from the slow pack will take you up into the fast pack. The first 3 Blyth members to finish the race, irrespective of which pack they started in, will count for the team. Under 17 women may run with the Senior women, usually on a shorter distance.

            Under 17 Men: Normally after the Senior women and there are two packs, Slow and Fast.


Who – Many of us participated in cross country running as school children.  Generally speaking, the sport is very inclusive; you need not be a sub 40 minute 10 km runner to participate. Even the National Championship is an open race; any club member is eligible to participate and some of us do and will be at Alton Towers next year

BRC just avoided relegation last year, so our teams need as many runners to come forward as possible to present a strong effort in all competitions.

Why – As I said in the title, why not!! Cross country is a nice change from the average road race or track race. The undulating terrain of most courses will help you develop hill running skills and better balance. Training on softer, cross country type surfaces reduces the impact on your knees and other joints.

While these are great reasons, there is one other huge reason you might want to try a cross country race: Where else in your adult life are you actively encouraged to go out and play in the mud?




Sat 23rd October 2010- East Cramlington

Sat 30th October 2010– Farringdon, Sunderland

Sun 27th November 2010- Blaydon course

Sat 8th January 2011- Town Moor, Newcastle upon Tyne

Sat 26th February 2011– Edmund Campion School, Wrekenton,

Sat 12th March 2011- The Sherman Cup Temple Park, South Shields*

Sat 26th March 2011– Prudhoe

 (* Not part of the League – and so this is a ‘no handicap’ race)


Other Cross Country Events

Aside from the Harrier League, the following events are also in the season’s calendar:


Sat 11 December 2010: North East XC Championships, Temple Park South Shields.

Sun 16 January 2011     : Durham Cross Country Relays.

Sat 22 January 2011     : North of England XC Championships, Herrington, Sunderland

TBA                               : North East Veterans XC Championships

Sat 19 February 2011   : English National XC Champs, Alton Towers, Staffs

For the North Eastern, Northern and National Champs we have to enter names in advance


Future Fixtures

August 2010

Summer Cup 3

Wed, 18th

Gateshead Tartan Games

Sat, 21st

Links 10k

Tue, 31st

September 2010

Exhibition Park 5K

Wed, 1st

Tynedale 10M Road Race

Sun, 5th

Watergate 5K - VAANE Champs - Lobley Hill

Wed, 8th

Sunderland Open XC meet - Farringdon

Sat, 11th

Wallington 10K

Sun 12th

Summer Cup (4)

Wed, 15th

Simonside Fell Race 6.75M - Thropton

Sat, 18th

Great North Run

Sun, 19th

Vets 10/5K Open track Champs

Wed, 22nd

Norham 10k

Sun, 26th

October 2010


The Great Cumbrian Run Half Marathon

Sun, 10th

Kielder Marathon

Sun, 17th

Richmond Castle 10k

Sun, 17th

NEHL: Cramlington                                                   d  

Sat 23rd

NEHL: Sunderland

Sat 30th

Jedburgh Half Marathon / 10k

Sun, 31st



England Athletics have restructured (and increased the cost) of their coaching courses. 

Would anyone interested in becoming an athletics coach please get in touch with Ralph about two forthcoming courses at Gateshead International Stadium.

The first of the courses is an Athletics Leaders Course on the 11th September 2010.

The second course is an Athletic Coach Course on the 23rd to 24th October 2010..

You may be able to get some assistance with course fees,



                     Tuesday 31st August

Just a quick reminder that the Links 10k Race takes place on Tuesday 31st August 2010.

This is our invitation race where we invite other clubs to participate in a social evening involving

 a bit of running and a bit of eating and drinking.

 Please remember if you are running we would like you to help out with providing food for our

 after race buffet at the Quay pub.

The Quay will be open from 6pm onwards for you to deposit your offerings,

and Wendy Herron and Christine Ingram will be in attendance to help collect and set the food out.


Some suggestions for the buffet are as follows;

Sandwiches, Sausage Rolls, Scotch Eggs, Salads, Quiches, Pizzas, Pies, Crisps, Cakes


Now for some more grovelling.

 For anyone who is not running, but can help out with a bit of marshalling,

 your assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Please let Ralph know ASAP if you can help.





Like most athletic clubs, BLYTH RUNNING CLUB   is run entirely by volunteers - former athletes, parents and others - all interested in helping a sport and a club that they value.

In order to make more progress (and avoid placing unfair burdens on individuals) we want to involve more people in helping the club. Please have a look at the list below and see if any of the tasks there appeal to you - or identify another area where you would like to offer assistance. If you are able to help then please contact our Volunteers' Co-ordinator:



- Providing lifts to those without transport (locally or further afield)

- Gaining access to cheap (or free) minibuses

- Organising transport to events out of the area


- Seeking out possible sponsorship opportunities

- Organising new fundraising activities


- Helping to organise new or existing social events


Helpers are required for the following events:

                    Links 10k (Tuesday 31st August)

                    Summer Cup (Weds 18th August and 15th September)

                    Junior and Senior Autumn Relays

                    Winter Series

                    Harrier League – Saturday 23rd October

                    Sands Race - Sunday 5th December


Young Athletes League

The combined Blyth/Alnwick team have just finished their third season in the YAL and can be well pleased with their progress.  After promotion last year, the main task was to ensure that we did not go straight back down. This was achieved quite comfortably, although we were competing against Clubs who have been formed a lot longer than Blyth. There were several club records set over the season and several highlights (an unforgettable Steeplechase by Jake amongst them) and a trip to Doncaster where the bus driver got lost.  Everybody who competed took part in more than one event with the majority trying field events as well (discus, shot, high jump)  


Future Competitions

The Junior section will hold their own Autumn Relays on Monday 11th October, where entrants will be put into teams of three. The Relays are held at the Kitty Brewster Trading Estate and each runner runs one mile and passes onto the next runner in their team. We try to encourage all members to take part.

Also during the Winter the Seniors hold a Winter Series, which is a series of six/seven races of a 2.5 mile loop around the Kitty Brewster Trading Estate. trading estate. These races are held on Wednesday night and some of the Juniors have competed in them, Stacey, Adam and Steph have all won the competition, each race winner receives a Yellow T-shirt (at the Annual Club Presentation).

Any Junior wishing to enter must get permission from their parents and the minimum age is 11

                 SUNDERLAND HARRIERS & AC 28th Open Cross Country Races

(Under UKA Laws) Permit No 131

                 on Saturday 11th September 2010 (11.45am) at Farringdon School

11.45 * Event 1 - U11 BOYS AND GIRLS: 1000m.
Awards to first three individuals in each category
12.00 * Event 2 - U13 BOYS AND GIRLS: 1.8 miles.
Ages 11 & 12 years on 31.8.2010. Awards to first three individuals in each category
12.15 * Event 3 - U15 BOYS AND GIRLS: 1.8 miles.
Ages 13 and 14 years on 31.8.2010. Awards to first three individuals in each category
12.30 * Event 4 - U17 Men: 1.8 miles.
Ages 15 and 16 years on 31.8.2010. Awards to first three individuals
12.45* Event 5 - SENIOR MEN’S AND VETERANS’ RELAY: 4 x 1.8 miles.
Age 17 years and over on the day of the race. Awards to first three teams.
Please submit number of teams. Declare names on the day.
1.40 * Event 6 - SENIOR WOMEN: 1.8 miles.
Aged 17 & over on 1.9.2010 combined with U17 WOMEN 1.8 miles.
Ages 15 & 16 on 31.8.2010. Awards to first three individuals in each race

Any Juniors interested, then see Keith ASAP

Club pays entry, although we do ask for refund if somebody enters then doesn’t turn up

Training Sessions

With the imminent departure of Craig to Uni, there will be a restructure of the training groups for start of September.

There will be no training on Monday 30th August – Bank holiday

Sprint Relay Competition

There is a relay competition at Monkton Stadium on Weds 8th September; hopefully we will have teams in all age categories. Anyone interested see Keith


Mini Athletics Club

The next session will be on Wednesday 15th September @17:00

The sessions help to develop children’s Athletic abilities.

Based upon:

                   Running,  Jumping,  Throwing,  Fitness

The sessions aim to provide young children with a fun and active experience of being part of a sports club. We will introduce the FUNdamentals of the basic physical skills of running, jumping and throwing. With the main aim of all round physical development in a fun athletics setting. Children will also have the opportunity to work towards recognised UK:Athletics awards. 

See Keith for further details




Minutes of meeting held 5th July 2010


Apologies: Aynsley Herron, John Mallon & Mal Darbyshire


The meeting commenced at 8:37 p.m.


Minutes of meeting held 8th June were read and approved. This was proposed by Dave Kitching and seconded by Craig Birch.

Matters Arising


Club Base – Ralph had corresponded with the Rugby Club thanking them for their time and informing them that their facilities do not meet all the requirements required for the Running Club.

Wallsend 5-mile –Ralph had spoken to the Wallsend Secretary Chris Robson outlining our athletes concern with the lack of water at their event. Chris thanked me for the comment and stated it would be reported at their next committee meeting.

Hurdles –Iain Singer was still looking to set up hurdles training.


Chairman’s Report

Kevin reported that unlike the England football “team”, BRC Track & Field Teams have been performing to the best of their ability as well as working hard and successfully for each other.

The Juniors in partnership with Alnwick Harriers did well in their third fixture on 20th June at the McCain Young Athletes League and as a result are currently placed 4th from 9 in the Northern Division 1 North East.

The Seniors in partnership with Wallsend Harriers did very well in their third fixture on 4th July at the North of England Senior T&F League and as a result currently top their division of 7 and look likely candidates for promotion.

I enjoyed watching the BRC Junior Beach Races on 27 June, 2010, capably organised as ever by Keith Willshire.  This is a good event, worth nurturing, and certainly able to grow and flourish in the future with the continued support of Keith and the backing of the Committee.

I would like to thank Keith Willshire for securing a grant from Grassroots Northumberland.  Keith will no doubt give us full details later tonight but it does allow BRC to obtain useful equipment to help develop our athletes.

It has been pleasing to see over 50 BRC members choosing to take part in the 1st and 2nd Summer Cup Races.  It goes to show how popular these handicap events remain.

Finally, 3 years ago BRC achieved England Athletics Clubmark Standard.  The time has come for re-accreditation.  I would ask the Committee to help and support the process ahead in retaining the standard.


Secretary’s Report


Ralph reported the following correspondence and race entries had been received;

  • Letter from Full On Sport advertising on line registration service.  I have passed this to Dave K for consideration.
  • Letter from Anthony Nolan Trust asking for help with fund raising at the GNR and offering free entry into a competition for a free marathon place at the VLM.  Circulated to members.
  • Letter from NECAA (North East Counties Athletics Association) advertising Officials Course on Sunday 21 November 2010.  Circulated to members.
  • Letter from NECAA advertising Sprint Relay Meeting on 8 September 2010.  Circulated to members.
  • Invitation letter from Claremont Road Runners – The Weetslade Relay.

We have had 5 new members since the last meeting; 2 seniors and 3 juniors. There have been no resignations.


Treasurer’s Report


A profit was made on the Blyth Valley 10K.  Club funds are still very healthy.


Mens Captain Report


Iain reported the following;

The gentlemen have participated in the following recent races:

  • Redcar Half Marathon, Killhope Wild Race, Newburn River Run, T & F Hexham, NE Vets Championships (Track & Field), Seeded Races (Track), T & F meeting 3 (Hexham), Blaydon Race


Ladies Captain Report

Helen reported the following;

  • The ladies section is fine and everyone seems to be training and competing well. There are no problems.
  • I would like to aim at a sprint relay meeting for the ladies at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow on the 8th September, as I think it would be a good club participation event. The relays are 100m, 200m and 400m.
  • I have had a request from Vicki Thompson regarding the ladies entries for the harrier league next season. I will be looking to recruit a number of senior and veteran ladies to compete.
  • With regard to training, I will continue to do a Wednesday evening lighter session, whenever possible and occasionally, I will incorporate a track session.
  • Lisa Dean beat her own club record with the javelin at Hexham; from 17.71m in 2009 up to 18.59m. A great improvement.
  • Phillippa Baxter also broke her club record for 100m hurdles from 29.4s down to 27.6s. Well done.

Suzanne stated that it was nice to see more members attempting the Wild Races.



Keith reported the following;

  • Young Athletes League – we finished first at the meeting at |Monkton on 20th June, scoring over 500 points.  We had several good performances, Chris Lillico and Jacob Hall gained standards and Chris and Sam Bell set records.  There is one match to go on Sunday 18 July 2010 on Churchill Playing fields and hopefully we will consolidate our position in the league.
  • Junior Beach Races – these took place on Sunday 27 June 2010.  Winners from the Club included Jess Thompson and Chris Sheffer.  Several new comers are attending training.
  • Junior Handicap - will be on Monday 12th July.
  • Quadkids Competition – 6 juniors attended Quadkids at Heaton. Certificates will be presented on a Club night.
  • Grantreceived a grant of £1200. This money will be used for indoor athletic equipment and reflective vests with Blyth logo on.

Grand Prix


Ralph to collect Coastal Run numbers from Willowburn Leisure Centre on the day prior to the event.



No report.



Sprint Relay Meeting at Monkton on 8th September – Aynsley to be asked to include this event in the Training Schedule to encourage as many people as possible to participate.

Track & Field Records – Craig reported that since the last committee meeting no fewer than 11 clubs records have been broken and one has been equaled (Sam Bell in the Ladies High Jump). Craig is still looking into the reference to David Conway.

Handicapper Andy Brown is happy to organise the remaining Summer Cup handicaps. He will however be unable to assist with the forthcoming Winter Series. A new handicapper has been appointed. A letter of thanks will be sent to Andy.

North East Harrier League Fixture Ralph will be Race Coordinator for the event at East Cramlington on Saturday 23rd October.

Coaching Coordinator- As part of Network plan each club should have a coaching coordinator and a database of club coaches to help identify weaknesses etc. Cost of new courses is as follows; Leader: £95.00 (one day), Coaching Assistant: £130.00 (two days), Coach £325 (3 days + 1 day assessment)

·         Children’s Coach courses will support prospective coaches to meet the needs of athletes under 14 years old, predominantly with a multi event focus and will address the issues of child development in a rigorous way.

·         The Athletics Coach award is targeted at coaches looking to work with athletes in the key disciplines of track and field, cross country and road running and will require all coaches to reach a required standard of competency across a variety of events covering running, hurdling, jumping and throwing.

·         The Off-track Endurance Coach award is for those who wish to work primarily with adult endurance athletes with a specific competition or performance target in mind.

Network Development Day - Keith attended this event at Birmingham and has handouts available if anybody wants them.

Northern 6 stage, 4 stage and junior road relays - These are at Manchester on Saturday 2nd October 2010.


BRC welcome Pack Keith had produced a quick guide to the Club that was circulated to the committee members present. Any comments can be reported back later.


Links 10k – To be discussed at next meeting.


The meeting closed at 10:19 p.m.                    Date of next meeting – Monday 16th August, 8:30pm start