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Records Tumble at Monkton Stadium


Blyth finally made their entrance into the Northern T&F League at Monkton Stadium on Saturday 2nd May. As part of a joint team with Wallsend there were some creditable performances with many athletes turning their hand to unfamiliar disciplines in the traditional spirit of team competition, with some excellent vocal support from both clubs.

Club Secretary Ralph Dickinson got the ball rolling by chucking the hammer 12.55 metres. For the men Craig Birch had an impressive win in the Mens ‘B’ 1500 with a time of 4:45.1 (this coming after he had fallen badly in the hurdles – Craig also did the Long Jump, third with 4.46), Mark Fenwick (Wallsend) won the ‘A’ race with 4:14.8. John Mallon ran in the sprints (100M 13:6, 200M 29:00), unfortunately he failed to get a qualifying height in the High Jump (not surprising really as up to five minutes before he jumped he was still getting some coaching). Steve Walker threw the discus (13.78) and Shot (6.63) and ran the final leg in the 400m relay. For the Women, there were some very impressive performances from Kirstie Johnson who stormed to a 400M victory in 64.9, won the Long Jump in 4.40 and the High Jump in 1.30 and then led the Womens 100M relay team to victory. Another Junior competing was Stephanie Ramsay, who was second in the 100M in 14.3, then she also finished second in the 200m in 30.5, she then threw the Shot 6.10 to finish fourth and finally she ran the first leg of the 100m relay and passed on a lead which was to prove decisive.

In the Womens 3000m, Helen Morris had a commanding lead as she comfortably won the 3000M, Helen then picked up points in the unfamiliar discipline of the Javelin as she threw 7.82.


The Blyth/Wallsend team finished third, four points behind the leaders. If a few more Seniors had turned up then we may well have won it     


Full results can be found at


Next event is at Hexham on Saturday 6th June



At a recent Committee meeting the issue of runners wearing ear-pieces while running was discussed. It was agreed that it was a dangerous practice as runners could not hear any instructions passed onto them.  One of the suggestions was that we should bar/disqualify anybody entering our races who wear ear-pieces. Initially, the Committee have decided just to warn runners of the dangers while running with earpieces. This matter also raises its head at the NECAA and the general consensus is that they should be barred, but unfortunately (as yet) it is not a rule in road running. In Track and Field, I have seen an athlete disqualified after running 3000m wearing headphones – although I could not understand how she was allowed to start.  


Senior Handicap

There was a strong westerly wind blowing which hampered the runners as race organiser Dave Kitching set the first runners (newcomers Heather Barrass and Andrea Scott) off and from then on it was a steady procession of runners until Gary Jones was the last runner off. Running steadily Heather managed to hold onto her lead for the whole race and was never challenged or passed by any of the runners and came home a convincing winner. In second place was Paul Whalley, despite setting off second last Paul managed to pass the majority of runners and set the fastest time on the night. In third place was Andrea Scott who was only passed by Paul in the last 400 yards. Leanne Herron set the fastest time by a lady. 


Club Captains

The Female Club Captain role will be undertaken by Helen Morris with Susie Hunter taking up the Vice Captain role. We are still waiting a volunteer(s) for the Male Club Captain(s)                                

Blyth Running Club Presentation

Prize-Winners 2008/09

Grand Prix

Division One

                      1st: Paul Whalley - 2nd: Peter Brown - 3rd: Rob Barkley


Division Two

                      1st=: Joe Frazer  - 1st=: Steve Walker  - 3rd: Mal Darbyshire


Division Three

                      1st: Dave Cox – 2nd: Terry McCabe - 3rd: Dave Bradley


Division Four

                      1st: Ron Ingram – 2nd Davina Lonsdale


Athlete of the Year Trophy

                      1st:  Joe Frazer.      2nd   Dave Cox.     3rd    Paul Whalley


Winter Series 2008-9

1st: Jacob Hall - 2nd: Julie Lemin –

                            3rd=: Alison Lowes, Leanne Herron, Sarah Herron.


Race Winners T-shirts

1. Steve Bush.  2 & 5. Sarah Kaminski.  3. Joe Frazer.  4 & 7. Jake Jansen.

6. Davina Lonsdale.


Team – ‘THE BROONS’.

Peter Brown, Emma Freeman, Iain Singer, Alex Sewell, Julie Lemin, Alison Lowes


Junior Handicap

1st Ben Malcolm - 2nd Daniel Tate. - 3rd Jacob Hall

Fastest Girl: Stacey Robinson.  Fastest Boy: Jacob Hall.


Senior Handicap

1st   Heather Barrass.     2nd  Paul Whalley    3rd   Andrea Scott

Fastest Lady:   Leanne Herron.      Fastest Man: Paul Whalley. 


Club Personality

Dave Kitching


Junior Personality

Kirstie Johnson




Web-site ;

National Young Athletes League Match 1, Churchill Playing Field 03/05/09


Blyth Juniors once again combined with Alnwick to great affect for the first meeting in this year’s Young Athletes League.  Competing in the league for only the second year they finished second by only 1.5 points behind Birtley. There were several people new to the competition but everybody had a go. Running the distance for the first time, Kalvin ran a strong 400M and was an easy winner with a sub 60 second lap, he then did the 100m and finished second, he also managed to win the Long Jump competition. Josh Harvey was first in the ‘B’ 100M, with Scott Goodfellow second in the ‘B’ 800M race, while Chris Arkless ran a PB in the 1500M. Dan Trousdale competed in the field events and finished first in the High Jump, first in the ‘B’ discuss and second in the Javelin. In the U13 Boys category, Jacob Hall was a convincing winner of the 1500M and third in the Long Jump.  In the U17 Women races both Stephanie and Kirstie were running after helping the Seniors to third place the day before, Stephanie was third in the 100m ,fourth in the 200m and third in the shot, Emma was first in the 3000m ‘A’ race, with Kirstie first in the 3000m ‘B’ race, Kirstie was also second in the Long Jump and High Jump. Competing for the first time, Rebecca finished fourth in both the 100 and 75M hurdles and third in the Long Jump. Bethan won the High Jump  and finished fifth in the Shot.  Another runner competing for the first time was Jessica who finished first in the ‘B’ 150m and second in the ‘B’ 800m , while Charlotte was third in the 1200m, and easy winner of the 75M hurdles and first in the ‘B’ long jump.

After each match an ‘Athlete Of The Club’ is awarded and for this match it was Kalvin Hurst who matched the Three ‘A’s standards in the 100M, 400M and Long Jump.

Certificates are available for anybody who reaches the standards set by the 3A’s. These will be handed out after the last match.

Blyth did even better at the second match and were provisional winners, results to be confirmed watch web-site for details

The next two dates are      June 21st Gateshead (meet at Blyth Sports Center at 09:45)

                                             July 19th Monkton Stadium, Jarrow (Meet at Blyth Sports Centre at 09:45)

Hopefully we will all meet at the Sports Centre and travel as a team.

See Keith for further details


NewcastleGateshead Games

Every year Newcastle and Gateshead have a running competition at Gateshead Stadium. The teams are selected via heats, with four heats at Newcastle and four at Gateshead. For the past few years some runners from Blyth have entered the heats and managed to make the final at Gateshead. The events are for runners under the age of 15 with the longest distance being 400 metres.

Wed 10th June Gosforth Central Middle School Gosforth

Thurs 11th June Lightfoot Centre Walker

Tues 16th June All Saints College West Denton

Thurs 18th June Westgate Centre for Sport West Road

                         Sat 4th July finals at Gateshead International Stadium


The youngest age group is for 5 & 6 year olds and they do a 60m sprint



At the recent Les Allcorn fun run, Kirstie Johnson was the first girl back with Emma Freeman third girl back (they were first and second under 17 girls). Daniel Tait was 46th in 15:56 for the 3KM course. There were over 100 finishers.


Coaching Sessions

High Jump Coaching, There is a dedicated high jump training session every Friday night at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow from 18:00 - 19:45. Currently Bethan, Dan, Rebecca and Kirstie attend There is a small charge of £1.80 - entrance fee to the Stadium

Throws Coaching, this takes place on a Saturday at Monkton Stadium, time 12:30 until 14:00. Again there is a small charge

Hurdles, If there is sufficient interest then I can arrange for some hurdles coaching. Again it will be at Monkton Stadium on a Friday night

Pole Vaulting, we have already had one session and more can be arranged if required

Anyone wanting further details on any of the above, see Keith


Blyth Juniors Annual Handicap – 2 Miles Monday 27th April 2009

There were just under 30 runners who lined up at the start in damp conditions and were set off at regular intervals, with young Bethany Rayne the first runner off and Kalvin Hurst the last runner away. The race was won by Ben Malcolm, who took the lead at the start of the second lap and managed to hold onto the finish line. In second place was last years winner, Daniel Tait with Jacob Hall in third place. Jacob had the satisfaction of setting the fastest time on the night, Stacy Robinson set the fastest time by a girl.



Blyth Running Club On-Line

Most people should be aware of the club web-site:


There are also links to a couple of supplementary sites:


                      Dave K’s extra site with latest news, photos ws etc  



which contains mainly Junior information but does also contain some senior info.


We also have a Facebook group (this probably doesn’t mean anything to anybody over 25) but to everybody else it does.


A couple of other useful sites for checking your rankings are




Enter these sites and you can see where you rank in the country in your age group



As more Seniors and Juniors compete at track nowadays it maybe useful to read this

Track etiquette for athletes

  The in-field is out of bounds unless you are a competitor or an official in the event in session. This means that, if you are late for your event, you have to walk around the outside. Tedious, but potentially life saving. Remember that most of the implements in the throwing events used to be weapons of war!

 Think of others who are competing - don't make a noise near the start or the areas where the field events are taking place.

 If you are being lapped, move out into the second or third lane to let the leaders through. If you don't, chances are they won't be saying "Hi" when they pass you. It will be a bit stronger.

 Don't ever cross the finishing line unless you are participating in a race. It actually does disrupt the timekeepers and plays havoc on the electronic timing. Be polite to the officials - you need them more than they need you.

 Responsibility is the order of the day. If the programme is running behind, don't assume that your event will be late. Organisers usually do their best to keep programmes on time and catch up where they fall behind. If in doubt, ask the meeting organiser.

 The steeplechase water jump is not a swimming pool. Similarly, the high jump mats are for landing on, not partying on.

 You would look both ways before crossing a road. Do the same on the track - a sprinter might not hit you as hard as a car, but it will still hurt. Remember that tracks are for racing on. If you are warming up, keep in mind that there are races going on and they may be using all the lanes. If you are not racing or warming up, don't stand on the track.


Our Friends In The North

    Funny thing these Poly Races.  It’s always windy and cold! Might be because it’s in the winter and beside the sea…………….


Although it’s all competitive, there is always a large amount of spot prizes given out, with buffets on two race nights through out the series as well.  This makes it a popular event.


All based on a handicapping system, 6 races at 3.5 miles along the sea front at Whitley Bay with the final race a little over 5 miles.


177 entrants took part this year, with 3 full teams from Blyth entering. Our teams came 4th, 5th and 19th out of 23 overall.


Individually we had representatives who did even better.  Richard Shillinglaw was our top athlete, coming in 2nd overall, Richard showed very consistent running throughout the entire series.  Robbie Barkley 13th, Helen Bruce 16th, Louise Douglas 19th and Helen Morris 22nd all made the top 25.


Robbie, Peter, Helen M, Helen B and Cath regularly came in the top ten (boys and girls!) fastest for each race.


In total we contributed 23 athletes, and with a bit more luck could well have had top spot in the team and individual tables!

                             Thanks to all who turned up each week.                     Iain Singer



From The BBC Web-site, just confirming what a lot of runners already thought

A good runner, but not great

The elite women line up in 2008


Different ways of seeing stats

Michael Blastland

Marathon winners are getting faster. But don't be fooled into thinking this means distance running is in rude health, says Michael Blastland in his regular column.

When my dad ran his first marathon, it was considered a strange, almost deranged pursuit. Few tried. There were no Great North or Great South runs. The mass participation we see today was unknown in the UK.

Meanwhile in the US in the late 1970s, Jim Fixx put on his trainers, lost 30 kilos, wrote The Complete Book of Running, became a jogging guru and helped start a boom. The boom came to the UK.

In 1981, the London marathon began, motivated by race-founder Chris Brasher's experience of the New York marathon. Since then, the London event has multiplied five or six times in size - from about 6,000 finishers to about 34,000 last year - and become the inspiration in turn of hundreds of thousands.

Martin Lel from Kenya winning the Elite mens' race

Martin Lel breaks the tape in 2008

Winning times today would have stretched the imagination of those who ran it 28 years ago. Faster by about 30 seconds in every one of the 26.2 miles, the pace at the front of both the men's and women's races would feel to many spectators like a two-hour sprint. The winner last year was within a whisker of two hours five minutes - astonishing. By many measures, marathon running has enjoyed a phenomenal boom.

But something odd has also happened, not in the headline performance of winners, nor in the steady increase in popularity.

To discover what's peculiar, we need to look deeper - at the distribution of times across the field. It's a good lesson that there's seldom a single story for any lump of data.

Running times then and now

The chart, right, shows how many people finished within certain times at one of the first London marathons, and again last year. These were not unusual races in their period.

What's striking is the strange disappearance of good runners. That's good runners, rather than great - those who are far better than most, but not world-class, the kind who would impress at club level.

In 1982, a time of two hours 40 minutes would have placed you 457th. Last year, it would have been good enough for 184th - this despite the huge increase in competitors.

Matthew Parris, the Times columnist and former MP, finished in 1985 in the best time ever by an MP - an impressive two hours, 32mins, 57 seconds, for 385th out of about 20,000. Last year, this would have placed him 83rd out of 34,000. The year before (a hot day, admittedly), his time would have been good for 46th.

Of course, the weather can make a difference and you would expect some variation anyway. But not of this order, especially given that the old-timers argue the course is quicker these days (corners smoothed, cobbles carpeted, etc). But whilst there is now a flood of finishers at four hours-plus, it's become no more than a dripping tap just below the top.

Mind the gap

I should declare an interest. My dad, close to two hours, 40 minutes at his best, was a keen runner for 50 years and competed several times in the London. He still watches every televised minute of every race and marvels at the winners. But he mourns the spaces between those who come after.

Runners pass the London eye

Demand for places is high

How does this affect the way we think of the health of the sport? We could say that road running, including the marathon, is best measured by how many take part. On that basis it looks vibrant. We could look at the times of the winners, or at Paula Radcliffe - for years the best female marathon runner in the world - and we could say that excellence thrives (although not for the best British men, who are off the pace.)

So does it matter if the equivalent of the bottom half of football's premier league, the good but not great, has all but disappeared? It might, if this is where champions begin. Or it might matter simply for its own sake.

Where have all the good runners gone? There should be several hundred people out there in the UK who could perform to a high standard, but don't.

The London marathon is glorious. To complete it on any terms is an achievement. But where is the tradition that pre-dated the boom? It was a small part of British life, to train and race as hard as you could on the heels of the best, important only really to those who loved it. But they did love it and the data suggests that, ever so quietly and amidst all the success, a part of running is dying.





1.                               THE SUMMER CUP IS A SERIES  OF SEVEN RACES.


3.                               POINTS WILL BE ALLOCATED THUS:-  WINNER  1.  SECOND   2.  THIRD  3.            ETC.  

4.                               THE OVERALL WINNER WILL BE THE ONE WITH THE LEAST POINTS.  

5.                               EACH RACE WINNER WILL RECEIVE AN AWARD.

6.                               THE OVERALL WINNER WILL RECEIVE AN AWARD.

7.                               THE SERIES IS OPEN TO CLUB MEMBERS ONLY. 

8.                               ONE SPOT PRIZE WILL BE AWARDED AFTER EACH RACE.






Teams and teams names to Dave Kitching as soon as possible.














































































All races start at 7:15 prompt at Links Car Park, South Beach.