Friday 29 November 2019

NECAA 'Northeasterns' Cross Country Championships 2019


Hon. Secretary: A.Jenkins, 8 Meadow Riggs, Alnwick, N`land, NE66 1AP

Senior Women's winner 2018 - Georgia Campbell
Senior Men's winner 2018 - Greg Jayasuriya 



Thank you for entering this year`s championships hosted by Alnwick Harriers

The venue is based at the Harrier League course, NE66 1YU


If taking the first exit for Alnwick on the A1 north, follow the B6341, turn right
at the War Memorial, following the signs for Alnwick Gardens, the car park is ¾
mile on the right, followed by an easy walk to the course.

If taking the second exit for Alnwick – Seahouses, Alnwick, Denwick – follow the
signs for Alnwick, the course is 700m on the right (no parking) and the car park
a further 600m on the left.


Similarly, U11 entries can be made at the number pick up tent before 10.00.

UNDER 11s - Entry cost is £1
Please enter in advance if possible Email Name, Club and DoB to

CAR AND COACH PARKING, Alnwick Gardens car park (£3.00).
Additional free disc car parking (with restrictions) is available in the town,
1000m walk to the venue.



Please Note NO DOGS allowed at the venue.

THE COURSE MAP is attached. Similar to the Harrier League with some
alterations - championship distance routes. Distances are approximate.


Anyone wearing their NYSD or NORTH EAST HARRIER LEAGUE number
will automatically be DISQUALIFIED.

TOILET FACILITIES on the course.

REFRESHMENTS will be available and START FITNESS will be in attendance.

FIRST AID and a lost children area will also be adjacent to the presentation

Please can all clubs ensure the venue is left LITTER FREE.

RESULTS will be posted `live` following the link on the NECAA website.

PRESENTATIONS will be made shortly after each race, individual medal
winners should report immediately at the end of their race and team
presentations will be made during the following race.

Please check the attached presentation timetable (approximate).
2018 TROPHIES should be returned, cleaned and engraved, to the presentation
area on the course.


Club secretaries should forward the contact details: name, address, email,
mobile number of the first 10 in each race (first 15 senior men and women) and
any athlete of county standard who missed the championships or failed to finish
in the first 10 (15) before December 31 st to the team managers:

Men: Stewy Bell, 12 Lincoln Road, Moorside Consett, DH8 8EB, Tel:
07525484605, email:

Ladies: Lynn Cooper, 5 Maltby Close, Sunderland, SR3 2QR, 07773 140617,

Bedale. Accommodation / travel arrangements will also be available
following selection. The first three finishers in the county championships will
have automatic selection for NECAA teams. The next priority race - Northern
Championships – will indicate current form and teams will be selected the
following day. If athletes are unable to run the Northerns, all other cross-country
races will be taken into account, if the selectors are informed.

The NECAA welcomes bids for future championships (contact the secretary).
The 2020 venue (December 12th ) will be announced on December 14th .

Note new start time for U17 Men. All distances approximate.


10.35 U11B 1500m 
10.40 U11G 1500m
11.00 U13B 3000m 
11.15 U13G 3000m
11.30 U15B 4000m 
11.40 U15G 4000m
12.00 U17 Men 6000m 
12.20 U17/20W 5200m
12.45 U20 Men 8000m 
13.15 SM 12000m
14.10 SW 8000m

Enjoy the day


Sunday 24 November 2019

NEHL Aykley Heads - Race Report


WHAT is it about the Harrier League that, on a truly miserable day and against all expectations, over 1,300 competitors lined up to tackle the Aykley Heads course, noted as one of the more testing on the cross-country circuit. 

Admittedly, young and old athletes have been denied the chance of racing over the country recently due to the previous two fixtures being postponed due parking problems but the heavy rain, which only relented slightly when it was time for the senior women and men's contest's, certainly didn't deter athletes making the trek to the Durham venue which, in itself, was a way of showing thanks to hosts Derwentside AC, Elvet Striders and Durham City Harriers who, together with a number of harrier league officials, were out at first light marking out the course and making sure everything was in place for a great, 'enjoyable' day's sport. 

With the tented village taking shape hours before the first race and marshalls out in position the gloom was still in evidence as the starting team called up the under-11s for the opening event of the day and it showed what a hardy bunch of youngsters we currently have in the region as the 120 or so eagerly set off on their way. 

Four hours later the murkiness was still in evidence as the last competitor in the senior men's event made his way across the finishing line which was the signal for the band of volunteers to leave their posts and set about the task of dismantling the course, a task not always appreciated by many who take part so, a small gesture of thanks goes to all those who had an input, either small or large, in giving so many runners the chance of a cross-country outing after so many barren weeks,

Under 11s - Try Cross Country

THE sport may be competing against football but 72 boys took their chance over a difficult one-kilometre course when the weather was at it's worst. It was Gateshead's Harry Garrett who took the major honours - he was third at Wrekenton in September - winning by seven seconds from Birtley's Noah Williamson with North Shields Poly's Max Cummings completing the one-two-three. Competitors represented 27 of the region's athletics clubs while West Jesmond School once again were among the line-up.

U11 Boys winner Harry Garrett
DURHAM City's Grace Carter went one better this time round after finishing runner-up at Wrekenton. Grace had to work hard for her victory though as she came home just one second clear of Gosforth's Millie Moat. Derwent Valley Trail Runners, another of the region's new club's, had lots to celebrate when Niamh Phillipson came home in third place to claim the bronze award just ahead of Houghton's Holly Robison.

U11 Girls winner Grace Carter

Under 13s

GATESHEAD have unearthed a new hero in Theo Dragoi who not only took the honours by winning the contest by over a minute his winning time of 14:21 proved to be the overall best of the day. Alnwick's Liam McDonough claimed the silver medal with William Roberts (Durham City) completing the medallists. North Shields Poly's Zac Brannon, who was giving 1:40 start to the winner worked his way through the 50-strong field to finish in fifth place in a time 10 seconds adrift of the winner. Third fastest on the course was Dragoi's Gateshead team-mate Matthew Das five seconds behind Brannon in sixth position.

North Shields Poly came out on top on the day just as they did in the opening fixture at Wrekenton though Gateshead could well have pipped them if their third counter hadn't been disqualified. The Poly have a four-point lead over Alnwick at the top of the table with Durham City a further three points in arrears in third place.

U13 Boys winner Theo Dragoi

IN THE closest finish of the day North Shields Poly's Hannah Atkinson was deemed the winner over Jarrow and Hebburn's Hannah McIntosh with both athletes recording the same time of 16:32. Over 60 competitors faced the starter in what proved to be the most competitive on the nine-race programme. Third place went to Catherine Atkinson (North Shields Poly) while Durham City's Charlotte Dillon worked her way through to finish fourth from a 1:40 penalty to record the day's fastest time. Second quickest on the course was Gateshead's Annabel Milburn with Blaydon's Ellie Fellows next best.

Elswick Harriers set the pace in the league table with a five-point cushion over Jarrow and Hebburn with Gateshead and Gosforth a further point adrift while North Shields Poly, who came out on top on the day move up the table to seventh after finishing in 13th place on the opening day of the season.

192 Catherine Atkinson, with winner 195 twin sister Hannah hot on her heels

U13 Girls 1,2,3 Hannah Atkinson, Hannah McIntosh, and Catherine Atkinson

Under 15s

GOSFORTH'S Ethan Bond claimed victory over an  extended two-mile contest pulling away midway to win by nine seconds in 13:49. Durham City's Sam Terry denied the Newcastle club of a one-two as he just got the verdict over Reece Slater with the judges giving the Durham City athlete the verdict though both athletes were given the same time. Fastest on the course was Birtley's Chris Perkins who, from a 1:40 handicap worked his way through to finish in sixth position with an actual time of 12:42. Blaydon's Will Collinson was second fastest (13:10) and Bertie Marr (Morpeth) third best with 13:25.

Durham City were clear winners on the day and now head the table by two points with Morpeth in second place and Gateshead, a further point adrift, in third spot.

U15 Boys winner Ethan Bond
GATESHEAD'S Jessica Milburn led throughout to claim victory despite being chased down by a number of fast pack runners. The Tynesider, with a 1:40 start crossed the line 33 seconds ahead of fast-packers Alnwick's Millie Breese and Birtley's Katie Francis who was a further 13 seconds back in third place. Elle Van Der Merwe (North Shields Poly) was third fastest on the course when finishing fourth in leading the North Tyneside outfit to their second team victory of the campaign. The Poly head Durham City by three points with Gosforth a further two points back in third place.

2nd place u15 Girls Millie Breeze

U17&20 Women

LONG gone are the days when you could count the number of athletes on two hands who took their chance in this section. Twenty-nine competitors faced the starter on this occasion with victory going to Tess Graham who led throughout after receiving a start of 1:25 and 2:50 over the chasing medium and fast packs. Despite claiming victory the Birtley athlete was being chased down all the way to the finish by Emily Chong (Chester-le-Street) and Morpeth's Robyn Bennett. Chong, running from the medium pack, finished 15 seconds adrift of the winner while Bennett, running from the fast pack, claimed third place with the fastest time of the day.Houghton's Anna Pigford was second quickest while Chong was third.

Birtley and Chester-le-Street are tied at the top of the league with seven points while Gateshead are in third place together with Gosforth and Elswick one point behind.

U17 winner Tess Graham

U17 Men

ETHEN McGLEN took full advantage of his 2min 50sec start to claim victory after taking up the running immediately from the gun. The Gateshead athlete, a multi-winner of the Junior Great North Run, showed he is equally at home over the country as he covered the 4.5k course in 19:30, a time which equated to the fastest time of the day. At the line he finished with a 27-seconds cushion over Morpeth's Dylan Davies with Charlie Phillips (Durham City) claiming the bronze award. Phillips' Durham City team-mate, Josua Wraith was second quickest on the course, 10 seconds slower than McGlen after working his way through to finish ninth. Morpeth's Euan Duffy was third fastest 18 seconds adrift of Wraith.

In the team stakes Gosforth, who were led home by Wesley Croome in fifth place, move above Durham City by virtue of two points while Houghton are a further point adrift in third spot.

U17 Men's winner Ethan McGlen

Senior Women

STOCKSFIELD Striders are one of the region's fledgling clubs having only been formed in 2008 however they had plenty to celebrate when Claire Davies led the 385 field home over the undulating two-lap course. It was Davies' Harrier League debut and it was a runaway winning one as she came home over a minute clear of Blaydon's Letha Whitham with Gateshead's Bethany Curran pipping Erin Gallagher (Newcastle University) for third place with both athletes being credited with the same time. 

Fastest on the course was Jarrow and Hebburn's Georgia Campbell who weaved in and out of the field from a 5:15 handicap to finish an excellent eighth with an actual time of 29:57. Next quickest was Morpeth's Catriona MacDonald (30:41) and Alison Dargie (Tyne Bridge) in 30:47.

Tyne Bridge move to the top of Division One with four points followed by Morpeth on six with a trio of North Shields Poly, South Shields and title holders Gateshead on seven.

Claire Davies takes the win in her first cross country
Women's winners 3rd: Bethany Curran, 1st Claire Davies, 2nd Letha Whitham

Fastest time recorded was by last year's Northeastern's winner: Georgia Campbell

Senior Men

AS IS the norm, the senior men's contest (10k) brings the curtain down on the nine-race programme by which time the course was muddy at best and quagmire-like at it's worst. However, that didn't deter Alex Mirley skipping over the terrain to lead from start to finish leaving his 520 or so rivals in his wake. Now running in the Elvet Striders' colours after moving from Durham City, Mirley, who was having his first harrier league outing since the Alnwick fixture in 2016, eventually completed the three testing circuits in 41min 23secs. 

Newcastle University's Chris Larkin, who finished in third place at the season's opening fixture at Wrekenton, was promoted this time round to the medium pack which set off 2min 35secs after the slow pack and though he managed to cut back the deficit by over a minute he had to make do with the runner's up spot on this occasion and an immediate move up into the fast pack for the next fixture at Thornley Hall Farm in February.  Such was the calibre of Larkin's run his actual time of 40:12 equated to the joint fastest of the day, a time shared by Gateshead's Conrad Franks who, from a 5:15 handicap, moved through the congested field to finish in eighth place. Sunderland's Chris Jackson, running from the slow pack, crossed the line in third place while Michael Hedley (Tyne Bridge) was third fastest overall (41:14) behind Larkin and Franks.

In the chase for league honours newly-promoted Blaydon still head Division One with six points despite finishing fifth on the day while Elvet Striders, Tyne Bridge and Sunderland are locked together one point behind. Birtley head Division Two on four points with Gosforth in second place with six points followed by Alnwick on seven and Ponteland on eight. Jesmond came out on top for the second consecutive time and are two points clear of Saltwell in Division Three with Tynedale and Derwent Valley Trail locked together in third place.

Men's winner Alex Mirley on his home course

2nd Place Chris Larkin records joint fastest time of the day
3rd place Chris Jackson
Gent's winners: 2nd Chris Larkin, 1st Alex Mirley, 3rd Chris Jackson
Joint fastest time of the day: Conrad Franks

WELL done to everyone who competed, After walking the course early in the day I thought to myself that we may not see many competitors today. However, how wrong can you be! It was a superb turnout in all of the races which leads into the County Championships in Alnwick next month when, hopefully, the weather will be a little kinder.

Bill McGuirk

NEHL Reporter

Photos: Stuart Whitman Photography
Senior men - Google photos
Senior Women - Google photos

Sunday 17 November 2019

NECAA Cross Country Championships 2019 : Alnwick Castle

AFTER an interval of 25 years the North Eastern Counties Cross Country Championships return to the Duke of Northumberland's 'home' where the 10-race programme will unfold under the backdrop of Alnwick Castle.

In 1994 the first-ever European XC Championships ran in tandem with the 'North Easterns' hence the return to the venue which has proved extremely popular for North East Harrier League fixtures during the intervening period.

Alnwick Harriers have worked diligently over the past 12 months to make sure everything is in place for the young and not so young to make it a championship to saviour so, with that in mind, it would be fitting if we could see as many of your members as possible on the start line to make it a truly memorable occasion.

Championship secretary Archie Jenkins has already been in touch with a number of athletes who were gold medalists 25 years ago and is hopeful that they will be in attendance and maybe can find time to be part of the presentation team.

Entries for the championships, which take place on Saturday, December 14, close on November 22. On no account will entries be accepted after that date.

Saturday 16 November 2019

NEHL Aykley Heads November 2019

North Eastern Harrier League Cross Country (23rd November)

Important Information on Parking, Travel, Registration etc.

Race Parking is at Durham County Hall car park only. It’s free and only 400m from the start – please do not park anywhere else, please do not try to park closer to the course as you will be charged or worse and we could lose this venue!  There will be plenty of parking for everybody at County Hall but please car share and OBEY THE CAR PARK MARSHALS’ INSTRUCTIONS!  There is no parking in the DLI car park this year.

Officials Parking This will be on the tennis courts adjacent to the new Police HQ. Go north from the County Hall roundabout on the B.6532, turn right at the next roundabout, straight over at the next roundabout & then follow the signs.

Tent drop off We have a tent drop off point adjacent to the course. Go north from the County Hall roundabout on the B.6532, turn right at the next roundabout, straight over at the next roundabout & then follow the signs. Only use this if your tent is very heavy! There is absolutely no parking for competitors here and it is not a drop off point for latecomers. Tents must be left with the tent drop off marshals and competitors return to County Hall to park.

Registration is in the NEHL Tent close to the start/finish

Toilets are located in County Hall foyer and there will be portable loos close to the race start area on the old tennis courts.

Do not enter County Hall in muddy shoes – they won’t let us come back next year if you do!
The course is walking distance from County Hall car park (follow the signs) & is on the former Durham Constabulary playing fields.

Timetable : START TIMES.

U11 Boys 1200
U11 Girls 1205
U17 Men 1215
U20/17 Women 1220

U15 Boys 1235
U15 Girls 1240
U13 Boys 1250
U13 Girls 1255
Sen & Vet W 1305
Sen & Vet M 1350

Please do not warm up on the course (narrow bits) and don't take shortcuts damaging the tape

Race HQ will be the NEHL tent, collect any pre-entries there, and call in with any queries. Entries will close midday on Friday 23rd.

Never re-register someone as new who is already on the system.
I repeat this frequently but someone always does it.
There were at least 3 people caught just in time when runners came to race HQ to get the pack corrected at Wrekenton.
If in doubt, you can look up who is registered on the list of runners:
or you can e-mail and we can check it.
Running in the wrong pack means automatic disqualification.

IMPORTANT - All age groups apart from Under 11 must be affiliated to a club, we do not allow unattached runners.

Pre entries will cost £3, Lost or replacement numbers are £5

Age restrictions as follows:

Under 11 - must be age 9 on the day of competition
Under 13 - must be 11 on 31st August 2019.  U11s turning 11 during the season may move up to the U13s
Under 15 - must be 13 on 31st August 2019.
Under 17 men - must be 15 on 31st August 2019.
Under 17 & 20 women - must be 15 on 31st August 2019.
Senior Men - must be 17 on 31st August 2019.
Senior Women - must be 20 on 31st August 2019.

Masters men aged 65 may (if they wish) run in the 2 lap Senior Women's race, they register as per normal in the men's race, then come to race hq for a replacement number.  Masters wishing to do this must stay in the 2 lap race all season.

Getting there

Directions to County Hall (postcode: DH1 5TP)
County Hall is a major landmark in Durham and many of you will already know where it is and how to get there. There are frequent trains to Durham from Newcastle and Darlington. The station is around half a mile from the course (see link to map) please use public transport where possible!

If you must come by car then directions are as follows:

Travelling south (e.g. from Newcastle):
Use the A.1m and turn off at Junction 62 (signposted for Durham & Sunderland). At the top of the slip road turn right at the roundabout joining the A.690 into Durham. At the next roundabout (where the dual carriageway ends) stay on the A.690 & follow signs to City Centre & Consett (straight over). At the next roundabout stay on the A.690 & follow signs for Crook, Consett & County Hall (straight over - but get in the outside lane). At the next traffic lights turn right signposted for Consett, Chester-Le- St & County Hall. Turn right at the next roundabout into County Hall – you’ve arrived!

Travelling north (e.g. from Darlington):
Use the A.1m and turn off at Junction 62 (signposted for Durham & Sunderland). At the top of the slip road turn left at the roundabout joining the A.690 into Durham. At the next roundabout (where the dual carriageway ends) stay on the A.690 & follow signs to City Centre & Consett (straight over). At the next roundabout stay on the A.690 & follow signs for Crook, Consett & County Hall (straight over - but get in the outside lane). At the next traffic lights turn right signposted for Consett, Chester-Le- St & County Hall. Turn right at the next roundabout into County Hall – you’ve arrived!

Travelling west (e.g. from Sunderland)
Use the A.690 from Sunderland or from the A.19 for Durham. At the junction of the A.690 and A.1m go straight over staying on the A.690 into Durham. At the next roundabout (where the dual carriageway ends) stay on the A.690 & follow signs to City Centre & Consett (straight over). At the next roundabout stay on the A.690 & follow signs for Crook, Consett & County Hall (straight over - but get in the outside lane). At the next traffic lights turn right signposted for Consett, Chester-Le- St & County Hall. Turn right at the next roundabout into County Hall – you’ve arrived!

Travelling East (e.g. from Crook)
Use the A.690 from Crook to Durham. At the Neville’s Cross traffic lights turn left onto the A.167. At the first roundabout turn right (4th exit) following signs for City Centre. At the next roundabout go straight over. At the next roundabout go straight over into County Hall – you’ve arrived!