This event was the English Road Running Association 12 stage relay held at Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield Birmingham.
There is fierce competition for a team place and I was very pleased to be selected to run the fifth leg. Morpeth Harriers have won medals in this event in previous years but this year the team put in a great performance to win the gold medal for the first time in the club’s history.
This event was to be my first duathlon at elite level. Apart from the stronger competition than at age-group level, the other main difference is that elite duathlons allow drafting in the bike leg and I was looking forward to this new challenge. Unfortunately the wind was gusting over 50mph so the organisers had to change the event from a duathlon to a 10K run for safety reasons.
So we all ran 4 laps of a 2.5km circuit on the race track in the wind and the rain. I finished in 8th place with a time close to a personal best over this distance.
Whilst it was disappointing not to have had the opportunity to complete a full duathlon due to the weather conditions, it was still a good experience to run against the elite duathletes in just the one discipline.
To access the website for the event results and report click here.
Clumber Park Sprint Duathlon Nottinghamshire 21 / 03 / 15
The Clumber Park Sprint Duathlon was a qualifying event for the 2015 ITU World Sprint Duathlon Championships and the 2016 ETU European Sprint Duathlon Championships so the competition was tough with a large field of over 500 duathletes in total.
The sprint distance is a 5km run, a 20km bike ride and finally a 2.5km run. My first run went well and I came into the first transition in second place. The bike ride was more technical than some with restricted overtaking zones, narrow park roads and open main roads to contend with along the way, not to mention the occasional farm tractor!
My final run was the fastest of the day and I finished in 3rd place overall and winner of my age group. This result makes me an automatic qualifier for the age group World Championships later this year (for which I had actually already qualified), and for the European Championships in 2016, so a good result on the day.
To access the official website for the event click here.
Oulton Park Spring Duathlon 15/3/15 (Sprint Distance)
This event was held at the motor race circuit Oulton Park in Cheshire. It was my first duathlon of 2015 with a strong field, including the 2014 European Age Group overall winner, so a good test of my winter training.
The first run over 4.6km went off at a tremendous pace so I aimed to not lose touch initially and had a good transition on to the bike.
The 23km bike leg went well on a fast course and I felt strong despite the pace being hard.
The final run was also over 4.6km . I was very pleased to finish in first place by the narrow margin of 10 seconds in a testing early season duathlon.
For the full results of the Oulton Park Spring Sprint duathlon click here.
This event was the National Inter Counties Cross Country Championships held in Birmingham at Cofton Park over a distance of 12km. I was representing the North East Counties and the team event involved the first 6 runners for each team counting for the team result so essentially the team finished as the sixth man crossed the line.
It was a hard hilly course but in good conditions. I didn’t have the best start and had to work my way up the field from the back after the first lap, finishing 41st overall in a top class national field. My team mates ran very well with the North East Counties team having 5 runners across the line already, making me the sixth and final counter. We were the first team to finish and won a National Cross Country team gold medal for our efforts – a great result and an enjoyable day.
To see a more in depth report on the Morpeth Harriers website, click here.
This was a tough course with two circuits up Parliament Hill in London, a total distance of 11.2Km. The competition was fierce as expected in a National Cross Country Championships as the first 20 placed runners were eligible for an England vest in future international cross country races.
I was very pleased to run well in difficult muddy conditions and finish 25th in a field of over 2000 runners with a time of 40:53.
Whilst I missed out by about 10 seconds on a top 20 place, it gives me a great incentive to improve further on my current form.
To access the official website for full results click here
The venue for this race was a very wet and very muddy course at Bedewell Park, Hebburn, after overnight snow gave way to rain.
Giving five minutes to most of the 466 strong field of finishers with his Fast Pack start, team medallist from the previous weeks Northern Championships Carl Avery, superbly worked his way through the field to finish in sixth place, and as the clubs fourth counter, posting the fastest time of the day overall.
This is one of a series of events sponsored by Start Fitness of Newcastle.
A record field of enthusiastic runners turned out for the annual Morpeth 11k (approx) Road Race on New Year’s Day, sponsored by Morpeth Harriers long serving Press Officer George Patterson, who was celebrating his 65th Birthday, with additional help coming from Start Fitness.
Another two people with very good reason for celebrating in style were Elswick Harrier’s husband and wife pairing of Tadele Geremew and Justina Heslop, who lifted the respective Men’s and Women’s titles.
Geremew was very much forced to work extra hard for his title, being hotly pursued throughout by Morpeth Harrier Carl Avery. In fact it was Avery who made the first decisive break, just after the 3k point on the steady climb out of Mitford heading up to Mitford Steads, and only Geremew managed to cover the Morpeth man’s move. The pair reached the Whalton Road for the return journey to Morpeth very much together, with a chasing group of seven or eight runners now some 200 metres adrift. As Avery and Geremew made the Golf Course turn very much together, neither appeared to be wilting or wanting to give way, and their lead over the rest had now strengthened to around a minute.
It was only in the very final run in to the finish line on the Stanners that Geremew managed to gain a very slight lead, but Avery still maintained his determined pace as he just lost out for victory by the slender margin of three seconds.
The prevailing head-wind laced with intermittent showers had obviously put paid to any ambitions of fast times, and Geremew was more than pleased to achieve a winning time of 34m58s, some fifty or so seconds adrift of Morpeth Harrier Lewis Timmins’s 2014 winning time.
This was a great training weekend at the lake district (dirty double) with Alnwick harriers, first up on Saturday Helvellyn 15k, it was the first time I competed in any trail race, it was tougher and more undulating than I’d ever expected but I found enough strength to hold on for a very pleasing win, this was a very tough 15k race so I was delighted and surprised to follow it up with a win at Ullswater 14k on Sunday. This would also be the first time I’d ever raced back to back days, it was a great training weekend for strengthening the legs.
GB Elite Duathlete and World Age Group Champion 2014, 2015 and 2017