In the end only three Pont. Runners did this 10 miler from Hexham to Ovingham but they were rewarded with fast times and helpful conditions. Although running for Elswick (inferior tent, no flag to speak of) Mark Turnbull broke the one hour mark for the distance for the first time when finishing 39th. David Buffham broke his distance PB by two and a half minutes in 1.14.04 and – unknown to him – was very closely followed home by Sarah Huntley in 1.14.04. Very well organised by Tynedale Harriers, a great warm up for the GNR and jelly as well. Put it in your diaries for next year. Club Championship update to follow. David
A full team of six meant a second scoring race of the season in the cross-country at Wrekenton. Conditions were testing to say the least, with mud covering most of the course that wasn’t on a steep hill. Wrekenton has never looked lovelier. There were at least 352 runners (I know this because I was told at the end of the second lap (of three) that I was 351st) and I definitely beat at least one home. Full marks to those who took part: Mark Lyon (who led us home in a respectable 40minutes), captain Jon Parkin, Chris Wright, Joe Bell and Bart Simpson. If this has whetted your appetite for cross-country (and why wouldn’t it?) the next instalment is Alnwick on 2nd March. Tea with Harry Potter and the Duchess of Northumberland for the winner. David
Ponteland Runners will have its own club championship this year. It is intended as a fun competition to encourage club members to take part in local races, with a handicap scoring system intended to give all of us a chance to do well. All members will receive an e-mail setting out the rules and the races covered by the competition. Please address any questions to ClubChampionship@pontelandrunners.org.uk or ask David Buffham or Jon Parkin, who will be collating results and scores. Good luck.
Full details can also be found on the Club Championship page of the website.
The general ballot for places in the 2013 Great North Run taking place on Sunday 15th September is now open. Go to www.greatrun.org where you can put your name in the ballot from the home page. the ballot closes on Monday 4th february with the results later that week.
We are beginning to see a few club members include the Newcastle Park Run in their running schedule. To encourage as large a group as possible to at least try it out, we are targeting particular ones when we try to get a few there from the club. I suggest that the next of these is Saturday 3rd November. If new to Park Runs you will need a bar code but this is very easily obtained at www.parkrun.org.uk.
Three Pont. Runners made the trip across to Carlisle for this Half Marathon. This meant a 7.30am departure and a temperature at the start of just +3 degrees. The course is undulating (that means hilly throughout) and times are probably a couple of minutes slower than the Great North Run. First Pont. Runner home was Jon Parkin in 1 hour 35 minutes and 13 seconds, placed 190th overall (out of 1,221 finishers) and 54th in his category. Next was David Buffham, 304th in a time of 1.41.18, good enough for 19th of 76th over 50s. Third was Elliott Ward (running as Nigel Mills) who sufferd a calf strain at 3 miles, decided the quickest way home was to finish the run and got there in a creditable 1.54.37 in the circumstances. Anyway, he was back early enough to get to the Newcastle v Man United game where some of the Newcastle defenders were a little less dedicated.