Ever thought about giving cross country running a try? Well here is the opportunity you never knew you wanted!
Forget unhappy memories of trudging around a school field in the cold and replace with thoughts of camaraderie, beautiful scenery, and lovely treats. Cross country is fun, very sociable, cake-obsessed,
We have been participating in the North East Harrier League for years now, with well established men’s and women’s teams, plus a fledgling Junior section.
The Harrier League is a series of off road runs between September and March where local teams of all abilities compete against each other. Runners of all abilities are welcome and many runners find this their highlight of the year!
Aside from the cake, why should I get involved?
There are lots of great reasons to take part in cross country:
- It is a great way to maintain or boost fitness and speed over the darkness winter. People often lose motivation over the winter months and the races are a great way of making sure that doesn’t happen
- You get to see new places and run on routes you never otherwise would have. Ever been up close to Alnwick Castle, around the beautiful bay of Druridge, or inside the gorgeous Lambton Estate? Cross country will take you to all of these locations and more.
- Races are tough but short! Ok, we’ll concede that there are a few hills, but races are fairly short – 4 miles for women and 6 miles for men. Walking up hills is completely acceptable and you’ll have great support to get you round.
- Everyone is welcome. It is a unique opportunity to meet people from all parts of the club, and people from across the North East running community. Cross country draws in all types of runners, many of whom would never otherwise get together. It’s inclusive, supportive, and a wonderful atmosphere.
How far is it?
Races are approximately 4 miles for women and approximately 6 miles for men, with an option for 65+ men to take part in the 4 mile race.
Junior races are shorter and depend on age – full details are available on the North East Harrier League website.
Do I need to run a certain pace?
Absolutely not! All paces of runner are welcome, we have one of the largest turnouts in the league and field runners of all capabilities and speeds. Everyone has a crucial role to play and there really is something for everyone.
How much does it cost to join?
It is free to take part if you are a fully paid up member of the club (that is a member that has paid for EA membership).
The club covers entry fees for all members who want to participate. All we ask is that you turn up to at least one fixture.
How do I sign up?
If you want to take part or to find out more, you can get in touch with our team captains: Kelly Hymer and Adam Brown by emailing email@example.com.
You will need to be a member of the club, and have a Ponteland Runners vest to take part.
When are the races?
The fixtures for 2023/24 are:
- 23rd September – Wrekenton
- 15th October – Druridge Bay Country Park
- 28th October – Lambton Estate
- 25th November – Aykley Heads (Final ever visit to this venue!)
- 6th January – Temple Park (Sherman Cup)
- 10th February – Thornley Hall Farm
- 2nd March – Alnwick Castle
Approximate Race Start Times
- 12.00 Under 11 Boys
- 12.05 Under 11 Girls
- 12.10 Under 17 Men
- 12.15 Under 17 and Under 20 Women
- 12.20 Under 15 Boys
- 12.25 Under 15 Girls
- 12.30 Under 13 Boys
- 12.35 Under 13 Girls
- 12.50 Senior and Veteran Women
- 1.50 Senior and Veteran Men
Things you will need to bring
- 4 safety pins (for your number)
- Your Ponteland Runners vest
- Suitable running shoes (trail shoes or spikes)
- Some warm outer clothing – even if it seems mild we are out in a field basically and our tent is not heated!
Results, league rules, runner info and a whole lot more can also be found on this excellent website. As a club we do a lot of organising of cross country on facebook because it is quick and easy for many people to communicate with each other.
If you are interested in taking part in the best fun (once the tired legs are forgotten about!) and most sociable running scene around, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch!