Resident reporter Lee Morgan posts this great report on the antics at Bamburgh today....
We sometimes go to races just for the day out. We sometimes go to races because we think maybe, just maybe, we can pick up a prize. We sometimes go to races because it's a new event at a venue we haven't attended before. Sometimes all these things happen at the same race!..........
This Sunday saw 8 hardy Wallsend runners plus a small team of spectators descend on Bamburgh for the annual Bamburgh 10k, incorporating the VAANEE (North East Veterans) 10k Championship. It was certainly one of the more picturesque venues but an undulating course and swirling wind meant that PBs were out of the question and it was a case of racing for positions instead of racing against the stopwatch.
As the runners set off, myself, Club Captain Mick Skeldon and the day's photographer Emma Plummer (who, some may say, took her photography duties VERY seriously!) did not realise that in around three quarters of an hour's time the team would have earned a magnificent 8 (yes, eight!) championship medals, six of which were GOLD.
There is only so much you can say about our Club Chairman Terry O'Gara without sounding like you are continually repeating yourself. At 69 years young he continues to defy logic. Not only was he a clear winner of the V60 category, he was first Wallsend Harrier home in an incredible time of under 43 minutes. It's worth mentioning that Terry is less that 6 months away from his 70th birthday and will easily be the best V70 in the country. The guy is truly amazing, a talent that we will never come across again in the future. To run such times at such a 'mature' age is remarkable and I hope we can all appreciate and respect how successful a runner Terry is. On top of that, he's great leader and a canny fella as well. Well done Terry, we are all very proud of you!
Next home for Wallsend was Emma Walton. As myself, Mick and Emma P cheered her on in the final kilometre we realised that we hadn't seen another female come past, Emma was winning! Not satisfied with becoming North Eastern Vets Champion, Walton has the audacity to beat all the seniors as well! Clearly suffering in the final half mile, her guts and determination shone through as she held off the late challenge of Wooler's Pauline Aitchison. Even though her training had been hampered last week due to a trip to Barcelona, Emma was still able to pull out all the stops as she became VAANEE North East Champion and winner of the female race.
Could it get any better? You bet it could! Chrystal Skeldon was next for Wallsend, 3rd female overall and winner of the V40 Championship title. And they kept on coming! Ruth Marshall, still recovering from her 3 Rings of Shap 42 mile hike last week, closed in the ladies team to ensure that the North East team title came to Wallsend and another 3 gold medals were in the bag as well as bagging herself a bronze medal in the V40 category. Kathryn Robertson, still by her own admission, not 100% after injury and illness still had the courage to pit her wits against her Championship rivals and raced to a well deserved silver medal in the V35 category.
Julie and Davit!
The teams, as ever, were backed up in fine style. Dave Collinson managed to banish the memories of his Blaydon Race and Alan Myers was just outside the 50 minute barrier in what was only his 3rd competitive race. She's a little bit wacky, she's a little bit wild but wor Julie is one in a million. A massive part of the team and one of Wallsend's most colourful characters, Julie Hind closed the Wallsend team in with a strong performance to the cheers of her teammates.
Chrystal and Arthur Potter
It was a great day at a great venue and yet again it made me feel proud to be part of such a great team. To turn up at a North East Veterans 10k Championship and return home with 8 medals isn't too bad is it....
Note from Ed: Great report - thanks Lee - great support from you, Mick and Emma - it really helped!! I think we can all safely say we left Bamburgh on one of those lovely natural highs you get from being part of a great team! For more photos from the day please click here