Harriers updates on personal best

By Rosie Adams

On Sunday the 5th March there was the Lightwater Valley 10k and 5k which saw 5 senior Richmond and Zetland athletes competing in the 10k and 3 juniors in the 5k. David Hack came 20th (42.51), Donna Riddler 21st and 2nd Lady (43.11), Kevin Bond 33 rd (44.43), Isabel Starkey 60th and 10th lady (47.22) and Jane Bond 200 th (58.30). In the junior race some fantastic results with Joshua Hammett in 2 nd , Tom O’Mahoney in 3 rd and Charlie Spence in 10 th position.

Jackie Keavney was over at the Haweswater half Marathon coming in 3 rd woman and 1 st V50 in a great time of 1.28.43. Jeremy Pattison competed in the very wet Trafford 10k and ran a new PB of 35.57. Nicki Buckett made a trip over to Wales to compete in the Newport half marathon in a new PB of 2.12.53.

There was a good turnout out of junior runners at the Northallerton Park run over the weekend with Will Smith in 1 st Position, Kyle Rabjohn in 2 nd , Matt Lambert 3 rd , Dylan Soley 4th, Sam kettlewell 6 th , Josh Smith 8 th and Matty Cole 13 th . A great run from Reece Dalton in the Darlington Park run coming in 1 st place in a new PB of 15.46.

News update from the Harriers

By Rosie Adams

The Signals relays at Hetton-le-hole on the 18th of February saw some strong performances over the 2.2 mile course. The men had 3 teams out the first team coming home in 8th position included Liam Rabjohn, Rob Scott, Reece Dalton, Michael Major, Luke Hack and Josh Lincoln in a combined time of 70.26.

The next team in 16th position in a time of 75.32 consisted of Harry Robson, Jake Stephenson, Lee Davis, Alan Ashcroft, Steve Sadler and Simon Withers. The third team were 22nd in a time of 76.32 this team consisted of Carl Jones, Andrew Pearson, Jeremy Patterson, Mark Crawford, Greg Macdonald and Ken Harker. The Women had a strong team of Jo Adams, Rosie Adams, Shona Fletcher and Donna Riddler completing the course in 54.22 with Jo Adams running the 4th fastest leg in the competition. The Vet men were 7th in their category with Steve Sadler, Graham Ewart, Tony Ditchburn, Shaun Purkiss running a time of 57.44.

On the 19th February Richmond and Zetland hosted the final cross country in the NYSD league. The under 11 boys saw Dominic Wilford in 6th, Charlie Spene in 10th and Thomas Greer in 16th position. The under 11 girls had one runner Holly McCowie in a great 6th Postion. In the U13 Boys the team were victorious with Kyle Rabjohn in 1st and making him the U13 boys season champion, Josh Hammett 5th, George McCowie 9th, Daniel Francis 12th, Matty Cole 18th, Liam Clement 19th and Ally Chisholm 20th. This Victory made them the U13 boys Champions of the season.

The U13 girls had 2 runners Maisy Squires 6th and Emily Francis in 7th. The U15 boys dominated their race with Will Smith 2nd,Matthew Lambert 3rd, Sam Kettlewell 4th, Lewis Moore 5th and Ralph Chisholm 10th. The U15 boys are also league champions of the season. The U15 girls were represented by Anna Harrison in 5th. The U17 boys were well represented with Jake Stephenson in 2nd securing the season overall U17 champion, Harry Robson 3rd, Adam Walker 6th and Josh Smith 12th. The U17 Boys are also league Champions.

The Senior Women continued their winning form with Jo Adams 1st making her senior ladies champion. In 2nd Michelle Nolan making her V35 champion for the season. Rebecca Simpson was 7th, Jackie Keavney 10th giving her the V50 championship. Stephanie Stephenson 14th, Chloe Dalton 15th, Laura Kirkham 18th, Fiona Wilson 49th, Michelle Sprent 55th, Katey Purkiss-Mcendoo 58th and Nicki Bucket 70th. These great results made the senior ladies league champions.

The Senior Men have also been in great form this season and took the league championship. Rob Scott 5th, Reece Dalton 6th giving him the U20 championship, Tony Lambert 10th giving him the V45 championship, Mike Major 11th, Scott Wardman 10th, Luke Hack 21st, Alan Ashcroft 22nd, Ken Harker 24th, James Greer 38th and Lee Davies 40th, Mark Crawford 44th, Julian Simpson 46th, Steve Sadler 58th, Simon Withers 75th, Shaun Purkiss-Mcendoo 82nd and Mark Fletcher 105th. Crowning this fantastic season Richmond and Zetland took the aggregate trophy.

On the 25th of February R&Z travelled down to the National Cross-County Championships at Nottingham. In the U13 Boys Kyle Rabjohn was 31st, Charlie Stephenson 214th , Daniel Francis 228th, Josh Hament 256th, George McCowie 305th, Tom O’Mahoney 342nd and Thomas Greer 456th. In the U13 girls Alana Teasdale 291st, Emily Francis 297th, Holly McCowie 315th and Maisy Squires 358th. In the U15 boys Will Smith was 108thand Sam Kettlewell 300th. In the U15 girls Anna Harrison was 347th. In the Junior Men Luke Hack 163rd, James Greer 169th. In the Senior Women Jackie Keavney 289th Fiona Wilson 553rd and Michelle Sprent was 604th. In the Senior Men Rob Scott was 285th. Mark Crawford raced in the Scottish National cross-country championships and finished 244th.

Eliza Withers ran as a guest at the North East Counties indoor track and field on Sunday the 19th of Feb where she ran 9.77 at the U17 60m Hurdles.

Harriers indoors, outdoors and after dark

Ladies team at the Northern Cross Country (10th)

Ladies team at the Northern Cross Country (10th)

By Mark Fletcher

This week saw Richmond’s athletes competing in events that took place after dark, indoors at
Sheffield and the Northern Cross Country championships producing winning performances at each event.

Steve Sadler took on the unknown and rather undulating Head Torch 5 miler held at Dalby Forest. Steve took to the limited vision race with aplomb and finished a superb 16th overall and the top V50 runner (38:45). The indoor season also continues and James Davidson competed at the Sheffield Open taking gold in both the U17 400m (54.68) and doubling up with gold in the 200m (24.8).

There were also some big runs from our athletes at the Northern Cross Country. Tony Lambert was first home for the club in 113 th (3 rd V45), with George Foster in 139 th , Rob Scott just behind in 142nd, Julian Simpson was 269th and Simon Withers in 406th. Luke Hack was 53rd in the U20 men's race and James Greer was 71st. In the U17 men's race Harry Robson was 74th. Kyle Rabjohn promising year continues with a fantastic run to finish 15 th , with Josh Hammett having an equally good run in his first Northerns in 64 th , Daniel Francis also ran well for 123 rd , Tom O’Mahoney not far behind in a pleasing 158 th and the consummate trier of Thomas Greer in 213 th.

The team were a very pleasing 16 th out of 25 teams. Alana Teasdale led home our U13 girls in 135 th , with Emily Francis just behind in 136 th and Maisy Squires in 180 th . In the U15 boys Will Smith had a good run in 42 nd with Matthew Lambert in a very decent 133 rd . Anna Harrison also had a good run in the U15 girls race for 150 th . The ladies had great runs and produced a fine team performance to finish the 10th team out of 44. Jo Adams was 51st, just followed by sister Rosie in 59th, with Jenna McGrevey in 63rd and Jacqui Keavney in 65 th (2 nd V50), Rebeeca Simpson was 85 th , Fiona Wilson in 292nd and Nicki Buckett in 323rd. In the U17 ladies race, Laura Kirkham was a very well placed 75th. Steve Middleton took top honours at Northallerton park run (20:41).

At Darlington, Liam Rabjohn was also first across the line (16:00). Ken Harker was 7th (18:27), Shona Fletcher was 11th (19:29, 1st lady), James Hook was 73rd (23:39) and Tom Osorio was 135th (26:28). Reece Dalton was 1st at Fountains Abbey (16:41) and Chloe Dalton was 23rd (21:49, 3 rd lady).

Further information on the club and training nights can be found on the website www.richmondzetlandharriers.co.uk.

Harriers enjoying the cross country season

Start of the senior ladies and U17 mens race

Start of the senior ladies and U17 mens race

By Mark Fletcher

Acklam was the setting for this weeks round of the North Yorkshire and South Durham cross country league. Up first were the U11 boys with a great run for Dominic Wilford in 3 rd and another solid run from Thomas Greer in 14th. Holly McCowie had an excellent race for 3rd in the U11 girls race. Kyle Rabjohn was well placed in 2 nd in the U13 boys, with Charlie Stephenson, Josh Hammett and Daniel Francis were all tightly bunched for 7th, 8th and 9 th the same positions as last week. Morgan Soley was also a good 12 th , George McCowie in 16th and a good first run for Liam Clement in 22nd.

The team was 2 nd overall. In the U13 girls race Alana Teasdale was a very good 4 th and the ever consistent Emily Francis in 9th. Will Smith led the U15 boys team home in a very good 2nd, with Dylan Soley just behind in 4 th and Lewis Moore with a good run in 7 th , to give the squad 1 st in the team competition. In the U15 girls the improving Anna Harrison was 7th. In the U17 men Jake Stephenson and Harry Robson took 2nd and 3rd positions, with the ever consistent Adam Walker in 5th and Josh Smith in a good 9th, giving the squad the team win. In the senior ladies race Michelle Nolan took the honours in 1st (1st V35) for the 2 nd week in a row, with an excellent run from Rosie Adams in 3rd, Rebecca Simpson in a very good 5th (2nd V35), Jacqui Keavney in 19th (2nd V50), Chloe Dalton with another good run in 20 th , the ever present Stephanie Stephenson in 24th (3rd V40), Laura Kirkham in a very decent 25th, Willow Andrew in her first outing in 42nd, Michelle Sprent in a very consistent 63rd, Fiona Wilson with a good run in 73rd and another good finish from Nicki Buckett in 82nd.

These results gave the ladies squad 1 st in the team competition. The men's race had Rob ‘the very consistent’ Scott in 7 th , Reece Dalton ran well in 9th (1st U20), Scott Wardman with another good run in 10th, the ever improving Mike Major in 11 th , Ken Harker enjoyed the conditions in 18th (1st V45), another good performance from Lee Davies in 26 th (3 rd V40), Luke Hack ran well for 30 th (2 nd U20), Julian Simpson had a good run in 39 th , an excellent run from Simon Withers in 60 th and Steve Sadler running well for 76 th . This tremendous set of results gave the senior men the team victory.

Michelle Nolan was 2nd and the 1st lady at Gateshead parkrun (18:18). At Fountains Abbey Rob Scott was 2nd (17:23). Darlington parkrun had Jeremy Pattison in 4th and took a big chunk of his previous best in a new pb (17:23), Jo Adams was 13th (2nd lady, 19:19), just behind in 14th was Rosie Adams smashing her pb by over 30 seconds (19:26, 3rd lady) and Kevin Bond also disposed of his pb in 28th and broke the 21 minute barrier (20:50).

Tony Ditchburn was 35th (21:09), Tom Osorio was 121st (24:48), Nicki Buckett was 187th (27:36) and Jane Bond was 189th (27:37).

Further information on the club and training nights can be found on the website www.richmondzetlandharriers.co.uk.

Where there’s muck there’s brass for Harriers

By Mark Fletcher

The winning ladies team at the Ormesby Hall cross country

The winning ladies team at the Ormesby Hall cross country

Richmond and Zetland Harriers took to the rather muddy local cross country league at Ormesby Hall and a few others went for a trot out at the ‘Brass Monkey’ half marathon at York.

Steve Middleton was the first harrier at the Brass Monkey half marathon in 37th (1:16:134th V40), Andy Pearson was 43rd (1:16:38, 6th V45), Carl Jones in 64th (1:18:37, pb), Jeremy Pattison in 82nd (1:19:50, pb), Donna Riddler in 317th (1:31:30), Kevin Bond in 501st (1:38:38, pb), Tony Ditchburn in 709th (1:45:39), Sarah Gregory in 710th (1:45:39) and Jane Bond in 1263rd (2:05:44, pb). The new course at Ormsbery Hall, proved a testing route involving road, track and plenty of muck!

Up first were the U11 boys with Charlie Spence in 12th, followed by Thomas Smith in 20th and the ever improving Thomas Greer in 23rd. Emily Smith had a good run for 13th in the U11 girls race. Charlie Stephenson, Josh Hammett and Daniel Francis were all tightly bunched for 7th, 8th and 9th, with Ali Chisholm and Lucas Holmes in 17th and 18th in the U13 boys race. The team was 3rd overall. In the U13 girls race Emily Francis was just ahead of Maisy Squires in 10th and 11th. Will Smith led the U15 boys team in 5th, with Matthew Lambert in 7th, Sam Kettlewell in 9th, Lewis Moore in 13th, Ralph Chisholm in 15th and Mackenzie Monteith in 17th. These results gave the squad 2nd in the team competition. In the U15 girls Anna Harrison was 9th.

In the U17 men it was a race between Jake Stephenson and Harry Robson taking 1st and 2nd positions, with Adam Walker in 4th and Josh Smith in 8th, giving the squad the team win. In the senior ladies race Michelle Nolan took the honours in 1st (1st V35), with Jo Adams in 3rd, Rosie Adams in 6th, Jacqui Keavney in 9th (1st V50), Rebecca Simpson in 10th (2nd V35), Stephanie Stephenson in 21st (2nd V40), Laura Kirkham in 28th, Chloe Dalton in 33rd, Katey Purkiss-McEndoo in 59th, Michelle Sprent in 60th, Fiona Wilson in 65th and Nicki Buckett in 73rd.

These results gave the ladies squad the team win. The men's race had Reece Dalton in 6th (1st U20), closely followed by Rob Scott in 7th, Tony Lambert was 9th (1st V45), Scott Wardman was 10th, Luke Hack 16th (3rd U20), Ken Harker was 18th (2nd V45), Mike Major in 20th, James Greer in 22nd, Lee Davies in 30th, Julian Simpson in 32nd, Steve Sadler in 52nd, Antony Jefford in 54th, Simon Withers in 64th and Shaun Purkiss-McEndoo in 71st.

This set of results gave the senior men the team victory. Darlington parkrun saw Liam Rabjohn smash his pb in 1st (15:48), Ryan Greer was 162nd (26:59) and Karen Greer in 283rd (34:38). At Fountains Abbey, Michelle Sprent was 158th (28:26).

Further information on the club and training nights can be found on the website www.richmondzetlandharriers.co.uk.

Richmond runners take Northern road titles

By Mark Fletcher


L to r. Doug Roberts, Marc Scott winner and Northern Road Race Champion and Fergus Roberts (missing is Liam Rabjohn)

The Christmas period is a time most people take to wind down and have a rest. However, for Richmond and Zetland Harriers this is the start of the new racing year and the return of some of our athletes home for Christmas gave them a chance to race against the best of the local opposition. Ribble Valley 10k holds the Northern road race championships and has been a happy hunting ground for the club and medals in recent years, but this year it went beyond all expectations.

Marc Scott our Team GB U23 member returned from his training base in Tulsa, USA to destroy the field and set a new road pb of 29:33 to make it a double to add to the Loftus poultry run before Christmas. The Roberts brothers returned from north of the border where they are part of the Scottish triathlon squad with Doug producing a fine run to finish 7th and also set a new pb (30:18), not to be outdone his younger brother Fergus finished in 10th (30:59), Liam Rabjohn was next in 64th (34:00) and the excellent Lee Davies in 155th and a massive pb (37:34). Steve Sadler unfortunately had to pull up during the race.

Marc Scott arrived home before Christmas to an early Christmas present of selection for England to compete in the Stewart Cup. The Stewart Cup is run on the same day as the Great Scottish Cross Country as a male and female relay against 7 other teams including Team GB and America. At the Jolly Holly 10k run over the picturesque Studley park, Carl Jones continues his return from injury with an excellent 12th and the 3rd V40 (38:46:7) and was followed by the impressive Simon Withers in 72nd (44:13:1). Ian Hepworth had another good outing and was 319th (54:55:1), Nicki Buckett continues her good form in 484th (1:01:03:7), followed by another decent run from Jane Bond in 534th (1:02:33:6) and Michelle Withers very close behind with a great finish in 549th (1:02:51:4). A select few of our other runners took to the Fells around Guisborough Woods with another set of fantastic results.

Julian Simpson was our top athlete in a very good 12th and the 3rd V40 (44:01), with the flying Jacqui Keavney in 50th, the 5th lady and the top V50 (48:43) and Rebecca Simpson not far behind in 60th and also making the top 10 in the ladies in 8th (49:28). The York new year relays had a the club involved with a scratch team of Rob Scott, Jo Adams and Rosie Adams. Each runner has a different distance to run and a handicap system is in place to ensure fairness. For every female runner you get a 3 minute head start.

Unfortunately, the organiser decided that the Richmond team should only have 3 minutes and even with this unfair application came a fantastic 3rd. Even the intervention from our international who suggested that 4.5 minutes would make a race of it was over ruled. The team was beaten by you guessed it 1.5 minutes! Matthew Lawton was also out on the Fells around Holmefirth and Holme, West Yorkshire in the rather hilly 7 mile Tinker Cup and finished in a very satisfactory 7 th (51:20) Steve Middleton was 3rd at Northallerton parkrun (19:29) and Josh Hammett 6th (21:48) and 10th (22:36). At Darlington, Reece Dalton was 2nd (16:18, pb), Jeremy Pattison 3rd (17:33, pb), Michelle Nolan 6th (17:58, 1st lady, pb), James Greer 9th (18:09), Ken Harker 10th (18:17), Shona Fletcher 22nd (19:50, 2nd lady), Rebecca Simpson in 30th (20:06), Maisy Squires in 113th (24:16), Ian Hepworth in 141st (25:23), Ryan Greer in 183rd (27:20), Nicki Buckett in 201st (27:51), Jane Bond in 207th (28:12) and Karen Greer in 299th (35:00).

Christmas Day had Rob Scott in 1st (17:10), Harry Robson in 4th (18:03), Ken Harker in 7th (18:33), Shona Fletcher in 72nd (24:57), Ian Hepworth in 86th (25:37) and Helen Robson in her 1st parkrun a very respectful 200th (41:52). New Year’s Eve had Jeremy Pattison in 2nd (17:36), Carl Jones in 5th (18:03), Ken Harker in 7th (18:11), Lee Davies in 8th (18:20), Shona Fletcher in 12th (19:10, 2nd lady), Laura Kirkham in 49th (21:51), Anna Harrison in 61st (22:25), Ryan Greer in 188th (27:14), Jane Hack in 197th (27:43), Jane Bond in 205th (27:56), Sally Harrison in 207th (27:57), Nicki Buckett in 212th (28:17) and Karen Greer in 292nd (35:05). Ken Harker was 7th at Stewart’s park (19:10). Albert park had Jeremy Pattison in 5th (18:24), Jo Adams in 7th (18:35, 1st lady) and Ken Harker in 20th (19:53).

Doubling up was Jeremy Pattison who took the tape in 1st in big new pb at Sedgefield (18:12).

  • Further information on the club and training nights can be found on the website www.richmondzetlandharriers.co.uk.
  • If you’d like to see your club news featured here, we’re open to all. Contact richmondnoticeboardATgmail.com

Juniors take North Yorkshire medals

By Mark Fletcher


The medal winning squad at Sheffield for the North Yorkshire Indoors

This weekend the club’s junior athletes had a chance to shine at the North Yorkshire indoor championships held in Sheffield at the English Institute of Sport and they didn't disappoint.

10 athletes went and 10 athletes returned with medals and of those no fewer than 6 titles won. Joshua Hammett was the youngest of our athletes taking part and carried off firstly the U13 B title for the 150m (21:9) and then followed this up with the double and stormed to victory in the 800m (2:34:0). Emily Harris was also in fine form just missing out on the U15 girls 60m in 2nd (8.6s), 4th in the 200m (28:1) and 5th in the long jump (4:09). Abbie Robson also competed in the same age group and was 6th in the 200m (29:3) and an excellent 2nd in the 300m (48:0). In the U15 boys, Ewan Baxter showed his potential in the U15 boys with 4th in the 200m (31:8) and 2nd in the 300m (51:2). Eliza Withers flew to 2nd in the U17 women's 60m hurdles (9:7) and also 3rd in the 300m (46:5) and Joey Hewson ran well for 3rd in the 60m (8:5) and 3rd in the 200m (27:7) in the same age group.

James Davidson started the day with 2nd in the U17 men's 200m (24:4), but followed with a great victory in the 400m (53:9). In the U20 age group, Adam Walker was 5th in the 60m (7:4) and then destroyed the field to win the 400m (52:6), with Harry Robson finishing 5th (57:5). Harry then had an excellent race to win the 800m (2:16:0). The very young and inexperienced boys 4 x 200m finished an excellent 2 nd against a very strong and experienced City of York mens team and were represented by Adam Walker, Harry Robson and the young guns of Ewan Baxter and Josh Hammett. Emily Kirby, Abbie Robson, Emily Harris and Eliza Withers raced to 2nd in the 4 X 200m (1:57:0) Emily Kirby also took the senior ladies title in the 400m (70:1).

Marc Scott showed the field a clean pair of heels to collect another turkey for his Christmas dinner at the Loftus Poultry Run setting a new pb in the process (41:39) and Mike Jefferies was just outside the top ten in another good result in 12th (47:36). Jacqui Keavney also cooked a goose and collected herself a goose as a prize in 55th and the top V45 (54:33 pb) and Andy Everard in 152nd (62:37) in a seasons best.

Donna Riddler returned to running at Fountains Abbey in 29th and the 2nd lady (21:05). At Northallerton Rob Scott hit the front again in 1st (18:19) and Steve Middleton was 3rd (19:16). Jo Adams was the first harrier across the line at Darlington in 8th and the 1st lady (18:34), Ken Harker was 11th (18:49), Ian Hepworth was 76th (24:36), Tony Osorio was 118th (27:18) and Jane Bond was 120th (27:39).

Further information on the club and training nights can be found on the website www.richmondzetlandharriers.co.uk.

Foster nearly strikes Gold

By Mark Fletcher

George Foster was welcomed into the Richmond fold and nearly pulled off a win for his new club. The Eskdale Eureka is a fell race run over 9.4 miles of hill, scree and a 1325ft of climbing thrown in with George just pipped for 1 st by 25 seconds (55:55). Rebecca Simpson was also in action in 65 th overall and the 6 th lady (77:43).

At Northallerton parkrun Joshua Hammett had no one to chase this week as he climbed to the top of the pile to finish ahead of the field in 1 st (20:36). Fountains Abbey followed a similar pattern for our athletes with Reece Dalton in 1 st and a smashing new pb (16:06) and Rob Scott just behind in 2 nd also in a new pb (16:41).

At the Riverside parkrun Jeremy Pattison was in fine form to finish 3 rd just outside his pb (18:41). Steve Middleton was the 1 st harrier at Darlington in 3 rd (17:12), with Luke Hack in 5 th (17:41), followed by Carl Jones in 6 th (17:46) and Ronnie Corbett in 9 th (18:34). Ken Harker was 12 th (19:18), ahead of Shaun Purkiss in 13 th (19:40) and the flying Rebecca Simpson in 14 th , the 1 st lady and a massive new pb (20:05). Ian Hepworth was 87 th (25:03) and Nicki Buckett was 138 th (27:39).

Further information on the club and training nights can be found on the website

Keavney strikes on the beach

L to R, Jane Bond, Jane Hack and Nicki Buckett (picture courtesy of Karen Newton)

The running women: L to R, Jane Bond, Jane Hack and Nicki Buckett (picture courtesy of Karen Newton)

By Mark Fletcher

This week was one of the quieter weeks for Richmond and Zetland allowing members to get
their Christmas shopping complete before the festive racing calendar kicks in. Jacqui
Keavney took to the beach for the Blyth sands race held over 5 miles. It’s run as an age graded handicap over energy sapping sand and with Jacqui (36:07) being extremely quick in her age group just missed out on top spot by a few strides to finish a fantastic 2nd.

Josh Hammett is getting closer and closer to the summit of Northallerton park run and this week was 3rd in a massive new pb and just outside breaking the 20 minute barrier (20:01).

He was watched from 5th by the unknown Shona Fletcher (20:22). At Darlington, Dave Hack was 4th just a few seconds from his pb (17:18), Ken Harker was not far behind in 7th
(18:18), Ian Hepworth was 106th (24:56), Lauren Barker on her return to park run was 117th (25:21) and Tony Osorio was 137th (26:22). Jane Hack led the 3 flying ladies towards the line in 155th (27:19), with Nicki Buckett in 156th (27:29) and Jane Bond in 157th (27:30).

Reece Dalton was 35th at Fountains Abbey (22:20),

Further information on the club and training nights can be found on the website

Richmond’s finest are British champions


British Masters Champions: L to R. Tony Lambert, Andy Pearson, Ken Harker, Mark Crawford and Greg MacDonald

By Mark Fletcher

Last weekend all roads led to Long Eaton for the British Masters cross country relays. After last year’s fantastic 3rd place, hopes were high of repeated success with the club taking both a Veterans 35 to 44 team but also one in the slightly maturer age group of Veterans 45+.

With teams of the statue and resources of Birchfield Harriers, Salford, Coventry Godiva, Charnwood and Rotherham it was always going to be a big ask of a relatively small club from Richmond and Zetland in North Yorkshire, but this club does have a great depth and strength in talent.

In the V35-44 race, Steve Middleton (10:25) took the 1st leg on what was a relatively flat course, on going that would be described as good if not a bit cold and managed to hand over to David Hack in 12th place from a field of 25. Dave (10:52) managed to maintain the placing before passing on Carl Jones. Carl (10:54) picked up a place and the team were into 11th with Lee Davies taking on the next leg. Lee (11:22) also had a good run and over took a runner in front to bring the team into 10th. Julian Simpson was next on the course and despite a quick time (11:08) was caught by the team from Wolverhampton to place just outside the top 10 in 11th. The first few teams had a familiar ring to them, Salford, Leicester, Rotherham, Charnwood and Birchfield. It was then onto the V45 team to show what Richmond were made of.

Led from the front by Tony Lambert, Richmond got off to a flier in the field of 16 teams, with Tony bringing the baton back in 2nd (10:15) to hand over to the assured hands of Andy Pearson who used all his experience to ensure the place was held on this leg (10:42). Ken Harker took over for the 3rd leg and also used every bit of his racing knowledge to ensure that the team were kept right in the hunt for the medals (10:58) while maintaining 2nd place. Ken then delivered the baton safely into the hands of the flying Mark Crawford (10:47) who scorched round the course taking the runner in front and giving Greg MacDonald a very healthy lead going into the last leg. Greg (10:37) then enhanced and extended the lead by over 30 seconds to bring the title home to Richmond and Zetland Harriers, Champions of Britain! Josh Hammett continues his impressive running with 2nd at Northallerton parkrun (20:42), Adam Pearson took top honours and smashed his pb at Fountains abbey (1st, 17:03) and Mike Major who also took the top place at Maidstone in another big new personnel best (16:36).

Further information on the club and training nights can be found on the website www.richmondzetlandharriers.co.uk.