Well! What a mixed bag of events this year has been! Saturday 9th August the last Northern Athletics league track and field meeting took place. The joint team between Heaton Harriers and Tyne Bridge needed to pull out all the stops. At previous meetings we had placed 3rd and 4th, unfortunately the holiday period had depleted the squad a little at the last meeting and we placed 5th. The last meeting of the season took place again at Churchill playing fields track, where the last time we were there it pretty much rained most of the day, at some points torrentially. Thankfully it was a great day weather wise although a head wind didn’t help some track events and the High Jump at times!! The usual squad were very appreciative of the debut performances of Mark Oliver, Ben Burrell and Lucia Dibie (U15), – a great sprinter with a lot of potential! The rest of us didn’t do too bad either!! Unfortunately we didn’t quite get enough points at this meeting to avoid relegation to the lower division. Everyone, including a good number from Tyne Bridge at every meeting worked extremely hard. The commitment, mutual support, the efforts and enthusiasm have been absolutely amazing and if there were medals for that, we would have won!
However I did say a mixed bag, and earlier in July saw the last meeting at Monkton stadium for us slightly older people, the veterans athletics league organised by the NEMAA. At each meeting there were some brilliant performances, with people trying out a range of events sometimes for the first time. The men’s team seemed to grow in strength as the year went on, and in the end they finished second behind North Shields Poly. Heaton women’s team however dominated this league throughout, and for the second consecutive year won the league. (Where is that trophy??). Heaton Harriers women rock!
The end of the track and field season, also marks the first year I have been with Heaton Harriers, after 10 or so years of being nagged by Phil Green to join! I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to improve my running with structured training sessions, and coaching sessions with Trevor. I have enjoyed cross country, I have started getting involved in fell races (something I thought I would never do!). The socials are great, I have met lots of brilliant people and it’s a pleasure to be part of such a great friendly club. I hadn’t done any track events since school some 28-30 years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed it. its It’s been fantastic to be able to watch lots of people I know and respect as great distance runners try something a little different, maybe shorter but by no means easier, and of course to have the experience of the likes of George Routledge and Janette Kilgour chucking out top achievements in the field events. I have to say for me this experience probably has been the best, and I have loved being a part of another aspect of what this club has to offer. I am already looking forward to the start of the next track and field season and I hope we can continue to grow in numbers and strength. If anyone is interested in being involved in the track and field events for next year please let myself or Mark Banks know.