Start of the XC Season

tanfieldSaturday 26th of September sees the return of the Harrier League with the first fixture at Tanfield. Firstly, you can check the list of registered runners and packs here If you have a ‘0’ next to your name, but asked to register in the last 7 days, you should still have a number on Saturday. We will be collecting all numbers from the HQ on Saturday and will be giving them out before the race. Make sure you keep hold of it for the whole season!

The race venue is Hedley West Farm, Tanfield (google maps:,-1.674213/data=!4m2!2m1!4b1?hl=en&dg=dbrw&newdg=1). The postcode is NE16 5EQ and please try to car share wherever possible. Approximate start times are 1:10pm for the senior women and 2:15pm for the senior men.
Finally, don’t forget your spikes, your Saltwell vest, and something warm to put on afterwards. And be ready to throw yourself in to the mud, the hills and the ‘elbows-out’ healthy competition!

Great North Run Results

gnr_groupCongratulations to everyone who ran in the Great North Run on Sunday. Some great results and banter








Rob Brooks 01:16:47
Hiruy mehari 01:21:28
Dale Mccallum 01:29:00
Nat Ogborn 01:29:53
Bill Wilson 01:30:08
David Scribbins 01:30:17
scott garrett 01:36:14
ian swanston 01:37:11
ria chaston 01:38:32
dominic martin 01:43:49
Jenny Hartley 01:44:26
Kevin Henderson 01:47:21
Andrew Ford-Hutchinson 01:49:07
Chris Harris 01:49:43
Frank Wilkinson 01:49:48
Michael Lowes 01:51:51
Nicola Whitman 01:52:10
Mark Worthington 01:52:58
Ria Knox 01:53:34
lisa perry 01:55:02
Lee Willis 01:56:25
Chris Watson 01:57:00
Claire Lloyd 01:57:44
Philip Robertson 01:58:36
Naz Bashir 01:59:42
Charlotte Proud 01:59:58
Lisa Stephenson 02:00:27
lois lincoln 02:04:53
Rob Booth 02:07:17
Nicola Shaverin 02:07:25
Helen Mullarkey 02:07:31
Sue Lowes 02:07:59
Cat Brookes 02:10:06
Joanne Gentry 02:12:53
Sarah White 02:13:24
sarah Garrett 02:13:37
andrew swanston 02:15:39
Peter Mullarkey 02:16:36
Steven Rochelle 02:24:15
Sara Fenna 02:25:29
Graham Harrison 02:29:53
John Longstaff 02:29:53
Stephen Aspery 02:37:52
Claire Taylor 02:46:27
Phill Askew 02:52:09
rhian webb 02:55:19
Phil James 03:00:01
Samantha Robertson 03:05:08

XC and track training

Cross country training starts again this Saturday – meet in the Co-op car park in Wrekenton at 9:30 for a 45 minute session.
Track sessions led by Keith are now running on a Tuesday night – meet at Gateshead Stadium at 6-45pm for a 7pm start apart from the following dates when the track is closed:
15th September

22nd September

10th October


Jonnys training plan – group 3

Please see details below of Jonny’s training plan :




Bench Mark

Best effort

Riverside Mile


5 miles run

No stopping

Running in a group


5.5 miles run

No stopping

Tight corners


6 miles run

No stopping

Running in a group




longish run with

ups & downs


Proper warm up

Up hill

Down hill



Constant run with change of pace

5 miles ish



Long hills

(not many though)

Correct effort for

long hills



The dreaded speed work


Longish run

5.5-6 miles

Running in a group

Tight corners




Bench Mark Riverside Mile

Keswick 15k trail race report

keswick15kThe trouble with these races farther afield is that it takes longer to get there than it does to run. Thankfully, Bryony was willing to drive so her other half kept her company in the front of the car whilst the Candlishes kipped in the back.
Once we got to Keswick we had to find the designated parking area whilst avoiding pensioners in hiking boots who seemed to have forgotten their Green Cross Code. A little hike across to the other end of town to Fitz Park and the inflatable start/finish arches, loos and catering vans and we were ready to run.
At the start the route took in a lap of the cricket pitch which I used to try and overtake a few shufflers and Nordic pole walkers (a little tip – start near the front and let faster runners overtake. It’s much easier than starting near the back as I did and trying to overtake slower folk!) and then it was onto the Keswick Parkrun route along the old railway line which has been turned into a bridleway.  After 3k on this gladed trail it was up a steep country road reminiscent of this years Jelly Tea. Another kilometre of this and then we moved onto the fell trails.


It was about the 6.5k mark the route markers moved us off the footpaths and vertically up through reed marshes. At this point it all got very processional as everyone tried to stay on the trampled reeds and it soon slowed to a walk as inexperienced runners tried to avoid getting their shoes too wet. As any XC vet will tell you, the slower you go in this stuff, the faster you sink and I got rather frustrated after 5 minutes of this crocodile and pulled out to one side to plough my own furrow through the long wet vegetation.

That kilometre took about ten minutes so really wrecked my times and I decided to just enjoy the views from there on. Coming up to the 8k mark we hit the peak of the elevation and the paths became more just rocks than tail. I twisted my knee on wet rocks just before we turned the corner to face the photographer so if you see a picture of me looking like I’m just tappy-lappying around – that’s why!
It was also around this point that Jacqui decided not to run around the remains of a dead sheep like the rest of the competitors but put her foot straight in it as she tried to overtake someone on the inside (‘I think you’ve killed it!’ Said the runner behind her)
From then on it was generally downhill with a water station at the 12k mark (a bit late into a 15k run but as this was the first bit of road in a long time, I guess it was the practicalities of carting the water around that dictated the position of the station), grab a few jelly babies, and then back onto the Cumbrian Way for the steep descent back into Keswick.
I thought I’d move a few places forward on this bit as I’m generally good at downhills but my knee went again and the only way I could keep going at any pace was to do a comedy gallop like someone out of Monty Python and the Holy Grail!
Back into Keswick and into Fitz Park to finish where we started in glorious sunshine in a time of 92.28. I had aimed for under 90 minutes but hadn’t expected to walk bits. At least it gives me something to aim for next year. Smiler Candlish came in a few minutes behind me in 1hr 41 and Bryony just behind her.
This is my first season doing trail races – I’ve only done a few (Cartmel 18k, Hadrian Wall Half, Gateshead 10k and Keswick 15k) but thoroughly enjoyed each and everyone of them (regardless of the weather) and can’t wait to do more.
Davey Candlish

Cross Country Season

Bring on the Cross Country Season!

You will have noticed that coaches, captains and members have already started talking about the Cross Country Season…talk of gearing your training for different terrain…whether you have cleaned your spikes from last year…and more importantly, who is on cake and biscuit duty for the first event! Amongst all of this, we will shortly be contacting you to ask whether you would like to be registered for the Harrier League or for some of the one-off Cross Country fixtures. But for newer members, below is a short summary to try to explain what the Cross Country season is all about…and to hopefully tempt you to join in.
The North East Harrier League
This is a series of 6 fixtures between September and March for clubs in the North East region. Girls run approximately 4 miles, and men approximately 6. You do not have to run all races but the club enter (and pay for) any runner who would like to run in at least one of the harrier league fixtures. You get one race number at the start and need to keep it for the whole season.
There are some quite complicated rules but essentially, the races are handicapped with a ‘slow’ pack going off first, followed by a ‘medium’ pack and a ‘fast’ pack. If it is your first race, you automatically start in the slow pack and there are opportunities for promotion depending on where you finish. The Harrier League keep an up to date online list of who is in which pack as the season progresses and this is how you will know if you have been promoted. The club gets points based on where their top runners finish and that is how the position in the league is worked out throughout the season. A full list of fixtures and a full list of rules can be found at The club always try to circulate dates, start times, travel arrangements etc nearer the time.
Although there are only 6 fixtures in the Harrier League – you will see 7 fixtures listed on the website. One is the Sherman Cup which is a slightly different format (flat start, doesn’t count towards the league etc) but I’ve included it here as my understanding is that your Harrier League entry and number also applies here.
Other Cross Country Fixtures
Alongside the Harrier League there are other XC fixtures throughout the season. These are entered as one off races and are often a flat start with all runners together. Don’t be suprised if they are also a little longer than the Harrier League races – with girls often running about 6 miles, and men running about 8. They include:
The North Eastern XC Champs – Sedgefield 12th December 2015
The Northern XC Champs – Blackburn January 30th 2016
The National XC Champs – Donnington Park 27th Feb 2016
I’m sure it will be decided at the AGM (so don’t hold me to this!), but in the past, the club has paid half of the cost to enter, with individual members paying the other half. For the fixtures outside of the region (the northerns and the nationals), people often get together to organise travel and sometimes accomodation if an overnight stay is needed.
Don’t be suprised if you find yourself on the start line with Alistair Brownlee, Alyson Dixonand some seriously fast club runners! These are stacked events, qualifier or selection events for other international events, but also great mass start events for clubs around the country and Satwell is always proud to have a team out! This is one of the things that makes them really special.
Final messages

The boring thing first but please read all email information about XC carefully. Captains will shortly be getting in touch to ask for registrations for the Harrier League. Information about other one-off fixtures will come separately – please don’t assume because you have registered for one you are registered for everything. Also I know accomodation and travel is sometimes organsied by seperate people and again – sometimes people have assumed because they have asked for a spot on the bus, they are actually registered to race. We will try to make the process as smooth as possible and give clear information.
Also, look out for messages about XC training throughout the winter. Keith and others kindly often put on extra sessions on a Saturday morning and they are well worth trying to get to.
Talk to others at the club about it. If like me, your memories of XC were of being about 11 standing in a freezing school field, then don’t be put off. It’s a great way to add a different type of running to your training, will help your strength, speed and racing for any distance and a great way to get to know others in the club. People will offer to let you try spikes before you buy, share lifts to far flung fixtures etc. Some of our members have been doing XC for a VERY LONG TIME (ha ha!) so chat to them about it…they have great experience to share.
And finally, don’t ever think you won’t be a ‘counter’ or there are better or faster people., Saltwell are proudest when they get full teams out of enthusiastic runners for each fixture…it’s as simple as that.
See you on the muddy start line!