WITH a total of 65 members taking part, Tynedale Harriers came out on top of a running challenge set for running clubs throughout the North-East.

While lockdown has meant all fixtures and race meetings have been cancelled for the foreseeable, runners are coming up with ingenious ways to continue exercising and competing while complying with the restrictions on social gathering.

High Spen-based Greener Miles Running hosted a 24 hour challenge asking teams to run for a combined time of 24 hours, adding up the distance covered by each member. The club which covered the furthest distance was crowned the champion.

Of the 58 teams which took part, Tynedale clocked up a massive distance of 207 miles, seeing them comfortably ahead of second placed Ponteland Runners, who accumulated 194 miles.

Tynedale’s success was based on the astute tactic of assembling a large team of 65 runners, who only had to run for an average of 22 and a half minutes each. The oldest member of the team was 66 and the youngest 10.

Runners competed individually over a course and time of day of their choosing, recording the distance on their GPS watch.

A lot of care went into selecting long downhill routes with a following wind, given the gale that was blowing on the day.

Popular routes for Hexham members were eastwards down the Stanegate into Fourstones or down the Allendale Road from Lowgate. Runners from Haydon Bridge favoured Tofts Bank or Stublick Chimney and the Prudhoe contingent used the long descent from High Mickley to the new Aldi.

Lisa Tang was the leading Tynedale runner with 4.17 miles in her 22.5 minutes, while 10-year-old Morgan Vincent covered three miles at a remarkable speed of seven minutes per mile.

Other juniors who took part were Alex Hanlon, Poppy Watson, Hugh Ballantyne, Will Ainsley, Joel Lowe, Oli Lowe, Harry Courtney and Amelie Scott. Special mention goes to young Joe Green who ran two of the legs when his dad Andy got injured.

The next challenge involves teams of 10 members running four miles as fast as possible, this Saturday.