CROSS country runners from the district have endured a difficult winter, with adverse weather leading to postponements in the North-East Harrier League.

But competitors from Tynedale Harriers were among almost 1,000 runners who lined up at an eagerly-anticipated fixture at Alnwick Castle.

Despite cold and windy conditions, the sun came out for participants, aged between nine and over 70. However, there was an unwelcome snow shower during the women’s race.

The course at Alnwick had been changed from previous years, to include two extra hills, which also made it a longer run.

The only promotion of the day for Tynedale came in the senior men’s race. Will Lloyd had a superb run to finish 14th in a strong men’s field, earning himself promotion to the medium pack in future.

Steve Reynolds was the next scorer in 85th, with Andy Green (running from the fast pack with a five minute handicap) not far behind in 93rd. Phil Vincent, from the medium pack, was next in 132nd, with Alex Tang (149th) and Pete Watson (192nd) completing the list of scorers.

Also in the men’s team were Martin Bluck and Ed Yuill. The team finished the day in fourth place in Division Three.

In the senior women’s race, Tynedale fielded a strong team of 10. Running from the fast pack, Kirstie Anderson and Lisa Tang made light work of their five-minute handicap, to finish in 41st and 44th respectively.

Steph Scott made a welcome return to the team to be third scorer in 54th. The final counter for Tynedale was Charlie Pinkney who ran from the medium pack and crossed the line in 69th. Jeannie Brady, Carol Marshall, Kim Bluck, Sarah Davidson, Kim Firstbrook and Louise Griffin completed the team, which finished eighth in Division One.

Tynedale had a full team in the U13 girls’ race, with all three athletes running from the fast pack. Maria Gaines was first to cross the line for Tynedale in 13th, with Poppy Watson in 21st and Kate Terry in 28th. The team finished in fourth place.

Oliver Lowe was the only Tynedale representative in the U15 boys’ category, finishing the tough course in 37th.

Jess Sails was the only Tynedale runner in the U15 girls’ race. She had a strong run to finish in a very respectable 18th place. In the U11s boys’ race, Wilfred Pugh and Morgan Vincent battled the strong wind, to cross the line in 26th and 28th places respectively.

Traditionally, Alnwick is the final fixture in the calendar, but due to postponements, Tynedale travel to Lambton on March 14, and and Druridge Bay on March 29.