The Northern Vets (now called Northern Masters) and Yorkshire Vets Cross-country Championships were combined this year, hosted by Doncaster AC at the Northern Racing College, near the Robin Hood airport on Saturday 4 March.
All races started and finished in a large grass oval, contained within a horse exercise track. On the oval were club tents, including Bingley’s, thanks to Tony Kingham and Dave Potter. White background numbers were issued by YVAA and yellow background ones by NMAC, with some runners displaying both. A total of 255 contested the YVAA races and 55 the Northern Vets.
Races 1 and 2 started together, race 1 being a 5K course for all women, plus men over 70. Race 2 was 10K for M50 to 69. There was a good course map on the YVAA website and displayed at Registration, showing all runners completing one large red lap and maybe a fifth of the second one, when all women and M70 plus diverted left to a yellow loop which re-joined the red one near its end, then women and M70+ completed the red lap and turned right to finish in the oval. M50 to 59 were to run 3 red circuits and then return to the oval. The pre-race briefing started loud and clear, but tailed off when it became clear the announcer wasn’t too sure of his facts. Some marshals, high on enthusiasm but not well briefed, apparently urged men who might have looked 70 plus, to take the yellow loop after lap 1 and also to peel off to the finish after lap 2. Fortunately, most M50 to 69 knew they had to do 3 red laps, but at the presentation it was announced one finisher had been disqualified for not completing the course. Maybe M70+ having 700 series numbers would have helped the marshals.
The course was surprisingly firm considering sustained rain the day before, with only the track between oval and start of red loop having standing water and mud. Approx. 210 runners surged through the gate way from the oval with some jostling, but at least we did not grind to a halt. Then downhill beside a horse gallop, on tracks through woodland and a long gentle climb, taking in a wide watersplash to the top of the route, curving back on sandy paths with a lot of loose stones to complete red one. I opted for fell shoes, but would probably have run in spikes if I had brought shorter 9mm spikes. The 5K runners loop took a short-cut back through the watersplash, swung left to the horse gallop and climbed steadily beside it before a right turn along a lane re-joined the red circuit.
Race 3 at 2pm for M35 to 49 was a repeat 10K and did not feature any Bingley men.
I am pleased to report that Bingley did well in the medal tally:
|YVAA Championship 5K||NMAC Championship 5K|
|11th Stephanie Robson 23m-25||6th and Second F45|
|40th Peter Ellerton 26m-17 First M70||12th and First M70|
|48th Tony Kingham 27m-07 Third M70|
|61st Fred Gibbs 28m-20 First M75||18th and First M75|
|Bingley First 70+ team: Peter Ellerton, Tony Kingham, Fred Gibbs|
|YVAA Championship 10K||NMAC Championship 10K|
|30th Paul Lemmon 39m-57||5th|
|52nd Bryan Parkinson 42m-27 Second M65||17th and First M65|
|54th Gerry Bell 42m-54 Third M65||18th and Second M65|
|62nd Don Johnson 44m-45||20th|
|64th Stuart Thompson 45m-00|
|Bingley Third M60 to 69 team: Bryan Parkinson, Gerry Bell, Don Johnson.
(First team Harrogate, Second Sheffield Runners)
|Bingley First M60 to 69 team: Bryan Parkinson, Gerry Bell, Don Johnson.|
Report by Peter Ellerton, Mens Vets Rep. 7 March, 2017.