How do I?…
Our club was formed in 1891, but how did the club become Darlington Harriers? Who were the people that founded the club? Read about some of the great athletes that have graced our club, Olympians George Butterfield, Robert Hawkey and Joy Grieveson. Read about Fred Wyers who competed in the 1958 Commonwealth Games and other notable athletes such as Bob Stockdale, William Wylie, Ian Barnes, Paul Harker, Lewis Moses, Kieran Maxwell who have graced our club over the years and let’s not forget all the current members. The club is steeped in the town’s history from basic beginnings to current day and these pages will be updated daily as I trawl through the British Newspaper Archives.
We want to see the club colours at all of our events, especially team events such as relays, National, Northern or North-Eastern where we can get together as a group, support each other and make these events a social occasion. So let me introduce you to our Senior Club Captains.
In addition to athletes, we are always looking for volunteers to support club and local events so please reach out to Sarah Johnson as your first point of contact if you can support in any way shape or form. Thank you! #UTH
Track Development – Feeling Blue?
You will have seen that our Track will be unavailable to train on as it undergoes a full refurbishment from March 13th. Work has actually already started with the lighting in and around the athletics track. We expect the work to be completed by end of July to mid August after an issue has delayed the rebuild which is out of the clubs and council’s control.
A New Dawn
At the clubs AGM this week Hilary Bevan stepped up as Chair of the Trustee’s after Paul Cook declared he was stepping down after 4 years in the role. Hilary has been a valued member of the club for sometime and led on the Club’s Charity status around 18 months ago. Hilary has become the first female Chair of Darlington Harriers since it was established in 1891 and potentially further afield! We all wish Hilary well in the role and i’m sure I speak for you all to say she is the right person for the role moving forward.
As departing Chair I would just like to say a huge thank you to the committee, Treasurer Nigel Orr, Secretary Lesley Miller, Trustee Hilary Bevan, Mr I.T Tom Addison and Club President Ian Barnes as well as the clubs members for the support that has been given to me personally, and the committee over the last 4 years. In all honesty It’s a role I never really aspired to do but one in which i’m equally proud to have been the custodian of the club. We are a magnificent club with a proud history and to be part of it fills me with immense pride.
Over this period, it’s fair to say we have seen plenty ups and downs. Although it feels quite surreal now we had the difficulties over the ‘Covid period’ where races and training pretty much stopped for the world and 1 exercise per day didn’t quite cut it. Out of that came the fantastic ‘Back to Track’ events which Mark Tallon organised which in itself required some high level governance around what could and could not happen. The issues around our track has been well documented but countless meetings and time has been invested over several years by the committee to get us to where we are today. Some excellent mitigation and organisation by Andy Harrison, Tom Addison and our Coaches to accommodate our athletes training has been first class although i’m sure you will all be glad when we can get back on home turf. Huge shout out to our Coaches for the countless hours they put back into the sport, I know the athletes and parents of children value this.
Trevor McDermot brought the Marathon Paarlauf event to the table as a new concept and has been instrumental in making this a success for the last 2 years with the support of his wife Linda and the club members. The club won the England Athletics (EA) North East Club of the Year for the last 2 years and countless members have received personal awards for volunteering including and sporting achievements at both the EA and Darlington Sports. We’ve supported many charities and will continue to do so, Kieran Maxwell Memorial event now a permanent fixture on the race calendar.
Last but certainly by no means least the achievements on and off the field (so to speak) with many of the clubs athletes achieving new heights, times, distances and recognition from their School, County or National. There may have been a promotion or two on the track too! Unfortunately for you all, i’m not leaving the club anytime soon so will still be supporting Hilary, the other Trustees of the club and you all for many years to come!
The weekend saw the return of the annual Darlington 3 and 10km races in addition to the morning’s fun run. After a very wet week in the town the signs looked ominous for better conditions on the weekend especially after Saturday’s downpour. Surprisingly Sunday was dry, bright and great for runners and spectators alike which no doubt put a smile on everyone’s face for the run. After the fun run had taken place in the town centre some of our junior athletes took to the start line of the 3km race.
We had some excellent performances right the way through our junior section with two of our runners, Rowan Steel and Matthew Foster in the top 3 finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively. Looking through the results we also had a number of juniors in the top 4 in their age categories starting with Ollie Curran who was 1st, Dan Callaghan 2nd, James I’anson 3rd, Lucas Rogers 4th, Matilda Owens 3rd, Charlotte Owens 4th, Sebastian James 1st, Sasha Patterson and Acer Tarn 2nd. In addition we had some terrific performances from the children who no doubt in 12 months time will be knocking on the door of those podium positions or sitting proudly on them. Terrific running from all of our athletes.
In the 10km race we saw the course record not only broken but completely smashed to pieces by Run Nation athlete Martin Mumo Musyoka as he stormed across the line in 28:45 just edging Omar Ahmed the Birchfield Harrier by 1 second. Even 3rd placed runner Calum Johnson of Gateshead Harriers broke the old record by finishing in 29:25. Chris Fothergill led the club runners home, taking Paul Allan’s place at short notice breaking 35minutes in what looked like a Sunday stroll but his run was one of many excellent performances from our senior group as many finished the morning with a new personal best.
In addition to the many excellent performances listed below we had a number of athletes making the podium, these were; (In order of finishing) Dylan Wilson 2nd in Junior Boys race, Jeff Miller 1st MV60, Macy Kelly 1st Junior Girl, Zara Jones 2nd Junior Girl, Freya Talman 3rd Junior Girl, Pauline Brown 1st FV55, Val Clarke 3rd FV60, Catherine Anderson 1st FV65, Shirley Gibson 1st FV75, Laurie Cummins 1st MV80 with Ian Barnes 2nd MV80.
Whatever your time, finishing position it was brilliant to see so many athletes out there wearing the club colours. Hopefully next year we can get a complete team photograph together as that would save me a few hours trying to find as many of you as possible!! Sadly I’ve not captured you all below but hopefully I have captured a high percentage!! Well done to all of our junior and senior athletes.
Penny Skilton was our sole competitor at the Hardmoors 10km race in Farndale a circular route race starting at Hutton Le Hole village Hall. These Hardmoors events are always tough but Penny got through the ordeal and finished in 2.14.54. Great work Penny!
Full results for the race can be found here