EVERY year Blyth Running Club organises their own Grand Prixs, consisting of nine races with runners divided into leagues according to their ability.
The runners’ best six scores count towards their league position with races spread from the Lake District to North Yorkshire and covering distances from three miles to 14.5 miles.
The first race this year was the Snake Lane 10 at Pocklington near York, with 34 members of the club taking part.
In fine conditions the race was won by Ricky Stevenson of New Marske Harriers in a course record time of 48.03.
First back for Blyth was Robbie Barkley in 37th with a time of 1.00.16, followed by Sam Dodd in 1.02.52 for 59th place overall.
First home for the ladies was Heather Christopher, 12th lady and 162nd overall.
There were age group prizes for Heather, Suzie, Cath Young, Martin Gaughan and Rob Hall, who was making a long overdue return to racing.
The men’s team finished eighth and the ladies a respectable fourth.
One week later, members of Blyth Running Club were again on their travels, this time 29 runners and their supporters took the slightly shorter journey for the second race in the series, the Haweswater Half marathon.
Starting and finishing in the small village of Bampton, a few miles from Shap, on the edge of the Lake District, the course is a hilly out and back affair, along the side of Haweswater Reservoir to Mardale Head and back.
Barkley was again first back for Blyth in 20th overall with a time of 1.22.22, followed by two newer members, Michael Butters with 1.23.16 for 23rd place and Sam Dodd with 1.25.13 in 32nd.
First lady back for Blyth was Heather Christopher, 109th overall in 1.34.22 – some six minutes quicker than last year – with Susanne Hunter second back in 1.36.51.
At least three of Blyth’s runners managed half marathon personal bests – Dave Bradley by two minutes, Chris Stone by four minutes and Peter Holmback by seven minutes.
The evergreen Rob Hall showed that he is getting back towards his best by taking first place in his age category.
On Sunday, April 3, Blyth Running Club will be holding the Spirit Of The Staithes 10km run, starting at Blyth Quayside at 10am.
Entry forms and further details are available at Blyth Sports Centre or online at www.blythrunningclub.org.uk
Entry costs £8 for club runners while unattached runners pay £10.
Blyth Running Club are currently holding some indoor mini athletic sessions for the young athletes every Wednesday at 5pm at Blyth Sports Centre.
Anybody wishing to register or wanting more information should ring (01670) 362668.
A new running group for complete beginners is starting up at Blyth Sports Centre, the group will be led by Alison Lowes.
For more information contact Alison on 07792 860740.