The cold, rainy conditions that prevailed for much of the day definitely didn’t dampen the spirits of the athletes, with northern clubs certainly having a good championships. New technology was also being trialled this time, with a large screen at the changeover area for spectators to view athletes at various parts of the course. Although not all camera points worked successfully on the day, what could be viewed clearly showed that this is the way forward for these events.

Young Athletes 3-Stage:
Vale Royal U15 Girls were deserving winners ahead of Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow in 2nd, Aldershot, Farnham & District (AFD) in 3rd. The winning Vale Royal team went from 29th, to 5th then 1st over the 3 legs, with the bonus of Holly Weedall producing the fastest time on leg 3 in an impressive 13.23.

Another medal winning performance came from Salford Harriers U17 women, who finished in 3rd place behind City of Norwich in 1st and Shaftesbury Barnet in 2nd.

There were many creditable top 10 performances from northern clubs throughout the categories:
U13G: Rotherham Harriers 5th, Liverpool Harriers 7th
U13B: Sale Harriers 7th, City of Sheffield 9th
U15G: Wirral 8th, Horwich RMI 10th
U15B: Salford Harriers 9th
U17W: Vale Royal 4th (only 9 seconds behind Salford), Rotherham Harriers 9th
U17M: Lincoln Wellington 4th, Morpeth Harriers 5th, Houghton Harriers 8th, Leeds City 10th

Senior Women’s 4-Stage:
Leeds City finished in 2nd place, with AFD in 1st, Tonbridge 3rd. Leigh Harriers encountered a problem on 1st stage, when Olivia Stones fell and badly grazed her leg. With true northern grit, she completed her race finishing in 24th position, to give the 3 remaining team members a chance to compete and claw back some places, which they certainly did in style. Lauren Howarth on leg 2 pulled back 20 places, whilst Abigail Howarth was 5th on leg 3. Leg 4 saw the battling Lauren Riches bring the team in to maintain 5th overall. Rotherham Harriers A team finished one place ahead of Leigh in 4th, with Rotherham B also in the top 10 in 9th position.

Senior Men’s 6-Stage:
More medals for the north here. Stockport Harriers finished in 1st place, kicking off 10th at the end of leg 1, the last 2 legs ensuring their win. As the 1st northern men’s team to finish, in addition to being outright winners of the championship, they also hold the Wilkinson’s sword for a year. Leeds City in 2nd place progressed from 20th at the end of leg 1, to securing their overall 2nd place on the final 2 legs, with AFD 3rd. Ross Millington of Stockport produced the fastest leg of the day in 16.54, 14 seconds ahead of Liverpool Harriers Jonny Mellor.
Northern winners, Lincoln Wellington, finished in 5th place with Liverpool Harriers in 8th.

Report and photos Eileen Ingham.