Glory Days: Northern Cross Country Championships 2024, Sedgefield

Race Date 27 January 2024

This event is a step up from the Yorkshire Championships with an increase in standard as clubs from all across the region compete against each other. Our ladies also stepped up, finishing in fourth position beating some big hitters along the way. Abbie Pearse led the way finishing twelfth and with three of our women off to the Inter-Counties in March these are performances to savour. The plaudits elsewhere on social media complete an entire thesaurus of synonyms for the word amazing.

Arrangement in Green and Gold. Abbie said that she never even saw the photographer and remarked modestly that this must have been early on as she still had some form.

Club Captain Caroline Brock described the course as fast and very runnable with only two patches of significantly sticky mud with spike choice being a hot topic before the start. There were some inclines that felt like hills on lap two and would have been even more noticeable for the men who had to run three laps. The breeze was nothing near like the trauma of dealing with storms Isha and Jocelyn recently. Malcolm Baggaley described the course as not particularly technical, which meant that it was fast, but the soft ground coupled with the speed meant it was energy sapping.

Teamwork L-R: Simone, Caroline, Abbie, Kate, Sarah, Carol

As we all know however, athletes are never happy. Simone remarked that she had an average race but with Steel City only beating next team Liverpool Harriers by three points, every performance counted. A cliché perhaps, but this was very much a team performance.

Sarah Thorne may not be known to many unless you train at Hillsborough on Wednesday or Thursday. A fell and cross country aficionado Sarah used to run for Knavesmire before moving to Steel City in 2022. (Mick Hall Photography).

Malcolm gives a shout out for Richard Pegg who does a phenomenal amount of work for the club and sorted out the coach etc. only to get Covid. Nevertheless, he managed the day remotely with the coach carrying Steel City, Hallamshire, Sheffield RC and a single Hillsborough arriving in good time even after a coffee stop with the later 2:10pm start for the women helping. The Steel City tent was also appreciated by the other Sheffield clubs too. Malcolm was disappointed that the boys couldn’t close out a team but still a good day out although the girls get all the plaudits. At least, unlike the Yorkshire’s at Lightwater, those men taking longer than sixty minutes got an official time.

Senior Women 8km

Pos Name Time
12 Abbie Pearse 00:30:57
38 Caroline Brock 00:33:12
52 Sarah Thorne 00:34:38
64 Simine Young-Alls 00:35:27
147 Kate Scott 00:42:15
210 Carol Beattie 00:48:22

Senior Men 12km

Pos Name Time
274 Malcolm Baggaley 00:54:06
336 Ian Stinson 00:58:04
404 Stuart Jones 01:04:33
429 Liam Russell 01:11:29

First woman across the line was Lauren McNeil (Hallamshire) 28:35 whilst Calum Johnson (Gateshead) 37:55 won the men’s race. Leeds City won both the team races and it will be interesting to see how they go at the Nationals next month. Link to full results with all the facts and figures. Northern Cross Country Championships 2024


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