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NoEAA Millenium
Cross Country Championships 2000

Report by: Bryan Murray

29th January 2000 - South Shields

Gale-force winds dogged the North of England AA Millennium Cross Country Championships in South Shields.

Wakefield's Jasmin Kerry was first up in the U13 girls' race over 3000m and first to tackle the 60 mph winds.

Kerry, in her first season, was one of 200 starters and moved from halfway up the field to finish 75th in 13 mins 57 secs.

Next up were Zoe Gowland, Carly Wright and Lucy Martin in the U15 girls' race. The athletes bunched together on the first hill of the 4300m course with Gowland up with the leading pack and Martin and Wright hot on her heels.

After the first 1500m, straight into a head wind, the field strung out. On the wind-assisted return leg, Martin and Wright ran very well but Gowland stood out and took 25th overall in 17 mins 08 secs after holding 20th for some distance. Wright was 62nd in 17 mins 55 secs and Martin completed in 20 mins 05 secs.

Aine Hoban was Wakeficid Harriers' U17 women's representative in a field of over 100 runners, and the 4700m course proved a real test of stamina and character.

Hoban was 17th up to about the halfway mark and had a storming finish to take 14th overall in 20 mins 27 secs, probably the best Wakefield performance of the day.

Three Harriers started the U17 men's race, Paul Lockwood, Alex Senior and Steve Faulkner.

Of the three, Faulkner adapted to the terrible conditions best and finished 57th in 21 mins 28 secs, there were over 150 finishers.

Lockwood seven places in front of his team-mate Faulkner, found the conditions not to his liking and was disappointed with his performance.

Senior, after running well in the opening part, faded in the last quarter and completed in a time of 21 mins 54 secs.

The U15 boys race over 4000m had one of the biggest entries of the day. Sam Handforth found the conditions to his liking and finished a creditable 78th

Full marks to all spectators, competitors and coaches alike who braved the horrendous conditions.