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The “Undeck the Tree” Run

Once the festivities are over and we’re packing away the decorations for another year, maybe feeling slightly guilty about overindulging, it’s time to kick-start that new running regime with the trip back up to Bolts Law Fell to undeck the tree. We’ll be doing just that on Sunday 6th January – meeting at the Punch Bowl in Edmondbyers at 8:30am, for an 11 mile easy paced run, to the tree and back.

For anyone who hasn’t done this route before, it will take us across fell, fields, and moorland, and although it’s mostly on good tracks and paths, it will be very wet and boggy after the recent heavy rain. Please ensure you come prepared for the terrain and weather conditions on the fells (which can be very different from those here in Consett), with trail shoes or old trainers, plenty of layers and a waterproof jacket.


England Athletics Affiliation Information

England Athletics – Membership consultation
Statement from England Athletics Chair, Peter King, and Chief Executive, Chris Jones on behalf of the Board of England Athletics.
We write to you on behalf of the board of England Athletics to provide information, as promised, relating to affiliation fees that will take effect from 1st April 2013.
Following what we recognise to be an inadequate consultation process regarding affiliation we set up the three regional meetings and facilitated emailed submissions to hear views about this and the general concerns over consultation and representation in our sport.
We would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to make their views and constructive contributions known to us over recent weeks at meetings, via email and by post. This reflects an incredible dedication to the sport by so many.  We have taken these comments, views and opinions seriously. We are grateful for the way so many people have, in turn, been receptive to hearing what we have had to say about the challenges, in terms of budgets and provision, our sport faces as we look to the coming years, and how we must work together to address them.
Sport England this week announced their plans for funding for 2013-17. You can read more about this at
Sport England funding is allocated for specific areas of work that are ring fenced and will support our delivery in these areas. Because it is allocated for specific uses this funding cannot be transferred for use elsewhere. For example £8.8m is allocated to bringing more people into recreational running.  We will continue to work with UKA to identify new sources of commercial revenue but, at present, there is not the level of commercial funding available that there has been in the past.
Based on consideration of all the comments received we have made the following decisions. For the affiliation year commencing 1st April 2013 the following will apply:
  • All individual athletes will pay a flat fee of £10 irrespective of age or discipline. (The £10 fee will also apply to the optional Under 11s scheme. Details on the benefits pack for this scheme will be communicated in the New Year.)
  • The club and affiliated bodies registration fee will remain at £50.
  • The processes for clubs to affiliate and register athletes will be as in the current year.
  • Upgrades to the ‘Trinity’ member portal for clubs and athletes will be undertaken to make it more ‘user friendly’. We would like to thank those people who have given specific input on this matter.
In coming to the above decision, we have been through a challenging process.  This has made us clearly aware that, amongst other things, we need to review our approach to consultation and the democratic system of England Athletics that helps to shape and inform decision making. With this in mind we will carry out further consultation with member clubs during 2013 which will include consultation around plans for affiliation and membership in the future.  This will include the following:
  • How we provide best value to members,
  •              How we achieve further cost savings,
  •              How we continue to provide and safeguard the services the sport values most.
Details will be provided in due course, with the first meetings likely to be in early 2013.
A number of themes outside of affiliation fees were also raised through the recent consultation:
  • Desire for increased communication, consultation and engagement with the sport around membership and the wider work of EA (including costs and funding of delivery)
  •              Earlier communication regarding any proposed change
  •              Desire for any fee increases to be gradual, phased in and/ or subject to greater notice
  •              Need for improvements to the Trinity membership portal to help volunteers in clubs
  •              That the more athletes that clubs register the lower the price can be per athlete
  •              There were very mixed views on whether affiliation should be through the club or individual which require further discussion.
In 2013 we will be looking at ways in which we can strengthen the democratic processes of England Athletics. With this in mind we would like to continue the discussions on Regional Councils and how they can be more effectively utilised.  At this time that means making them as representative as possible and capable of both sending ideas and comments up to the National Council and the Board, and being a strong conduit back from the Board and National Council to Clubs for consultation and information purposes.  Nominations for the forthcoming elections will shortly open and we will be sending nomination forms to clubs as well as making them available at
At the consultation meetings we committed to transparency, this included a commitment to making information on comments and views given at the meetings available on the website. These are available at
We apologise for relaying this information to you late in December but have sought to act as swiftly as possible after the final consultation meeting and closing of online submissions.  We are therefore contacting club secretaries by email where possible, posting information and placing information on the England Athletics website at
Yours Sincerely,
Peter King, Chair, England Athletics
Chris Jones, Chief Executive, England Athletics
On behalf of the Board of England Athletics

Loftus Poultry Run – Sunday 16th December

As well as being the fourth event in our Winter GP this year, Loftus is traditionally the Bounders’ Christmas day out. It has all of the usual things you would expect from any other Bounders’ day out – bus shenanigans, fantastic home baked treats, a great run, followed by a gathering in the pub to sample local ales and to play “guess what’s in the shot glass?”, then there’s more cake and shenanigans on the journey home – all with a Christmassy twist!

At Loftus, all but the most serious of athletes seem get into the spirit of things by donning festive fancy dress. There are Santas, elves and reindeer aplenty… then there are those who prefer to be individual, turning up as a monkey, a Storm Trooper, or a Roman soldier.

The run starts and finishes at Loftus leisure centre, and proceedings are kicked off with a brass band playing Christmas carols. Runners can use the facilities at the leisure centre, which makes a pleasant change from getting changed in the back of a car or bus! The course is approximately 8 miles and is predominantly uphill for the first 5.5 miles. There’s a bit of down, across fields, around the halfway point, but with the fields being very wet and muddy, this wasn’t quite the welcome break it should’ve been. It was almost as clarty as a cross-country course! The thick sticky mud clung to shoes and made them feel 10 times as heavy!

Most of us reckoned that anyone not in fancy dress should have been instantly disqualified!

Once you reach the highest point on the course, with it’s fantastic view along the Cleveland coastline, everyone around you seems to breath a sigh of relief, as they know it’s all downhill from here. Once over the line, there was the luxury of showers and hairdryers, before assembling for the prize-giving. The main prizes being a Christmas hamper and a huge turkey. Category winners were also rewarded with various poultry prizes – hence the race name.

So, it was then back on the bus to head for Saltburn, where we decended upon The Victoria pub, much to the surprise of the barmaid and several customers who were out for a quiet Sunday lunch. There was an excellent quiz, hosted by Ray, with a little help from Stephen Fry… well, his QI quiz book, that is. All too soon it was time to head back home (or back to the Grey Horse for some), and this Bounders’ Christmas day out was finished off nicely with shortbread, mulled bus-wine and a rousing rendition of “The Twelve Days of Chirstmas” (note: we must remember to print off the words next year, as I’m sure we had far more “drummers drumming” than there was supposed to be).

The race was won by Andrew Wiles of New Marske Harriers, in a time of  41:46. First lady home was Aly Dixon, of Sunderland Strollers, in a time of 47:45


Bounders’ times are as follows:

Dave Smith – 53:58

Derren Sarginson – 59:32

Chris Boyd – 59:47

Brian Richardson 1:02:45

Kevin Lee 1:05:08

Dave Anderson 1:05:18

Dave Mitchell 1:06:31

Rachel Hopps 1:07:34

Petra (AKA Gary or Peter) Carson 1:09:41

Caroline Panting 1:10:00

Aidan Hughes 1:10:10

Ian Dilley 1:12:58

Mike Gill 1:12:58

Helen Nixon 1:18:40

John Million 1:22:49

Sara Sarginson 1:25:24

Tricia Collins 1:26:52

Sue Shaw 1:29:02

Michael Rowntree 1:29:03

Daniele Cechelero Rowley 1:29:58

Jillian Hughes 1:30:41

Shelagh Richmond 1:30:41

Stephen Daglish 1:32:47

Erin McHugh 1:35:46

Ray Hopper 1:35:47


Hopefully I shall have the GP results updated before the next event, Saltwell 10k, on Saturday.


Merry Christmas, Bounders, one and all!