North East Harrier League


What is the Harrier League?

It’s a series of 6 cross country races for clubs in the North East of England. You have to be a member of a club to take part and you have to wear your club vest to compete.

You get one number that you keep and have to wear at each race. Look after it. Wearing the wrong one leads to disqualification! You don’t have to compete in all of the races and you can start at any point in the season. The races take place at different venues across the North East, with a wide variety of terrains included.

The League has a handicap system with slow, medium and fast packs. The senior men’s race is approximately 6 miles. The packs start at 2.5min intervals with the slow pack starting first. Slow or medium pack runners finishing in the top 10% will be promoted to the medium or fast pack respectively.

The senior women’s race is approximately 4 miles with packs starting at 2min intervals and a top 10% finish seeing you promoted into the next highest pack.

Junior age groups have fast and slow packs only with a top 20% finisher gaining promotion to the fast pack.

If you are promoted to a higher pack, you stay in the higher pack for the remainder of that season and for the following season. See the rules for the full details.

The league has divisions for the seniors. Runners score points for their club depending on where they finish. The finish position of the club’s first 6 men (or 4 women) are added together for the team score. Teams are then ranked (men and women separately) and vie to win their division or avoid demotion. But all runners matter – non-counting runners affect the position of counting runners from other clubs, so everyone plays their part!

There are races for junior age categories as well. They have their own pack system and team competition. Even Under 11s are catered for with a non-competitive short run before the main competition.

You don’t have to be of a particular standard to take part, so even if you’re new to running you can give it a go. All abilities are represented. But you will need spikes or trail shoes – all races are off road. A love of mud helps too!

How do I take part?

Blackhill Bounders Team Manager – Stewy Bell

Once registration is open for the new season we will let you know. Registration of Blackhill Bounders is £50 per season which the club covers. All you will need to do is contact Stewy Bell with your date of birth and £3 entry fee that covers you for all of the races. Stewy will then register you via the on-line system. Collect your race number from the club tent on the day of the race.

2023/2024 Fixtures 

Sat 23rd September- Wrekenton

Sun 15th October- Druridge Bay

Sat 28th October- Lambton Park

Sat 25th November- Aykley Heads

Sat 6th January- Temple Park (Davison Shield/Sherman Cup)

Sat 10th February- Thornley Farm

Sat 2nd March- Alnwick Castle

You must keep your number for the whole season including the Davison Shield & Sherman Cup.  Do not throw it out after the first fixture. Replacement numbers are available from race HQ for £5.

Race order and times

1200 Under 11 Boys (1.5k)
1205 Under 11 Girls (1.5k)
1215 Under 17 Men (1.5 laps approx. 5k)
1220 Under 20 & Under 17 Women (1.5 laps approx 5k)
1235 Under 15 Boys (1 lap approx. 2 miles – 3.2k)
1240 Under 15 Girls (1 lap approx. 2 miles – 3.2k)
1250 Under 13 Boys (1 lap approx. 2 miles – 3.2k)
1255 Under 13 Girls (1 lap approx. 2 miles – 3.2k)
1305 Senior Women (2 laps approx. 4 miles – 6.4k)
1350 Senior Men (3 laps approx. 6 miles – 9.6k)
Age restrictions as follows
Under 11 – must be age 9 on the day of competition
Under 13 – must be 11 on 31st August 2023.  U11s turning 11 during the season may move up to the U13s
Under 15 – must be 13 on 31st August 2023.
Under 17 men – must be 15 on 31st August 2023.
Under 17 & 20 women – must be 15 on 31st August 2023.
Senior Men – must be 17 on 31st August 2023.
Senior Women – must be 20 on 31st August 2023.Masters men aged 65 may (if they wish) run in the 2 lap Senior Women’s race, they register as per normal in the men’s race, then come to race HQ for a replacement number.  Masters wishing to do this must stay in the 2 lap race all season.
Guests may run in the league at a cost of £5 for the whole season. This is a one off charge. They must register on the day, and let race HQ know if they competed last season.
Guests must be members of a EA or SA affiliated club.

Second Claim runners may not count for team points. They can either run for their first claim club as a guest, or if they come and register on the day they can take part as a non-counting runner in their second claim vest.
Guests & Second claim runners do not accumulate team points, but do get individual grand prix points.

****Important Notice****

Dear Athletes,

Please take time to read the notice below and please adhere to it.
There has much been said about this rule and I know it has caused a great divide amongst the running community.
This rule was brought in, in January 2020 pre COVID so it has nothing to do with COVID it was brought in by UKA for whatever reasons they had.
Yes they spit in Diamond League but that competition is run under World Athletics and not UKA rules.
So I am asking you all to take note of the rule and please adhere to it, action will be taken against any athletes who fall foul of it.
It’s not an ideal situation but hopefully common sense between officials and athletes alike will prevail.

This thread is not open for debate, it’s a rule bestowed upon us and until UKA change it, it’s here to stay, however much it is disliked or liked so any remarks will be removed.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.


General Secretary NEHL

CR18.5 Unsporting Behaviour,
(125.5) New UKA Supplementary Note: “Spitting (or similar) in warm up, call room, field of play or any other public area may be treated as a conduct offence and will be dealt with by a warning or disqualification (yellow card and / or red card offence).


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