Jesmond Joggers attempt ‘great escape’

Photography by Danielle Walquist Lynch

Jesmond Joggers’ men’s team will have to produce a winning display in this weekend’s final race at Prudhoe if they hope to stand a chance of remaining in the North East Harrier League for the 2012-13 season.

The senior men’s side, which has had a mixed season so far, must be on top form this Saturday (24th March) as they race in what club chairman Scott Armstrong has described as “a six pointer survival race”.

Armstrong said: “We’re going to need a lot of teams to have a bad day in order for us to stay up. It’s not really in our hands but at the same time we need to focus on our own performance and getting a team out this Saturday.”

The team recently finished eighth in the Wrekenton race, which was their highest finish to date, but as a team they have found it hard to compete with the larger running squads in the league and Armstrong feels this is the main reason they find themselves in a relegation battle during the final stages of the season.

“Attendance has been brilliant this season considering we’re a squad of 25 men, but when there are teams that are doubling it, they just swarm you and it is a problem. It’s just strength in numbers.”

However, Armstrong hopes that his team can overcome the odds and secure a place in next season’s North East Harrier League. “We have to get out what we think is a very good team and all we can do is try our best.”

Meanwhile the women have missed out on their chance of promotion this season and now look set for a mid-table finish. Failing to put a team out at the Alnwick race two weeks ago has lead to the senior women dropping key points in the race for promotion.

Armstrong however was not critical of his runners and attributed any underachieving to the departure of key runners and a number of injury problems.

“They’ve slipped down the table and are now lying around sixth place. This has meant a chance of promotion is no longer the case. However, it wasn’t the girls’ fault. We’ve been hit by injuries and a number of the runners have quite demanding day jobs which has meant they’ve missed some of the races.”