A BUSY time for Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers saw 50 or so of them involved in the two-mile Easter Handicap midweek, with the first social indoor gathering for a long time afterwards, including pooled supper and presentations.

Hard going on long grass didn't seem to affect Denise Gandy, who started first, went off like a hare, and finished first. David Tervit came a close second and Rob Burn was third. An Easter egg for each finisher was the reward for everyone's strenuous efforts.

Matt Jones had a busy Easter weekend with two races. On Good Friday he took part in the Mermaid 10k, a flat road race along the sea front from New Marske to Redcar and back, with sunny conditions and without the usual strong sea breeze. With strong Teesside competition, and trying to get going again after illness and injury, he finished 58th out of 230 in a creditable 40.20.

Four members were with Matt at the Helmsley 10k on Easter Sunday, a much different multi terrain race with plenty of ups and downs, and this time he was 15th out of 197 in 41.38. The consistent and versatile David Tervit came 71st in 50.36, Dave Baker 85th in 51.49 and Kirsty Naylor 108th in 55.23. Each finisher was happy to receive an Easter egg and a mug.

On a different scale completely, enthusiastic fell runners, Marc Davies, Gavin Coventry and Alan Simpson had an away weekend to compete in the Manx Marathon over 50k with 2,600 metres of ascent. Out of 167 finishers, Marc came 81st in 7.40.22, Gavin 120th in 8.27.09 and Alan 131st in 8.42.50. They well deserved their short break afterwards.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Marc Davies, Gavin Coventry and Alan Simpson at the Manx Marathon

A massive field of 566 assembled at Fountains Abbey on Easter Saturday for the weekly park run and among them were Mike Cropper, James McLaughlin, doing his 102nd park run, Adrian Saunders, Bronwyn Mayo, Paul Adams, Diana Williams and Ian Codling. Jack Spence was among the 155 at Millfield and got PB 22.26. Andy and Allison Whiteley were at Albert Park, Christine Burn at Dalby Forest, Gary Wilkinson at Potternewton, Rosie Gatenby at North Yorkshire Water Park and Katie Wadsworth and James Harrison at Fell Foot, Newby Bridge.