NEMAA Championships – 17th June 2023

by Alex Hird

Saturday saw the 2023 NEMAA Championships take place at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow. As always, this is a great chance to win medals on the track & field stage.

I turned up mid-way through the competition, and immediately I was shocked at the lack of numbers around the place. Normal NEMAA meetings appear to be packed, this was far from that. Maybe a badly timed event with it being Father’s Day weekend? Or, as one of the organisers put it, some people are put off by the word “Championships”.

We had three athletes taking part: Ken, Heather and myself. I can see you thinking…..surely he’s not old enough to do NEMAA, and you’ll be right! A few years to go yet. I was in the open mile race.

I watched Heather and Ken from afar, and as they did last year, they both took a huge haul of medals home. Great stuff guys

Ken Cawkwell M75 – Gold (Shot, Discus, Hammer) Silver (200m, Javelin)
Heather Jones W65 – Gold (Shot, Discus, Hammer, Javelin, Weight, 2000m Walk)

After the disappointment of narrowly missing out on the club record for the mile only 3 days earlier, this was another chance to break Kevin Archers 27 year old record. Unfortunately, I was dealt a bit of a blow before the race had started. Only 4 had entered the mile, and the other 3 were aiming to break 8 minutes. Nevertheless, when the gun went I shot off like my life depended on it, and thought I’d give it a solo blast. A slow third lap cost me dearly as I missed out again on the record by 1s exactly, clocking 4:39.9

Whilst I was pleased to hit a sub 4:40 for the second time in 3 days, and doing it solo this time, I can’t hide how gutted I was to miss it by a tiny margin again. I’ll get it one day!