North East Harrier League Cross Country Series

Every year we take part in the North Eastern Harrier League (NEHL) cross country series, a season of races across the region for EA-affiliated clubs only.  Its a great way to meet fellow members and take part in a team running event together, bonding over mud and (hopefully) post-run cake.

Here are the fixtures for 2019/20.

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The Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League website can be visited at: (It will be updated soon with information about fixtures.)

You can also follow their Facebook page, which is the best place to get last minute information in the run up to races.

What’s it all about?

Cross country spectator encouragement Sept 2017

It’s all about the team support.

The club pays for every member (who wants to!) to take part in these races – it is one of the perks of being a member. Everyone, whatever their running level, is welcome to take part – so don’t think it doesn’t apply to you!  In fact, the more members who run, whatever the speed, the better, as everyone will provide valuable points to our overall scores. And anyone injured or not sure, are very welcome to come along and cheer on the runners and bring cakes. Family and friends are also very welcome to support us.

The races are all cross-country (think across fields, woodland, possible water-crossings), on a well-marked course, mostly on Saturdays, but sometimes Sundays.  Generally prepare for mud. We meet up at the beginning of the afternoon, with races setting off at intervals (depending on category  – see below).

XC Autumn 2016

Normally our tent is bigger than this, honest!


Your race number 

We need to register you as a runner with NEHL before you can race. So let the Club Secretary know if you want to take part.  You will then be given an individual number for your vest, which you keep for the whole season, so do not lose it.

This year on the first race of the season, the club will collect registered numbers from the organisers for those planning to run in a fixture in 2019 only, and will distribute them to runners at that first fixture.  (We look after the numbers for anyone not at the first fixture.)  We will do a further registration and collection of numbers for the rest of the season on first fixture in 2020.

Men's race at NEHL XC series at Aykley Heads, Durham

NEHL XC, Aykley Heads, Durham

What to bring

Race number and safety pins

DVRC club vest

Suitable trainers (see below)

Lots of warm layers for racing and at start/finish

Bin liner for muddy clothes

Optional extra: home baking and other treats are always welcome!


As it’s cross country, it is muddy.  Therefore, we generally advise at least a trail running shoe, or you can buy XC trainers (with spikes). Some people also wear fell running shoes. Ask other members for advice, as it can depend on venue. Some running shops sell well-priced entry level XC trainers or a kindly member may even offer to lend you a pair for a try.

Muddy feet at XC Feb 2017

On race day

Where possible, we try to car share – look out on email and FB for messages about forthcoming fixtures. You can find details of each location on the NEHL website.

NE Harrier League Cross Country 2015/16

NE Harrier League Cross Country 2015/16

On arrival at the venue, look out for our race flag and our massive Taj Mahal tent – every club has a tent to meet up, get changed and keep warm.  If you’d like to help transport/erect/store the tent/flag, then please let the Club Secretary know.  We need people to regularly help with this or you may find yourselves tent-less!

We run laps of a set course; normally its 3x for men (approx. 6 miles) and 2x for women (approx. 6 miles).


If you can’t run, then you are always welcome to cheer on along the course. Many people arrive early/stay later to cheer on other races, and it is also a good opportunity to bring along family and friends (lots of space to run about and generally get worn out).

Team points for the league

You will win points for the club regardless of where you finish!

You score points for the club depending on your individual finish position and there are also team points up for grabs. So, the more runners that turn up, the better, regardless of how slow or fast you are.

The finish position of the club’s first six men finishers and first four women finishers are added together for a team score. Team are ranked (men and women separately) and vie to win their division.

So what are you waiting for?

More information: