Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Darren's Return Is Right on Tyne; Delight for Birtley Runner

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Darren's Return Is Right on Tyne; Delight for Birtley Runner

Article excerpt

DARREN PURVIS celebrated his return to Birtley Athletics Club with a fine gun-to-line victory in last weekend's Tynedale 10-mile road race.

Birtley was the club he first joined in 1995 after moving into athletics after taking part in that year's Great North Run.

At the time Birtley's membership was mainly made up of youngsters so, after a stint with the Gateshead outfit lasting 10 years, he moved on to Chester-le-Street AC to gain experience with the more established club.

Now, however, his athletics career has gone full circle and he is back running as a bluevested Birtley member. "It just seemed that the time was right to link up with Birtley again," said Purvis, who was delighted to pick up his first ever North Eastern Counties medal after his success in Tynedale.

"I've enjoyed my time with Chester-le-Street but, after doing some Tommy Millmore sessions at Birtley, it didn't take much for me to move back to the club I first joined 15 years ago.

"Like lots of lads you progress into club athletics after contesting the GNR, and I remember the only other medal I've won before last weekend was one for finishing third in the Harrier League many, many years ago.

"So it was something special to not only win my first ever North East medal but to do it in my first race back for Birtley. It made it really memorable."

Now, 15 years after his GNR debut, Purvis will be back on the starting line for the Newcastle to South Shields spectacular in 10 days' time hoping to cash in on his good form.

"I love the GNR, I get a real buzz out of the race," added Purvis.

"I've never missed one since 1995 and if the Tynedale race is anything to go by then, if everything goes to plan, I should run well.

"My best finish in the race was two years ago when I was 44th which, incidentally, was my fastest ever time of 71min 36secs. …

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