# Harrier League Cross Country

R
Author

Jonny Law

Published

October 26, 2017

The Harrier League is a cross country running league with seven fixtures across the North East of England in the 2017/18 season across the winter months from September ’17 until March ’18.

The Harrier League is unique to other cross country fixtures because the senior runners are divided up into slow, medium and fast packs. In the senior men’s race, the slow runners start first followed 2 minutes 30 seconds later by the medium pack runners, then a further 2 minutes 30 seconds by the fast pack runners.

In order to progress to the fast pack, runners must first run in the slow pack and finish in the top 10% of finishers, this entitles them to run from the medium pack. If they then finish in the top 10% from the medium pack, then they can run from the fast pack.

Teams are split into three divisions and final team positions are calculated within each division by ordering the first six runners (four in the senior women) by race time. This is the total time elapsed from when the slow pack starts to when the runner crosses the finish line. Let’s answer one interesting question, what would the results be from the past weekends fixture without the handicaps, i.e. if everyone started from scratch.

The code for this analysis was written using R and the tidyverse. The full code can be found on Github. Let me know if you’d like me to answer other questions about the harrier league.

# Senior Womens

We will look at the results from the previous race at Druridge Bay. In the senior women’s race there are four counters, any team with less than four runners will be removed from the final results. Now, we can calculate the position of each runner within each division by the actual running time of each runner.

First we need to download the relevant information, since the results are available as an HTML table, the package htmltab can be used to select the table containing the individual results

``womens_results_raw = htmltab::htmltab(doc = "http://www.harrierleague.com/results/2017-18/druridge/SenF.htm")``

These results are then cleaned up, removing any guest runners and extracting the division of each runner from the club field.

``````clean_results = function(raw_results) {
raw_results %>%
as_data_frame() %>%
rename(race_time = `Race Time`, actual_time = `Actual Time`) %>%
filter(Cat != "guest") %>%
mutate(division = as.numeric(stringr::str_sub(Club, start = 2, end = 2)),
club = stringr::str_sub(Club, start = 5)) %>%
select(Name, actual_time, division, club) %>%
mutate(actual_seconds = as.numeric(lubridate::ms(actual_time)))
}

womens_results = clean_results(womens_results_raw)``````
``````Warning: `as_data_frame()` was deprecated in tibble 2.0.0.
The signature and semantics have changed, see `?as_tibble`.
This warning is displayed once every 8 hours.
Call `lifecycle::last_lifecycle_warnings()` to see where this warning was generated.``````

Now we write a function which calculates the results for one division. This can be re-used for the men’s results by accepting the number of counters for each team as an argument to the function (4 women to count, 6 men to count). We remove any clubs who fielded incomplete teams and select the top counters ordered by the position supplied in the `raw_results` dataframe. We then calculate the total points for each time, by summing the positions (lower is better) and concatenate the names of the counters into a single string.

``````concat = function(strings) {
Reduce(f = function(string_1, string_2) paste(string_1, string_2, sep = ", "), x = strings)
}

get_results_one_division = function(raw_results, counters = 4) {
incomplete_teams = raw_results %>%
count(club) %>%
filter(n < counters)

raw_results %>%
anti_join(incomplete_teams, by = "club") %>%
group_by(club) %>%
top_n(n = counters, wt = desc(pos)) %>%
group_by(club) %>%
summarise(total_points = sum(pos), total_counters = n(),
counters = concat(paste0(Name, " (", pos, ")"))) %>%
mutate(position = min_rank(total_points))
}``````

Now, we are ready to calculate the results given positions. But instead of using the race time (actual time + handicap time), we use the actual time to determine individual positions within each of the three divisions. We then use the previously defined function `get_results_one_division()` to calculate the final score for each team in each division:

``````actual_time_results = function(results, counters) {
results %>%
group_by(division) %>%
mutate(pos = min_rank(actual_seconds)) %>%
do(get_results_one_division(., counters = counters)) %>%
arrange(division, position)
} ``````

Here are the results for the women’s division one, two and three:

Senior Women’s Division One
position club total_points counters
1 Tyne Bridge Harriers 43 Alison Dargie (3), Louise Rodgers (5), Heather Dorman (18), Mairi Clancy (17)
2 North Shields Poly 63 Rachel Mcintyre (15), Joanna Fletcher (26), Alison Smith (10), Katherine Davis (12)
3 Tynedale Harriers 65 Elizabeth Earle (24), Steph Scott (28), Kirstie Anderson (6), Jo Sutton (7)
4 Gateshead Harriers 66 Jemma Louise Bell (13), Sarah Holmes (36), Sarah Hill (8), Elizabeth Raven (9)
5 Morpeth Harriers & AC 71 Emma Holt (1), Jane Hodgson (2), Alison Brown (11), Sue Smith (57)
6 South Shields Harriers 89 Linda Bone (28), Rachel Breheny (16), Fran Dembele (26), Claire O’Callaghan (19)
7 Alnwick Harriers 93 Johanna Gascoigne-Owens (4), Lisa Baston (33), Alice Tetley-Paul (34), Karen Kelly (22)
8 Gosforth Harriers 111 Louise Watson (20), Angela Richardson (31), Sylvie Moffat (21), Susan Driscoll (39)
9 Durham City Harriers 117 Kelly Bentley (25), Gemma Soulsby (14), Rachel Terry (40), Rachel Bentley (38)
10 Elvet Striders 186 Susan Davis (41), Rachelle Mason (44), Sarah Davies (50), Rachael Bullock (51)
Senior Women’s Division Two
position club total_points counters
1 Heaton Harriers 31 Nina Cameron (8), Louise Johnson (10), Ellen Roberts (2), Janine Routledge (11)
2 Jesmond Joggers 49 Emma Glover (4), Laura Cheetham (5), Jo King (18), Kate Black (22)
3 Crook AC 53 Kirstin Farquhar (6), Helene Pratt (32), Elizabeth Wood (12), Joanne Raine (3)
4 Sunderland Harriers 88 Linda Mudford (24), Lauren Flaxen (26), Vikki Cotton (9), Peter Richardson (29)
5 Elswick Harriers 89 Elspeth Aspinall (7), Catherine Lee (13), Graham Leslie (33), Jill Bennett (36)
6 Claremont RR 94 Mandy Herworth (20), Sarah Kerr (25), Nicki O’Brien (14), Jane Evans (35)
6 Low Fell RC 94 Emma Sproat (16), Claire Diamond-Howe (17), Cheryl Parkin (19), William Doidge (42)
8 Birtley AC 121 Chloe Price (1), Clare Atkinson (31), Shannel Curtis (37), Stephanie Young (52)
9 Blackhill 152 Louise Priestley (30), Caroline Slane (34), Kerry Anderson (40), Juliet Robinson (48)
10 Wallsend Harriers 154 Donna Thompson (15), Emily James (28), Julie Williams (47), Julie Collinson (64)
Senior Women’s Division Three
position club total_points counters
1 Saltwell Harriers 46 Christie Waddington (4), Gemma Bradley (3), Sarah Garrett (12), Nicola Whitman (27)
2 Sunderland Strollers 70 Wendy Chapman (2), Clare Baharie (14), Hasina Khanom (16), Michelle Houghton (38)
3 Ponteland Runners 72 Elaine Stroud (15), Fiona Nicholson (18), Alison Guadagno (19), Laura Choake (20)
4 Blyth RC 76 Claire Calverley (8), Holly Johnson (21), Lisa Scorer (23), Sandra Watson (24)
5 Blaydon Harriers 88 Claire Collinson (10), Liane Brown (25), Joanne Ramshaw (26), Izzi Jackson (27)
6 Derwent Valley Running Club 93 Lindsay Smith (5), Dawn Cooper (13), Eleanor Shotton (22), Bernadette Salmon (53)
7 Jarrow & Hebburn AC 94 Rachel Jameson (9), Elaine Leslie (1), Heather Robinson (7), Julia Barnshaw (77)
8 Derwentside AC 171 Emma Armstrong (31), Fiona Gilchrist (40), Claire Wilkie (44), Janet Brooks (56)
9 Washington Running Club 174 Katherine Conway (30), Sarah Turnbull (42), Radina Tahtadzhieva (47), Nicole Clarke (55)
10 Ashington Hirst 192 Lee Elder (34), Kate Mclean (41), Laura Jobson (58), Lindsay Freeman (59)
11 Derwent Valley Trail Runners 226 Dawn Metcalfe (17), Susie Thompson (37), Vicky Hopper (72), Kathleen Boyle (100)
12 Newcastle Frontrunners 309 Heather Witham (52), Gillian Dodds (70), Grace Lewis (89), Jo Morrissey (98)
13 Stocksfield Striders 353 Rachael Maitland (49), Holly Kelleher (71), Louise Newton (116), Jane Buckingham (117)

## Senior Men

In the senior men’s race there are six counters, any team with less than six runners will be removed from the final results. Now, we can calculate the position of each runner within each division by the actual running time of each runner.

``````mens_results_raw = htmltab(doc = "http://www.harrierleague.com/results/2017-18/druridge/SenM.htm")
mens_results = clean_results(mens_results_raw)``````
Senior Men’s Division One
position club total_points counters
1 Tyne Bridge Harriers 89 Paul O’Mara (9), James Dunce (2), Tom Charlton (4), Alasdair Blain (26), Tony Carter (21), Paul Turnbull (27)
2 Durham City Harriers 111 Alexander Cook (22), Jonathan Wilkinson (8), Francisco Martinez-Sevilla (16), Michael Wade (17), David Cross (36), Robin Linten (12)
3 Morpeth Harriers & AC 129 Robert Balmbra (1), Thomas Innes (23), Tony Lewis (37), Richard Castledine (39), Alistair Douglass (14), Mark Snowball (15)
4 Sunderland Harriers 149 Sean Mackie (31), Paul Blakey (10), Andrew Powell (3), Robert Walker (20), Steven Duffy (33), Paul Merrison (52)
5 Gateshead Harriers 159 Matthew Linsley (43), Ross Christie (13), Conrad Franks (7), Steven Asquith (31), Kevin Connolly (18), Peter Grimoldby (47)
6 Heaton Harriers 188 Matt Hetherington (19), Sam Thorpe (30), James Meader (24), James Mckenzie (11), Mark Oliver (50), Ian Norman (54)
7 Elvet Striders 255 Stephen Jackson (5), Jack Lee (57), Jason Harding (34), Michael Mason (25), Phil Ray (66), Scott Watson (68)
8 Birtley AC 348 Adrian Bailes (6), Peter Farnie (40), Karl Oakes (79), Peter Gill (44), Mark Hornsby (87), Trevor Crewe (92)
9 North Shields Poly 374 Paul West (29), Michael Parkinson (27), Michael Gibson (78), Paul Davies (49), William Powis (95), Richard Hanley (96)
10 Wallsend Harriers 445 Simon Lyon (35), David Diston (76), Jack Armstrong (57), Brian Hetherington (59), Keith Odonnell (108), Paul James (110)
Senior Men’s Division Two
position club total_points counters
1 Jarrow & Hebburn AC 90 Andy Burn (1), Jonny Evans (3), Kevin Emmett (20), Jack Brown (25), Jonathan Gilroy (14), Conal Tuffnell (27)
2 Alnwick Harriers 122 Dan Turnbull (5), Adam Fletcher (22), Steve Carragher (10), Ian Simon (34), Dominic Harris (21), Philip Hemsley (30)
3 Gosforth Harriers 132 Tom Coates (18), Maurice Bourke (31), Andrew Heppell (15), Jonny Stephenson (24), James McCreesh (13), Neil Ramsay (31)
4 Elswick Harriers 176 Iain Hardy (40), Lee Bennett (7), John Bell (43), Mark Turnbull (19), Kevin Richardson (11), David Armstrong (56)
5 Saltwell Harriers 181 Graham Stephenson (28), Iain Armstrong (12), Fred Smith (44), Jim Thompson (16), Matt O’Brien (16), Peter Mullarkey (65)
6 South Shields Harriers 214 Luke Adams (2), Jeff Mcgurty (40), Paul Owen (45), Neil Turner (46), Stephen Mackin (53), Mark Wilson (28)
7 Blyth RC 219 Graeme Stewart (36), Tony Horsley (38), Gary Jones (8), Graham Wood (51), Calum Storey (22), Paul Whalley (64)
8 Sunderland Strollers 253 Callum Thom (9), Luke Mccormack (49), Ritchie Gerry (26), Paul Dunlop (66), Michael Dixon (68), Ken Maynard (35)
9 Sedgefield Harriers 311 James Oldfield (4), David Bentley (42), Mark Raine (48), David Walker (56), Mil Walton (77), Chris Lines (84)
10 Blackhill 319 Jordan Bell (6), Ian Young (55), Gary Dixon (60), Jonathan Richards (68), Daryl Priestley (79), Michael Mcdonald (51)
11 Crook AC 847 Paul Brennan (90), Geoff Hewitson (98), Mark Nichol (148), Gerry Hehir (168), Lloyd Ashby (169), Paul Wragg (174)
Senior Men’s Division Three
position club total_points counters
1 Low Fell RC 77 Gavin Thompson (13), David France (3), Ian Marriott (23), Fai Ng (25), Paul Harrison (9), Stephen Magrath (4)
2 Houghton AC 80 Juma Tatah (14), Stephen Johnson (21), Lee Dover (2), Adam Middleton (16), Tom Whelan (17), Thomas Grey (10)
3 Blaydon Harriers 140 David Garner (11), Isaac Dunn (5), James Ramshaw (30), James Dias (7), Jamie Boswell (41), Liam Friel (46)
4 Derwentside AC 201 Graham Marshall (18), Mark Davinson (29), David Reay (34), John S Donneky (8), Steven Dickson (27), Chris Lowes (85)
5 Jesmond Joggers 267 Josh Freed (19), Angus Miller (33), Stuart Harper (43), Gregory Stamp (55), Tim Mcgahey (58), John Farr (59)
6 Ponteland Runners 268 John Mcgargill (47), James Leiper (15), Chris Kenyon (56), Tim Allsop (20), Matthew Levison (62), Matty Bell (68)
7 Ashington Hirst 271 Kurt Heron (1), Paul White (6), Iain Singer (52), Martin Thompson (59), Philip Battista (74), Nic Crofts (79)
8 Washington Running Club 302 Peter Setterfield (24), Tim Jones (28), Craig Smith (50), Nick Butchart (51), Carl Smith (66), David Bannan (83)
9 Claremont RR 391 Roberto Marzo (22), Anthony Liddle (39), Danny Edwards (70), Duncan Scott (72), David Devennie (93), Dean O’Brien (95)
10 Derwent Valley Trail Runners 445 Stephen Heseltine (38), Ian Hutchinson (49), Andrew Nesbit (76), Jordan Babak (91), Tony Curry (93), Dan English (98)
11 Derwent Valley Running Club 553 Mark Marchant (35), Simon Woolley (79), Peter Storey (100), Nick Belcher (105), John Kirby (113), Steve Wade (121)
12 Newcastle Frontrunners 587 Russell Dickinson Deane (32), Phillip Hall (67), Mark Sutherland (75), Curtis Allen (123), Ken Hodson (144), Allen Dickinson Deane (146)

## Citation

BibTeX citation:
``````@online{law2017,
author = {Jonny Law},
title = {Harrier {League} {Cross} {Country}},
date = {2017-10-26},
langid = {en}
}
``````
For attribution, please cite this work as:
Jonny Law. 2017. “Harrier League Cross Country.” October 26, 2017.