Now established as one of the flattest, fastest – and, of course, most scenic - 5k races in the North East,
this year’s event saw a sold-out field of some 400 runners, the largest in its short history to date.
The course route run takes athletes west along the North bank of the Tyne from the Millenium Bridge
and under the iconic bridges, returning by the same route to finish on Baltic Square.
Running into a headwind for the first mile, times were slightly down on last year
but the winning time was still an impressive 14 minutes 49 seconds,
posted by Lewis Moses of host club Gateshead Harriers,
with Dominic Shaw of New Marske second (14m 47s)
and Saltwell’s Ethiopian athlete Abraham Tewelde third (15m 5s).
Having won the Morpeth 10k earlier in the month, evergreen Morpeth veteran Ian Hudspith,
showed that he continues to have lost none of his appetite for competition with athletes
in some cases twenty years younger than him was when posting a time of 15m 9s for 4th place.
Hudspith, the winner of the inaugural run in 2014, won a fierce battle with club colleague Ian Harding
in a sprint finish and both athletes were credited with the same time.
A resurgent Harding had in fact determinedly taken the race on its opening stages
and was first over 35 male home, with Hudspith first over 45.
Behind them new dad Chris Smith finished in 12th place (15m 33s) and was third over 35,
while Tom Straughan, battling back after an enforced spell of absence from illness,
posted 15m 41s in 17th. Ross Floyd was next (20th in 15m 52s) with Tom Innes,
in one of his first competitive 5k outings, 63rd in 17m 50s. Innes was 2nd under 20.
In a women’s race won by nearly 30 seconds by Lydia Turner of Birtley
in 16m 59s from Tracy Millmore (17m 21s) and Rebecca Robinson (17m 25s),
Jess Swindells was first home for Morpeth in 22m 49s with Sue Smith 7th over 50 in 23m 44s.