His performance in the first race of the day was matched by that of his fellow Morpeth Harrier Gemma Floyd, first Over 35 woman, and later by John Butters, first Over 40 male.
The first race of the day, featuring women and men over 65, saw a strong front-running performance from leading NE veteran Sharon Bulman of Old Marske, who also picked up the 0/45 medal. Not far behind her, however, was Morpeth’s Gemma Floyd, who followed last week’s team bronze at the Northern Cross Country Championships with a second place in the race itself and an 0/35 gold medal. Also picking up silverware was Helen King, ninth overall and third 0/40, although sadly Morpeth’s leading veteran Jane Hodgson had had to pull out due to injury, thus preventing a certain team prize.
with Archie Jenkins and Paul Bentley, who also picked up an 0/70 bronze, joining Walter on the podium.
A longstanding member of Morpeth Harriers for several decades, Ryder has made the NEMAA championships an annual pilgrimage from his Scottish eyrie and his victory in the 0/80 category was made all the sweeter by virtue of him defeating local rival Reginald Checkley of Heaton who had pipped him last year.
In the three lap, second race of the day, featuring male veterans between 35 and 64, the early pace was set by Conrad Franks of Gateshead Harriers whose front running championship performance was rewarded with a gold medal. Gateshead also picked up a team gold ahead of local lads Wallsend, running here of course in their own backyard, for whom Chris Smith was first home.
Steve Haswell (0/50) and Paul Bellingham (0/55) had their own personal duel a little further down the field,
with Haswell, returning to competition after some time out, winning out on the final lap.