Nearly 170 keen runners lined up for the annual Morpeth 11k Road Race,
sponsored by Linden Homes, on New Year’s Day.
For the second year in succession, the field were led home by Morpeth Harrier Peter Newton,
who crossed the finish line on High Stanners, posting a time of 33m28s,
which proved to be twenty - four seconds faster than his 2016 winning time.
Second place went to Newton’s Morpeth colleague Carl Avery, who was thirteen seconds adrift,
despite sharing a lead throughout most of the event, and was only dropped once the pair had entered
Carlisle Park, which was where Newton scented a second triumph.
It was also the second time that Avery had finished second,
having been runner up to Elswick’s Tadele Geremew in 2015.
Third place went to Gateshead Harrier Callum Johnson, who clocked 34m05s,
which was fourteen seconds faster than his 2016 time, when he had finished fourth behind Newton.
Fourth place on this occasion went to Morpeth’s Sam Hancox, who posted a finishing time of 34m39s.
Morpeth Harriers also filled fifth, sixth, and seventh places, courtesy of Thomas Straughan,
Ian Harding and Lewis Timmins, who posted times of 34m58s, 35m01s, and 35m18s respectively.
Eighth place went to North Shields Poly’s Graham Cook (36m39s),
ninth place went to Jarrow & Hebburn’s Brendan McMillan (36m55s),
and the top ten finishers were completed by Macclesfield’s Mark Walker (37m07s).
One place behind Walker was leading Veteran Man Jeff Prest of Trafford AC, who clocked 37m43s.
Morpeth Harriers also provided the winner of the Women’s race,
when Over 35 Veteran Jane Hodgson finished 25th overall in 41m18s,
one place and sixteen seconds ahead of second placed Woman Gina Rutherford,
now running in the colours of Jarrow and Hebburn following her transfer from North Shields Poly.
Third placed Woman was Morpeth’s Lorna MacDonald, who finished in 31st place overall in 42m18s,
five places and forty-two seconds ahead of younger sister Catriona, who was fourth placed Woman.
Completing the top five in the Women’s event was Edinburgh AC’s Madeline Bell,
who finished 40th overall, posting a finishing time of 43m30s.
Morpeth Harriers wish to thank Race Sponsors Linden Homes
and George Patterson for their continued generosity,
Morpeth Rugby Club for the use of their premises as Race Headquarters,
Racenumber.co.uk for providing their online entry service,
Dave Todd for First Aid provision by Tees-side Voluntary Services,
and members and friends for assistance with on the day course marshalling,
and UK Athletics officials for their valuable help.
Conditions for the event were generally good, with a cool breeze,
however later finishing runners were forced to endure some sleety rainfall.
ONLINE ENTRY FOR THE ANNUAL MORPETH 11k (approx) ROAD RACE,
SCHEDULED TO BE RUN ON NEW YEARS DAY
(SUNDAY 1st JANUARY 2017) at 1.00pm, HAS NOW CLOSED
LATE ENTRY WILL STILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE DAY AT RACE HQ
AT MORPETH RUGBY CLUB, FROM 11.15 am,
at £9.00 Club Entries, £11.00 Unattached,
and are still eligible for prizes.
ONLINE ENTRY NUMBERS ARE ALSO TO BE COLLECTED
ON THE DAY FROM THE ALLOCATED DESK AT RACE HQ.
CHANGING FACILITIES (BOTH MALE AND FEMALE)
ARE AVAILABLE AT THE MORPETH HARRIERS CLUBHOUSE,
NEXT DOOR TO RUGBY CLUB.
RACE PARKING FACILITIES AVAILABLE AT
MORPETH RUGBY CLUB, AND SCOTS GUILD (NEARBY).
There was a sprinkling of athletic activity over the Christmas weekend,
including a truly outstanding and sparkling 5k performance at
the Druridge Bay Park Run on Saturday 24th December,
where Morpeth Harriers European and Commonwealth Women’s 1500m medallist,
and recently crowned North Eastern Counties Cross Country Champion
Laura Weightman, broke the Women’s course record,
previously set in 2015 by Alnwick Harrier Jo Gascoigne-Owens.
Finishing overall second to her Male club colleague Sam Hancox,
who clocked a winning time of 16m33s,
Weightman posted a superb 17m15s,
which saw her take 67 seconds off the previous record figures.
Twenty-three seconds adrift of Weightman in third place
was another Morpeth Harrier Mark Snowball.
Another prominent Morpeth finisher at Druridge was Josie Cram, who was third Lady home in 19m13s.
Morpeth Harriers dominance was also clearly in evidence at the
Christmas Day Druridge Bay Park Run on Sunday 25th December.
Former Men’s course record holder Ian Harding was the first finisher in 17m17s,
followed home in second place by club colleague Mark Snowball,
who was running for the second day in a row.
Snowball posted a time of 17m59s.
Also, running for the second day in a row was Catriona MacDonald,
who finished fifth overall as first Lady in 20m38s,
which was one second adrift of her best time on the course.
Meanwhile also on Saturday 24th December at Wallsend Rising Sun,
Morpeth sisters Lorna andCatriona MacDonald dominated the Ladies race,
finishing first and second respectively
in sixth and eighth places overall, posting times of 19m31s, and 20m24s,
for the latter it was a new personal best for the distance.
Splitting the pair of them was their Father Alistair,
who clocked 19m56s on his first appearance at the venue.
In the Newcastle 5k Park Run on Saturday 24th December,
Morpeth Harrier Daniel Melling finished ninth in 18m50s.
All of the Park Run’s over the weekend reported Cold and Very Windy conditions.