or Haltwhistle on Sunday morning (24th September) in search of a competitive run.
The pretty stretch of the Tyne Valley running through Ovingham, Bywell and Styford formed the route of the annual Tynedale 10 mile race and attracted some seven Morpeth Harriers. The Tynedale 10 has been in existence for many years – and is popularly known as ‘the jelly tea’ on account of the free food provided at the local Middle School afterwards – and had previously followed a course from Hexham to Ovingham via Corbridge.
Traffic issues forced the organisers, local outfit Tynedale Harriers, to find a new route three years ago however,
and following an unpopular effort to stage the race on a very challenging track up at Hexham race course,
this year saw the race reverting to an out and back route West from Ovingham
that encompassed what had previously been the last 5 miles of the race.
The race itself was won by the colourfully named Sparrow Morley of Tyne Bridge in a time
of 59 minutes and 33 seconds with South African Gerda Steyn first woman home,
and indeed 3rd overall, in 1 hour and 8 seconds.
First home for Morpeth was Over 50 veteran Phil Walker, 12th overall and 2nd in his category in 1: 02: 48.
Lorna Macdonald had the distinction of being 2nd female finisher, and was 22nd overall, in 1: 06: 21.
Behind them were: Mike Steven, 51st and 4th Over 60 in 1: 13: 13; Kevin Bray, 56th and 5th Over 55 in 1: 14: 50; Alan Hyde, 68th in 1: 17:32; Hamish Mcallister-Williams, 77th in 1: 20: 31
and Norman Clark, 78th in 1: 20: 40. Clark had the distinction of being 1st Over 65 competitor.
Hardier souls travelled further West along the valley to Haltwhistle to take part in the second running of the Haltwhistle half-marathon, a scenic and largely off-road event that included an old railway viaduct and even a small stretch through a local front garden !
In a race won by James Mckenzie of Heaton Harriers in 1: 18: 39 with Gemma Bradley of Saltwell first woman home in 1: 32: 11, Helen King took the honours for Morpeth, finishing as 2nd woman home but first Over 40 in a time of 1: 34: 44. Richard Kirby was 49th in 1: 38: 53, Lindsay Turnbull 2nd Over 45 and 86th overall in 1: 47: 29, Carol Parry 129th just over the 2 hour mark in 2: 1: 50 and Clare Hiscox 157th in 2: 11:11.
Report by Peter Scaife