Running in what was only her second ever, and first Half Marathon for eleven years,
Morpeth Harrier Jane Hodgson won the Women’s section of the
Run Northumberland Castles Half Marathon,
held at Bamburgh on Sunday 23rd October 2016.
She also bettered her 2005 time by two seconds,
when crossing the finish line in 86m27s, in 19th position overall.
Hodgson was also the first home of five from her club.
Other Morpeth women finishers in the 322 strong field were
Jane Kirby (122nd) (3rd O/40 Woman) 117m41s,
and Clare Hiscock (258th) (17th O/40 Woman) 131m53s.
A total of just over 1500 finishing runners took part in the ten event programme
at the second Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League meeting, held at a sunny
and relatively warm Druridge Bay Country Park, on Sunday 9th October 2016.
75 of those runners belonged to the ranks of Morpeth Harriers,
as the club enjoyed one of its best days on a competitive front,
with no less than five team wins, one second team place, a third team place,
and two of their athletes managing fastest times of the day.
Running from the Fast Pack, Morpeth Harrier Emma Holt once again produced the
second fastest time of the day when finishing fifth overall in the Senior Women’s event.
She was only headed by Sunderland Stroller Alyson Dixon,
who was twenty-six seconds faster, and two places ahead of her.
Holt led Morpeth Harriers Senior Women to first team place in Division 2,
with further support coming courtesy of Jane Hodgson (15th) (9th Fastest) (Fast Pack),
Josie Cram (24th) (11th Fastest) (Fast Pack), and Jane Briggs (73rd) (Slow Pack).
Other Morpeth Senior Women in action were
Jilly Bell (174th) (Slow Pack), Tracy Kenny (186th) (Slow Pack),
Jane Kirby (196th) (Slow Pack), Helen Bruce (211th) (Slow Pack),
Carol Parry (251st) (Slow Pack), Catriona MacDonald (271st) (Fast Pack),
Sue Smith (283rd) (Slow Pack), Pam Woodcock (284th) (Slow Pack),
Clare Hiscock (337th) (Slow Pack), and Judith Clarkin (356th) (Slow Pack).
There were 404 finishers in the Senior Women’s event.
Morpeth Harrier Laura Weightman could only finish eleventh in an
emotionally charged top class Olympic Women’s 1500m field
in the early hours of Wednesday morning (17th August) in Rio De Janeiro.
In what was felt to be the best field ever assembled for a Women’s 1500m Final,
Weightman’s only prominent period in the three and three quarter lap event
was when she went to the front after 300m to take early control of what was a fairly sedate pace.
Her period at the front was fairly short lived however as she took the field through 400m in just under 77 seconds.
With two laps remaining Weightman relinquished her reluctant leadership
as fellow GB athlete Laura Muir went to the front.
However even Muir’s lead was short lived, as Ethiopian hope Genzebe Dibaba
made her first moves in a determined quest for glory.
Dibaba took the field through the bell in 3m11s, but now Kenyan favourite
Faith Kipyegon had emerged as serious threat.
Kipyegon eventually passed Dibaba with 200m remaining
and went on to take the Gold Medal in 4m08.92s.
Dibaba held on for the Silver medal in 4m10.27s, just holding off USA’s Jenny Simpson,
who took Bronze, her first Olympic medal, in 4m10.53s.
Meanwhile after a brave effort GB’s Laura Muir eventually finished seventh in 4m12.88s,
with Weightman finishing four places further adrift in 4m14.95s.
Running her third fastest time of the year, and the tenth in her lifetime,
Laura Weightman qualified for her second Olympic Women’s 1500m Final,
in the cauldron of Rio’s Olympic Stadium, in the early hours of Monday morning (15th August).
She posted a finishing time of 4m05.28s to finish fifth in the first of her two heat Semi Final,
and was ninth fastest of the twelve who have made the Final,
which will be run at the early hour of 2.30am on Wednesday 17th August.
Employing totally different tactics from her Round One heat on Saturday Morning,
where she had finished seventh, and had qualified for the Semi’s as a fastest loser,
Weightman went to the front of the field as they went through the first 300m,
which was to prove a very positive move as the race progressed,
and was always prominent leading to the bell.
With 200m remaining Weightman was in sixth place, but drew on all of her
left resources to chase the vital fifth place, and although she was pressured
all of the way to the finish line, she managed to hold on for qualification,
but not without sustaining a horrifying spike injury to her right shin,
which she clearly showed to BBC Interviewer Phil Jones
before departing for much needed medical attention.
During interview, a clearly emotionally charged, and very much in pain Weightman,
said how delighted she was in reaching another Olympic Final,
and was pleased to have been able to run her race to her plan,
and not to the desire of fellow competitors, and was relieved that it had worked out.
Meanwhile Laura’s fellow GB rival Laura Muir also qualified,
finishing third in the marginally faster second heat,
posting a finishing time of 4m04.16s,
which was fourth fastest overall going into the Final.
Laura’s Semi Final was won by Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon,
who remains one of the favourites to watch, along with Genzebe Dibaba,
who was the winner of Muir’s Semi Final.
So it’s all down to the early hour of 2.30am on Wednesday 17th August
to see Laura Weightman’s next action, when we hope she can get close to medals.
Well done Laura