Harding seals fourth victory

Megan Deakin receives her certificate of achievement from Morpeth Harriers Press Officer George Patterson after being selected as club athlete of the month for April. Picture by Hudson Stoker.
Megan Deakin receives her certificate of achievement from Morpeth Harriers Press Officer George Patterson after being selected as club athlete of the month for April. Picture by Hudson Stoker.
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Ian Harding of Morpeth Harriers was a comfortable winner of Sunday’s eighth Druridge Bay 10k, which attracted a field of 359 finishers, writes George Patterson.

He won by a margin of 59 seconds from Gateshead Harrier Sam Brand, completing his fourth overall victory in the event, his first since 2012.

Third place went to Harding’s Morpeth club colleague Karl Taylor, who was making a competitive comeback, since being forced to pull out injured during the Senior Men’s event at the North of England Cross-Country Championships, held at Knowsley Safari Park, Merseyside, back in January.

Taylor clocked a time of 35m05s, and will certainly be encoraged by this particular performance, after his long fight to regain his fitness following a lengthy lay-off.

Other prominent Morpeth Harriers finishers in the event were Geoff Whitman (eighth) 37m49s, and Matthew Boyle (13th) 38m42s.

Further Morpeth Harriers who finished in the event were as follows:-

Andrew Richardson (40th) 43m16s, Norman Clark (70th) 46m16s, Claire Gutcher (90th) (10th Lady) 47m23s, Scott Wilkes (111th) 49m07s, and Susan Smith (125th) (19th Lady) 49m48s.

Glorious evening sunshine, plus a mere whisper of a wind, proved to be ideal conditions for the 380 finishers who took part in the annual Clive Cookson 10k Road Race, held at Monkseaton High School, on Wednesday, May 21.

The field, who were led home by Durham City’s Dan Jenkin, who won in 31m48, included 18 runners from Morpeth Harriers, whose first finisher was Carl Avery, who was third in 31m54s, a brand new personal best performance, and had been very much involved in a close head to head battle with Jenkin, and the eventual second placed man Andy Burn of Jarrow and Hebburn, who finished three seconds behind Jenkin.

Next Morpeth Harriers finisher was Ross Floyd, who had ran the fastest time at the previous weeks Gordon Smith Relays, ahead of Avery, and would no doubt be a little disappointed to be nearly a minute adrift of him in fourth place in 32m49s.

Morpeth Harrier Sam Hancox continued his run of excellent form by finishing 17th in 34m58s, and was first U20 finisher.

Sam’s Father Rob was the next Morpeth Harriers finisher in 31st place overall in 36m36s, and was fifth Over 45 Veteran Man, and another pb performance.

Other Morpeth Harriers finishers were as follows: Tony Lewis (58th) (11th Over 35) 37m54s (PB), Jim Alder (81st) (seventh Over 50) 39m15s, Paul Banks (104th) (13th Over 40) 40m16s, Lorna MacDonald (105th) (fourth Lady) 40m26s (PB), Hamish McCallister-Williams (121st) (eighth Over 50) 41m21s, Peter Scaife (127th) (ninth Over 50) 41m55s (PB), Lindsay Turnbull (143rd) (second Over 40 Lady) 42m24s, James McFetrich (157th) (25th Over 40) 43m02s, Mark Crosby (203rd) (16th Over 50) 45m27s, Andrew Stephenson (231st) (28th Over 45) 46m45s (PB), Lesley Chapman (244th) (second Over 55 Lady) 47m19s, Pam Woodcock (251st) (first Over 60 Lady) 47m53s, Susan Smith (253rd) (fifth Over 45 Lady) 48m09s (PB), and Jane Blackett (275th) (fifth Over 50 Lady) 49m52s.

Two Morpeth Harriers competed at the opening meeting of the North East Masters Track and Field League Series Meeting, held at Jarrow’s Monkton Stadium, on Monday, May 19.

In the Men’s 50-64 3000m, Gavin Bayne finished fourth overall, and he was first in the Over 55 category, earning himself six points in the Grand Prix competition for his age group.

Gavin clocked 11m11.5s.

Fellow Morpeth Harrier Archie Jenkins competed in the same event, finishing 11th overall in 12m48.9s.

He was second in the Over 60 age category, earning himself five league points.

The National Fell Running Association held their annual Inter Counties Championships on a tough course at Witton Park in Blackburn, Lancashire, on Sunday, May 18.

A North Eastern Counties Men’s squad were led home to 11th team place by Morpeth Harrier John Butters, who also represents his second claim club Northumberland Fell Runners.

Butters competed well to finish in 40th place overall in 62m19s, behind race winner Shaun Dixon of Middlesex, who won in 53m24s.

Running in what effectively was his last ever race as a Senior Man, Morpeth Harrier Michael Thomsen signed off that particular chapter of his race running career in superb style, by placing an excellent third in Sunday’s Liverpool Rock and Roll Half Marathon, in the Merseyside capital.

Michael turns 40 in 11 days time, and then he will become a fully fledged Veteran athlete, and will compete in the Over 40 category.

Thomsen, who is currently stationed at RAF Boulmer, clocked a time of 76m43s, which although was not a pb performance, was enough to secure a podium placing behind Ackworth’s Simon Newton (74m28s), and Lincoln Wellington’s Les Ball (74m51s).

The event had 1500 finishers.

Full scale Track and Field Athletics will be taking place this Sunday, June 1, at King Edward VI School Athletics Track, when Morpeth Harriers host their second round NEYDL Division One match.

Action gets underway at 11.30am with the Field Events, 38 in all, and the Track Events, of which there are 42, commence 15 minutes later at 11.45am.

Spectators are welcome, and are able to view from the grassed areas surrounding the arena, Track and Field action areas, including centrefield, must remain clear, apart from competitors actually taking part.

Morpeth Harriers face opposition in the match from Blaydon Harriers, Durham City, Houghton Harriers, New Marske Athletic Club, and Tynedale Harriers.

The final Track Event is scheduled to commence at 16.40pm.

Megan Deakin has been voted the Benfield Motor Group Morpeth Harrier of the Month for April 2014.

The Eddie Hedley coached talented U17 sprinter received her award as a result of her superb track performances that included one which set a new NEYDL record for the U17 Women’s 300m, which she won at Hexham in 43.5s.

She was also one of the best Morpeth Harriers Female performers on the night at the opening NE Grand Prix meeting at Jarrow, where she won the U17 Women’s 300m in a close sprint to the line in 44.3s.

Megan received her certificate of achievement on May 19, 24 hours after she had won a Silver medal over her favoured distance at the annual North Eastern Counties Track and Field Championships, held at Gateshead International Stadium.