Total dominance was certainly achieved by athletes of both genders from Morpeth Harriers in the Morpeth 10k Road Race, held on Tuesday, August 5, writes George Patterson.
Ideal conditions were faced by the 300-plus field who took part in the event which was run on the same course round Tranwell Woods for the 18th year in succession.
Tuesday night’s race winner Ross Floyd was just a mere nine-year-old when the host club’s Ian Hudspith won the first running of the event in 1997, establishing a course record of 29m14s that is yet to be beaten.
Schweppes Abbey Well, the Morpeth-based drinks manufacturer, sponsored the event for the first time and, in addition, supplied much-welcome race drinks en-route and at the finish line.
In winning in a time of 32m28s, Floyd may have been well adrift of Hudspith’s winning time, however, he could take some personal delight in the fact that he knocked a whole 20 seconds off his 2013 time, when he had placed fourth.
Floyd led a leading quartet of Morpeth Harriers men home, with second, third and fourth places going to Carl Avery (32m38s), Karl Taylor (33m11s) and Thomas Straughan (33m31s).
It was perhaps very unfortunate for Straughan, recent winner of the Tynedale 10k, that severe stomach cramps forced him to slow down in the closing stages, as after a great deal of first-lap work, he had forged a lead, even though it was very slight and short-lived once the front-runners got well into the second lap.
Other prominent Morpeth Harriers male finishers in the race were U20 athlete Elliot Kelly (ninth) 34m48s and Jordan Scott (12th) 35m19s.
Kelly had every reason to be jubilant, as he had sliced a mammoth two minutes off his previous best for the distance and for Scott it was a relief to learn that he was returning to reasonable form after a lay-off with injury.
Morpeth Harriers also proved dominant in the Women’s race, as they provided the first three finishers in the form of Emma Holt (36th) 37m17s, Jane Hodgson (50th) 38m44s and Vicky Gibbs (51st) 39m01s.
Further Morpeth Harriers’ dominance was confirmed when both genders from the club achieved team success in the incorporated North East Masters 10k Road Championship.
The club’s Male Masters in this case were led home by Paul Waterston, who produced an excellent run to finish 21st overall in a time of 36m21s.
Twenty seconds behind Paul was his club colleague Phil Walker, who was also one of the event’s additional sponsors, in his role as a financial planner.
Walker finished in 27th place overall and was third home in the Men’s Masters section.
Archie Jenkins, of Morpeth Harriers, was 14th home in the Men’s Masters, when he finished in 145th place in 45m48s.
In their respective age groups in the Masters, Waterston was first Over 45, Walker was second Over 45 and Jenkins was third Over 60.
Those placings earned Morpeth Harriers an outstanding Masters team victory.
The victory was also emulated by Morpeth Harriers Women Masters, courtesy of Vicky Gibbs (First Over 35) 39m01s, Lesley Chapman (Second Over 55, 157th) 46m16s and Pam Woodcock (First Over 60, 199th) 48m45s.
Morpeth Harriers also held their internal Club Road Championships for Senior Men, U20 Men and Senior Women in conjunction with the event and the respective awards went to Floyd, Kelly, and Holt.
In addition to the prize-winners, all 302 race finishers received a commemorative mug to mark the occasion.
Morpeth Harriers wish to make contact with a gentleman runner called Harry Walker (competitor No 120), who was an on-the-night entrant.
The club has a winner’s prize for you to collect and asks that you make contact, either with Mike on 01670 712228, or George on 01670 734295, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, with contact details, so that your prize can be forwarded.
Many thanks must go to new race sponsor Schweppes Abbey Well, whose executive Dave Hunt attended the post-race presentation at Craik Park to hand out the main race awards.
He said that his company was very pleased to be linked with such a well-established event.
Thanks also go to additional sponsors Phil Walker Financial Planners and Chris Dentice for their continued generosity.
Start Fitness are also to be thanked for providing prize vouchers, race numbers and additional promotional material for the event.
Many thanks go to Piramal for providing race parking and Pegasus Riding School for additional toilet facilities.
The help from Morpeth Town FC for the use of their Craik Park facility for race headquarters and the post-race presentation, plus the excellent food and refreshment facilities provided, was very much appreciated by all those who attended.
Last but not least, Morpeth Harriers would like to thank their members and friends for all the help they gave in organising and on-the-day marshalling.
Full event results can be found on the Morpeth Harriers website – www.morpeth harriers.freeservers.com – and on www.ukresults.net