Hudspith first Morpeth Harrier home in the Great North Run

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Morpeth Harriers were well represented in events over the Great North Run weekend, with some 26 runners taking part in Sunday’s half-marathon and another 19 taking part in the previous day’s Junior Races on the Quayside.

The main event itself was won for the fourth time by Sir Mo Farah, now retired from the track, in a time of 1 hour and six seconds with New Zealander Jake Robertson some six seconds behind. Kenyan Mary Keitany, this year’s London Marathon winner, won the women’s race in a time of 1:05:59, the third fastest ever time over the course, with compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot a good way behind in 1:07:44.

Leading veteran Ian Hudspith was again first home for Morpeth in a time of 1:07:58 to finish in 24th place overall. While he was also third placed local runner, behind Abraham Tewelde of Saltwell Harriers and Dom Shaw of New Marske, more importantly he was again first in his Over 45 age category.

Hudspith, whose 5k and 10k times put him first in the in the UK all time age group rankings for those distances, still remains therefore in second for the half-marathon behind Billy Venus, whose 1:05:40, set over the same course in 1986, remains the target to aim for.

Next runner home for Morpeth was Andrew Lawrence, 69th overall in 1:14:50 with Mark Snowball 140th (1:18:55). Other leading club times were: Andrew Hebden, 165th in 1:19:48; Matthew Boyle, 213th in 1:21:28 and Tony Lewis, 238th in 1:22:14. Clare Walker was Morpeth’s first woman home in a time of 1:54: 50.

Best performance of the previous days Junior 5k races was that of Rory Leonard, 2nd in the Red Boys 15-16 race in 12 minutes 33 seconds with Dan Melling 7th in 13m 23.

Club mates Connor Marshall (11th in 13m 53s) and Ross Charlton (16th in 14m 28s) were also well placed. Best placed in the 13-14 boys was Dylan Davies, 11th in 14m 45s with his younger brother Ryan 24th (16m 10s) in the 11-12. Among the girls, Laura Melling was 35th in the 11-12 Wave in 19m 27s with Lauren Garrett also completing in 21m 41s.

Long and ultra distance enthusiast Lorna MacDonald of Morpeth Harriers won the North East Marathon club half marathon event at the Wentworth Leisure Centre, Hexham, on the first weekend in September. Lorna completed the gruelling 52 laps of the track in a time of 1 hour and 26 minutes, well ahead of her nearest rivals.

Morpeth Harrier and dedicated fell runner Steve Haswell travelled up to Scotland last weekend to compete in the annual Ben Nevis race for the first time. He finished in a commendable time of 2 hours and 24 minutes, 220th out of nearly 500 finishers.

* Morpeth Harriers regained the Overall Trophy at the annual End-of-Season Relays Meeting at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow. Morpeth won with a total of 229pts easily beating defending champions Tynedale who amassed 145pts with Blyth in third place (61pts).

The evening started well with the Under 13 Girls squad of Ellie Longstaff, Alice Geoghegan, Mia Belton and Melody Brooks winning the 4 x100m Relay in a time of 56.35secs. The same line-up later won the second round race in a slightly slower time of 56.90secs.

Morpeth then won the Under 15 Boys 4x100m in 51.81secs with a line-up of Matthew Heslop, Ethan Stephenson, Jacob Clayton and Alfie Ward. The same squad later won the 4x200m in 1min 47.35secs.

The Under 17 Womens’ team of Natasha Hart, Jessica Young-Rogers, Hannah Brown and Megan Winter also gained a double victory in the 4x100m and 4x200m in times of 53.09secs and 1min 55.17secs respectively.

The Under 15 Girls’ line-up of Rosie Winter, Amy Lott, Holly Peck and Lily Heaton had to settle for second place to Tynedale in the 4x100m (53.25secs to 55.06secs), but easily won the 4x200m in 1min 57.02secs.

Similarly in the Under 17 Mens’ events, Morpeth represented by Sam Yates, Robbie Anderson, Owen Priest and Joe Dowd finished 2nd to Blyth in the 4x100m (47.33secs to 47.52secs) but won the 4x200m in 1min 39.41secs.

In the Senior Mens’ events, Morpeth represented by Kenny Harrison, Phil Pitt, Jake Jardine and Sean O’Hara won the 4x100m in 45.62secs. A slightly different line-up of David Storey, Pitt, Harrison and O’Hara finished 2nd in the 4x200m in 1min 37.04secs behind Tynedale (1:36.23).

The Under 17 line-up (looking more like a Cross Country team) of Rory Leonard, Matthew Waterfield, Taylor Glover and Joe Ramshaw were the quickest team in the Senior 4x400m winning the first race in 3mins 38.9secs. The official Senior team of Joe Elder, O’Hara, Jardine and Storey won the 2nd race in 3mins 50.84secs and were second fastest overall.

In the Senior Womens’ races, the Morpeth line-up of Lynsey Cunningham, Naomi Arkle, Kirsty Lang and Bekki Foster did not complete with Arkle breaking down on the second leg and having to receive first-aid treatment.

Cunningham, Lang, Foster were joined by Ailsa Jones and took 3rd place in the 4x200m with a time of 2mins 00.91secs behind Jarrow & Hebburn (1:50.19). The same line-up finished 2nd in the 4x400m in a time of 5mins 05.65secs behind Tynedale (5:00.19).

In the Under 13 Boys’ 4x100m races, the Morpeth team of Sam Tate, Koffi Avornyo, Adam Houliston and Finton Ward were disqualified in the first round and finished 4th in the second round in a time of 61.42secs behind Gateshead (56.13secs).