Karl takes 10k crown after marathon effort

Morpeth Harrier Karl Taylor from Amble, centre, was the first man home in the Les Allcorn Memorial 10k Road Race. Second was Thomas Durcan from Durham and third was Morpeth Harrier Sam Hancox from Morpeth, right. Picture by Jane Coltman.
Morpeth Harrier Karl Taylor from Amble, centre, was the first man home in the Les Allcorn Memorial 10k Road Race. Second was Thomas Durcan from Durham and third was Morpeth Harrier Sam Hancox from Morpeth, right. Picture by Jane Coltman.
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Nine days after pounding the streets of the nation’s capital in the London Marathon, Morpeth Harrier Karl Taylor was back in superb competitive action on local soil when he won the annual Les Allcorn Memorial 10k Road Race, in Alnwick’s Hulne Park, in a time of 33mins exactly, writes George Patterson.

He won by a margin of 21 seconds from Derwent AC’s Tom Durcan, with his Morpeth Harriers club-mate Sam Hancox, who finished second to Carl Avery of Morpeth last year, a further eight seconds adrift in third place.

Such was the pace of the leading trio; the chasing group were nearly two minutes adrift. They included Morpeth Harrier Mark Snowball, who ended up finishing fifth in 35m57s.

One minute adrift of Snowball was the fourth finisher from Morpeth Rob Hancox, who finished eighth and was second Over 40 Veteran Man.

Other Morpeth Harriers finishers among the 125 in the event were Matthew Forster (11th) 37m29s; Andrew Richardson (32nd) 42m11s; Paul Banks (36th, 10th Over 40) 42m40s; Hamish McAllister-Williams (43rd, 5th Over 50) 43m51s; Mark Crosby (47th, 7th Over 50) 44m25s; Jane Briggs (51st, 4th Woman, 3rd Over 45) 44m52s; Richard Sill (52nd, 1st Over 60) 45m04s; Gary Mason (55th) 45m38s; Carol Parry (69th, 14th Woman, 6th Over 45) 48m20s; Norman Clark (75th, 3rd Over 60) 48m52s; Sue Smith (102nd, 28th Woman, 10th Over 45) 55m12s; and Jane Blackett (103rd, 29th Woman, 2nd Over 55) 55m13s.

The combined efforts of winner Karl Taylor, third-placed Sam Hancox, and fifth-placed Mark Snowball secured a Men’s team victory for Morpeth Harriers.

In the earlier Junior 3k event that accompanied the 10k, Morpeth Harrier Taylor Glover led a field of 94 finishers home in an excellent 9m48s, winning by a margin of 17 seconds from Alnwick Harrier Ben Kelly.

Glover was also first in the Under 15 Boys’ category.

Third place went to Morpeth Harrier Ross Charlton, who finished in 10m28s, and led the Under 13 Boys home.

In fourth place was another Morpeth Harrier Daniel Dixon, who clocked 11m01s, and was second in the Under 13 Boys’ section.

Jordan Hedgecock, of Morpeth Harriers, finished sixth in 11m33s and was third home in the Under 15 Boys’ section.

Callum Rowell made it a hat-trick of category winners for Morpeth Harriers, when he took the Under 11 Boys’ title, finishing 19th in 12m37s, just one second and one place ahead of club-mate James Tilley, who was second Under 11 Boy.

Clocking an excellent time of 29m19s, which was agonisingly just seven seconds adrift of his personal best, which he set in last month’s Brighton equivalent, Morpeth Harrier Jonny Taylor finished as third Briton in ninth place overall in the Morrison’s-sponsored Great Manchester 10k Road Race, held on Sunday.

He also finished two places and four seconds ahead of fellow North Easterner Ryan McLeod of Tipton Harriers.

The event was won by Kenyan Stephen Sambu in 27m30s.

First Briton to finish was Central AC’s Andrew Butchart, who finished seventh overall in 29m09s.

Despite the severe rainstorms and strong winds which hit the region on Sunday, May 3, a total of 2,654 finishers took part respectively in the prestigious Sunderland City 10k and Half Marathon Road Races.

Some 1,631 of those toed the Start Line in the 10k and they were led home by Crook’s Ethiopian Paralympian, Wondiye Indelbu, who crossed the finish line in 32m50s, 17 seconds ahead of Morpeth Harrier Ian Hudspith, who was first Veteran Man Over 40.

Third home, and second in the Over 40 Veteran Men’s category, was fellow Morpeth Harrier Michael Morris, who clocked 34m09s.

In the half-marathon, which also saw an Ethiopian victory, by Elswick Harrier Tadele Geremew, three Morpeth Harriers faced the starter.

Most notable of these was Catriona MacDonald, who finished in 92nd place overall and was third Woman finisher in a time of 91m26s.

First home from the club, however, was Steve Haswell, who finished 84th and was 27th Over 40 Veteran Man in a time of 90m30s.

Paul Banks was Morpeth Harriers’ other finisher, who was 133rd overall and 39th Over 40 in 95m15s.

Fifty-one runners took part in the Tyne Bridge Harriers Golden Miles track events, held at a cold, wet and windy Churchill Playing Fields, Whitley Bay, on Saturday.

There were five mile events and four Morpeth Harriers were among those taking part.

In the fastest race, Ross Floyd finished fourth in 4m37.1s and fellow Morpeth Harrier Robert Balmbra finished sixth in 4m44.5s.

Jamie Duguid finished tenth in the B-race in 5m14.7s and Joe Davison, making his track debut in the C-race, finished tenth in 6m04.8s.

The achievements of five athletes from Morpeth Harriers were honoured at the annual Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League Grand Prix Presentation ceremony, held at the sponsors Grainger Street headquarters in Newcastle, on the evening of Thursday, April 29.

Holly Peck (Under 13 Girls), Ross Charlton (Under 13 Boys), Scott Beattie (Under 17 Men) and Emma Holt (Senior Women) were all age-category winners.

Having run in all of the league’s meetings, Peck had been an outright fastest in five out of the six of the league’s fixtures, scoring an excellent 4,000 points. Charlton had finished level with Houghton’s Henry Johnson and Beattie and Holt had each been the fastest in four of the qualifying events.

Kieran Hedley of Morpeth Harriers was also a Grand Prix Prize winner.

He finished third in the Under 15 Boys’ section, however he was unable to attend the presentation ceremony.

North East Counties Athletics Association Chairman Bill McGuirk presided over the presentation and athletes received their awards from top female Elswick Harrier Justina Heslop, who was Guest of Honour.

Morpeth Harriers were pleased to welcome a new addition on Sunday, May 3.

As a result of a generous donation from their honorary life member and former club President Ernie Slaughter, they unveiled their long-awaited Timekeepers Stand at the athletics track at King Edward VI School.

It certainly got a true christening as it stood in all its majesty in the heavy rain that hit the area on the Sunday morning and got its first taste of action at the club’s home Northern Athletics League Division 2 fixture.

Slaughter, now in his 80s, braved the most inclement of conditions to witness the unveiling ceremony, which he felt very honoured to perform, along with current Club President Jim Alder, with whom he is pictured in front of the new equipment, which has been specially prepared in the Morpeth Harriers club colours of blue.

Another member who was pleased to welcome the stand was long-serving time-keeper Mick Groves, who also was officiating at the meeting.

Morpeth Harriers were extremely grateful to Ernie Slaughter for his generosity.