Record field for 10k race

Athletes set off from the start line for the Morpeth 10k race. Picture by Steve Miller.
Athletes set off from the start line for the Morpeth 10k race. Picture by Steve Miller.
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ETHIOPIAN Yared Hagos won the midweek Morpeth 10k at a canter in a time of 30mins 47secs, having led from gun to tape, writes Peter Scaife.

On a humid evening which the mid-afternoon downpours had been unable to clear, a record field of 368 competitors took part in the two lap race through Tranwell and Tranwell Woods.

Having moved to the North East from Yorkshire – where he had, among other achievements, set a new course record at the Eccup 10 mile race in Leeds some three weeks ago – Hagos was keen to establish his dominance and had already opened up a lead of several seconds over the chasing group which included Morpeth Harriers Ross Floyd and Terry Wall, David Kirkland of Alnwick Harriers and Jon Archer of Low Fell by the time he reached the Walton Road.

It was clear by the end of the first lap that he was not going to be caught and the only question was, how fast would his time be on the up and down course?

In the event, his clocking was the fourth fastest time recorded for the event, not far behind that of Morpeth Harrier and Mongolian international Serod Batochir in 2009, but a good minute off Ian Hudspith’s 1997 course record of 29m14s.

However, he was still over a minute and 45 seconds ahead of second placed runner Wall (32m34s), itself a fine run which shows that the Over 40 veteran Morpeth Harrier and British Masters relay bronze medallist is getting back to his best form.

Kirkland, himself a past winner of the race, proved he was over his injury to record a time of 32m39s for third place, with Archer fourth in 33m12s.

Morpeth Harriers Floyd (34m24s) and Gary Jones (34m36s) took fifth and sixth places.

Hester Dix of Blaydon Harriers ran a personal best of 35m17s to win the women’s race, over two minutes ahead of her nearest rivals Angela Hibbs of Chester-le-Street (37m30s) and Alex Snook of Gateshead Harriers (37m44s).

Morpeth’s first lady home was Kate Chapman in 41m46s, with Marie Drozdowicz first Over 50 (43m34s), Jane Briggs second Over 40 (42m58s) and Shuna Rank fourth 0ver 40 (45m1s).

Paul Waterston was second Over 45 vet and 12th overall in a time of 35m24s and Gavin Bayne was a winner in the Over 55 category in 37m3s.

Other Morpeth finishers were: Phil Walker, 17th in 35m37s; Tom Brookes, 33rd in 37m56s; Mat Foster, 50th in 38m50s; Michael Thomsen, 66th in 39m49s; Mike McKean, 72nd in 40m16s; Matt Boyle, 73rd in 40m17s; Andrew Richardson, 110th in 42m36s; Richard Sill, 125th in 43m17s; Norman Clark, 144th in 44m11s; Eric Adams, 150th in 44m23s and John Callahan, 229th in 48m18s.

The club would like to extend its gratitude as ever to the race sponsors – Benfield Motors, Phil Walker Wealth Management and Stanton Gardens – and to the British Red Cross who provided First Aid.

• At the Aviva London Grand Prix meeting on Saturday at Crystal Palace, Morpeth Harrier Nick McCormick competed in the prestigious ‘Emsley Carr Mile’ and was the first British athlete to finish.

McCormick was eighth overall in the race, crossing the line in 3m58.78s, and this was a seasonal best for him over the mile distance. The race was won by American Leonel Manzano in 3m51.24s.