Alex and Ailsa take the honours on the road

A TOTAL of 35 runners finished the Morpeth Harriers U13 Young Athletes Club Road Championships, the third in the 2013 series, on Lancaster Park, on Monday, October 14, writes George Patterson.

There were 24 in the Boys’ event and 11 in the Girls’ event, that were won respectively by Alex Cunningham and Ailsa Jones, with the latter retaining the title that she won in 2012.

Thankfully, the rain that had prevailed throughout the day held off, which made conditions, although difficult in places, a little more acceptable for some of the club’s younger athletes.

Cunningham, who finished third in the 2012 Championship, timed his finishing effort well, to thwart the close attentions of second-placed Will Sibson, who has only been a member of the club for a few weeks, and won with five seconds to spare on the 1.2mile circuit, posting a time of 8m20s, which was 37 seconds faster than his 2012 effort.

Sibson also ran well, especially to hold off another good Morpeth U13 athlete, Joe Dowd.

Dowd had unfortunately missed out on a medal in 2012, when he had finished fourth.

However, determination certainly paid rich dividends on this occasion, when he finished third in 8m39s, holding off an equally determined Mark Booth (fourth) in 8m43s.

The U13 Girls race was a bit more clear cut however, with Ailsa Jones winning in 9m07s, 23 seconds clear of second placed Kate Seymour, and for Jones, knocking a whole 36 seconds off her 2012 winning time on the same circuit.

For Seymour there was also a significant improvement, she not only eclipsed the bronze medal of 2012 with silver, she also took a whole 63 seconds off her previous time on the course.

Third place and bronze medal went to Maddie Lake in 9m48s.

Further results are as follows:-

Boys: Ross Charlton (fifth) 8m56s, Matthew Waterfield (sixth) 9m00s, Joe Briddon (seventh) 9m10s, Daniel Dixon (eighth) 9m15s, Matthew Dodds (ninth) 9m16s, Jamie Robertson (10th) 9m16s, Matthew Ingledew (11th) 9m48s, Jake Lloyd (12th) 10m16s, Patrick Darroch (13th) 10m17s, Sam Bradley (14th) 10m18s, Robbie Elder (15th) 10m24s, Adam Fahy (16th) 10m29s, Luke Haxell (17th) 10m31s, Cameron Lane-Fox (18th) 10m32s, Michael Athey (19th) 10m57s, Jack Marley (20th) 10m59s, Liam Huntley (21st) 11m11s, Ryan Watson (22nd) 11m13s, Robin Dunlop (23rd) 11m41s, Matthew Bell (24th) 11m49s.

Girls: Monet Wendt (fourth) 10m04s, Josie Rigg (fifth) 10m27s, Jessica Young-Roberts (sixth) 10m32s, Jessica Watson (seventh) 10m34s, Hannah Brown (eighth) 10m38s, Eve Smith (ninth) 10m43s, Maddie Lathaen (10th) 11m58s, Holly Jordan (11th) 12m22s.

MORPETH Harriers U17 athlete Elliot Kelly was a prominent finisher in Saturday’s Newcastle Park Run, held on a 5k circuit within the Exhibition Park.

Kelly finished third behind Gateshead Harrier Conrad Franks, and Birtley AC’s Gregg Ritchie, both Senior Men, in a time of 17m13s.

ALISTAIR MacDonald was Morpeth Harriers sole finisher in Sunday’s 17th Fruit Bowl Trail Race (approx seven mile), organised by Blackhill Bounders Athletic Club, and held in the picturesque historical grounds of the Gibside Estate, near Rowlands Gill, Gateshead.

MacDonald just lost out by one second and one place in the Over 50 Veteran Mens category to Tees-side’s R Collins, when he finished 22nd overall, posting a finishing time of 45m58s.

THREE Morpeth Harriers will enjoy receiving representative honours next month at the British and Irish Cross Country International Cross Country, scheduled to be held at Bute Park, Cardiff, on Saturday, November 26.

Honoured for the very first time will be Mick Thomsen, who has been called up for Scotland for their 35 to 39 year old Male squad.

He deservedly receives his cap following a series of excellent road and cross country performances for his club over the past year, including an appearance in their National 12 Stage squad as a late replacement for Ian Hudspith, back in April.

Also in the Scotland squad is fellow clubmate Bob Marshall, who competes in the 65 to 69 age group.

Marshall rejoined Morpeth Harriers in the early spring, following a near 20 year split, where he had competed for Scottish club Gala Harriers, due to him living in nearby Kelso.

In his previous spell with Morpeth, he had enjoyed numerous club successes, and in the 80s he was also a key member of their Senior road squad.

Winning his umpteenth cap for England, is seasoned veteran Walter Ryder, who will contest the 75 to 79 age group.

Ryder, despite also residing in Scotland, has been an England International regular over the past two decades, and deservedly retains his place, having just turned 75, and is still able to turn in some excellent performances despite his advancing years.

MR Patterson has apologised for an error in last week’s athletics report. The text should have read Men’s National Six Stage Road Relays, not 12 Stage Road Relays.