MORPETH Harriers’ Mongolian international Serod Batochir smashed his country’s best, his individual best and a club record in Sunday’s Virgin London Marathon, writes George Patterson.
He finished an excellent ninth in a superb time of 2hrs11m35s – his previous best had been 2hrs12m42s when finishing tenth in last September’s Real Berlin Marathon.
Batochir also clipped 23 seconds off the Morpeth Harriers Men’s Marathon record, which had been held since 1995 by the club’s Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist Mark Hudspith.
This achievement has capped a tremendous month for Batochir, who has also seen Gold and Bronze team medals come his way as a member of his club’s achievements at the Northern and National 12 Stage Road Relays.
Charlotte Wilson was another Morpeth Harriers club record breaker in London when finishing as 56th Lady in 3hrs01m56s, as she beat Sue Abbis’s 12-year-old record by just under six minutes.
Other Morpeth Harriers finishers in under three hours were Paul Waterston (135th and sixth O/45) 2hrs38m37s and Gordon Dixon (718th and 28th O/50) 2hrs55m57s.
Mike Winter, Paul Tomlinson and Sue Smith finished in 3hrs10m01s, 3hrs59m41s and 4hr32m56s respectively.
In the Junior Mini Marathons that accompanied the main races, Morpeth Harrier Jonnie Nisbet added to his club’s overall successes on the day in the capital when he finished 43rd in the Boys 15 to 17 age group event for the regions.
He completed the approximately three-mile distance in a time of 15m52s and was fourth from the North East.
• Ian Harding of Morpeth Harriers continued his current run of excellent form when he posted a personal best of 15m10s as he took victory at the Newcastle 5k Park Run on Saturday.
His Morpeth clubmate Graeme Leathard finished 24th in 19m03s.
Alan Shepherd of Morpeth Harriers finished second in the Middlesbrough Albert Park Run in 17m10s.
Two Morpeth Harriers ran in the annual Wallsend Harriers Multi Terrain 10k at the Rising Sun Nature Reserve on Sunday.
Claire Bruce was fifth Lady when she finished 44th in 37m34s and Bernie Cordes was first Over 70 Man when he finished 54th in 42m14s.
• Two Morpeth Harriers got their track season off to an excellent start at the Anne Marie Readshaw Open meeting, held at Shildon on Sunday.
North East Under 15 400m Champion Joe Robertshaw set new figures for the distance in his first encounter as an Under 17 athlete when he finished second to Sedgefield’s Scott Kippin in a time of 52.6s.
In his second year as an Under 15, Philip Winkler showed great maturity when he won his 800m event, also in a new personal best of 2m12.2s.
• The Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League 2010/11 proceedings were drawn to a close at the sponsors’ premises on Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, when the annual awards presentation took place.
Unfortunately North Eastern Counties Chairman Bill McGuirk was unable to attend due to ill health, and Morpeth Harriers Press Officer George Patterson stepped in to open the awards ceremony by firstly paying tribute to Bill in his absence, and then to the sponsors, the officials, the clubs and all of the athletes who had turned out for their co-operation.
Amongst the individual awards were four Morpeth Harriers.
Matt Nicholson had again won the Senior Men’s Grand Prix, however he was unable to be present to accept his award due to being out of the country, and so clubmate Peter Newton stepped up to receive the award on his behalf, along with his very own award for second place.
The Senior Women’s award once again went to Jane Mooney and Morpeth Harriers also claimed a first and second individual success in the Under 17 Men’s section, courtesy of Jonnie Nisbet and Philip Caldwell.
On the team front, Morpeth Harriers’ best success came in the Senior Men’s section where they finished second on countback to winners Heaton Harriers.
The club’s Under 17 Men, and Under 17/Under 20 Women finished third respectively.
In the Under 13 Boys and Under 15 Boys competition, Morpeth Harriers finished fifth on both counts and the club’s Under 13 Girls and Under 15 Girls ended up in sixth position.
Despite Jane Mooney’s aforementioned individual victory, it had been a disappointing season for the Senior Women team, who had finished as low as 16th.
• Morpeth Harriers are pleased to announce that their Benfield Motors Athlete of the Month Award for March has gone to Under 17 athlete Philip Caldwell.
Philip showed great determination throughout the month whilst suffering a foot injury that saw him pull out of February’s National Cross Country at Alton Towers and could easily have finished his season.
But he bounced back to help Morpeth Harriers’ Under 17 Men finish as third team in the Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League and finish second to his clubmate Jonnie Nisbet in the overall standings.
In addition he finished as fourth counter for Northumberland in the Intermediate Boys event at the English Schools National Cross Country event in Nottingham.