‘Farcical’ situation at annual Pudding Run

Morpeth Harriers festive round-up

Christmas spirit was definitely put to the ultimate test at the annual Woodlawn Christmas Pudding Run, held at Whitley Bay on Boxing Day, writes George Patterson.

For the first time in its history, the event was declared void in terms of an official result when runners went the wrong way during the proceedings.

Matters became farcical when leading runners, including Morpeth Harriers’ Ross Floyd and Andrew Lawrence, went off-course due to the organisers having insufficient marshal coverage in vital areas as a result of a last-minute course re-organisation because of frosty conditions in certain parts.

The confusion meant that the runners were coming into the finish area from varied directions and although Floyd thought he had finished joint first along with Gateshead’s Calum Johnson, other competitors came into the reckoning when further inquiries were made.

Lawrence, who was thought to be a top-12 finisher, had to fight his way through spectators in order to make his personal finishing effort.

Although the run did have its problems in an organisational sense, it was nevertheless enjoyed by hundreds of enthusiastic runners engaged in Christmas cheer, clearly demonstrated by the number of Santa suits on display.

• Morpeth Harrier Carl Avery put his Christmas celebrations on hold when he set brand new figures of 15m38s at the specially-organised Park Run at Newcastle’s Exhibition Park on Christmas Day morning. He was first across the finish-line, with club-mates Lee Morgan and Paul Banks also finishing third and 20th in respective times of 16m58s and 19m08s.