Harrier Beattie runs for GB at World XC in Uganda

Scott Beattie winner of the Under 20 mens race at the North Eastern Cross Country Championships at Aykley Heads Durham on Saturday.
Scott Beattie winner of the Under 20 mens race at the North Eastern Cross Country Championships at Aykley Heads Durham on Saturday.

In an African dominated World Cross Country Championships, held in Kampala, Uganda, Morpeth’s Scott Beattie was second counter for a Great Britain and Northern Ireland squad.

They finished as tenth team in the U20 Men’s event. They were the first of two European squads, the other being Spain, who finished 13th.

Beattie finished 47th in a finishing field of 99, moving through steadily and sensibly on the bumpy dry grassy course formed on what was the old airfield.

He had been around 65th or 66th on the first of four laps of the 8k course, and with conditions of very low humidity, he progressed to his final placing, which was very creditable.

Beattie’s time of 26m01s was three minutes and twenty-one seconds adrift of race winner Jacob Kiplimo of the host country.

He was also four places and nine seconds adrift of fellow Brit Sam Stevens of Leicester Coritanian, who led the GB Team home.

Further team support came from Inter Counties winner Jonathan Shields of Sheffield & Dearne, who finished 60th in 26m35s, and Hugo Milner of Derby, who was 69th in 26m58s.

Other non-scoring performers in the GB team were Luke Prior of Wells City (80th) 27m24s, and Benjamin Davies of Bedford (87th) 28m01s.

* Despite the absence of some of their leading athletes, Morpeth Harriers Senior Men certainly showed a strength in depth, as they finished seventh in Saturday’s Northern 12 Stage Road Relay, held at Blackpool’s Stanley Park.

Morpeth courtesy of Ross Floyd began well, clocking a personal time of 30m16s, and managed to finish in 13th place, and just under two minutes adrift of early leaders Liverpool Harriers,.

Clocking what was to emerge as his clubs second fastest short stage time of the day of 16m36s, James Young, took Morpeth up a further four places to ninth, and just under two minutes adrift of the minor medals.

Robert Balmbra clocked 31m15s on the third leg for Morpeth, which saw him maintain his ninth place throughout.

At this point, Morpeth introduced another of their U20 athletes into the fray in the form of Joe Armstrong, who managed to hold onto ninth spot, as he got around the short fourth stage in 16m43s.

Fifth leg was a long leg, and Thomas Straughan clocked the ninth fastest time of the leg of 30m53s, as he gained one place at the expense of North East rivals Gateshead .

Karl Taylor ran the sixth leg and clocked 16m55s, taking them to the half way point in ninth place.

Morpeth remained in ninth place throughout Andrew Lawrence’s 31m57s on the seventh leg, and Jake Masterman’s 17m30s on the short eighth leg.

Morpeth remained in ninth place during Alistair Douglass’s leg nine clocking of 17m31s,

Clocking the fifth fastest time of the short tenth leg of 16m53s, Morpeth’s Jordan Scott held on to ninth place, however had managed to close in on the two clubs marginally ahead of him.

Morpeth’s 11th and penultimate leg runner, Mark Snowball, very much exploited this as he went up into seventh place, as he clocked the sixth fastest time of the leg of 17m10s.

Running the 12th and final leg of 16m28s, Morpeth’s fastest short stage time of the day, Chris Smith managed to fend off any final challenges from Blackburn and Barlick, he found sixth placed Derby a little too far ahead to catch, however he did eat into their advantage somewhat.

Morpeth Harriers finished in a total time of 4hrs20m07s over the 12 stages, which was just under 11 minutes adrift of the winners, and around ten minutes adrift of minor medals.