Harriers home in on oldest road race

Thirteen Morpeth Harriers were among the 646 finishers who took part in Sunday’s 63rd running of the Brampton to Carlisle Road Race, arguably the oldest event of its kind still run in Britain, writes George Patterson.

The field was led home by Elswick’s Ethiopian import Tadele Geremew, who was enjoying his second road victory in seven days, having won the Heaton Harriers 10k event on the previous Sunday.

Geremew clocked an excellent time of 49m48s, which saw him finish almost three minutes clear of his nearest rival.

Also having an excellent run, however, was Morpeth Harriers’ leading finisher Matthew Boyle, who set new figures of 57m32s, when finishing in 24th place.

Not far behind him was club colleague Paul Waterston, who finished 26th in 57m38s, and was second Over 45 Veteran Man.

Third home from Morpeth Harriers was Phil Walker, who finished in 45th place in 59m08s, and was sixth in the over 45 Veteran Men’s section.

Boyle, Waterston and Walker’s placings saw Morpeth Harriers finish as sixth in the Men’s team result.

Matthew Forster set new figures of 61m15s when finishing in 73rd place as the fourth Morpeth Harrier to finish.

Fifth home from the club was Tony Lewis, who finished in 89th place in 62m22s.

Mike Winter was the next Morpeth Harrier home, finishing in 92nd place in 62m33s, a new personal best, and he proved to be a very vital cog, along with Waterston and Walker, in ensuring Morpeth Harriers finished as third team in the Male Veteran section and he personally was 11th in the Over 45s section.

Other male Morpeth Harriers finishers were Gavin Bayne (126th, fifth O/55 Man) 64m00s, Paul Banks (153rd) 65m44s, Hamish McAllister-Williams (207th, 20th O/50 Man) 68m31s and Mark Crosby (325th, 30th O/50 Man) 74m45s.

Three Women from Morpeth Harriers also competed in the event. Kate Chapman was the first of these to finish, when coming home in 190th place in 67m35s, and was 12th Woman overall.

Second Morpeth Woman finisher was Jane Briggs, who finished 233rd overall, and was fourth in the Over 45s section in 69m26, which was a new pb.

Third Woman home from Morpeth Harriers was Lesley Chapman, who finished 339th overall and third in the Over 55 Women’s section in a time of 75m28s.

The placings of these three women saw Morpeth Harriers finish fourth in the team race, only losing out by 14 points.

Former Morpeth Harrier John Woods, now competing for Oxfordshire club Headington Road Runners, was also a prominent finisher, when coming home in 65th place, posting a time of 60m22s.

Morpeth Harrier Jonny Taylor was England’s leading finisher in Sunday’s Cross De Atapuerca Senior Men’s event, won by Ethiopia’s Imane Merga, held in Burgos, Spain.

Taylor finished 21st, one place ahead of fellow Brit Adam Hickey of Southend in a time of 29m27s, almost two minutes adrift of Merga, who had finished ahead of some top-class international opposition.

Running as a non-scoring guest, Morpeth Harrier Andy Wiles won the Senior Men’s event at the North Yorkshire South Durham Cross Country League meeting, held at Whitby on Saturday, November 15.

He won by 28 seconds from Middlesbrough and Cleveland’s Greg Jayasuriya, posting a finishing time of 31m06s.

Saturday’s Park Run, held at Druridge Bay Nature Reserve, saw Morpeth Harrier Mark Snowball set new figures of 18m18s for the 5k circuit, when he crossed the finish line in second place.

The only runner to finish ahead of him was former Morpeth Harrier Robert Balmbra, now running as unattached, who clocked 17m32s.

For Snowball, it was an excellent run, knocking a whole nine seconds off his previous best.

Other prominent Morpeth Harriers finishers were Graeme Leathard (ninth) 20m39s, Bobby Stone (10th) 20m43s and Scott Wilkes (22nd) 22m19s.

All of these three also set new figures for the course.