Harriers put in great north runs!

THERE were some excellent performances by Morpeth Harrier athletes in both the Great North Run and its Junior version at the weekend, writes George Patterson.

Not long after world 5000m champion Mo Farah was enjoying success over two miles on the Newcastle Quayside, Jonnie Nisbet was adding his name to a long list of Morpeth Harriers successes in the Bupa Junior Great North Run.

He won with 18 seconds to spare over Gateshead Harrier Barry Maskell in a time of 12m42s, with Border Harrier Alistair Weymouth a further five seconds adrift in third place.

Other leading finishers from the club were Philip Winkler, who finished in 14m18s as sixth in his category, Ryan Green (14m49s and 15th in category), Alison Brown (15m40s and fourth in category), and Jacob Hopkins (15m40s and ninth in category).

In addition to the above, the following gave creditable performances: Sam Foster-Beattie (16m06s and 36th in category), Euan Jones (17m17s and 33rd in category), Sarah Wilkes (17m24s and 11th in category), Joseph Dowd (18m17s and 34th in category), Ailsa Jones (18m45s and 13th in category).

Morpeth Harriers’ leading finisher in Sunday’s 31st Great North Run, sponsored once again by BUPA, was Ian Hudspith.

He was very pleased to clock his fastest half marathon time since 2003 when finishing in an excellent 64m14s, which puts him very firmly in the top ten British performers for the distance in 2011.

Ian’s finishing position was a superb 15th.

North of England 10,000m track champion Peter Newton was next home from the club, finishing in 24th place in a time of 67m23s.

This was a new personal best by some considerable way and a true testimony to all of the hard work he has put in during the past year.

The club’s third finisher was Ian Harding, having his first run at the distance. He can feel well pleased with his effort that saw him finish 28th in an excellent 68m02s.

Next home in 44th place was Terry Wall, who clocked 72m32s.

Other leading finishers for Morpeth Harriers in the Men’s race were John Butters, 140th in 80m11s, and Chris Bradley, 221st in 82m31s.

The club had two runners in the Elite Women’s event. Charlotte Wilson finished 20th in 85m46s and Kate Chapman finished 21st in 86m35s.

• Morpeth Harrier Andrew Lawrence has certainly hit a rich vein of form in his recent performances.

Running in the recent Bloomsberg Square Mile Relay, which is set entirely inside a corporate complex in London, he ran the fastest time of 4m24s when competing for his employer Barclays Capital and set them well on the way to achieving a final placing of third after the required ten legs.

Andrew’s time was agonisingly only five seconds adrift of the course record of 4m19s.

Not content with that, on Saturday he won the Bushy Park 5k Park Run in a new personal best of 15m54s.