Jonny picked for GB cross country squad

MORE than 300 competitors lined up in atrocious wet conditions on Saturday for what has become widely known as England’s oldest road race.

The 101st running of the annual Saltwell 10k, now run on a newly modernised route incorporating Gateshead’s Saltwell Park, was won by Coventry Godiva’s Martin Armstrong, running in the colours of his North East club Blaydon Harriers.

His winning time of 32m18s was exactly a minute ahead of Morpeth Harrier Graeme Taylor, who took second place.

Also having an excellent run for Morpeth was Andrew Lawrence, who placed seventh in 35m11s.

The only other club result available at the time of going to press was Mike Steven, who finished 98th overall in a time of 44m41s and was third Over-55 Male Veteran to finish.

At the time of going to press, results are still awaited for the junior age group events, which accompanied the main event.

l Morpeth Harrier Jonny Taylor, European Cross Country team silver medallist, is one of four North East-based athletes who have been selected to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland against the United States and a European select squad at the forthcoming Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country meeting, which is being held in the Scottish capital on Saturday, January 5.

He competes in the Senior Men’s event, along with Gateshead’s Callum Johnson in the Junior Men’s event. Rosie Smith (Durham City) and Freya Ross (formerly Murray) compete in the Senior Women’s event.

Former Sunderland Harrier Patrick Martin, now based in Manchester, is also included in the Senior Men’s squad.

The televised event takes place in Holyrood Park, and is part of the official IAAF World Cross Permit Series.

l The next important fixture on Morpeth Harriers’ busy calendar falls next Tuesday, with the holding of the annual 11k New Year’s Day Road Race.

Event details were extensively previewed in last week’s edition of the Morpeth Herald, however the club wishes to indicate to interested participants that they should continue to look out for any updates regarding adverse weather conditions which may affect the event, which at this time seem to remain unlikely, by visiting