Michael on fire to set new course record

THERE were three Park Run successes for athletes from Morpeth Harriers on Saturday, writes George Patterson.

Having his very first run in the Whitley Bay event, Michael Morris set a new course record of 16m02s for the 5k distance, when winning with 47 seconds to spare over North Shields Poly’s Scott Ellis.

Sarah Graham was first woman home in the Roundhay Park event in Leeds, in a time of 20m09s.

In the Gateshead event, held in Saltwell Park, Graeme Taylor achieved his fourth successive victory, albeit some seven seconds adrift of his personal best, and his own course record, when he clocked 16m20s.

This did, however, give him what was almost a two-minute marginal victory over his closest rival and clearly shows that he is returning to form following knee surgery.

l THREE athletes from Morpeth Harriers were among leading finishers in Sunday’s Bupa Junior Great Edinburgh Run.

Ryan Green finished a very close second in the Boys’ race in 7m44s. Adam Shewry finished 44th in 10m24s. Alison Brown finished fourth in the Girls’ race in an excellent 9m00s.

l GRAEME Leathard was Morpeth Harriers’ lone finisher in Saturday’s Kielder 10k Road Race.

Leathard finished 27th in a 400-plus strong field and was fifth Over 40 Veteran Man, in a time of 43m08s.

l IN her very first Marathon in Chester on Sunday, Morpeth Harrier Lorna Macdonald clocked 3hrs50m33s when finishing as 49th Lady, in what she afterwards described as excellent conditions.

l RHIANNON Hedley, the younger sister of Kieran, Morpeth Harriers’ leading light in their U13 Boys’ squad, continued to whet her appetite for competition on Saturday, when she finished an excellent second in the Mini Girls’ event, at the Jarrow and Hebburn AC Minors Cross Country Meeting, held at Hebburn’s Bedewell Park. She finished a mere two seconds behind winner Tess Graham of Birtley AC.

l MORPETH Harriers Senior Men will after all have their opportunity of competing against some of the nation’s finest road squads, when they take part in the re-arranged English National 6 Stage Road Relays on Saturday.

Having automatically qualified after finishing ninth in last month’s North of England Championships, with a severely weakened squad, they were obviously quite upbeat about the prospects of taking part in the National contest.

However, they were to be disappointed when it was announced that the event would have to be cancelled due to an E.coli outbreak in the traditional venue at Sutton Park in Birmingham.

On the same day that Morpeth Harriers were competing in the Northern Championships, the Midlands organisers were forced to make last-minute cancellations to their competition.

However, stringent efforts have since been made by the English Road Running Association and a new venue has been found at Clumber Park, near Worksop in Nottinghamshire.

So the Championships will now go ahead as planned, with the men running two 3k loops for each of the six legs.

The Women’s 4 Stage competition, which is also taking place, sees runners negotiate two 2k loops.

At the time of going to press, it is doubtful that Morpeth Harriers Women will be able to muster a squad for the contest.

l JUST 24 hours after finishing a well-placed second in the Bupa Junior Great Edinburgh Run, Morpeth Harrier Ryan Green was winning his club’s Under 15 Boys’ Road Championship on Lancaster Park.

Green finished in an excellent 7m28s over the 1.3mile circuit, with Jared Lewis coming home 25 seconds later for the silver medal placing. Third place went to Jacob Hopkins, who clocked 8m03s.

The Under 15 Girls’ event was won by Amber Cormack in 9m32s.

Second place went to Florence Thomsen in 10m09s and Harriet Grace finished third in 11m12s.

Other results were as follows.

Boys: James Heppell (4th) 8m12s, Sam Foster-Beattie (5th) 8m14s, Sam Williams (6th) 9m13s, Daniel Almond (7th) 10m13s, Hans Paulsen (8th) 10m22s, Kieran Dewessington (9th) 10m33s, Patrick Smith (10th) 10m33s, James Stoddart (11th) 11m01s.

Girls: Emily Todd (4th) 12m09s.