Having his first competitive outing in four months, Morpeth Harrier Peter Newton made easy meat of the opposition in the annual Heaton Harriers Memorial 10k Road Race on Sunday.
The event was held on Newcastle Town Moor, on a cold and windy, and sunny autumnal morning.
A total of 536 finishers took part, with 350 contesting the Men’s section, and 186 in the Women’s event, and Newton led the entire field home, posting a finishing time of 31m08s, which although was well outside the course record, was still enough to see him win by the very healthy margin of 82 seconds from Gateshead Harrier Conrad Franks, with Birtley AC’s Adrian Bailes finishing third in 32m35s.
It was also Newton’s first win in the event since 2007, when he had been running for his previous club Claremont Road Runners.
Despite also having Sam Hancox (6th) 32m52s, John Butters (9th) (1st Vet) 33m22s, and Jake Masterman (21st) 35m22s, the Morpeth dominance was still not enough to prevent Tyne Bridge Harriers from taking the team title.
Other Morpeth finishers in the Senior Men’s race were, Liam Marsh (31st) 36m49s, David Cunningham (48th) (2nd O/50) 38m17s, David Nicholson (63rd) (1st O/60) 38m57s, Rob Hancox (77th) (3rd O/50) 39m45s, Paul Bellingham (154th) (6th O/55) 42m33s, Kevin Bray (171st) (8th O/55) 43m02s, Mike Steven (209th) (6th O/60) 44m28s, and James McFetrich (224th) (30th O/40) 44m45s.
There were no Morpeth Harriers competing in the Senior Women’s event.
Having the first three finishers in the combined Under 17/20 Men’s 5k event, ensured the club a landslide team victory, courtesy of Taylor Clover, who won in 16m14s, with thirty-one seconds to spare over second placed club colleague Joe Ramshaw, with Daniel Melling a further six seconds adrift in third place.
The Morpeth dominance did not cease there however, having Matthew Waterfield (4th) (17m07s), Tom Innes (6th) (1st U20) 17m27s, and Dean Lonsdale (7th) (2nd U20) 17m48s.
Morpeth’s Gracie Hufton certainly continued her current run of excellent form, and continues to impress, as she finished second in the combined Under 17/20 Women’s event.
She was seventy-six seconds adrift of Under 20 race winner Robyn Bennett of Elswick Harriers, as she posted a superb personal best of 19m59s, taking a mammoth 107 seconds off her old figures, to take the Under 17 Women’s title.
The club also added the Under 15 Boys team title to their impressive tally, in their 3k event, courtesy of Thomas Cunningham (3rd) 10m24s, Ben Walker (4th) 10m29s, and Dylan Davies (5th) 10m37s.
Other Morpeth runners in this event were, Tom Balsdon (6th) 10m49s, Andrew Hudspith (8th) 11m05s, Ben Waterfield (10th) 11m23s, and William Donaldson (12th) 11m38s.
Holly Peck of Morpeth Harriers missed out unfortunately on retaining her Under 15 Girls 3k title, when she finished second to her fiercest rival Innes Curran of Gateshead Harriers, losing out by ten seconds, posting a finishing time of 10m51s.
In the Under 13 Boys 3k event, Morpeth finished second to a very strong Gateshead challenge.
Their contingent was led home by Sam Tate, just fractionally missing out for third place, as he posted a finishing time of 11m11s.
Further team support came from Ryan Davies (6th) 11m27s, and Joseph Hudspith (9th) 12m17s.
Morpeth’s other finisher in this event was Callum Rowell, who was tenth in 12m24s.
Sophia Cunningham (6th) 13m29s, Laura Melling (7th) 13m42s, and Faye Archbold (10th) 14m24s, combined to produce an emphatic Under 13 Girls team win for Morpeth Harriers in the Under 13 Girls 3k event, which gave the club a haul of three team titles on the day.
Prior to the Senior event, a customary one-minute silence was observed, honouring those who fought during the first world war, in respect of Remembrance Day.
Many thanks to all officials and helpers at Heaton Harriers for once again organising a splendid friendly event on a traffic free course.
* Finishing second to Ermysted’s Grammar School of Skipton, North Yorkshire, the Intermediate Boys of King Edward Grammar School of Morpeth, have progressed to the final of the English Schools Cross Country Cup competition, which will be held at Sevenoaks in Kent on Saturday 25th November.
On Saturday, in Stewart Park in Middlesbrough,they were led home by promising Morpeth Harrier Euan Duffin , who produced a superb individual run, to finish a close third, behind the Yorkshire school’s leading counters.
Duffin had excellent team support from fellow Morpeth Harriers, Thomas Cunningham (8th), Dylan Davies (11th), and Ben Walker (15th).
Other Morpeth Harriers competing in the same event were James Gilholme of Duchess High School in Alnwick (22nd), and Dylan Gooding (30th), and Ben Waterfield (31st), who were both non-scorers in the King Edward squad.
Duchess High School finished sixth in the competition, with Gilholme their second scorer.