Personal bests for Harriers at Hampstead Heath 10,000m

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Two Morpeth Harriers were in action at the high-profile Highgate Harriers Night of 10,000m PB’s on Saturday evening, held at the Parliament Hill Athletics Track, on Hampstead Heath in London.

Mark Long toed the line in the Men’s E race, finishing tenth in 32m00.54s, behind Haringey’s Damian Nevins, who won in 31m03.23s.

This represented a brand new personal best for the newly crowned North Eastern Counties Champion, who was having his second ever run over the distance.

Northern Cross-Country Champion Mhairi MacLennan faced the starter in the fastest Women’s race, finishing 26th in 33m28.61s, which also represented a new personal best performance for the Edinburgh based athlete.

* Sunday’s annual Loughborough International saw a reunion of two Morpeth Harrier club colleagues in the Men’s 3000m event, with Under 20 athlete Rory Leonard, and Under 23 athlete Scott Beattie, currently studying in Tulsa, America, both facing the starter.

In an event won by Scotland’s Sol Sweeney, who posted a finishing time of 8m06.90s, Leonard finished tenth in 8,18.80s, with Beattie coming home in 12th place, posting a finishing time of 8m26.24s.

This represented a new personal best for Leonard, who took approximately six seconds off his previous best for the distance, which he had set in a BMC event in Leeds at the end of April.

It was also a new personal best for Beattie, taking around two seconds off his previous figures, set at Stretford in August 2016.

* Morpeth Harrier Carl Avery finished eighth in the Great Manchester 10k Road Race on Sunday, posting a seasons best time of 30m48s, eighteen seconds adrift of his lifetime best, and just over two minutes adrift of race winner Mo Farah. Club colleague Sam Hancox finished 15th in 31m40s.

Sam’s father Rob, also from Morpeth Harriers, finished 103rd in 37m15s.

* Three athletes from Morpeth Harriers were in action at the opening meeting of the series of North East Regional BMC events, held at Chester le Street’s Riverside Athletics Track, on the evening of Monday, May 14.

Just over 48 hours after clinching the North Eastern Counties Under 20 Men’s 1500m Gold Medal, Kieran Hedley was back on track to produce a new personal best of 1m55.78s, when finishing third in the fastest 800m race, taking just under two seconds off his previous figures, which he had set at Jarrow, almost a year ago.

Hedley’s younger sister Rhiannon, who had also competed at the weekend championships, got a little bit closer to her best, which she had posted at Hexham last year, as she finished a close second to Chester Le Street’s Lucy Scothern in the eighth fastest race, as she clocked a seasons best of 2m22.80s.

Sam Hancox had his first outing of the year on the track and could feel well satisfied with his clocking of 2m02.20s, as he finished fifth in the third fastest race, taking four seconds off his previous best for 800m, which he had clocked in June 2015 at a previous BMC meeting, which was held at Maiden Castle.

Meanwhile, Morpeth’s Phillip Winkler was also in BMC action, as he finished fifth in the fourth fastest 800m race at Stretford, Manchester, in the Gold Standard meeting, posting a brand new personal best of 1m56.56s, taking nearly a second off his previous figures.

* Finishing an overall excellent seventh in a time of 37m09s, Morpeth Harrier Jane Hodgson won the annual Alnwick Harriers Les Allcorn 10k Women’s race for the second year in succession on the sunny evening of Tuesday 15th May, in the Northumberland Town’s picturesque Hulne Park.

She was a good 5m20s clear of her closest rival Michelle Bartlett of Banbury Harriers.

A total of 152 finishers faced the starter, including fellow Morpeth Harriers Richard Kirby (43rd) 44m25s, Gary Mason (49th) 44m55s, Alex Zeller (64th) 47m08s, Norman Clark (74th) 48m28s, and Jane Kirby (76th) 48m56s.

* Despite stringent efforts by respective Team Managers, (Mark Brown - Boys), and (Dave Thomas – Girls), to turn a decent squad of athletes out for their second round NEYDL Division 1 match on Sunday at Whitley Bay, Morpeth Harriers face a certain uphill task in maintaining their champions status, after finishing third behind North Shields Poly, and Yorkshire outfit Harrogate, who very clearly won the first-round match in April.

The club had a total of nineteen A string winners, and sixteen B string successes on the day, plus two 4x100m team victories coming from their Under 15 squads, both male and female.