MORPETH Harriers returned from a short midweek trip to Ovingham with a clutch of individual prizes as well as first Men’s and Ladies’ team awards in the popular annual Tynedale 10k road race, writes Peter Scaife.
Following victories in recent outings at Druridge Bay, Cragside and Newburn, Ian Harding continued his fine run of summer form by winning the race from Ovington to Low Prudhoe via Ovingham and Wylam in a time of 31mins 54secs – 56 seconds ahead of runner-up Jon Archer of Low Fell.
In addition, Harding was also the inaugural winner of the George Ogle trophy, awarded in memory of the late Tynedale, Blaydon and North East athletics stalwart who sadly passed away last year.
It was presented on the evening by his widow Audrey to the first male and first female athletes to reach the one mile mark in Ovingham village.
Harding was followed home by club colleagues Phil Walker, 13th overall and second Over 40 in a time of 35m7s, and Paul Waterston, 15th and second Over 45 in 35m14s.
As a result, Morpeth were first male team ahead of their nearest rivals Sunderland Harriers.
Gavin Bayne also had a fine run to finish as first Over 55 veteran, in 31st place overall, in a time of 36m46s.
In the Women’s race, Jane Hodgson of Morpeth Harriers was narrowly beaten into second place by Angela Hibbs of Chester-le-Street in a time of 37m18s.
With good runs by Kate Chapman, fifth lady in 40m40s, and Charlotte Wilson, sixth in 40m49s, Morpeth Ladies were more than able to match the success of the Men in winning the team prize for the event.
Following a string of category prizes in local events, Marie Drodzowicz (43m42s) again collected the award as first Over 50 and Jane Briggs was unlucky not to pick up one as third Over 40 (43m16s).
Keenly contested family rivalries, meanwhile, saw Harriers Juniors’ Sam Hancox (39m57s) beat his father Rob by a margin of some four seconds, an achievement matched by that of Catriona Macdonald (54m21s), who came home some seven seconds ahead of her mother Margaret.
Other Morpeth finishers in a field of over 300 included: Mike McKean, 90th in 40m37s; Chris Bradley, 96th in 41m8s; John Whitfield, 125th in 42m20s; Richard Sill, fourth Over 55 in 42m30s; Shuna Rank, fifth Over 40 in 44m51s and Eric Adams, 211th in 45m27s.
• Five Morpeth athletes competed in the British Milers Club Grand Prix meeting at Solihull last weekend.
The top performance came from Jonathan Taylor, who finished fourth in the 3000 metres Steeplechase where he recorded a new personal best of 8m53.76s, which puts him in sixth place in the UK rankings.
Chris Sampson placed 15th in the Steeplechase whilst Matt Nicholson was 6th in the C race of the 1500 metres in 3m52.68s.
Lewis Timmins showed that he is getting closer to his best form with 10th place in the 5000 metres in 14m20.68s, with Michael Dawson’s time of 15m21.83s giving him 13th in the D race of the 5000 metres.
• In the North East Veterans’ Championships at Jarrow, Morpeth’s Gavin Bayne scored a double victory in the Over 55s age group with wins in the 1500 metres (5m02.5s) and 5000 meters (17m33.2s).
• The Newcastle Park Run saw Ian Hudspith smash his own course record with a time of 14m36s for the 5km course, taking 14 seconds off his previous best and over a minute clear of Heaton’s James Buis in second place.
Mark Brown, returning after a lengthy injury absence, was third in 16m42s with Phil Walker fifth in 16m59s and Claire Bruce placing eighth of the women competitors in 22m04s (95th position overall).
At the Middlesbrough Park Run, Morpeth’s Melissa Turner was the first woman home in 17m15s, finishing in fourth place overall.
• Jane Hodgson was a convincing winner of the women’s section in the Watergate Trail Race at Lobley Hill, Gateshead. She clocked 40m49s to finish seventh overall behind Blackhill’s Robert Bee.
In the Young Athletes’ race, Alison Brown was the first home overall in 7m58s for the 2km course, beating all the boys as well as the girls.
Earlier in the week, Terry Wall took second place in the Darlington Pitstop 10km with a time of 32m43s, whilst Ross Floyd travelled down to Rotherham where he was just pipped for victory in the Brinsworth 10km by Julian Lings of Sheffield, recording 33m02s.