Straughan leads field home in 5k trail race

A record field of 228 athletes were led home by Morpeth Harriers’ man in form Thomas Straughan in the Watergate 5k Trail Race, held at Lobley Hill, Gateshead.

Straughan won in a time of 15m42s, after leading all the way, and had an eleven second cushion over his closest rival Kevin Calvert, also from Morpeth Harriers, at the finish line.

Third place went to former Morpeth Harrier Mark McLeod, eldest son of the legendary Mick, now back with Elswick Harriers, who clocked 16m13s.

It was an excellent night for Morpeth Harriers in the Men’s Team event, which they won.

Under-20 athlete James Young was third counter for the club, finishing 15th in 17m56s, one place and one second ahead of his club colleague Jack Armstrong, who was first Under 17 Men’s finisher.

Straughan, Calvert, and Young were the three Morpeth team counters.

In his first race in a blue and white vest for Morpeth, David Nicholson ran well to finish 39th in 19m25s, and was first home in the Over 60 Veteran Men’s category.

The club’s other finisher was Archie Jenkins, 134th in 23m01s, and he was fourth Over 60 Veteran Man.

In the event which also incorporated the North East Masters 5k Championships, Jenkins was second in his age group. To be eligible, competitors were required to have membership of the North East Masters Athletics Association.