Morpeth women strike gold at NECAA relays
Morpeth’s Senior Women’s squad were gold medallists at the annual NECAA Signals Relays at Hetton Lyons Country Park on Saturday, while their Senior Men and Over 40 Veterans both picked up silver medals.
Although the race had been moved this year from its traditional Spring time slot in the fixture calendar, the course itself remained the same – a 2.2 mile, two lap hilly leg for each runner twice round the lake, although the late scheduling did mean that the number of teams was well down on previous years.
Running at the same time as the Over 50 men, Morpeth’s women were led off by Cat Macdonald who clocked 13 minutes 1 second and had the team in a good second place. Second leg runner and veteran Claire Calverley had only been drafted into the team at short notice, but she stuck at her task gamely to keep the team in contention, although the lead passed to Wallsend Harriers thanks to a fastest leg of the day by Danielle Hodgkinson of 11m 49s.
Another runner not overawed at making a Senior Women’s team debut was Sarah Lawson on leg 3, whose gutsy 15m 41s meant that, at the end of her leg, the club was now in fifth place with the lead having passed to Gateshead Harriers with Houghton Harriers in pursuit.
It was down to Rachelle Falloon to reel in the four teams ahead of her, and this she set about doing with a controlled and determined performance, passing Houghton’s last leg runner, Anna Pigford with only a few hundred metres to go and in doing so clocking 12m 45s, the second fastest overall women’s time of the day to put the team in a winning position for a very pleasing gold medal.
In a women’s veteran competition won by North Shields Polytechnic Harriers, Morpeth’s veteran women, represented by Jill Bennett, Sue Smith, Pam Woodcock and Lesley Chapman finished as tenth veteran team, while in a strong Over 50 men’s team competition won by Sunderland Harriers, the club’s two teams were eighth and 12th.
The six leg Senior Men and Over 40 male veterans race saw Morpeth Seniors take silver behind winners Sunderland.
It was a similar story in the Over 40 veteran’s race with the club again losing out to Sunderland Harriers.