Over 250 finishers in annual Morpeth 10k
Over 250 finishers completed the annual Morpeth 10k over the traditional two-lap route through Tranwell village and Tranwell Woods on Tuesday evening last week.
Won in a time of 32m 35s by Jordan Bell of Blackhill Bounders, with Hannah Wood of Low Fell Running Club first woman home (37m 42s), this year’s race was sponsored by Bellway and featured for the first time on the RunBritain website run by British Athletics.
In addition, the North East Counties Athletics Association 10k Road Championships were incorporated into the race, which included competitors from clubs as far north as Gala Harriers and south as Coventry Godiva.
A brisk first lap saw a leading group of Bell, David Green of North Shields Polytechnic, and Morpeth Harriers Karl Taylor and Tom Innes quickly establish itself at the front.
It was on the second lap, however, when Bell put his foot down and quickly took time out of his rivals, soon establishing a clear gap through Tranwell Woods.
Watched by his father Stewy, Bell finished strongly and his lead over second place Green was 30 seconds by the end of the race. Taylor was third in 33m 27s, having just got away from Innes, who did have the consolation of running a big personal best of 33m 36s.
While this was the first time for many years that Morpeth could not provide a race winner on home turf, the club did have the consolation of finishing clearly ahead in the four-man team competition, with teenager Matthew Briggs running a pb of 35m 1s to finish seventh, and their final counter Lee Bennett 11th in 35m 31s and first Over 50 male.
In the women’s race it was a similar story with another runner from south of the Tyne taking the honours. A comparative newcomer to the sport, Low Fell’s Hannah Wood broke away from a lead group featuring veteran Stephanie Maclean-Dann of NSP and Morpeth’s Robyn Bennett on the second lap and finished with a lead of well over a minute, with Maclean-Dann second in 38m 55s and Bennett third in 39m 10s.
Again, there was a winning team prize for Morpeth, with Bennett supported by Lorna Macdonald, fourth in 39m 40s, Tayla Murdy, who ran a pb of 44m 28s, and Lindsey Quinn, 23rd in 47m 11s.