Packed calendar means busy spell for Harriers
With the rescheduling of several cancelled events from earlier in the year being added to traditional road and cross country fixtures, this autumn is proving to be a busy time of the year for a congested running calendar.
The weekend saw Morpeth Harriers teams involved in the English National Road Relays in the Midlands and several members competing in the Three Peaks Fell Race, while closer to home the second North East Harrier League fixture at Druridge Bay clashed with the Redcar Running Festival.
Saturday’s ERRA National Relays took place once again at Sutton Park in the Midlands with the six stage Senior Men’s race held over a 5.84 km loop while the three stage Young Athletes event covered 3.88 km.
Having qualified comfortably in the Northern Road Relays last month, the club’s U15 and U17 boys’ teams both took the next step onto a national stage and, while missing out on medals, could come away with heads held high after strong performances.
First in action were the U/15s who finished in seventh place with a cumulative time of 39: 54, with the race won by Birchfield Harriers in a time of 38:50.
On first leg Oliver Calvert had the team in fifth place with a time of 13 minutes 3 seconds, but Oliver Tomlinson got them into second with 13:23 on leg 2. Joe Close on last leg ran 13:26 with the team finishing as third team from the North of England and comfortably inside the top ten.
They were followed by the U/17s who managed to go one better when finishing in sixth. Will de Vere Owen ran the team’s fastest time of the day when clocking 11:55 on leg 1 for fourth place, with Ryan Davies on leg 2 going out to sixth (12:36). Last leg runner Bertie Marr’s clocking of 12:21 saw the team maintain the position.
The team’s cumulative time was 36:52 with the race won by the very strong Wirral AC outfit who had also won in the Northern Relays in a time of 35:34.
The Men’s six-stage was a very keenly contested competition with Aldershot and Farnham AC winning ahead of Leeds City AC.
Morpeth’s team, which featured several runners returning to competition in the blue and white, were all close to each other in terms of legs and, after leg 2, never outside the top ten, but were unable to challenge for the honours on this occasion.
Cameron Boyek on the as expected very fierce leg 1 ran 17:35 and came home in 20th place, but thereafter the team moved steadily up the placings.
Joe Armstrong (17:51) had the club up to 16th and George Rudman moved them into the top ten with his 17:37 for 9th.
The team’s fastest leg of the day was recorded by Finn Brodie on leg 4 with his 17:21 moving them into seventh, and though they slipped one place on George Lowry’s leg 5 (18:03), Alex Brown ran 17:29, the club’s second fastest time, to get them back into a final placing of seventh with a cumulative time of 1 hour 45 minutes and 56 seconds.
They did have the satisfaction of being second placed team from the North of England behind Leeds City AC and ahead of clubs from the North West.