Three individual and one team gold at Masters
It was a blustery Saturday at East Cramlington Nature Reserve, where 11 Morpeth veterans took part in this year’s North East Masters Cross Country Championships.
A successful afternoon saw no less than three individual and one team golds, with several minor medals to boot.
Jane Hodgson was again a dominant figure in the earlier, two lap kilometre women’s and men O/65 race, where she was first home in a time of 24: 21 , a good 30 seconds ahead of her nearest rival, Gillian Manford of Gateshead Harriers. O/55 colleague Gwenda Cavill picked up a bronze in the same race.
Meanwhile, leading O/65 Dave Nicholson finished a good minute ahead of his nearest rivals, all from Blaydon Harriers, to win an individual gold in his category.
Paul Bentley was 2nd in the O/70 behind Elswick’s Harry Matthews with Archie Jenkins 7th O/65, while once again evergreen Walter Ryder – the club’s longest serving competitive athlete - made the long journey from his Scottish eyrie to clinch yet another O/80 title. The team of Nicholson, Jenkins and Bentley finished as 2nd team to Blaydon in the O/65 category.
In the following veteran men O/35 race, run over three laps and 9k, there were some five Harriers taking part, with the fastest run of the day overall by Andrew Powell of Sunderland in a time of 31:34, a few seconds ahead of last year’s winner, Gateshead’s Conrad Franks. First home for Morpeth was Lee Bennett in a time of 35:42 to take a silver in the O/50 category behind David Moir of Tyne Bridge.
Jason Dawson was 7th O/45 and Paul Brown 14th O/50. Paul Bellingham and Andrew Dippie were 11th and 12th O/60 respectively.
There was another team medal for the club in the O/45 category, with Bennett, Dawson and Brown picking up an unexpected but greatly enjoyed team gold.
Meanwhile, a few hours earlier the same blustery conditions hadn’t stopped young Dan Dixon recording a remarkable time at the Blyth parkrun. Finishing 1st ahead of club colleagues George Lowry and Ross Floyd, Dixon clocked a new PB of 15:12 with Lowry, who Dixon had tracked for 4k, some 16 seconds behind. Floyd was 3rd home in 16:11, and Rachelle Falloon 6th finisher and 1st female in 18:40.