Gavin Bayne was first Morpeth Harrier home at the Ronnie Walker Saltwell 10k last Saturday.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 1:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 11:17 am
Joe Dixon on the sea front at Blyth.

Now England’s oldest race, the event is run in honour of Saltwell Harriers’s late president over a challenging and undulating three lap course in Saltwell Park, Gateshead.

This year’s race was won by Gateshead Harrier Calum Johnson, 2nd in last week’s NECAA cross country championships at Alnwick, in a time of 31 minutes 5 seconds, only some 8 seconds off the course record of 30m 57s set by Ryan Macleod in 2011.

Cameron Allan of Houghton Harriers was some way behind, 2nd in 32m 15s, with Conrad Franks 3rd in 32m 23s.

Olympian Alyson Dixon of Sunderland Strollers was 1st woman back home in a time of 36m 38s, some way off the course record of Rosie Smith set in 2014 of 35m 14s. Elswick’s Amy Fuller was 2nd in 38m 58s with veteran Judith Nutt 3rd in 39m 53s.

With no club seniors running, Morpeth were represented by four veterans.

Gavin Bayne was once again 1st Over 60 - although he moves up a vet’s category in the New Year - with a time of 41m 44s. Bayne has had a fine few months, picking up, among other honours, the North East Masters 5 mile, 10k and 10 mile titles in his age group, while he was also 1st in his category at Brampton. His next target is the Helsby half-marathon in mid January, where he will hope to gain selection for the England Athletics’ Masters Half Marathon Team.

Fellow O/60 Kevin Bray was next home, 172nd in 46m 56s and O/55 Paul Bellingham 212th in 49m 10s, just ahead of Andrew Dippie in his first competitive outing in the blue and white of Morpeth (214th in 49m 25s).

Some 428 finished.

Teenager Joe Dixon signed off the year in fine style with a big personal best at the Blyth Links parkrun at the weekend. With a finishing time of 16 minutes 22 seconds.

Club colleagues Andrew Lawrence (16m 38s) and Rachelle Falloon (18m 5s) were 2nd and 5th, and North Shields Poly’s world leading Over 55 Guy Bracken 3rd (17m5s). Joe’s regular under 15 team mates Ryan Davies and Liam Roche were 4th and 6th in 17m 33s and 18m 15s respectively, Roche’s time also a pb.