Athletes from Morpeth Harriers travelled to Scotland and Yorkshire in search of competitive action at the weekend.
Saturday saw some extremely difficult conditions for the Home Counties Cross Country International at Kings Park, Stirling, an event which also incorporated the Scottish Inter-District Championships and the fourth round of the British Athletics Cross Challenge.
Representing Scotland West as a member of Bellahouston RR (for whom she runs in Scotland) was Morpeth’s Cat Macdonald, who has been having a fine season over the mud already this Winter.
Having led the club’s Senior Women to a team victory at Temple Park last weekend after also finishing in 3rd place at the North East Championships at Alnwick before Christmas, Macdonald once again showed her appetite for challenging off road conditions when finishing in a commendable 29th place. Macdonald was 7th in the inter-district event and was also 3rd counter in the silver medal winning Scotland West team.
The race itself was won by the North East’s own Kate Avery of Shildon with Mhairi MacLennan, ex of Morpeth, the first Scot home in 4th place. England also won the women’s team race, although Scotland had their revenge in the Senior Men’s with Andrew Butchart leading the Scottish team to their first Home Counties victory in eight years.
Two other Morpeth Harriers were also in action. Joe Dixon had a strong run to finish in 5th place and only some 13 seconds off a podium place in the Under 15 boys. Dan Melling ran in the U/20 men and was 30th overall.
The annual Brass Monkey half-marathon took place on Sunday morning at York racecourse.
Adam Pratt was first home for the club in 7th place overall in a pb of 1:10:20.
Behind him, both Ali Douglas, 21st in 1:11:03, and Richard Johnson, 22nd in 1:11:22, also recorded personal best times.
Andy Lawrence returned to competitive action with a run of 1:14:11 for 48th and Lewis Timmins was 89th in 1:17: 40. There were also two fine veteran performances, with Gary Jones 7th Over 40 in 1:16: 57 and, one of the stand-out runs of the day for the club, Lesley Chapman 1st O/65 in 1:51:55.