Morpeth Harrier Rory Leonard took part in the British Athletics Cross Challenge at Cardiff on the weekend of October 12, the event the opening fixture of the 2019/20 British Athletics Cross Challenge series.
Enjoying his first competitive run out for a while, Leonard confessed to being a little race rusty, only managing to get in a couple of weeks training beforehand, but still managed to finish as third Under 20 in a time of 20 minutes 5 seconds, some ten seconds behind race winner Matt Willis and second place Zakariya Mahamed. Leonard had in fact led for much of the race with little between the top three, with Wrexham AC’s Willis enjoying home support and gaining the lead in the final kilometre.
Morpeth’s Jason Dawson travelled to Amsterdam at the weekend to take part in Sunday’s annual half marathon. Run on the same day as the full marathon, the two events have certainly gained in popularity with British and other European athletes, both for the flat courses and the opportunity to relax in the welcoming Dutch city afterwards.
In a race won by a Swede, Marcus Aberg, in 1:06:35 with a Frenchman second and a Spaniard third, Dawson’s trip was certainly worth the journey as he had a fine run and a personal best, finishing the 13.1 miles in a time of 1:22:18 for 137th place.
Led by Morpeth Harrier Ryan Davies, who won the Intermediate Boys overall event by a margin of four seconds from club colleague Joe Dixon, King Edward School advanced to the next round of the English Schools Cross Country Cup, following an emphatic first round victory over second placed Newcastle Royal Grammar School, at Gateshead’s International Bowl. In third place was another Harrier Sam Tate, who was a further 17 seconds adrift, and the King Edward team success was completed by fifth placed athlete Bertie Marr, also a Morpeth Harrier.
The Intermediate Girls event also saw victory for a Morpeth Harrier, in the form of Abi Leiper, representing Ponteland HSl, who won by one second from event favourite Millie Breeze of Alnwick, representing Duchess HS, who won the team event. Leiper led her school to fifth team place, with fellow Morpeth Harrier Mia Belton, also figuring in their team count, as third scorer in 27th place.