The club committee would like to take the opportunity to share with you where we are as a club financially in particular with regard to the issue of membership fees for 2021, while thanking you for all your support in what has been probably the most challenging year for our sport that any of us have known.
We all hope to see a return to regular training without any restrictions in the future, the full use of facilities and - perhaps most importantly - active competition. Unfortunately, this looks still to be several months away, and in the meantime we would like to put on record our appreciation for members and parents who have had to cope with the various closures and changes. Your active support is very much appreciated through all the permutations of lockdowns.
In view of the challenges of the past year, and the loss of many training and competition opportunities, we are planning to lower membership fees for 2021, but also to defer the collection of them until 1 April. While we still have a number of significant financial commitments which we have had to honour, and also lost our own race promotions (our major source of revenue) we were however fortunate to receive a welcome grant from Northumberland County Council, and have also of course not had many of our regular outgoings (for example, Track and Field matches, Northern and National Relays, North East Harrier League etc).
Accordingly, for those members who paid their subs in 2020, we propose a discounted membership rate as follows:
However, in view of the current ongoing uncertainties around the sport, we also propose to defer the collection of these subs until 1 April 2021. There are several reasons for doing so. By then, we should have a better idea of what kinds of competition will resume and of course, when. We will also hopefully have further clarification from England Athletics re 2021 registrations as regards dates due and amounts (these are normally renewable from 1 April each year but were valid until 31 August in 2020).
On a purely practical level for us as a club, it gives us more time to bring our membership records up-to-date following the untimely death of our membership secretary, with the opportunity also to identify those taking membership benefits without payment – sadly an annual source of frustration, even if this is only a small number of athletes.
For members who, for whatever reason, did not pay in 2020, subscriptions will also not be due until 1 April 2021. The subscription rates will be announced prior to that date, but will not, however, include the above discount. We will, of course, keep members informed of any changes and of the dates and means of payment.
It goes without saying that for Morpeth Harriers, as for any amateur sporting organisation, the prompt payment of membership fees is absolutely crucial to our continued effective functioning. Can we again repeat however that we will be collecting subs due for 2021 after 1 April.
We do hope we will see a return to normality of some kind in the next few months, but would look again to offer a pro rata discount in 2022 should be there significant further disruption.
Best wishes to all members and parents for the New Year despite all the continuing difficulties with hope for a better future, and continued thanks for your support.
Morpeth Harriers committee
All club activities, including training for Seniors and Juniors, is now suspended following the decision to place England under a new lockdown.
The club track at KEVI is now also closed with immediate effect.
Under the new rules, it is still permitted to exercise outside, including with one other person from outside your household.
For more details on what is permitted, see the latest guidance from Sport England.
The recent announcement that the North East has moved into Tier 4 means some significant changes to the club’s training protocols for the foreseeable future. A full link to the guidance is available here.
The main impact for us as a club is as follows:
With best wishes to all for a change for the better in the New Year, and thanks once again for your support.
The planned New Year's Day trail race around Morpeth for club members has been cancelled following the news that the North East has been placed under Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions from today.
All members who were due to take part in or help with the event should have received an email from event organiser Kevin Bray. Further news on the impact of the announcement on other club activities will follow tomorrow.
Ross Floyd recorded the fastest time at the Whalton Festive 5 miler at the weekend with a clocking of 25 minutes and 58 seconds. .
In order to enable social distancing and avoid large groups, the race was organised with what has become the pattern over the last few months of a ‘wave start’ of eight to ten individuals of similar predicted finishing times.
The course followed the route of the old ‘Whalton Classic’ that Morpeth Harriers used to organise on the same day as the Great North Run, with an anti-clockwise loop running through Whalton village to Ogle and back.
The race certainly proved popular with those missing the traditional Boxing Day Pudding Run at Whitley Bay and parkruns across the region, with a total of some 117 finishers and a number of quality performances.
Floyd finished some 9 seconds ahead of nearest challenger Ben Chown of 26.2 Road Runners Club with Gateshead’s Conrad Franks in third having just lost out to Chown in the run-in. Floyd professed himself very happy with the win, all the more so after the sleep deprivation the latest addition to his family has been causing him over the last few weeks.
Philippa Williams of Sheffield RC, back in the NE for Christmas, was first female finisher with a time of 28m 50s. Elswick youngster Amy Fuller was second (29:39) and Birtley’s Katie Francis third (30:16).
Morpeth Under 20 Dan Melling was 4th overall in 26:54 and Paul Banks 3rd Over 45 in 30:39.
Morpeth’s evergreen Over 65s Gavin Bayne and Dave Nicholson continued their recent rivalry, with Bayne, who had lost out over 3,000m to Nicholson in the summer, gaining the bragging rights this time in an impressive 33:08, Nicholson some way behind in 34: 50. Despite the difficulties of 2020, both athletes are now near the top of the Power of Ten rankings for their age categories (Bayne 2nd for 5 mile, Nicholson 6th) and looking forward to the resumption of Masters fixtures, hopefully sometime soon in 2021.
Morpeth’s John Clark was 43rd in 36:08 and Clare Walker 31st female finisher in 46:52.
The previous weekend had seen a run organised along similar lines at Derwent Reservoir by Wild Deer Events, again over a 5-mile course. A trail race this time taking in some muddy terrain, Morpeth’s Ali Douglas was fastest finisher in 28 minutes 36 seconds, having gradually reeled in club colleague Jordan Scott, 2nd in 28:51.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the country Nick McCormick clocked an impressive 14 minutes 21 seconds, his fastest time for six years, to place 7th at the Podium 5k at Barrowford, Lancashire, in a race won by Emile Cairess in 14:11 with Ross Millington 2nd (14:12) and Joe Wigfield 3rd (14:13).