Course record holder Ian Hudspith of Morpeth Harriers, returned to the scene of his triumph of twenty years previous, to again claim a handsome victory in the annual Morpeth 10k Road Race, sponsored again by local drinks manufacturer Glaceau Smartwater, part of Coca Cola, held on the evening of Tuesday 1st August 2017.
He posted a winning time of 31m16s, (just over two minutes adrift of his 1997 record time),
to clinch victory by a margin of four seconds from club colleague Carl Avery,
who was seeking a hat-trick of wins, having won in both 2015 and 2016, after finishing second in 2014.
Ironically Hudspith posted an identical time to Avery’s 2016 victory as he crossed the finish line,
after twice attempting to break his rival during their very close contest.
The winners first attempt had been just after the 4k mark, however Avery managed to get back on level terms,
after succumbing to a two-metre deficit, and maintained his determined challenge to Hudspith as they approached the 9k mark, and it was only in the final run in that he lost ground to the determined Veteran.
Viewing all of this by some distance was North Shields Poly athlete Graeme Cook,
who came through to make the podium in third place, posting a finishing time of 33m45s.
Only 48 seconds divided the next six chasing runners,
some of whom had been well in contention during the early miles.
Finishing in fourth place was David Milne of Alnwick Harriers, who clocked 34m10s,
followed in very closely in fifth spot by Morpeth Harrier Andrew Lawrence (34m15s).
Next home in sixth place was Elswick Veteran Lee Bennett, who posted a time of 34m29s.
Seventh place went to Blackhill Bounder Gary Wallace, in a time of 34m33s,
followed in by Houghton Harrier Lee Dover, who had been one of the early leaders.
Dover posted a time for eighth place of 34m55s, three seconds
ahead of ninth placed Dan Turnbull of Alnwick Harriers.
The top ten finishers were completed by John Clifford, who posted a finishing time of 35m08s,
and was third Veteran Man, behind race winner Hudspith, and sixth placed Bennett.
The Women’s race was won by Morpeth Harrier Jane Hodgson,
recent winner of the Northumberland Coastal Run, who finished 26th overall in 37m21s,
eight places and just under a minute ahead of second placed club colleague Gemma Floyd,
who had a truly brilliant run, finishing well clear of third placed Woman Jo Gascoigne-Owens,
who was 50th in 39m51s.
A total of 250 finishers took part in the event, and Morpeth Harriers & AC
would want to thank all runners who took part in their annual event,
along with Paramjeet Pahdi, Site Director from sponsors Coca Cola
who kindly came along to make post-race presentations.
In addition, the club would also want to thank additional sponsors,
Phil Walker Wealth Management, Chris Dentice of Stanton Hall Nurseries.
Thanks also go to Morpeth Town FC, for the use of their premises at Craik Park for Race HQ,
and post-race Presentation and Catering, Piramal Health Care, for race parking,
Pegasus Riding School, for the use of their toilet facilities,
Start Fitness for Prize Vouchers, and Members and Friends for their Race Marshalling on the night.
Prizes for those due, who were unable to be present at the
post-race presentation, are currently in the process of distribution.