In his very first outing in a Morpeth Harriers vest, and his very first track 10,000metre race, new club acquisition Mark Long certainly made himself known, not only to his new club colleagues, but also the North East athletics fraternity, as he carved out a superb win over 25 laps at Monkton Stadium on Wednesday 18th April 2018,
to clinch the area championship.
Long ran a very close race alongside 2017 Champion Greg Jayasuriya of Middlesbrough & Cleveland in pursuit of a glorious Gold medal, before heading off on his own with around seven laps remaining, to eventually cross the finish line, posting a time of 32m11.22s, winning by a margin of just over thirty three seconds over Jayasuriya,
who in turn took the Silver medal, ahead of Durham City’s Robin Linten, who was a further 25 seconds adrift.
Fourth place, and just three seconds adrift of a Bronze medal was Morpeth Veteran John Butters (33m13.17s),
who just managed to hold off Michael Joyeux of Quakers in a close finish.
Long, who belongs Northern Ireland, and also runs for City of Derry, was very delighted with his performance, he had hoped for a slightly quicker time, however is hoping to make it a North Eastern Counties track double by lining up in the 5000metres at the forthcoming championships, scheduled to be held at Middlesbrough in Mid-May.
He is also hoping to be able to link up with his new Morpeth Harriers club-mates at forthcoming championships such as the Autumn relays, and showing form as present, he will no doubt prove to be a valuable asset indeed.