Some forty years after winning the first ever Northumberland Coastal Run, Archie Jenkins returned to both start and then participate in a race he will always be associated with, having recorded no less than four victories there,
as well as organising the event for some twenty years.
He will certainly have seen some changes: the first ever 1979 race, won in a time of 1 hour 22 minutes and 30 seconds, featured only some 12 competitors and had no set route, with runners free to find their own way down the coast from the beach at Beadnell to the sands at Alnmouth. In contrast, the race is now nationally recognised as one of the most scenic in the UK and is usually sold out within hours of entries being open. This year’s race attracted runners from as far South as Portsmouth and even a competitor now based in Argentina!
A strong headwind made life difficult for this year’s runners, but both Tom Charlton of Tyne Bridge Harriers and Morpeth’s Jane Hodgson retained the titles they had won last year. Charlton recorded a time of 1:16:58 with Darrell Hastie of Gala Harriers second (1:20:01) and Stephen Jackson of Elvet Striders third (1:20:23).
For Hodgson, this was her third consecutive and fifth overall victory in an event she has very much made her own. Her time of 1:28:14 actually placed her in a remarkable 25th overall placing.
First runners home for Morpeth, however, were Ali Douglass, 7th in 1:22:54 and Jordan Scott, 8th in 1:23:28, Scott having paid the price in the second part of the race for trying to go with the lead group out of Craster.
Carl Donaldson showed the improvements he continues to make, finishing 32nd in 1:30:15.
Next were Jason Dawson, 47th and 5th O/45 in 1:38:22 and Jamie Johnson 73rd in 1:38:22.
Mike Winter had a good run to finish 81st in 1:38:57 and shared the run-in with canine companion.
Other Morpeth finishers were:
Steve Haswell, 95th in 1:41:00; Jim Alder ‘the younger’, 117th in 1:42:52;
Gavin Bayne, carrying a cold, 135th and 4th O/60 in 1:45:12;
Eric Adams 165th in 1:47:06; Paul Bellingham, 185th in 1:48:07;
John Clark, 301st in 1:55:45; Simon Eaton, 327th in 1:57:05;
Dave Nicholson, struggling a little with the various different conditions under foot, 382nd in 1:59:57;
Kenton Duffield, 490th in 2:06:37; Lesley Chapman, 545th and 4th O/60 in 2:09:58
Laura Mclean, 707th in 2:20:24;
Archie Jenkins, 945th in 2:49:25.