Sunday 15th March 2020 brought high winds to the fells of the Breamish Valley.
A tremendous turnout of 120 runners took on the Brough Law fell race covering 5 miles and 1300 feet of ascent.
Just marking out the course was a task in itself, trying to ensure secure taping at strategic points, but registration was like a well-oiled machine with the help of Mike Steven, Jane and Mike Briggs, and Gary Mason.
Strategically placed Kevin Bray and landowner Mr Wilson out on the course
ensured runners didn’t go astray where they had in previous years.
The start is an immediate leg burning and lung busting climb, and so spread the field out from the off.
It was a close contest between the first two runners on the long descent to the finish.
Chris Larkin of Newcastle University came through for the win with some impressive downhill running,
closely followed by last year’s winner Callum Hanson from Pudsey and Bramley.
Sean Leckey from Ambleside AC was third.
In the women’s race, Gemma Bradley from Saltwell Harriers was 1st,
Molly Pace from Jesmond Joggers 2nd and Lauren Davies-Beckett from Newcastle University 3rd.
Category winners were:
W40, Helen Heaney (NSP);
W50, Kath Davis (NFR);
M40, Roger Sillito (NFR);
M50, Gary Robson (NFR);
M60, Ken Maynard (Sunderland Strollers);
M70, James Tomlin.
Morpeth finishers, several in NFER vests, included Rowan Bennett (8th); Lee Bennett (16th);
Alistair Macdonald (31st); Robyn Bennett (32nd); Richard Kirby (41st); Steve Haswell (47th);
Mike Winter (53rd); Jim Alder (61st); Paul Bellingham (66th); Neil McAnany (84th);
Gwenda Cavill (89th); Jane Kirby (110th); Sue Smith (111th); Margaret Macdonald (113th);
Lindsey Quinn (114th);
Thanks to Jane and Michael Briggs, Mike Steven, Gary Mason,
Kevin Bran and Mr. Wilson for permission to use the course,
and to Phil Green for sweeping.
The race raised over £600, to be split between Northumberland Mountain rescue
and the Northern English Springer Spaniel rescue charity.
Word has officially reached us, and perhaps with very little surprise, that sadly this year’s annual English Schools Track and Field Championships, scheduled to be held in Manchester on Friday 10th, and Saturday 11th July,
have had to be cancelled, because of the mounting crisis, of the Coronavirus epidemic.
We hope that everyone at Morpeth Harriers & AC is managing to stay safe, fit, and as healthy
as possible during this period, and we hope eventually to be back in operation, sooner, rather than later.
A link to the official letter from ESAA Secretary can be found below, where he raises hopes regarding scheduled Autumn events, which unfortunately at the moment seems a long way ahead.
The NECAA T&F Championships were due to be held at
Middlesbrough Sports Village on 30th/31st May 2020.
These will now be postponed until later in the year.
At the minute we do not know when any athletic activities/competition
will take place and we will be led by
our Governing body, England Athletics.
However, it is the Associations intention to hold a
Track and Field County Championship this year
and when we do, we hope that clubs and athletes will support the event.
We will of course update everybody when we know more.
Meanwhile, everyone keep safe and keep your distance
We are sorry to report the recent death at 77 of coach LINDSAY DUNN
Lindsay's athletic career began with Darlington Harriers but he soon moved to Gateshead
and became a county championship standard athlete himself.
Whilst living in Leeds he started his coaching career,
taking Brendan Foster (who was at Carnegie College at the time)
to a bronze medal in the 1970 Commonwealth Games 1500.
As a competitor Lindsay was a member of the powerful
Gateshead squad in the seventies and early eighties.
As well as Foster and Charlie Spedding whom he coached to Olympic medals,
he took Gateshead athletes Geoff Turnbull and Barry Smith to international standard.
Lindsay was already coaching some Morpeth athletes
and runners from other North East clubs
but his next major move on the club front was to Chester-le-Street, where,
with his former team mate Barry Foster, he built up a strong women's section
which gained various Northern and National medals.
He was a big influence behind getting Morpeth's Nick McCormick
to Olympic standard and formally joined us in 2010.
At the time of his death he was closely associated with at least
12 leading Morpeth athletes such as Carl Avery.
However, he also had athletes from other clubs in the North East and nearby.
This willingness to share his expertise was formally recognised for a while
when he was given a role developing endurance running in the area,
which included organising group training get-togethers and short seminars.
He was also preparing for the future by helping former Morpeth athlete
Nathan Shrubb to continue his good work;
something he had to do increasingly often as
Lindsay experienced ill health more frequently in recent years.
Lindsay's contribution to our club has been considerable and he will be badly missed,
not only by ourselves but by athletes throughout the North East.
Dave Nicholson ran the BMAF Cross Country Championships at the Rhug Estate,
North Wales on Sunday 15th March and won silver in the 65 to 69 age group
as well as finishing tenth overall in the women's and men's over 65 race.
David Butler of Billericay won gold, running the 6k course in 23m 46s.
David came in at 24m 50s and Kevin Hesketh of Preston followed for the bronze with a time of 25m 25s.
The course was once round a field, followed by 2 laps of the full course which included the field,
a hill and crossing of a stream. There was mud in parts after a rainy few days but it wasn't onerous.
Runners shook elbows at the end. Medals were presented by Lord Newbrough of Rhug Estate,
who obviously wasn't so terrified of catching the dreaded virus because he shook everyone's
hand when giving out the medals.