Four Morpeth Harriers competed in the annual George Ogle Memorial
6mile Trail Race at Swalwell Cricket Club, Gateshead on the evening of Wednesday 25th May.
The event held in memory of the former North Eastern Counties official, and former English Cross Country President is without doubt held on terrain that was very much to the liking of him, and he would be very proud to see the event attracting such friendly rivalries
in a tranquil country setting.
Paul Banks was the first home from Morpeth in the 176 strong field of finishers,
and in placing 13th overall in 37m03s; he was also third in the Over 40 Veteran Men’s category.
Morpeth Harriers other finishers were in consecutive order,
with Sue Smith 143rd, Carol Parry 144th, and Jacinta Wake 145th,
in respective times of 55m24s, 55m26s, and 55m52s.
They were 36th, 37th, and 38th in the Women’s race,
and were 14th, 15th, and 16th in the Over 40 Veteran Women’s category.
The event was described as a very enjoyable and very sociable run.
Whilst 2014 Champions, Blaydon Harriers enjoyed what could easily be described as a landslide victory,
by all of 103 points, there was a terrific tussle for supremacy behind them, between eventual second placed Morpeth Harriers, third placed, New Marske Harriers, fourth placed North Shields Poly, and fifth placed Harrogate and Wetherby, with only fifty five points dividing them, in the second round North East Youth Development League Division 1 fixture, held at Eastbourne Stadium, Darlington, on Sunday 22nd May.
The host club Darlington were tailed off in sixth place, a further 133 points adrift.
Blaydon’s victory effectively means that with two meetings still to complete,
it will be an absolute dogfight to see who wins the Championship in 2016,
as New Marske won the first fixture at Whitley Bay; they still remain very much in the picture.
A home win for Morpeth Harriers in the third fixture at the end of June is now more imperative than
ever if they are to remain hopeful of retaining their title, and winning it for the third time in all.
On Sunday Morpeth did produce some fine performances, however there were gaps that should have been filled,
and will certainly need to be if there is any hope of championship success.
Honours were fairly evenly spread across the three age groups and two genders,
however some athletes achieved multiple victories, which brought the bulk of the much needed points tally.
The Under 17 Men had four excellent event winners in Kieran Hedley and Connor Marshall
on the Track, and David Thomas and Ruaridh Lang in the Field events.
Hedley won the 800m A race in 2m01.1s, a seasons best performance,
and Rory Leonard, still in the early stages of a comeback following injury,
who took the B race in 2m11.2s, this being his first outing over the two lap distance.
Another double win in the Under 17 Men’s track events came in the 1500m,
which saw a triumph for Connor Marshall in the A race, with a time of 4m42.4s,
a new personal best by one second, and Liam Marsh in the B race, where he clocked 4m43.3s.
Jamie Duguid of Morpeth Harriers was an excellent non scoring athlete in both the
800m and 1500m events, where he achieved new figures of 2m16.2s and 4m50.8s respectively.
David Thomas achieved excellent Morpeth wins in the Long Jump (5.69m),
and Triple Jump events (12.15m), the latter being a new personal best by all of 11cm.
Mitchell Cryer gave excellent B string support in the Long Jump, producing 4.24m for third place.
The pair also linked up in the 100m, where Thomas clocked 12.3s for third in the A string,
which was fractionally a new personal best, and Cryer clocked 12.7s for fourth in the B string.
Thomas also finished third in the High Jump, clearing 1.50m.
Morpeth Harriers other Under 17 Men’s Field Event specialist in excellent form
was thrower Ruaridh Lang, who won both Gold and Silver in the Discus and Shot at the
previous week’s North Eastern Counties Championships.
In Sunday’s Discus he produced a best of 42.55m, winning by a margin of over six metres
from Blaydon Harrier Michael Furness, and in the Shot Putt, Lang produced a best of 12.17m,
to win by just under four metres from the same Blaydon opponent.
Lang’s Discus gave him an improvement on his winning North Eastern Championship throw by 23cm,
a new lifetime personal best, and his Shot Putt improvement was four centimetres,
which had also been at the previous week’s championships, all in all a superb day at the office for Lang.
Another Morpeth Harriers thrower having a good day at the office was Bobbie Griffiths,
who very convincingly won the Under 17 Women’s Javelin, by breaking the league record with a best throw of 31.87m, which although was some 5 metres down on her own personal best, nevertheless gave her a degree of personal satisfaction.
Griffiths also enjoyed a second place in the Discus with 26.25m, and third place in the Shot Putt with 8.18m.
Morpeth Harriers Under 17 Women’s sprint specialists are certainly in the form of their lives at the moment.
The club achieved two double victories in the 100m and 200m courtesy of Jessica Young-Rogers, Katie Hilton,
and Naomi Arkle, and the three were also part of a 4 x100m Relay triumph along with Hannah Brown.
Young-Rogers won the A string 100m and 200m with respective clockings of 12.8s and 26.6s,
the latter being a new personal best.
The 100m B string race was won by Hilton in 13.2s, which was a new personal best
for the talented North Eastern Counties finalist, and Arkle took the 200m B race in 27.9s,
just a mere second adrift of her personal best.
Arkle was an additional performer in the 100m, where she clocked 13.3s.
Katie Hilton, who won a Bronze medal in the North Eastern Championships in the Triple Jump,
was again in fine form in this event, which she eventually won in a close battle
with Blaydon’s Alex Strother by a margin of 15cm, with her best effort of 9.73m,
which was 19cm adrift of her personal best, which was achieved
in the previous week’s North Eastern Championships.
Back on the track, Gracie Hufton ran well to finish third in the Under 17 Women’s 1500m in 5m26.7s,
taking a whole ten seconds off her previous best performance,
which had been in the first round match at Whitley Bay at the beginning of the month.
Carrying on from her excellent performances at the North Eastern Championships,
where she had collected two Gold medals in the Under 15 Girls Discus and Shot Putt events,
Morpeth Harrier Lottie Hume managed two excellent victories in those events
and added an excellent second place in the Javelin for good measure.
She bettered her Discus performance by all of 21cm, with a winning effort of 23.51m,
was agonisingly only five centimetres adrift of her personal best in the Shot,
and her Javelin throw of 19.61m, was around a metre and a half adrift of her best performance,
however Lottie’s points haul alone was an excellent contribution to her clubs achievement.
Nadine Arkle, younger sister of Naomi, proved to be another excellent
on the day sprint performer in the Under 15 Girls section,
as she carved out two victories in the 100m and 200m,
with respective clockings of 13.7s and 28.1s,
which were both seasons’ best performances.
Morpeth had two excellent performers in the Under 15 Girls 800m,
with Ellie Coxon finishing as second in the A race in 2m28.6s,
which bettered her previous personal best performance by all of nine seconds.
Coxon’s Morpeth club colleague Holly Peck was a second slower with 2m29.5s,
which was the third fastest overall time, which also made her first B string competitor.
Lily Heaton of Morpeth Harriers finished as second A string competitor in the Under 15 Girls 1500m,
posting a time of 5m19.3s, and Lauren Cumming’s 5m32.2s,
was good to see her emerge as second in the B string competition.
Under 15 Boys thrower Andrew Knight was certainly the star performer in his age group,
as he won both the Hammer and Shot Putt competitions, and finished second in the Discus.
In the Hammer, which he was attempting for the first time, he threw a best of 24.56m,
which ranks him as 64th in the UK, and his throw was nearly fifteen metres
further than his closest rival in the competition.
Knight’s Shot Putt victory was very much sweeter, because he inflicted defeat on his closest
regional rival Luke Allen of Darlington, beating him by 56cm, with his best effort of 11.82m,
which was 14cm short of his personal best.
In the Discus, Andrew fell short of James Wordsworth of North Shields Poly,
by about three metres with his best effort of 25.85m, however for Knight
it was a brand new personal best by nearly a metre.
Morpeth Harriers also performed well in the B string events of the Under 15 Boys Discus and Shot Putt,
courtesy of newcomer Daniel Common, currently being advised by Club Coach David Thomas,
who comments on being very pleased with his steady progress.
Common’s winning efforts respectively were 17.60m and 9.01m,
which put him nearly two metres and one metre clear of his closest B string rivals.
He also found 20.43m good for fourth place in the A string Javelin,
where Ross Charlton scored valuable B string points by placing third with a token 3.35m.
Charlton was more at home however on the track in the 1500m,
where he finished second in the A string in 4m48.1s,
and clubmate Andrew Hudspith in his first NEYDL outing
of the season finished third in the B race with 5m06.5s,
which was a brand new personal best for the son of former
Commonwealth Games Marathon medallist Mark,
who was on hand at Darlington to view his eldest’s steady progress in the sport.
Other good Under 15 Boys results came in the Long Jump for Patrick Darroch,
who finished third with a best of 4.39m, which for him was a new personal best,
and the Morpeth 4 x 100m Relay squad, who sprinted their way to third place in 55.8s.
The best performance from Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Boys, came in the Long Jump,
courtesy of North Eastern Counties Gold medallist Alfie Ward, who won the A string with a best of 4.46m,
which was a new personal best performance, improving on his previous week’s championship by 22cm.
Bobby Stone won the B string for Morpeth with a best of 4.26m,
which for him was also an excellent personal best, an improvement by 10cm.
It was a good day for Ward all round, as he also tackled the 75m Hurdles for the first time,
winning in 14.4s, and went on to win the B race of the 1500m in 5m38.7s,
backing up Ben Walker’s second place in the A string race,
where he clocked 5m02.8s, which was an excellent new personal best by around two seconds.
Other Morpeth performances in the Under 13 Boys 1500m, came from Jack Barrett (5m41.3s),
and the Morpeth Boys Team Manager’s son Reece Garrett who clocked 6m29.7s.
In the Under 13 Boys 200m, Charlie Lane finished third in the A string in 29.0s,
and Josh Adams finished third in the B string in 29.7s.
Dylan Davies finished fifth in the A string 800m in 2m46.6s,
however Aaron Haldane’s 2m49.6s was good for second in the B string.
The best Morpeth performance on the track in the Under 13 Girls events,
undoubtedly came from Rhiannon Hedley, who won the 800m A race in 2m29.2s.
Rebecca Bradley ran well to finish second in the B race in 2m50.7s.
Best performance for Morpeth in the Under 13 Girls Field events undoubtedly
belonged to Alice Geohegan, who won the Javelin with her best throw of 20.11m.
Alice also showed her versatile ability when finishing third in the 70m Hurdles in 15.1s.
This was clearly a good all round performance by all those athletes who turned out,
however if the club are to continue its challenge to clinch another league title,
then there are clearly still gaps to be filled, and respective Morpeth Harriers Team Managers
Steve Garrett (Boys), and Mark Brown (Girls), will be seeking very consciously
over the next few weeks to try to fill those gaps, a particular area of concern
for both team managers are in the Under 15 age group, in both genders.
It is hoped that the squad will be stronger for the next match, which is at home,
at the King Edward School Track in Morpeth, on Sunday 26th June 2016,
when it will be all hands to the pump.
MATCH RESULT (Subject to further scrutiny)
1st Blaydon Harriers 757pts,
2nd Morpeth Harriers 653pts,
3rd New Marske 622pts,
4th North Shields Poly 602pts,
5th Harrogate & Wetherby 598pts,
6th Darlington 465pts.
On Saturday 21st May a group of over 40 runners, including 12 Morpeth Harriers,
completed a relay run from Carlisle to Newcastle.
The relay was to launch and raise funds for a new charity “Out of the Blues”.
The charity has been set up by the Northern Centre for Mood Disorders
which is a collaboration between Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Trust and Newcastle University.
Out of the Blues aims are to raise money to support research into the causes
and treatment of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.
The relay started at 8am outside the Sands centre in Carlisle and finished at around 6.45 pm
outside the Baltic Flour Mill on the Gateshead side of the Millenium Bridge.
The team was made up of a mixture of people who have suffered from a mood disorder,
clinicians who help people with mood disorders, researchers and those simply interested
in seeing improvement in the treatment of these dreadful disorders.
The chances of suffering from depression during your life time are around 1 in 5.
It is a devastating illness that affects every aspect of a person’s life and causes more disability than cancer.
People who suffer from a depressive illness have a 15 times increase risk of suicide.
Depression also has a massive impact on society being the leading cause of disability payments in the UK.
For all of these reasons one might expect research into its causes and treatment to be well funded.
However this is not the case. For every patient with cancer around £1500 is spent on research.
However, for every person with a mental illness it is just £9.75.
While the general public donate £2.75 for every £1 spent on research into cancer by the government,
the figure for mental illness is just 1/3 of a penny.
Out of the Blues aim is to raise public awareness of this massive inequality of funding.
So far the Out of the Blues relay has raised over £2000.
To find out more go to:
and to donate:
Morpeth Harriers taking part in the relay run were
Morpeth Harriers Ian Hudspith and Thomas Straughan were certainly in record breaking form
at the prestigious Highgate Harriers Night of 10,000metre event,
held at the Parliament Hill Athletics Track in London on Saturday night (21st May).
Hudspith for his part ran in what effectively was a very strong B race,
where no less than three men got below 30 minutes, as support to the Main event,
which was offering athletes a unique opportunity to try to win
10,000m Olympic places in Rio if their times were good enough.
Clocking a superb finishing time of 30m38.08s, when finishing in 17th place,
Hudspith broke the Over 45 Veteran Men’s age group record,
previously set by Nigel Gates back in 1998, when he had clocked 31m05.69s.
Straughan also had a superb night, setting new figures of 32m01.47s,
in the fourth fastest race of the night, beating his previous best
by around eighteen seconds, and he was third in his event,
only losing out for an individual win by nine seconds.
Whilst Tipton Harrier Ryan McLeod was winning the annual Clive Cookson 10k
at Monkseaton on the evening of Wednesday 18th May,
and effectively breaking the current course record with his clocking of 31m15s,
an almighty battle for Morpeth Harrier battle for ultimate supremacy was raging behind him.
Recent Les Allcorn 10k winner Sam Hancox, and Chris Smith were certainly locked
into a head to head fight to the finish line at Monkseaton High School,
and eventually it was the younger Hancox who finished second, posting a finishing time of 32m27s,
with Smith a further two seconds adrift in third place,
five seconds ahead of Durham City’s Dan Jenkin in fourth place.
Next home for Morpeth Harriers was Mark Snowball, who finished in 25th place in 35m41s.
Five places behind Mark was his Morpeth club colleague Emma Holt,
who just missed out on retaining the Women’s title by sixteen seconds to Birtley AC’s Tracey Millmore,
despite running ten seconds faster than her 2015 time, with her clocking of 36m27s.
Next home for Morpeth was Rob Hancox, who finished 47th,
posting a finishing time of 37m41s, and was fourth Over 50 Veteran Man..
Finishing 56th in 38m12s was Morpeth’s Matthew Boyle,
and thirty seconds behind him in 65th place was club colleague Steve Haswell,
who was 6th Over 45 Man, posting a finishing time of 38m42s.
Gemma Floyd of Morpeth finished 74th overall,
and was first Over 35 Veteran Woman, with a finishing time of 38m56s,
which was a new personal best for 10k by all of fifty five seconds.
Other Morpeth Harriers results were as follows
Paul Banks (83rd) (13th O/40 Man) 39m10s,
Peter Scaife (125th) (4th O/55 Man) 41m27s,
James McFetrich (155th) (28th O/40 Man) 42m48s,
Richard Kirby (169th) (25th O/45 Man) 43m23s,
Richard Sill (199th) (2nd O/60 Man) 44m37s,
Mark Crosby (219th) (15th O/50 Man) 45m35s,
Tracy Kenny (259th) (11th O/35 Woman) 48m03s,
Jane Kirby (278th) (11th O/40 Woman) 48m50s,
Carol Parry (284th) (7th O/45 Woman) 49m15s,
and Steve Garrett (333rd) (39th O/45 Man) 52m54s.
The event had over 400 finishers.