Morpeth Harrier Nick Swinburn, who apart from a surprise appearance at the English National Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill in London in February, where he finished 41st in the Senior Men’s event,
has raced very sparingly over the past twelve months, mainly due to a recent injury, and his work commitments
with the Forestry Commission in Dumfries, however during his time there,
he took the chance to take in some hill running, a love for which he has always had, and so much so,
that he lined up in the recent Lad’s Leap Fell Race representing the North East Counties at Crowden in Derbyshire on Saturday 19th May 2018, which, although at the time unknown to him, also doubled up as a selection race
for a place in the England Team, which will take part in the forthcoming Home Nations Fell Running Championships, being held in Sedbergh this weekend.
Swinburn, showed true grit as he won in Derbyshire, on a course which was over 9.5k,
which also had a climb of 1,699ft.
He won by a margin of 49 seconds over Tonbridge’s Maximillian Nichols,
as he posted a finishing time of 44m37s, thus giving him an automatic place in the England Team.
The North East Counties men's team finished 11th and consisted of:
Nick Swinburn, Chris Edis, Will Robson, John Butters, Sam Garratt.
Morpeths John Butters finished 60th overall and was 5th V40 to finish.
The North East Counties women's team were also competing and they finished 10th.
Swinburn’s Fell Running pedigree obviously played its part in this superb comeback,
and he is indeed hoping that a good run in Sedbergh, will take him a stage further
to being selected for the European Championships, being held in Macedonia in July.
He last represented Great Britain in the 2015 Championships, which were held in Portugal.
Meanwhile, following the Sedbergh event, Swinburn hopes to have an outing on the road,
in the Blaydon Race, on Saturday 9th June.
Morpeths Laura Weightman unfortunately finished in a disappointing
twelfth place on her first competitive outing since the Commonwealth Games,
at the IAAF Diamond League Meeting, held in Eugene, USA on Saturday 26th May 2018.
In a fiercely competitive Women’s 1500m, plus an abundance of intense heat,
Weightman struggled to get on terms with the leading protagonists,
as she posted a time of 4m07.48s, which was certainly some distance adrift from her lifetime best.
Hopefully Laura will pick herself up from this, to tackle her tough summer programme,
which intends to include the forthcoming European Athletics Championships,
being held in Berlin in early August.
Morpeth Harriers had three first placers in respective 5k Park Run’s held on Saturday 26th May 2018.
Visiting friends in the South, Ian Harding was first across the
finish line in Bournemouth, posting a time of 16m10s.
Whilst this was happening, Harding’s Whitley Bay fastest time was being broken by
Victoria Park and Tower Hamlet’s Paul Martelletti, who had come the opposite way, also visiting friends.
Martelletti, posted a new course record of 15m21s, finishing ahead of second placed
Morpeth Harrier Taylor Glover, who clocked 17m06s.
At Windy Nook, Morpeth’s Mark Snowball marked his day well,
by coming home first in a new course best of 18m25s.
Tom Balsdon of Morpeth Harriers was first across the finish line at Newbiggin by the Sea,
posting a time of 17m52s.
Meanwhile a little further up the Northumberland coastline at Druridge Bay,
Morpeth Harrier brothers Dylan and Ryan Davies finished third and ninth,
with respective personal bests of 18m01s, and 19m44s.
Further inland at Wallsend Rising Sun, Morpeth’s Chris Smith finished second in 17m38s.
Morpeth Harrier George Lowry won the
Temple Park 5k Road Race,
held at the South Shields Leisure Complex
on Friday 25th May 2018.
He posted a seasons best of 15m14s,
winning by a comfortable margin of 71 seconds
fromIan Ritchie of Sunderland Police,
with Sunderland’s Ian Dixon a further
nine seconds adrift in third place.
Another Morpeth Harrier competing
in the event was Under 17 athlete Daniel Melling,
who posted a time of 16m47s, when finishing fifth.
58 finishers took part.
Morpeth Harriers throws specialist Andrew Knight, who is currently No 2 in the UK rankings for the Under 17 Men’s 5k Shot Putt, with a best of 16.96m, went a good stage further in terms of his experience and ability,
when producing the best putt of all in the North East Grand Prix competition at Jarrow’s Monkton Stadium,
on Wednesday 23rd May 2018, even when using the heavier UK implement of 6k,
to produce a best effort of 14.89m, a performance that also sees him ranked as high
as seventh in the Under 20 age group, and he is also now leading the regional rankings by 43cm.
Knight was one of nineteen athletes in action from his club at the second of six fixtures,
another Morpeth thrower who was well to the fore in the evenings action, was Under 15 Girl Jessica Gardiner,
who won the Under 15 Girls Hammer by producing a best performance of 30.18m,
taking 6.70m off her previous figures.
Gardiner also showed outstanding form, to win the Discus, by producing a best of 25.35m.
Rounding off the clubs Field successes on the night was Ruaridh Lang,
who won the Under 20 Men’s Discus, producing an on the day best of 39.96m.
On to the main track event of the night, where eleven athletes lined up in the A race of the Graded 800m,
all competing for the Jimmy Hedley Cup, presented in honour of the legendary Jarrow and Hebburn coach,
who was the mentor of BBC Commentator, and former World Mile Record Holder Steve Cram in his heyday.
Only a mere 2.50 seconds covered the first seven finishers, where Morpeth’s Kieran Hedley and Alistair Douglass finished in fifth and sixth places, posting times of 1m56.07s and 1m56.33s respectively,
the latter representing a new personal best performance.
Four athletes from Morpeth Harriers lined up in the slightly slower B race.
Dean Lonsdale finished fifth in 2m02.36s, and Taylor Glover finished ninth in 2m02.82s.
Producing a marginal new personal best of 2m07.35s, Thomas Inness of Morpeth finished eleventh, just ahead of younger club colleague Rowan Bennett, who clocked a new personal best time of 2m10.37s.
Morpeth’s Lily Heaton continued her excellent summer form, when finishing third in the 800m D race,
posting a new personal best of 2m23.07s, making her the third fastest Under 17 Woman
on the night overall in the two-lap event.
Another superb Morpeth performer on the night was Under 20 Man Matthew Waterfield,
who certainly triumphed in the Graded 100m, an event he was running for the first ever
occasion, posting a winning time of 11.58s, which makes him fifth in the rankings regionally.
Max Marr of Morpeth finished second in the Under 15 Boys 100m, posting a new personal best of 12.56s.
Another excellent Morpeth personal best performer was Charlie Lane.
The Under 15 athlete, coached by Vina Desai, finished third in the Under 15 Boys 300m,
posting a time of 41.25s, which now sees him ranked as fourth in the region,
and inside the to 150 nationally, indeed a work in progress.
Six athletes from the club competed in the Under 13 and Under 15 age group 1500m events.
In the Under 15 Girls event, Rhiannon Hedley posted a time of 5m18.59s, as she finished tenth in her age group.
The Under 13 Boys event saw Bertie Marr finish third in 5m02.82s,
an event in which he was running for the very first occasion.
Just behind him in fourth place was club colleague Ryan Davies,
who posted a new personal best of 5m06.36s.
Another Morpeth 1500m personal best, came from Under 15 Boy Ben Waterfield,
who finished fifth in 4m32.98s, taking a monumental twelve seconds off his previous figures.
Two other Morpeth Harriers in the event were the two Dylan’s, Gooding and Davies,
who finished ninth and tenth in respective times of 4m46.32s, and 4m50.02s.
Certainly, some hot performances, on what was a colder night compared to recent.