The Friday 22nd May edition of the Newcastle “Chronicle” saluted Morpeth Harrier Ross Charlton,
who recently under the current lockdown, celebrated his 18th Birthday.
Their Grassroots Sports section, contained the headline “Charlton tipped to be future Olympian,” and despite the fact that he is more likely to achieve that feat in the sport of Modern Pentathlon, his club are more than happy to celebrate with the possibility of that achievement, with a Young Lad who has served his club well, since joining in September 2012, as a mere ten year old.
In addition to his running, Ross has also found time to excel in the Swimming Pool and is also very competent in the sport of fencing, which makes him an ideal prospect as a Modern Pentathlete.
Ross is also the reigning Under 17 World Champion in the Laser Run, an event incorporating Running and Shooting, a title which he achieved last year in Budapest.
Newcastle Fencing Coach Iain Aberdeen looks after Ross in that sport, and he sees great days ahead for him, adding that “There is no doubt in his mind, that he will be a future Olympian, providing he keeps up the good work.
He has been nominated by Pentathlon GB, to join Team GB’s Gold Club in recognition of his present prospective Olympic Status, targeting Paris 2024.
Aberdeen is confident that Ross possesses all of the potential for Paris and is also looking even further to 2028 for this young talent.
He recognises that Ross has all that is needed as a runner, is a decent swimmer, however it did take him a while to accustom himself to the shooting.
Ross has worked hard, not only on the physical part of his ability, but also the mental aptitude required for success.
Meanwhile, back at his club Morpeth Harriers, Ross continues to work with Middle Distance Coach Mike Bateman, who has guided him for the past three years, and has seen a huge improvement from him over that period.
Bateman goes on to describe Ross as a hard worker, and that his attitude in both training
and competition is spot on.
Ross also saw success athletically in the Northumberland Schools Cross Country Championships, winning the Senior Boys event at Temple Park, he finished second in the Schools Inter Counties Cross Country at Penrith, 22nd in the All England Schools Cross Country at Liverpool, 17th in the Inter Counties Cross Country in Loughborough, and 30th in the English National Cross Country Championships in Nottingham.
All in all, a superb seasonal record.
Unfortunately, the current Coronavirus epidemic has put the brakes on Charlton’s sporting activities.
It was hoped that he would do well on the track this summer, but that looks like it is not to be,
which is both frustrating and disappointing for Ross and his supporters, who also include his Father John,
Mother Naomi, and Younger sister Sadie, who is also a competent swimmer, and attends the Harriers.
Sadie’s future may belong in equestrianism we gather.
In September, Ross is due to link up with the Senior GB squad at Bath University,
where he will be combining this with a degree in Sports Studies.
Earlier this year, Ross was recognised by Sport Newcastle, who chose him for a
Rising Stars Award in recognition of his achievement, and undoubted talents.
Other Morpeth Harriers worthy of mention for their varied achievements are Sam Tate,
also for Modern Pentathlon, and Brothers Daniel and Joe Dixon,
who have achieved well in Triathlon.
Read article published in The Chronicle Friday 22nd May 2020
© Article reproduced courtesy of ReachPlc 2020
This weekend would have seen the annual British Masters Relays
take place in their now established home at Sutton Park, just north of Birmingham.
Sadly of course cancelled, the venue has been a happy hunting ground for Morpeth Harriers vets twice in the last ten years, so in the absence of competition now seems a good chance to go back and remember two memorable medal winning performances.
In 2011 the competition had moved to include the M35 category in accordance with IAAF rules and was
then an 8 stage event. A Morpeth team that included Phil Walker, Paul Waterston, Chris Waugh, Ian Hudspith, George Hall, Neil Wilkinson, Alan Shepherd and Terry Wall finished in 3rd place in a time of 2:09:11
behind Salford (2:07:38) and winners Cambuslang (2:08:45).
A flying Ian Hudspith’s remarkable time of 14:08 for the
3 mile leg still remains a course record, however.
Five years later when the competition had slimmed down to a 6 stage relay, there was a record breaking performance from what Athletics Weekly would memorably describe later as ‘another northern powerhouse’.
With Chris Smith (15:05) scrapping his way ahead of Birchfield Harriers on leg 1, the club set its stall out early and though Mickey Morris (16:06) slipped just one place behind the home town Birmimgham outfit on leg 2,
all changed when Peter Newton went out on the 3rd leg. In imperious form and running in his first
and only BMAF Championships, he recorded the fastest time of the day (14:31)
to open up a gap of well over a minute (Ian was later relieved to find his record still stood).
Thereafter it was almost a procession, with John Butters (16:06) on 4th, Ian Hudspith (14:40) on 5th and Ade Whitwam bringing it home on the final leg (15:27) for a finishing time of 1:31:55 and a new course record,
with a winning margin of well over two minutes. Newton, Hudspith and Smith in fact ran
the three fastest times of the day.
Since then, no one has got near Morpeth’s record which will be a tough act to beat for any club.
Sadly, the club hasn’t got back to Sutton Park over the last few years, a situation which
surely has to change in the near future. With the M45-55 and W35-45 requiring
only teams of four, and the W45, W55, M55 and M65 teams of three,
it must be time to get back into competitive action for Morpeth Harriers.
It’s a long day out, but a great chance to pit yourself against the best vets from
all over the UK, and an opportunity for one of the best medals that you may ever own!
As we move into May, we look back all of nineteen years, and an event that saw Morpeth Harriers Over 40 Men in action at Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham, on Saturday 12th May 2001, and the annual British Masters Road Relay Championships.
It was certainly a day well enjoyed by the eight athletes who represented the club,
in finishing an excellent thirteenth out of fifty-three complete teams.
They posted a total finishing time of 2hrs13min19secs,
just over eight minutes behind on the day winners Swansea Harriers.
Silver and Bronze team medals went to Woodford Green (2hrs06mins02secs), and Ron Hill Cambuslang (2hrs07mins27secs), who included one Archie Jenkins (16m37s) (eighth fastest in his leg),
in their esteemed line-up.
The Morpeth eight were Kevin Bray (50th) 17m34s, Tony Robinson (39th) 16m15s (7th Fastest of Leg), Steve Beattie (30th) 16m55s, Les Atkinson (17th) 15m15s (2nd Fastest of Leg), Gordon Dixon (13th) 16m45s, Gavin Bayne (13th) 16m55s, Bob Sewell (13th) 16m59s, and George McDougal (13th) 16m41s.
Unfortunately, the squad just missed out to Sunderland Harriers by five seconds
on being the top finishers from the North East, with them finishing two places ahead.
Other North East squads in action on that warm sunny day in Sutton Park,
were Tynedale Harriers (31st) 2hrs18min54secs, and Sunderland Strollers (51st) 2hrs39mins47secs.
Morpeth Harriers also had an Over 60 Men’s team in action that day.
Walter Ryder (18m32s), Bernie Cordes (19m30s), and Alan Oliver (22m15s),
combined to finish seventh of nineteen complete squads,
just over three and a half minutes behind winners Swansea Harriers,
who had capitalised on the earlier success of their Over 40 Men’s squad,
with Thames Hare and Hounds, and Halesowen taking the Silver and Bronze titles.
Ryder, Cordes and Oliver, were actually only just over a minute adrift of minor medals.
Morpeth Harriers led the Northern challenge here, ahead of Clayton Le Moors (8th),
who had the legendary Ron Hill in their squad, Barnsley (13th), Derby & County AC (15th), and Cleethorpes (19th).
We are now in the month of May, and into our second month of lockdown and social distancing due to the unfortunate, most fatal, and nasty Coronavirus epidemic, which has seen a complete obliteration of the Summer Athletics Fixture List, including competition and training plans, which has left our athletes, coaches,
and club officials permanently grounded, apart from engaging themselves in individual pursuits.
Whilst all of this has been happening, several athletes have been doing sessions as guided by their coaches by either face video communication, or telephone, and have been using technology instruments such as Strava
and Garmin to monitor their progress.
Sam Tate for instance has joined the Strava Group, and is currently doing 3 to 4 runs a week, with a session set in the middle of each run by his coach, which he incorporates, however he reports that he is dearly missing the encouragement and natural camaraderie that he receives from his Morpeth Harriers & AC Club Colleagues.
One athlete who is certainly using her time well during lockdown is Morpeth Veteran Woman Jane Kirby,
who following a series of various unfortunate injuries, is throwing herself into the 2.6 challenge,
and is completing a Marathon as her personal quest to raise money for worthy causes,
which she reckons will give her running a purpose, whilst having to complete it in isolation as designated.
Under 15 athletes Caitlin Flanagan, Zara Naughton and Abi Leiper have been putting their Garmin apparatuses to good effect, as they competed in a few virtual events, which requires them to run separately to eventually establish a team relay performance.
On the 14th of May, two young athletes, Daniel Dixon of Morpeth Harriers and Jack Stanton-Stock of Cambridge and Coleridge, will be riding 18 hours on Zwift (virtual cycling platform) for their 18th Birthdays.
This is to raise crucial funds for the NHS during this global pandemic,
helping the people and families affected by Covid-19.
To ensure that they are following government rules of staying indoors, they are using the virtual training
platform called Zwift and the ride is therefore all done within the safety of their own homes.
Working behind Competitive scenes, Morpeth Sprint and Hurdles Coach, and Young Athletes Girls Team Manager Dave Thomas, and Helena Lott, mother of Amy and Hannah, signed themselves up to the AAA’s Standards Scheme, which provides a platform for athletes, mainly those engaged in Track and Field activity, which allows them to put any performances achieved between 1st April 2019 and 31st March 2021, forward for certificates of standard, Graded from 4 to 1, and based on those shown in Power of 10.
Morpeth Harriers sprinters Lynsey and David Storey, Matthew Waterfield, Sam Yates, Phil Pitt, Kirsty Lang
and Jess Young-Rogers, who have all been very heavily hit by all of the inactivity,
with the addition of the Morpeth Harriers Track facility having to be closed,
have been engaged in separate sessions in accessible alternatives, but keep in touch and exchange ideas by video, taking part in virtual quizzes, and regularly keep contact with coaches Eddie and Brian Hedley by telephone to discuss possible sessions to remain active.
Although definitely not their distance, none of them are up for refusing an opportunity to compete.
Matthew Waterfield entered them all into a 5k Challenge on a virtual basis, (means alone),
which they have accepted, if only to retain positivity.
Last but certainly not least, Coach Adrian Barnes has the final word,
"Lockdown came just as my recovery from open heart surgery in January
allowed me to start more vigorous exercise.
As I'm in the 'most at risk' category my one form of exercise outside is a jog round
the common with my little dog Benji - dodging the other dog walkers to keep a
social distance is a bit like a ritual dance.
I started with a walk/slow jog and have now progressed to a fast jog! 3 miles each morning,
who knows how good I will be by the time lockdown finishes?
I may even be able to keep up with some of the younger ones I coach.
OK, maybe set my goal a bit lower - and be able to keep them in sight"
Stay safe everyone for as long as it takes.
If anyone from Morpeth Harriers & AC, other than those covered in this general article,
wishes to add any interesting details they may wish to share with us,
please feel free to use the comments boxes below, but keep it clean everyone.