We are very sorry to report the death at 69 of Life Member and Coach Adrian Barnes. Adrian never scaled the heights as a runner (I'm not sure he ever got out of the Slow Pack) but he was a world class orienteer.
He joined the club in 1975 and was soon encouraging youngsters to try the sport. For a moderate runner to reach international standard he had to be a good navigator, and he was able to pass on his knowledge and experience to young runners - something realised by the authorities as he was appointed coach to the British Junior team.
Adrian was also very active in coaching youngsters within our club and was taking training groups onto the roads of Morpeth until late in 2019, before switching to assisting with the indoor group in the Chantry Shed. He continued to compete at a high level both nationally and abroad as a Veteran and travelled to an event in Porto as recently as early last year.
He was also a prolific organiser of orienteering events in the north east, including the National Championships, which resulted in various Morpeth Harriers carrying out official tasks in remote parts of the Northumberland countryside. Technically he was one of the leading orienteering course planners and mappers - an essential requirement for competitions.
In recent years he played a big part in organising an annual orienteering event for schoolchildren in the grounds of Wallington Hall - a promotion now ended due to the short-sightedness of the National Trust, rather like our Harrier League event. Adrian also could always be relied on to play his part in organising other club events - track and field league fixtures, road races or cross country meetings.
He was a star in his own branch of sport, a reliable organiser, an encourager of young people and a thoroughly nice man. We owe a lot to him and we will miss him. We pass on our sympathies to Anna, and to the rest of his family who all live away from the area.
Ten Morpeth Harriers flexed their muscles at the Tynedale Open Pentathlon and Open Meeting, held at Hexham’s Wentworth Stadium on Saturday 19th September 2020.
Three of those athletes took part in the Open Pentathlon.
Kaitlyn Waddell and Hannah Lott finished 18th and 20th respectively in the Under 15 Girls section with 1674 and 1395 points.
Saveena Mullin was thirteenth in the Under 13 Girls competition.
Mullin’s best performance was in the Shot Putt, where she produced a personal best performance of 7.47m, finishing fifth in the contest.
Her other good field event performance came in the High Jump, where she again achieved a personal best, by clearing 1.34m, which gave sixth place in that event.
Saveena’s two Pentathlon Track performances also saw her achieve personal bests.
The best of these came in the 70m Hurdles, where she finished fourth in 13.51s, and she rounded her competition off by finishing fifteenth in the 800m in 3m22.95s.
In the Under 15 Girls Pentathlon, Lott’s best performance was her favoured event, the 75m Hurdles, where she won her particular heat of two, producing a new personal best of 12.27s.
Meanwhile, in the other heat, club colleague Waddell finished second, and also producing new figures of 13m51s.
Both athletes also produced personal bests in the High Jump.
Lott achieved 3.92m, and Waddell achieved 3.56m, finishing fifteenth and seventeenth respectively in the event.
Waddell putted 7.78m in the Shot Putt, finishing ninth, whilst Lott didn’t achieve a mark.
In the High Jump, Waddell cleared 1.23m for eighteenth place, and Lott produced her best performance of the season so far, when she cleared 1.17m for twentieth place in the competition.
Waddell and Lott rounded off their Pentathlon competition, when finishing as nineteenth and twentieth fastest performers, with personal best times of 3m17.82s, and 3m22.63s, respectively.
The Open 1500m events saw an excellent victory by new acquisition Millie Breese, formerly Alnwick Harriers, who took the combined Under 17/Under 20 Women’s event in 4m52.62s.
In the combined Under17/Under 20 Men’s event, Joseph Anderson produced a new personal best of 4m16.01s, when finishing second.
Fellow Morpeth Harrier Kieron Mutch finished fifth in a seasons best of 4m20.51s.
The combined Under 13/15 Boys event saw Bertie Marr finish second in 4m25.88s.
In the Veteran Men’s 1500m, Morpeth’s Andrew Dippie finished eighth in 5m55.30s.
Rounding off the Morpeth 1500m performances, Caitlin Flanagan finished seventh in the combined Under 13/15 Girls event, posting a seasons best of 5m27.32s.
Morpeth’s Laura Kincaid finished second in the Open 100m event, with a time of 14.62s.
In what was officially declared as her final track outing of a very successful but short season, Morpeth Harrier Laura Weightman ran very close to her personal best in the Women’s 3000m in the Diamond League Meeting held in Doha, on the evening of Friday 25th September 2020.
Weightman was always amongst the leading protagonists in the seven and a half lap event, and only began to drop slightly off a frenetic front running pace set by World Champion Helen Obiri of Kenya, who went on to win in 8m22.54s.
It was an event dominated by Kenyans, who including Obiri, occupied the first five places.
Weightman, meanwhile did well to finish seventh, posting a finishing time of 8m26.31s, her personal best being the 8m26.07s, that she set in California in 2019.
Fellow Brits Eilish McColgan, and Melissa Courtney-Bryant finished twelfth and fourteenth in respective times of 8m40.88s, and 8m56.11s.
Boosted by his midweek performance at Loughborough, where he took six seconds off his personal best, Morpeth Harrier Ross Charlton decided to give the seven and a half lap 3000m event another go, before effectively ending his short track season blighted by the Coronavirus epidemic, by taking part in the fastest event at the Trafford Open series, held at Stretford, Manchester, on Saturday 19th September 2020
Charlton finished an excellent fourth in a classy line-up, posting another brand-new personal best of 8m38.36s, thus taking a massive fourteen seconds off his previous achievement at Loughborough.
This effectively means, that in a truly short season, with competition being blighted by the virus, Charlton has used his zest for hard work in training, to take a hefty twenty seconds or so off his 2019 achievements.
His three 2020 3000m performances in the Under 20 age group, now see him ranked at number 14 in the country so far, and number 2 regionally behind club colleague Rory Leonard.
Charlton now heads off to further his education career at Bath University,
taking with him many plaudits from his clubmates at Morpeth Harriers.
Laura Weightman’s superb but relatively strange season continued in Berlin on Sunday 13th September, when she again finished in second place in the Women’s 1500m, on this occasion behind fellow Brit Laura Muir, who ran the fastest time of the year of 3m57.40s.
Meanwhile a delighted Weightman managed to crack her own personal best, by a mere fraction, as she clocked 4m00.09s, her previous best being 4m00.17s, which she had achieved back in 2014 in the Paris Diamond League.
Her only immediate disappointment was the fact that she just missed on ducking under the magical four minute mark.
Her performances so far this season have certainly been pointing towards this achievement, and her recent winning of the UK Championship has obviously been a timely boost to the 29-year-old Morpeth Harrier.
It is such a shame that she has not been able to transfer such form to the possibility of a third Olympics, which were scheduled to take place in Tokyo this summer, and were cancelled because of the Coronavirus epidemic, and are now rescheduled for 2021.
Third place in Sunday’s event went to Australian Jessica Hull, who clocked 4m00.42s.
Great Britain’s Melissa Courtney-Bryant finished an excellent fourth in 4m02.34s.