Cross country action resumes this Saturday (30 October) with the third NEHL fixture taking place at Lambton Castle Estate, Durham.
If you are already registered, please remember to bring your number! (You can get a replacement if it's gone AWOL, but it will cost you). f you are not registered but wish to be, please contact the club through the website in advance.
Directions: the A1 South is best avoided at present with the roadworks causing major delays even outside of rush hours. Best route via A19 onto A194 and A1.
At Junction 63, take A693/A167 exit signed Stanley/Chester le Street and then 2nd exit onto Chester Road/Picktree Lane.
The entrance is off Bonemill Lane with signs for Lambton Castle although we are told there will be cross country signs.
Please be aware there is a car parking charge of £4! (Twice the charge at Druridge...that's inflation for you). Try and come with others, although we are told there is hard standing for cars. Look for Morpeth tent and flag.
The course should be better underfoot than either of the two xcs so far, with the prospect of some genuine mud. Spikes or trail shoes should suffice.
Start times are as follows:
12.00 Under 11 Boys
12.05 Under 11 Girls
12.15 Under 17 men
12.20 U17 and U20 women
12.35 Under 15 Boys
12.40 Under 15 Girls
12:50 Under 13 boys
12:55 Under 13 girls
13.05 Senior & veteran women
13:50 Senior & veteran Men
More information is available on the NEHL website.
Can't promise any Lambton Lions but not entirely sure about the Worm....
Hope to see you there.
The Northern Cross Country Relays took place on Saturday afternoon at Graves Park in Sheffield, although a clash with the following day’s high profile Abbey Dash 10k meant that the number of clubs represented was significantly down.
The Men’s race, held over four legs of 2 miles each, was won by Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield, whose A team recorded 41 minutes and 47 seconds. City of Sheffield and Dearne AC were 2nd in 42:28 with Vale Royal AC 3rd in 42:57.
The only North East club taking part were Sunderland Harriers and AC whose team finished 9th in 44:32, but perhaps the most telling statistic is that six of the top ten and twelve of the top twenty clubs all came from Yorkshire – although remarkably Leeds City failed to even make the top ten, perhaps showing where it was on their list of priorities. Some 57 clubs finished teams.
Fastest leg was by Angus McMillan of City of York whose 9:50 was one of only two on the day sub ten minute performances.
The Women’s race, contested over three legs and the same distance, was won by Sale Harriers in 35:20 with Rotherham Harriers A in 2nd in 36:47 and Rotherham B 3rd in 37:26.
Fastest leg of the day was by Sale’s Georgia Taylor Brown in 10:58.
The only North East team represented this time were Birtley, who finished 27th in 45:49. Some 43 clubs finished complete.
Fields were also down across all the Junior races, with only 18 clubs taking part for example in the Under 17 Boys.
Disappointingly, there was no Morpeth representation at either Junior or Senior athlete level, with a good chance to pick up medals on the regional stage missed.
The following day’s action moved to West Yorkshire with the return of the high profile and very popular Leeds Abbey Dash.
The race was taking place for the first time since 2019, when, to the consternation of all involved, the distance was found to be some 23 metres short and, as a result, all times subsequently scratched.
The organisers will have been grateful, then, for everything going off without a hitch this time, with well over two and a half thousand finishers and fine, if chilly and breezy, weather.
2021’s Dash was won by Ethiopian Kadar Omar of Birchfield Harriers in a time of 28 minutes and 46 seconds from Omar Ahmed in 2nd (28:50) and David Mullarkey 3rd (29:13). From a North East point of view, it was great to see talented U/23 Sam Charlton of Wallsend Harriers back in competitive action for the first time in a while, and finishing in 4th place in 29:17.
Performance of the weekend in a Morpeth vest was undoubtedly that of Finn Brodie who has been in fine form for the last couple of months. Finn finished in 20th place in a new pb of 29:35, one of some twenty seven runners who all ran sub 30 minutes.
Now resident in Leeds for a number of years, Phil Winkler was 116th in 33:31 and Graeme Thorpe 236th and 10th Over 45 in 36:59.
With a very high class field, the women’s race was won in a very fast time of 31:19 by Jess Piasecki of Stockport/Manchester Met with Charlotte Arter 2nd in 31:30 and Jess Judd 3rd in 31:37.
Shortly after the country went into its first coronavirus lockdown, our honoured and highly respected Athletics Coach Lindsay Dunn lost his personal battle for life.
Following a prolonged illness involving several periods of hospitalisation, Lindsay sadly passed away on 19 March 2020; with no family, he was surrounded by a few close friends, including Sarah and Neil Wilkinson, both members of Morpeth Harriers.
Because of the increasing pandemic problems, only a small gathering was allowed for Lindsay’s funeral. However he himself had always hoped that more of the friends he had gained within his beloved sport could be present.
So, to fulfil Lindsay’s parting wishes, Sarah, Neil, Steve Winter, and a few more close associates, began to prepare an eventual fitting farewell in his honour.
That farewell took place on Friday 22 October at 'The Woodlands' in Edmondsley, County Durham, when almost 100 people from many avenues of the athletic family were present to witness a wonderful and tasteful send off, and one very much Lindsay Dunn.
Several major games medallists were present, including close friend Brendan Foster, Jim Alder, Mick McLeod, Ian Stewart, and Charlie Spedding, along with many other North-East leading lights, including Kevin Forster, Nick McCormick, and Alyson Dixon, and not forgetting Lindsay’s very own talented training group, now led by former athlete Nathan Shrubb, a group that includes Carl Avery, Ross Floyd, Finn Brodie and Cameron Boyek.
Colourful speeches - laced with the odd expletive of course, very much Lindsay’s trait - were made by Brendan Foster, a lifelong friend and club colleague at Gateshead Harriers; Mike Baxter, a training colleague in Leeds, where Lindsay had worked for Eagle Star Insurance; Max Coleby and Ian Barnes, club colleagues at Darlington AC, his first North East Club; and John Caine, with whom he had a very long friendship, beginning with him joining Gateshead Harriers in the early seventies.
The occasion also gave the venue the opportunity of treating visitors to a super curry in Lindsay’s honour, something which he would have readily approved of, and many thanks go to the management and staff of the Woodlands at Edmondsley for their kind attention and service which also made everything so special.
RIP Lindsay Dunn, a treasured and much remembered friend, from all who knew him.
Three Morpeth Harriers represented Northumberland Fell Runners at the British Fell Relays at the weekend.
The men's open team consisted of Will Robson (Wallsend) on the short solo leg 1, Andy Higgins and Adam Malloy of NFR (navigation leg pairing), John Butters and Lee Bennett of Morpeth and NFR (leg 3 pairing - the longest leg at 11k with 3,200ft of ascent) and Matthew Briggs of Morpeth on the last 5k solo leg 4.
The team finished in 54th place out of 220 teams and top in the North East.
This is a really well organised and friendly event which is at different locations each year.
There were more than 3,000 finishers in Sunday's ASDA York Marathon, with six Morpeth Harriers making the journey down the A19.
First run in 2013, the race continues to grow in popularity, largely because of a largely flat, scenic and well-supported course that starts and finishes on the University of York campus and progresses past the iconic York Minster before heading out through the neighbouring villages of Sand Hutton and Stockton on the Forest, past the Battle of Stamford Bridge site to return via Dunnington and Osbaldwick.
The race was won by Tom Charles in a time of 2:24:22 with Becky Penty first female finisher in 2:47:43.
Morpeth’s over 40 veteran Will Clark had a fine run to come home inside three hours with a time of 2 hours 57minutes and 50 seconds for 100th place.
Shaun Land was 332nd in 3:20:14 and Ed Hillier 666th in 3:42:17 after both had looked well set for times around about the three hour mark at half way.
Training partners Anna Wright and Jennifer Belton had good runs in each other’s company after months of careful preparation together on the roads around Morpeth, Wright clocking 3:37:28 for 587th and Belton 3:38:39 for 598th.
Performance of the day in a blue and white vest, however, would have to be that of evergreen Over 65 veteran Gavin Bayne, who clocked a remarkable 3:15:57 in 280th. Amazingly after such a time, Gavin was still not 1st in his category, the honour going to Brian Martin of local outfit Quakers AC who recorded 3:10:34.
With the race incorporating the BMAF Marathon Championships for 2021, Gav’s performance did, however, win him a British Masters Silver medal and gain him selection for the England Masters at Bournemouth next year.