As 2015 draws to a close, we can pause to reflect on the years successes for Morpeth Harriers & AC,
particularly that of their Senior Men’s Road and Cross Country squad.
At the end of January they began their year very well when they
won the Northern Cross Country Championships at Pontefract.
A month later they finished as fifth team in the English National Cross
Country Championships, at an extremely muddy Parliament Hill in London.
End of March saw them finish second to Leeds City in the
Northern 12 Stage Road Relays at Sefton Park, Liverpool.
They followed this up however, fourteen days later, with what was their greatest,
and very much long awaited victory, when they lifted the
English National 12 Stage Road Relay title,
for the very first time, at Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield.
Another English National title came their way at the beginning of November,
when they won the Cross Country Relays at Mansfield,
by a margin of one second from Highgate, courtesy of Lewis Timmins,
Jonny Taylor, Ian Hudspith, and Nick Swinburn.
Timmins, Taylor, Swinburn, and World Duathlon Champion Carl Avery
all finished well in the European Trials Cross Country at Sefton Park,
bringing about an excellent club victory in the event.
They beat of stern challenges from Swansea Harriers (Wales),
and Central AC (Scotland), to win a trip to Kastamonu in Turkey,
to represent Great Britain in the European Champions Club Cross Country
Championships, scheduled to be held on Sunday 7 February 2016.
The club however has to meet costs to fund travel,
accommodation, visas, and event entry from its own resources.
As the club is totally reliant upon member’s yearly subscriptions,
it can only meet a certain proportion of these costs itself,
and is currently appealing for any would be sponsors to help if possible,
to enable them to compete on such a world stage, an honourable occasion indeed.
A Just Giving page has also been set up on the clubs behalf,
which has already attracted a number of interested donors;
this can be found on the following link,
Since the European Trials success, the club has also triumphed
at the North Eastern Counties Cross Country Championships,
thus signing off a superb competitive 2015, and it eagerly looks forward to 2016,
when they will be competing on what will be their biggest stage ever,
something which the club is very proud of, as it is their sport’s equivalent
of competing in the Champions League, which no other North East
Sporting body is anywhere near achieving at present.
The Woodlawn Christmas Pudding Charity Run on Boxing Day
saw Morpeths Ross Floyd finish third behind Gateshead Harrier
brothers Daniel and Callum Johnson.
Floyd clocked 15m38s, losing out by nine and ten seconds
respectively to the Gateshead pair.
The Morpeth man had been the leader on the first of the two laps.
Morpeths Mark Cockburn set new figures of 17m59s,
when finishing fifth in the Newcastle Park Run,
on Saturday 26th December 2015,
four places ahead of club colleague Paul Banks, who clocked 18m56s.
Currently holidaying in New Zealand with his wife Linda,
Morpeths Kevin Bray took time out on Boxing Day to don his club vest, and took part in a local Park Run event, in Hagley,
Kevin reported the weather to be very pleasant, ranging between 10 and 13 degrees, and ideal conditions for running, sunny, with very little wind to speak of, very much a contrast to what
we were facing in the North East,
torrential rain, and several areas in the region flooded.
He is pictured following his run, where he finished fifteenth overall,
with a time on the 5k circuit of 20m28s.
Exactly eight days after running his heart out in very wintry conditions at Sedgefield, to help his club’s Under 15 Boys squad achieve a team victory in the
North Eastern Counties Cross Country Championships,
Morpeths Rory Leonard opted for the warmth of indoor competition, when he took part in the North Yorkshire Open Meeting, held at Sheffield Arena on Sunday 20th December 2015.
It was the very first time that the American born athlete had
experienced an indoor circuit, and also the distance of 1500m, and the fact that he finished an excellent third in Race 2 in a time of 4m28.9s, he was fifth fastest overall Under 17 athlete, and twelfth fastest over the two heats, speaks volumes of the excellence of his performance,
and indeed he looks a very promising prospect for the future for his club.