Posting a finishing time of 32m31s, Morpeth Harrier Laura Weightman won the Women’s race at the
annual Ribble Valley 10k Road Race, at Clitheroe in Lancashire on Sunday 31st December,
which also incorporated the North of England Championship.
Running the distance on the road for the very first time obviously did not daunt the Commonwealth Games bound athlete, as she finished in good company in 31st place overall, winning by five places and twenty-nine seconds from Shaftesbury’s Beth Potter, with Vale Royal’s Stevie Stockton finishing 56th overall in 34m27s to take third place in the Women’s section.
It was a good day all round for the North East, with Richmond and Zetland’s Marc Scott
winning the Men’s race in 29m37s, fourteen seconds ahead of Bingley’s World and Olympic Triathlete
Jonny Brownlee, with Shaftesbury’s Richard Horton taking third place, another four seconds adrift.
Another prominent North-East finisher was Gateshead Harrier Callum Johnson, who was fifth in 30m08s.
Nearly 1,300 runners took part in the event, which was run in slightly windy dry conditions,
with temperatures ranging between 6 and 8 degrees centigrade, luckily quite a contrast to previous days,
which had seen temperatures drop to a minus, with intermittent snowfalls.
On a warmer note, this was very much an excellent end to Weightman’s competitive year,
and was a positive note for those Commonwealth Games in Australia in April.
Prior to this, she will be engaging herself into warm weather training in Kenya,
accompanied by her coach and mentor Steve Cram,
who was very upbeat by this performance as the perfect sign off.
The snowfall that hit the region during Friday 29th December, and froze overnight,
could not beat the ingenuity of Morpeth Harriers young sprinters and hurdlers,
who still managed a full-blooded training session at the Morpeth Athletics Track at KEVI School,
despite a blanket of hard packed snow covering all of the competition surface.
Under the direction of Coach and mentor Dave Thomas, several athletes along with him,
managed to uncover a roughly 60m section of the back straight to complete
their planned session successfully, with the odd snowball being hurled in fun along the way.
Much credit goes to them all for their dedication and determination in such circumstances.
However, the talented athletes now look forward to returning the warmth of the school gym,
when the new term opens, speed skating also had been considered,
but everyone had trouble getting their skates on, as Mr Thomas puts it.
Over 1,000 enthusiastic runners took part in the annual Woodlawn Christmas Pudding Run on Boxing Day,
the event, run in aid of the Whitley Bay special needs school for the 32nd time,
was won for the second year in succession by Gateshead Harrier Callum Johnson,
who posted a finishing time of 15m24s, winning by a margin of fourteen seconds from
Morpeth Harriers European Cross Country representative Scott Beattie,
who managed to hold off his club colleague Ross Floyd,
who finished third, just ahead of Salford’s Tom Cornthwaite.
Other prominent Morpeth Harriers finishers were
Thomas Straughan (5th) 16m20s, and Andrew Lawrence (10th) 17m06s.
Conditions on the Links at Whitley Bay were Bright and Dry, but fairly cold.
Posting a finishing time of 32m40s, Abraham Tewelde
of Saltwell Harriers won the annual Saltwell 10k Road Race,
held in Saltwell Park, Gateshead
on Saturday 23rd December 2017.
Tewelde won by four seconds from Gateshead Harrier
Conrad Franks, with Durham City’s Dan Jenkin
claiming third place in 33m23s.
It was the second year in succession that Tewelde
had tasted victory in his own club’s promotion, which had a total finishing field of 461 competitors,
including Morpeth Harrier Josie Cram, who finished 41st overall in 40m01s, and was sixth Women’s finisher,
behind North East Cross Country Champion Sonia Samuels of Sale Harriers,
who finished eleventh overall in 35m41s, one place ahead of
Birchfield’s Danielle Hodgkinson (36m08s), with North Shields Poly’s
Charlotte Penfold finishing as third Woman in 21st place overall in 37m44s.
Druridge Bay Park Run
Morpeth Harrier Daniel Dixon certainly showed that he is maintaining his current level of excellent running form,
when he was first across the finish line in the Druridge Bay Park Run on Saturday 23rd December 2017.
Dixon clocked a finishing time of 17m14s for the 5k circuit,
putting a twenty-seven second gap between himself
and his second placed club colleague Andrew Lawrence.
Fellow Morpeth Harriers Karl Taylor and Mark Snowball
meanwhile battled out fourth and fifth spots,
finishing respectively in 18m03s, and 18m14s.
Other prominent Morpeth finishers at Druridge
were Paul Bellingham and Richard Kirby,
who finished in seventh and nineteenth places,
with respective clocking’s of 18m42s,
and 20m30s, the latter representing a new best over the course.
Newcastle Park Run
Another Morpeth winner was Ian Harding, who posted
an excellent 16m03s at Newcastle’s Exhibition Park.