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).