rish eyes were smiling for the eleven Morpeth Harriers who made the short journey across the Irish Sea
to take part in the 30th running of the prestigious Brooks Armagh 5k International Road Race
on Thursday 13th February 2020
With no less than nine of those running personal bests and the other two season’s, the event continues
to justify its eye-catching tag of ‘Go fast or go home’ while justifying its claim that no other race brings
together so many athletes running under 15 minutes.
On an evening of slightly chilly but otherwise near perfect conditions, once again it seemed
that residents of the small Irish town turned out en masse to support the 14 race event,
which begins with no less than 11 hugely popular Junior races
and culminates in the women’s 3k and men’s 5k on a course comprising 1kilometre loops of the city centre.
Won by Adam Clarke in a time of 13 minutes and 42 seconds, Morpeth’s Chris Parr,
sharpened no doubt by having won the Dewsbury 10k a couple of weeks ago,
had an outstanding run to record a personal best time of 13:54 for 10th place.
Next home for Morpeth was Rory Leonard, 27th in a time of 14:04, another pb.
He was followed home by Cameron Boyek in 31st (14:09), having his first run in a Morpeth vest
and Carl Avery 32nd (14:10), both of whom ran season’s best times.
Parr, Leonard, Boyek and Avery finished narrowly behind Leeds City in the club competition,
picking up a tremendous second team medal ahead of the likes of such national outfits
as Swansea AC, Highgate Harriers and Belgrave.
Every other Morpeth athlete who finished thereafter ran personal bests, several by large margins.
Joe Armstrong was 44th in 14:19; George Lowry 50th in 14:21; young Dan Dixon 77th in 14:38;
James Taylor 121st in 14:51; Ross Floyd 125th in 14:53; Alistair Douglas 175th in 15:13
and Adam Pratt, 180th in 15:17.
To put the quality of the field as a whole into perspective,
the last runner placed 237th while still running 16:49.