We are now in the month of May, and into our second month of lockdown and social distancing due to the unfortunate, most fatal, and nasty Coronavirus epidemic, which has seen a complete obliteration of the Summer Athletics Fixture List, including competition and training plans, which has left our athletes, coaches,
and club officials permanently grounded, apart from engaging themselves in individual pursuits.
Whilst all of this has been happening, several athletes have been doing sessions as guided by their coaches by either face video communication, or telephone, and have been using technology instruments such as Strava
and Garmin to monitor their progress.
Sam Tate for instance has joined the Strava Group, and is currently doing 3 to 4 runs a week, with a session set in the middle of each run by his coach, which he incorporates, however he reports that he is dearly missing the encouragement and natural camaraderie that he receives from his Morpeth Harriers & AC Club Colleagues.
One athlete who is certainly using her time well during lockdown is Morpeth Veteran Woman Jane Kirby,
who following a series of various unfortunate injuries, is throwing herself into the 2.6 challenge,
and is completing a Marathon as her personal quest to raise money for worthy causes,
which she reckons will give her running a purpose, whilst having to complete it in isolation as designated.
Under 15 athletes Caitlin Flanagan, Zara Naughton and Abi Leiper have been putting their Garmin apparatuses to good effect, as they competed in a few virtual events, which requires them to run separately to eventually establish a team relay performance.
On the 14th of May, two young athletes, Daniel Dixon of Morpeth Harriers and Jack Stanton-Stock of Cambridge and Coleridge, will be riding 18 hours on Zwift (virtual cycling platform) for their 18th Birthdays.
This is to raise crucial funds for the NHS during this global pandemic,
helping the people and families affected by Covid-19.
To ensure that they are following government rules of staying indoors, they are using the virtual training
platform called Zwift and the ride is therefore all done within the safety of their own homes.
Working behind Competitive scenes, Morpeth Sprint and Hurdles Coach, and Young Athletes Girls Team Manager Dave Thomas, and Helena Lott, mother of Amy and Hannah, signed themselves up to the AAA’s Standards Scheme, which provides a platform for athletes, mainly those engaged in Track and Field activity, which allows them to put any performances achieved between 1st April 2019 and 31st March 2021, forward for certificates of standard, Graded from 4 to 1, and based on those shown in Power of 10.
Morpeth Harriers sprinters Lynsey and David Storey, Matthew Waterfield, Sam Yates, Phil Pitt, Kirsty Lang
and Jess Young-Rogers, who have all been very heavily hit by all of the inactivity,
with the addition of the Morpeth Harriers Track facility having to be closed,
have been engaged in separate sessions in accessible alternatives, but keep in touch and exchange ideas by video, taking part in virtual quizzes, and regularly keep contact with coaches Eddie and Brian Hedley by telephone to discuss possible sessions to remain active.
Although definitely not their distance, none of them are up for refusing an opportunity to compete.
Matthew Waterfield entered them all into a 5k Challenge on a virtual basis, (means alone),
which they have accepted, if only to retain positivity.
Last but certainly not least, Coach Adrian Barnes has the final word,
"Lockdown came just as my recovery from open heart surgery in January
allowed me to start more vigorous exercise.
As I'm in the 'most at risk' category my one form of exercise outside is a jog round
the common with my little dog Benji - dodging the other dog walkers to keep a
social distance is a bit like a ritual dance.
I started with a walk/slow jog and have now progressed to a fast jog! 3 miles each morning,
who knows how good I will be by the time lockdown finishes?
I may even be able to keep up with some of the younger ones I coach.
OK, maybe set my goal a bit lower - and be able to keep them in sight"
Stay safe everyone for as long as it takes.
If anyone from Morpeth Harriers & AC, other than those covered in this general article,
wishes to add any interesting details they may wish to share with us,
please feel free to use the comments boxes below, but keep it clean everyone.