Despite the low temperatures, enhanced by freezing fog,
there was still an excellent turnout of enthusiastic competitors,
who turned out at the University Sports Ground
in Durham for the very popular Cathedral Relays,
on Sunday 17th January 2016.
With the previous weekends athletics programme in the region
being completely wiped out by wintry conditions, all were eager
to spring into competitive action, none more so than the contingent
from Morpeth Harriers, who managed to turn out three Senior Men’s squads,
four Veteran Men’s squads, and one Senior Women’s squad.
The clubs major triumph of the day came in the Senior Men’s competition,
where they managed to win the team title for the fifth consecutive year.
On first leg for the Morpeth A team was Sam Hancox,
who finished sixth in a time of 9m18s.
Posting a time of 9m04s, Lewis Timmins grabbed a second leg lead,
which was well held on to by third leg runner Carl Avery,
despite a close challenge from Gateshead Harrier Chris Parr.
Avery’s clocking of 9m02s enough to give his club victory
by a margin of nine seconds over Gateshead,
with the Morpeth B team a further twenty seven seconds
adrift in third place, courtesy of Thomas Straughan (9m12s),
Kevin Calvert (9m14s), and Robert Balmbra (9m33s).
Morpeth Senior Men’s C team finished eighth courtesy of
Jordan Scott (9m47s), Mark Snowball (10m07s),
and David Swinburne (10m28s).
In the Veteran Men’s Relay, Morpeth Harriers also claimed a podium place,
when they finished second to Sunderland Harriers.
John Butters came home fourth on first leg in a time of 9m55s.
Tony Lewis progressed to second on the second leg, with his clocking of 10m14s.
Clocking the same time as Butters, Chris Smith held on to second place throughout the third and final leg.
Morpeth Harriers Veteran Men’s B team finished twelfth,
courtesy of Tim Miley (10m59s), Paul Waterston (11m00s), and Fergus Bates (10m18s).
The clubs Veteran Men’s D team finished ahead of the C team
by three places when they came home in 30th place.
D team performances came from Peter Scaife (12m09s),
Paul Bellingham (11m54s), and David Nicholson,
in his relay debut for the club (11m48s).
C team performances came from Rob Hancox (10m49s),
Jim Alder (12m17s), and Gavin Bayne (12m59s).
Morpeth Harriers Senior Women finished in 14th place.
Alison Brown was eleventh on the first leg with her clocking of 12m00s.
Claire Walker slipped back a little on the second leg with 14m58s;
however fortunes were revived somewhat on the
third and final leg by Gemma Floyd, who clocked 11m56s.