An excellent turnout saw Morpeth Harriers field 7 teams in the
Norman Woodcock Relays promoted by Elswick Harriers at Gosforth Park on Saturday 24th November.
Fortunately, the Prosecco marquee was shut this year so our athletes were totally focussed on getting round the 1.7mile leg as quickly as possible to get back to Parklands Golf Club for nothing stronger than a cup of tea and a rock bun !
Each team of 3 must include "at least one female athlete" so the format is quite unusual and team selection can require a bit of jiggery pokery to ensure that everyone gets a run - so, apologies to Claire Calverley and Steve Major who found themselves dropping down to the Senior race to partner Lorna MacDonald - they finished in 38th place out of a total of 109 teams, so a very creditable performance by all of them !
We were chasing prizes across all age groups and our senior A team of Alistair Douglass (8.05, 2nd fastest of the day), Rachelle Falloon (9.32), and Tom Straughan (7.58) came home first with Tom picking up the prize for fastest time on the day. Rachelle on the other hand was left by the guys to pick up the trophy which was nearly as big as her !
She was very impressed when she saw the name of the first recipient -
a certain Brendan Foster from many years ago !
Our V40 team of Jamie Johnson, Helen King and Dave Swinburne finished 4th, and our V50 A team of Phil Walker, Jane Briggs and Paul Waterston finished 2nd in a close race with NSP,
and our V50 B team of Paul Bellingham, Sue Smith, and Neil McAnany finished 4th.
Our V60 A team, Les Cavill, Pam Woodcock and Gavin Bayne finished 3rd closely followed by our B team of Mike Steven, Cath Young and Lesley Chapman. Cath told me beforehand that she was "finished with racing" blaming Pam for dragging her out of retirement.
Well Cath you certainly looked like you were racing !!!
Elswick Harriers put on a great event. At the front end the racing is really fast and furious but the format means it is also a bit unpredictable ! It was really well organised both from an admin and course management point of view.
Just to say thanks to all who ran and in particular Helen and Sue who did a lot pulling this together.
It was a great team effort and you all made my job very easy !
Report by Kevin Bray