Morpeth Harriers road squads were at their most dominant, as their Men and Women both
triumphed in their respective events at the annual Wallsend Harriers Gordon Smith Road Relays,
held at Cobalt Business Park on the evening of Wednesday 9th May.
Rain had reached the region by the time the 3 x 2 Mile events got underway,
which was a refreshing relief for all who took part.
Respective fastest times were also set by Morpeth athletes, with George Lowry clocking the joint fastest time of 9m32s on an explosive first Men’s first leg, where he led the Morpeth Men’s B team home in first place, six seconds ahead of his club colleague Sam Hancox, who was running the first leg for the Morpeth Men’s A team.
Positions were reversed on the second leg however, as Ian Hudspith got into the driving seat,
and took the Morpeth A team team into a nineteen second lead by clocking 9m49s,
with John Butters just managing to hold off a chasing Tyne Bridge as he clocked 10m14s.
The Morpeth B team were deposed however on the third leg, as Tyne Bridge’s James Furse clocked the equal fastest time to Lowry, to put them within striking distance of the Morpeth A team, who had newcomer Mark Long, the recent North East 10,000metre track champion on the final leg.
Long, making his road debut for Morpeth, managed to hold his ground however,
and came home with eight seconds to spare, as he clocked 9m45s.
Meanwhile the Morpeth Men’s B team held onto third place from the
fourth placed Morpeth Men’s C team, courtesy of Chris Smith’s 9m46s.
The fourth placed Morpeth Men’s C team were represented by
Thomas Straughan (9m51s), Fergus Bates (10m52s), and Jordan Scott (10m10s).
Morpeth Harriers also had Men’s teams, which finished in seventh and sixteenth places.
The Morpeth D team included Tom Innes (10m34s), Lee Bennett (10m53s),
making his club debut following his transfer from Elswick, and Karl Taylor (10m25s).
Ryan Stephenson (11m15s), Phil Walker (11m49s), and Dean Lonsdale (10m48s),
all competed for the Morpeth Men’s E team.
Not to be outdone, the Morpeth Women’s team also proved to be too good for the opposition,
winning by nearly ninety seconds from Gosforth Harriers, with North Shields Poly a further
eleven seconds adrift in third place.
Gemma Floyd (11m45s), gave the Morpeth Women’s A team an eighteen seconds lead
on the first leg, as she clocked what was to emerge as the third fastest time of the competition.
Carla Maley, running for North Shields Poly, ate into that lead on the second leg,
to pass Morpeth’s Helen King (12m32s), just before change-over,
before Morpeth’s Jane Hodgson re-established the lead to win comfortably,
by clocking the fastest time of the night of 11m15s, managing to hold off
second fastest Kate Mellor of Gosforth Harriers.
Morpeth also had Women’s squads that finished 36th and 39th respectively.
They were represented by Susan Smith (14m57s), Pam Woodcock (15m57s),
and Jane Kirby (14m37s), Alison Brown (12m48s), Claire Hiscock (17m06s),
and Francis Naylor (16m03s).