Sunday saw the return of the Terry O’Gara 5k at West Allotment Country Park, Wallsend.
Named after the charismatic and sadly missed late Chairman of Wallsend Harriers, the fast and flat traffic free course was, like last week’s Port of Blyth 10k, sold out months previously, having been last hosted back in 2019.
Regrettably however, a keenly-contested start on the narrow old wagonways saw a number of runners falling at the start, with several unable to even get going again.
In the end it was local talent from the host club Wallsend that came through to win both Men’s and Women’s races, with Leeds-based athlete Sam Charlton (15:00) and Army champion Danielle Hodgkinson (16:17) both recording comfortable victories.
There were some thirteen Morpeth Harriers in action, with Andy Lawrence first back for the club in 10th place with 16:06 and Adam Pratt returning to competitive action in 19th (16:27), with new signing Mark Banks, in his first race in a blue and white vest, 21st in 16:31.
Anthony Janetta was 3rd Over 40 and 39th overall in 17:19, while Cat Macdonald narrowly missed out on a top three place, her 17:36 meaning she had to settle for 4th Senior Female behind Hodgkinson, Elswick’s Amy Fuller and Jarrow’s Alex Sneddon.
Older sisters Lorna and Lindsey also ran well, recording 19:07 (4th Senior Woman) and 19:47 (7th) respectively, while there were pbs for Lizzie Rank, 102nd overall and 6th Senior in 19:47, and Robyn Ferguson, 179th , 13th Senior, in 22:50. Tayla Douglas also recorded a pb with 22:16 for 8th Senior.
Graeme Thorpe was 65th and 7th O/45 in 18:14 and Mike Steven 4th O/60 and 172nd in 22:13. Having run at Sutton Park less than 24 hours beforehand, Tom Innes also ran round, accompanying Lizzie for 99th place in 19:46.