The main event of the third North Eastern Grand Prix Meeting was the opening heat in the series of five, one-mile races, named and held in honour of legendary Gateshead Harriers Coach Stan Long, long-term mentor of Brendan Foster.
Probably most appropriately it was a Gateshead Harrier Matt Linsley who received the winner’s trophy from Stan’s daughter Christine.
But before he could, he had to shake off the relentless competition around him, that also included Morpeth Harrier Alistair Douglass, who only lost out for victory in a close run in by two seconds, posting a new personal best time of 4m21.54s, taking twelve seconds off his previous figures.
Three other Morpeth Harriers also took part in the main event, held at Jarrow’s Monkton Stadium, on the evening of Wednesday 2 June, all of them achieving personal best performances.
Bertie Marr finished ninth in 4m33.58s, improving on previous figures by six seconds.
Joseph Anderson who finished tenth in 4m36.79s, improved on his previous figures by a massive sixteen seconds, and Joe Dixon placed thirteenth in 4m45.56s, taking three seconds off his previous figures.
One of the Morpeth runs of the nigh was achieved by Under 15 Boy Joseph Close who, running the mile distance for the first time, just lost out for victory to Sunderland Under 17 athlete Adam Hughes by a second, when he clocked an excellent 4m53.23s.
Another first time Morpeth Harrier in this event was fellow Under 15 Boy Oliver Tomlinson, who finished tenth in 5m02.44s.
Morpeth Harriers had three excellent performers in the third heat of the mile races.
Lizzie Rank ran excellently throughout, to just lose out for victory to Gateshead Harrier Marina Swift by a fraction of a second, as she posted a first-time finishing figure of 5m38.41s.
Third and fourth places went to Morpeth pair Caitlin Flanagan and Tabitha Robson, who posted close finishing times of 5m39.00s, and 5m39.13s, respectively.
For Flannigan it gave her a seven second improvement on previous figures, and for Robson it was a first time running of the distance.
In the second heat of the five-mile events, Morpeth Harriers had three athletes facing the starter.
Senior Woman Tayla Murdy finished fifth in 5m57.59s, improving her previous figures by seven seconds.
Under 13 Girl Emma Tomlinson, younger sister of Oliver ran the distance for the first time, finishing twelfth in twelfth in 6m22.15s, one place ahead of Morpeth Veteran man Andrew Dippie, who clocked 6m27.43s.
Morpeth Harriers other athlete in action on the night was Over 50 Veteran man Jason Dawson, who finished sixth in heat two of four 400m events, posting a new personal best time of 60.73s.