There was certainly an abundance of festive cheer in the prominent performances by runners
from Morpeth Harriers at some of the regions Park Runs, held on Saturday Morning.
With pleasant Christmastide weather very much playing its part, many runners turned out festively
to mark the occasion by producing some excellent runs, with a few new personal best course records
being set into the bargain.
Druridge Bay Park Run
The biggest turnout from the club was undoubtedly that at Druridge Bay,
where no fewer than seven runners finished in the top twenty.
First home from the club here was Under 15 Boy Dylan Davies, who finished second
to Leeds City’s Chris Snowball, twin brother of Morpeth’s Mark.
Posting a finishing time of 18m05s, Davies was only a mere four seconds adrift of his course best,
and he was also only thirteen seconds adrift of his more senior rival Snowball.
This was a terrific boost for Davies, who is only just returning to competition,
after being forced out of the recent North-Eastern Cross-Country Championships with an unfortunate illness.
Another Morpeth Harrier showing superb form, was Davies’s Under 15 Boy club colleague Ben Walker,
who was third, and only three seconds adrift, constituting in him producing a new personal best
for the course of 18m08s.
Finishing fifth was Morpeth’s Colin Archer, who clocked 18m13s.
One place behind Archer, was Morpeth’s Under 13 Boy Joe Dixon, who also set new figures of 18m43s.
Finishing in tenth place was Dylan Davies younger brother Ryan, who also set a new course best of 19m07s.
In fourteenth place overall, in her first run on the course, Morpeth’s Gracie Hufton
was the first female finisher, posting an excellent time of 20m16s.
Gordon Dixon, father of Joe, completed the prominent Morpeth contingent when
finishing seventeenth in 20m48s, only nine seconds adrift of his best time on the course.
Newbiggin By the Sea Park Run
There was celebration amongst Morpeth athletes as Tom Balsdon and Rachelle Falloon
crossed the finish line in first and second places at Newbiggin By the Sea.
Balsdon’s time was 17m46s, a little way short of his best on the course, however for Falloon,
who was well clear of her Female opponents, her time of 19m00s, was not only a new best on the course,
it also broke the Women’s course record for the venue.
Eighty second behind Falloon in third place, was her Morpeth club colleague Gary Hall,
and other prominent Morpeth finishers were Gary Mason (17th) 22m55s,
which was a new personal best for the Over 45 Veteran Man,
and Over 55 Veteran Man Jim Alder, who was one place behind Mason,
posting a finishing time of 23m14s.
Newcastle Park Run
Mark Long and Emma Holt of Morpeth Harriers were respective first Male and Female finishers
at the Newcastle Park Run, held in Exhibition Park.
Both athletes also had respective bests of 16m05s and 18m07s over the 5k circuit.
Holt finished in thirteenth place overall.
Gibside Park Run
Morpeth’s Paul Adams was only three seconds adrift of being first across
the finish line at Gibside, near Rowlands Gill.
He was also only three seconds adrift of his best over the course,
with his posting of 19m18s.
Wallsend Rising Sun Park Run
Another Morpeth second finisher was Mark Snowball at Wallsend Rising Sun.
Mark posted a time of 18m08s, when finishing thirteen seconds adrift of Gosforth’s Ben Moore.