It was a blustery day at East Cramlington Nature Reserve on Saturday 1st February 2020, where eleven of the club’s veterans took part in this year’s North East Masters Cross Country Championships.
A successful afternoon saw no less than three individual and one team golds, with several minor medals to boot.
Jane Hodgson was again a dominant figure in the earlier, two lap kilometre women’s and men Over 65 race, where she was first home in a time of 24 minutes and 21 seconds, a good 30 seconds ahead of her nearest rival, Gillian Manford of Gateshead Harriers.
O/55 colleague Gwenda Cavill picked up a bronze in the same race.
Meanwhile, leading O/65 Dave Nicholson finished a good minute ahead of his nearest rivals, all from Blaydon Harriers, to win an individual gold in his category.
Paul Bentley was 2nd in the O/70 behind Elswick’s Harry Matthews with Archie Jenkins 7th O/65, while once again evergreen Walter Ryder – the club’s longest serving competitive athlete - made the long journey from his Scottish eyrie to clinch yet another O/80 title.
The team of Nicholson, Jenkins and Bentley finished as 2nd team to Blaydon in the O/65 category.
In the following veteran men Over 35 race, run over three laps and 9k, there were some five Harriers taking part, with the fastest run of the day overall by Andrew Powell of Sunderland in a time of 31:34,
a few seconds ahead of last year’s winner, Gateshead’s Conrad Franks.
First home for Morpeth was Lee Bennett in a time of 35:42 to take a silver i
n the O/50 category behind David Moir of Tyne Bridge.
Jason Dawson was 7th O/45 and Paul Brown 14th O/50. Paul Bellingham
and Andrew Dippie were 11th and 12th O/60 respectively.
There was another team medal for the club in the O/45 category, with Bennett,
Dawson and Brown picking up an unexpected but greatly enjoyed team gold.