The Quayside 5k certainly lived up to its growing reputation as the best place to run a personal best last Wednesday (14th August 2019) with no less than ten Morpeth Harriers setting new times for themselves.
Now in its fifth year and first won by our own Ian Hudspith in 2014, the route has remained the same:
an out and back course from the Pitcher and Piano end of the Millenium Bridge along the river to the west
with a 180 degree turn once past the bridges to bring runners back to finish on the other side of the river outside the Baltic.
The race’s popularity has now led in fact to three separate races: a Junior 3k,
an elite 5k for runners aiming for under 20 minutes and a mass participation run.
In damp and cool conditions, young triathlete and Gateshead Harrier Calum Johnson – now based down at the other end of the country in Eastbourne - showed once again his quality as he returned home to win in a new course record time of 14 minutes 34 seconds, breaking the previous record of Matty Hynes by a narrow one second margin.
Similarly the first three in the women’s race were all athletes visiting from outside the area: Calli Thackery of Hallamshire Harriers won in a time of 16m 34s with Hollie Parker of Enfield and Haringey
and Louisiana State University 2nd in 17m 8s and Caroline Lambert of Ribble Valley Harriers 3rd in 17m 50s.
Chasing Johnson back along the quayside, however, were the Morpeth pair of Sam Hancox, 2nd in 14m 53s
and young Alex Brown, 3rd in 14m56s.
Although both finished narrowly outside their pbs, there were a whole slew of these mixed in with some strong performances thereafter: Rowan Bennett, 7th in 15m 24s and 1st under 17 male; Andy Lawrence, 20th in 15m 51s and at last getting the London marathon monkey off his back; Tom Innes and Richard Johnson 26th and 27th pbs of 16m 8s and 16m 10s; Jake Masterman, 41st in 16m 50s and 3rd U/20 male; Lee Bennett, 1st O/50 in 16m 52s; Dean Lonsdale, turning in a pb in his first race back after some time out of 17m 45s;
Rachelle Falloon, 4th female in a pb of 17m 32s; Robyn Bennett, 1st U/20 female in 18m 24s;
Jason Dawson, 108th in a pb of 18m 28s; Jamie Johnson, 118th in a pb of 18m 39s;
Helen King, 2nd O/45 in a pb of 18m 45s; Michelle Thompson, 3rd O/35 female in 19m 35s;
Tayla Murdy, 10th Senior female in a pb of 20m 44s and Gracie Hufton, 3rd U/20 female in 22m 27s.
There were clearly some who had preferred glory in the B race to being further back in the A meanwhile, as the B was actually won in a time of 18m 9s by Ian Young of Blackhill Bounders. Paul Willis was 1st home for the club with a time of 19m 31s. Behind him, Lindsey Quinn ran a pb of 21m 56s, Sue Smith was 6th O/50 in 23m 37s and Pam Woodcock got the better of her closest rival to finish as 1st O/65 in 24m 41s. Laura Mclean finished in 26m 3s.
U13 Joe Dixon was 2nd in the earlier run 3k in a time of 10m 2s and only a few seconds behind race winner (and U15) David Race of Gateshead, and James Tilley was 10th and 3rd U15 in 11m 27s.
Photos courtesy of Stuart Whitman