For the fourth year in succession, perhaps a record, Morpeth Harriers Senior Men
secured a team title at the annual Sunderland 5k Road Race, held at a warm and sunny
Silksworth Complex, on the evening of Thursday 12th July 2018.
Although New Marske’s Dominic Shaw won the race outright, he firstly had to shake off the relentless challenges from Morpeth’s Sam Hancox, before he could claim individual victory, and the Northern Athletics Gold Medal in the Championship, that was also once again incorporated into the event.
Posting an excellent new personal best time of 14m48s, Hancox finished fifteen seconds adrift of Shaw,
just holding off Houghton’s Alex Brown by one second to claim a Northern individual Silver medal.
It was in the team race however, where Morpeth were at their most prolific and effective.
Hancox received further club support in the form of Thomas Straughan and Joe Armstrong,
who finished ninth and tenth, posting respective times of 15m13s and 15m14s, both personal bests.
A total of 21 points gave Morpeth a two-point margin lead from Tyne Bridge Harriers,
with host club Sunderland Harriers finishing third with 40 points.
Next home for Morpeth in the event was Jordan Scott, who finished fifteenth in a new personal best time of 15m24s.
Other Morpeth finishers in the Senior Men’s event were
Ross Floyd (17th) 15m32s, John Butters (18th) (1st O/40 Man) 15m34s,
Daniel Dixon (18th) (1st U17 Man) 15m38s, Rowan Bennett (29th) (2nd U17 Man) 16m09s,
Thomas Innes (34th) 16m21s, Mark Snowball (41st) 16m30s, Andrew Lawrence (45th) 16m38s,
Alistair Douglass (53rd) 16m48s, and Richard Castledine (60th) 17m08s.
For Butters, Dixon, Bennett, Innes, Douglass and Castledine,
these were all personal best performances.
The Senior Men’s event had 170 finishers.
The Senior and Veteran Women’s event had a total of 87 finishers, who included four Morpeth Harriers.
First home from the club was Under 20 athlete Robyn Bennett, who finished fifth in 18m25s.
Posting a new personal best time of 20m05s, Morpeth’s Helen King finished 23rd, and was first Over 40 Woman.
Second Over 40 Woman home was new Morpeth signing Claire Calverley,
formerly with Blyth RC, who marked her debut in the Blue and White Vest, by finishing 30th, in 20m59s.
Completing the Morpeth tally in the Women’s event was Jill Bennett,
mother of Robyn and Rowan, who finished 41st in 21m54s, which was a new personal best,
and Jill was also third Over 45 Woman.
The Veteran Men’s Over 50 race had a total of 53 finishers, including five Morpeth Harriers,
who were led home by Rob Hancox, father of Sam, who finished seventh in 17m41s,
and was second in the Over 50 age group.
Second home in this event for the club was Phil Walker, who finished in 12th place,
posting a time of 18m19s, and was fifth Over 50.
Alistair MacDonald finished in 15th place, posting a time of 18m37s, and was ninth Over 55 Man.
Two places behind Alistair was his Morpeth club colleague David Nicholson,
who posted a time of 18m55s, and was second Over 60 Man.
Completing the Morpeth results was Gordon Dixon, father of Daniel,
who posted a finishing time of 20m20s, when placing 27th.