The Northern Athletics Cross Country Championships,
were held for the third time at Knowsley Safari Park,
on Merseyside on Saturday 28th January.
Morpeth Harriers Senior Women narrowly missed
out on a team medal in their 8k event.
The clubs Senior Women finished fourth, and were led home by Emma Holt,
who produced an excellent individual effort to finish seventh,
and just less than thirty seconds adrift of an individual medal.
Superb additional team support in this event came from Josie Cram (26th),
Jane Hodgson (33rd), and a tenacious Gemma Floyd,
who really gave her all to finish an excellent 64th in a top class field.
The annual Durham Cathedral Relays, on Sunday 15th January 2017,
were subject to a last minute course change, due to the usual circuit being
rendered unusable on grounds of safety, because of conditions
left by the snowfall that hit the region on Friday.
The event was switched from the old Racecourse venue to the nearby
Durham University Playing Fields at Maiden Castle, as Durham City Harriers
were forced to make stringent efforts in finding a suitable course as,
albeit not quite as testing, as a last minute, last ditch effort.
Thankfully the threatened constant rain that had been promised, had abated
by the time proceedings got underway on Sunday Morning,
and runners faced conditions, that although were relatively soft underfoot in parts,
were not quite as heavy as expected, and times for the two lap 3k circuits were therefore relatively fast.
It was a winning day at the office however for Morpeth Harriers Senior Women, who won
from Gateshead Harriers, with early leaders Jarrow and Hebburn eventually finishing third.
Josie Cram had the Morpeth team in second place on the first leg, clocking the second fastest
time of the day overall of 10m46s, behind Gosforth’s Helen Warburton (10m42s).
Helen King slipped to third on the second leg, posting a time of 12m42s,
however Gemma Floyd’s 11m56s on the final leg was enough to seal a Morpeth victory.
There were some excellent results achieved by our Womens squad, both on an individual
and team front, at the fourth Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League meeting,
held at a wet and very muddy Herrington Country Park, near Penshaw, on Saturday 7th January 2017.
Heavy rain on the Friday had left areas of the newly acquired course in a very wet state,
which quickly cut up as the ten-event programme progressed, and athletes in the later events
were certainly subjected to heavy and very testing conditions.
Lorna MacDonald, who has certainly put in some mileage recently in ultra-distance training,
certainly found that it all paid off quite handsomely as she secured an excellent
individual win in the Senior Women’s event.
She won with thirty-two seconds to spare over her closest rival,
and led her club to a resounding on the day victory in Division 2 over Gosforth Harriers.
Further excellent team support came from Emma Holt (Fast Pack),
who finished third overall, clocking the days fastest time,
Jane Hodgson (Fast Pack), who finished fourth,
posting the third fastest time, and Gwenda Cavill (27th) (Slow Pack).
Other Morpeth Harriers Senior Women in action were Jane Kirby (97th) (Slow Pack),
Carol Parry (182nd) (Slow Pack), Sue Smith (186th) (Slow Pack), and Frances Naylor (267th) (Slow Pack).
The Senior Women’s event had 341 finishers.
Morpeth Harriers provided the winner of the Women’s race,
when Over 35 Veteran Jane Hodgson finished 25th overall in 41m18s,
one place and sixteen seconds ahead of second placed Woman Gina Rutherford,
now running in the colours of Jarrow and Hebburn following her transfer from North Shields Poly.
Third placed Woman was Morpeth’s Lorna MacDonald, who finished in 31st place overall in 42m18s,
five places and forty-two seconds ahead of younger sister Catriona, who was fourth placed Woman.
Completing the top five in the Women’s event was Edinburgh AC’s Madeline Bell,
who finished 40th overall, posting a finishing time of 43m30s.