We managed to enter an impressive 5 teams at the
Good Friday Senior Women Relays at Newburn.
Is that a first for the Morpeth women ?
The weather was glorious although unexpectedly hot to run in.
It's quite early in the year to strip down to vest and shorts.
The Venue was well organised although the 2 mile walk which became
a sprint for first leg runners ( next year I want to be leg 3)
was not enjoyable but all the same a good warm up.
Well done to the Senior Ladies who took second place
and an impressive run from Laura Weightman (11.08).
It was also good to see Sarah Wilkinson return
after a years absence due to a foot injury (12.45).
Congratulations to first time relay runner Jane Kirby
who was the fastest Morpeth Vet (15.37).
A nice turnout from the Ranks as well, Shuna with her two daughters
Lizzie and Hannah an impressive family outing.
Morpeth Harriers Womens squad were well to the fore amongst
the honours in the at the annual Elswick Harriers Good Friday Road Races,
held on the Newburn Riverside Business Park.
Despite a stiff breeze, runners efforts were blessed
with warm early spring sunshine, which made
conditions good for relatively fast times.
It certainly didn’t take long for the Senior Women’s course record to be broken.
European and Commonwealth medallist Laura Weightman soon saw to that,
as with her first leg posting of 11m08s, she was indeed thirteen seconds inside the old record,
previously set by Sunderland Stroller’s International Alyson Dixon three years ago.
Weightman was also the only Senior Woman to get below
12 minutes on the course, which definitely put her a class apart.
Josie Cram took over for Morpeth on second leg, and despite running hard during the first
mile of her 2.2mile leg, she was eventually caught by Birtley AC’s Tracy Millmore.
Cram battled again after being caught, and she bravely managed to keep the margin down
to eleven seconds as she handed over to third and final leg runner Gemma Floyd.
Floyd also battled hard, but couldn’t quite match the pace of the very much younger Sophie Burnett of Birtley,
who went on to take the title with just over a minute to spare, as Floyd got round in a very respectable 13m11s,
to maintain second place spot ahead of Gateshead.
Meanwhile the Morpeth Harriers Senior Women’s B team finished a very respectable seventh,
courtesy of Abby Sheldon (14m25s), Catriona MacDonald (13m42s),
and another competitive comeback athlete Sarah Wilkinson,
who is also the Morpeth Women’s Team Manager (12m45s),
and who certainly led by example with this performance.
Morpeth Harriers also had a Women’s C team competing,
who finished 22nd out of the 52 teams, courtesy of Hannah Rank (14m12s),
Lizzie Rank (15m05s), and Jess Swindells (15m01s).
An excellent turnout of Morpeth Harriers Senior Women for their 7k event,
saw them finish sixth on the day in Division 2, which also thankfully
sees them narrowly avoid relegation to Division 3 for next term.
It was also good to see Jo Carruthers back in Harrier League action for them,
as she led her club, by finishing an excellent eleventh overall from the Medium Pack,
posting the eighteenth fastest in the 274 strong field of finishers.
Gemma Floyd was second home for the club,
finishing 42nd from the Fast Pack,
posting the eighth fastest time overall.
Third home for Morpeth was Gwenda Cavill,
who finished 62nd from the Slow Pack.
Completing the Morpeth Harriers team count was Jane Briggs,
who finished 153rd from the Medium Pack.
Also competing on the day for Morpeth in the Senior Women’s event
were Clare Walker and Frances Naylor, who finished in 210th
and 233rd respectively from the Slow Pack.
In Frances’s case it was her very first Harrier League outing,
and she performed well on a very tough and demanding course.
What a lovely day us ladies had at Alnwick XC yesterday better than shopping any day.
Nice to see so many turnout. We had a few newcomers Jacinta Wake and Jane Kirby
who both put in steady performances. Hopefully the hills and muck didn't put them of too much.
Even the lack of tent did not deter us as we huddled together for warmth
although getting changed proved a bit more difficult.
It was nice to see the return of Jane Hodgson as well, her first XC this year.
The course was quite difficult with unexpected hurdles fortunately the rain stayed off until the men's race.
They are made of tougher stuff anyway.
The best bit was hot coffee and homemade flapjacks at the end courtesy of Jacinta Wake.
We were very kind and shared them with the Men who needed the sugar
to see them through three rounds of that course.
All in all an excellent turnout by Morpeth Harriers Senior Women which saw us finish fourth in Division 2 on the day,
a result that will hopefully see us avoid the drop into Division 3 next year.
After nearly a two month absence of action, the Start Fitness North Eastern
Harrier League got under way again on Saturday 5th March,
with the fifth fixture being held at the Pastures in Alnwick.
Despite heavy overnight rain, the ground at Alnwick in most parts was reportedly fairly firm,
however there were the odd sections that remained soft, which progressed to mud
as intermittent showers prevailed throughout the proceedings,
especially during the final event on the ten race programme, for Senior Men.
An excellent turnout by Morpeth Harriers Senior Women saw them finish fourth in Division 2 on the day,
a result that will hopefully see them avoid the drop into Division 3 for next year.
They were led home by an excellent performer in Gemma Floyd,
who ran really well over the two lap course as the rain started to build up.
She finished fifth from the Medium Pack, posting the fifteenth fastest overall time of the day.
One of the athletes ahead of her in terms of time however was club colleague Jane Hodgson,
who running from the Fast Pack, finished an excellent 25th as Morpeth’s second counter, posting
the sixth fastest time overall, and looks to be well on her way to fitness following childbirth.
Third home for Morpeth was Gwenda Cavill, who finished 69th from the Slow Pack,
and closing the club’s scoring count was Jane Briggs, who finished 144th from the Medium Pack.
Not far behind Jane in 161st and 162nd places were Sue Smith and Carol Parry, both running from the Slow Pack.
For Parry, it was her first Harrier League appearance for the club.
Other Harrier League debutants for Morpeth Harriers were Jacinta Wake and Jane Kirby,
who finished in 188th and 189th places from the Slow Pack,
in the field of 278 Senior Women finishers, which was an excellent effort.