For the first time in a good number of years Cross Country racing returned to Gosforth Park
on Saturday 27th October 2018, when local club Gosforth Harriers hosted the third
Start Fitness sponsored North Eastern Harrier League, on land to the North West of the extensive estate,
which encompasses the famous Northern Racecourse, where feature races such as the Northumberland Plate,
and Eider Chase take place, along with the Fighting Fifth Hurdle.
On Saturday it was definitely the turn of the thoroughbreds, as runners tested out a brand-new course.
The Senior Women’s field had a total of 460 finishers in their two large lap event, which included
an excellent ten from Morpeth Harriers, whose combined performances saw them finish sixth
in Division 1 on the day.
They were led home by Emma Holt, who on her second outing in the league this season,
finished 15th from the Fast Pack, posting the second fastest time overall, only surpassed
by Wallsend Harrier Danielle Hogkinson, who won her second Harrier League in succession from the Medium Pack, having won previously at Druridge from the Slows.
Holt was joined in the Morpeth team count by Victoria Gibbs (37th) (Medium Pack),
Rachelle Falloon (40th) (Fast Pack), who posted the sixth fastest time of the day,
and Jilly Bell (122nd) (Slow Pack).
Other Morpeth Senior Women’s performances came from Lorna MacDonald (141st) (Fast Pack),
Sue Smith (158th) (Slow Pack), Alison Brown (197th) (Fast Pack), Jane Briggs (218th) (Medium Pack),
Jill Bennett (228th) (Medium Pack), and Frances Naylor (305th).
Photos courtesy of Stuart Whitman
Although there were no medals to show, Morpeth Harriers Senior Women athletes produced some fine performances at the annual English Road Running Association 4 Stage Senior Women Road Relays, sponsored again by Start Fitness, and held on the much tried and tested circuits of Sutton Park, at Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham on Saturday 6th October 2018.
The Senior Women’s 4 x 4.33k presented tough competition for our Morpeth Senior Women’s squad,
who battled well throughout to finish an excellent 42nd of 67 complete teams.
They were also fifteenth from the North, but were one of only two from the region, the other being Tyne Bridge.
Gracie Hufton had the squad well placed in 50th position on the opening leg
as she got around the course in 16m59s.
Claire Calverley, in her first National, finished 60th on second leg, posting a time of 19m02s,
Lorna MacDonald took them back up to 51st with her third leg clocking of 17m08s,
and Rachelle Falloon, making her National debut for Morpeth,
took the squad up to their final placing courtesy of her clocking of 16m42s.
This was a good sound effort from a squad, where only Lorna MacDonald had experienced the level of competition, and there will undoubtedly be more to come from them over the winter period, watch this space !