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).