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CROSS COUNTRY 2014/2015


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FELL RACING

























































Cross Country Page

Cross Country 2014-2015

Winter Fixture List
CLICK HERE FOR 2014-2015 WINTER FIXTURE LIST

2014/2015 REPORTS

2013/2014 REPORTS

2012/2013 REPORTS

2011/2012 REPORTS

















































2014/2015 REPORTS

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North East Harrier League Sherman Cup / Davison Shield
at South Shields on Saturday 25th October 2014

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League ( 1 )
at East Cramlington on Saturday 11th October 2014.



















































2013/2014 REPORTS

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League ( 6 )
at Wrekenton, on Saturday 22nd March 2014

Click below for report of the
Home Countries International Cross Country Championships
at Nottingham, on Saturday 22nd March 2014

Click below for report of the
UK Inter Counties Cross Country Championships
at Birmingham, on Saturday 8th March 2014

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League ( 5 )
at Alnwick, on Saturday 1st March 2014

Click below for report of the
2014 English National Cross Country Championships
at Nottingham, on Saturday 22nd February 2014

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League ( 4 )
at Wrekenton, on Saturday 8th February 2014

Click below for report of the
North Eastern Counties Athletics Association Cross Country Championships
at Temple Park South Shields, on Saturday 14th December 2013

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League ( 3 )
at Wallington, on Saturday 30th November 2013

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League ( 2 )
at Bedewell Park, Jarrow on Sunday 24th November 2013

Click below for report of the
British and Irish Masters Cross Country International !
at Cardiff on Saturday 16th November 2013

Click below for report of the
Saucony English National Cross Country Relays
at Mansfield on Saturday 2nd November 2013

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League ( 1 )
at Shibdon Pond, Blaydon on Saturday 26th October 2013

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North East Harrier League Sherman Cup / Davison Shield
at Tanfield on Saturday 28th September 2013

Click below for report of the
Sunderland Harriers Open Cross Country Races
at Sunderland on Saturday 7th September 2013

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Start Fitness North East Harrier League Sherman Cup / Davison Shield
Subject to any further results scrutiny, Morpeth Harriers Male squad won the Sherman Cup
competition at the Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League Meeting,
held at Temple Park Leisure Centre, South Shields on Saturday 25th October.

Not so fortunate however were the Morpeth Harriers Female section,
who could only finish sixth in the Davison Shield competition,
after only being able to finish in three of the five required age groups.

There were however some excellent Morpeth performances,
notably Nick Swinburn, who retained his Sherman Cup Senior Men’s title,
by once again inflicting defeat on his Elswick Harriers rival, Tadele Geremew.
Swinburn had beaten Geremew in the 2013 competition, and once again did so,
by breaking into a superb sprint effort in the last 50 metres that the
Ethiopian could not counter, and won by a breathtaking second.

Morpeth Harriers won the Senior Men’s team on the day, which added to the clubs total tally.
Nick was well supported by excellent runs by Lewis Timmins 5th, and Thomas Straughan 9th.
Just behind Thomas in tenth place, also producing what the watching Jim Alder
described as the clubs “Run of the Day” was Sam Hancox.

Other Morpeth Harriers Senior Men’s performances came from
Jordan Scott (19th), Andrew Richardson (217th),
Tony Holt (282nd), and Eric Adams (297th).

In addition to Swinburn, Morpeth Harriers also saw excellent wins produced
by Under 13 Girl Holly Peck, and new signing Under 17 Man Scott Beattie,
and second and third places respectively secured by Emma Holt and Kieran Hedley.

Holly Peck won with nine seconds to spare over her closest rival in the Under 13 Girls event,
and led Morpeth Harriers to third team place, with further team support coming from
Lily Heaton (29th), and Nicole Teasdale 30th.

Morpeth Harriers Under 17 Men finished second on the day,
although they were led home by Scott Beattie, who also enjoyed
a superb individual win by a margin of thirteen seconds,
he is still ineligible to count in team competition
following his transfer from Gosforth Harriers.
Had Beattie been eligible, Morpeth would definitely have won this age group.
Instead it was left to James Young (4th) to head the clubs scoring count,
being further supported by excellent runs by Jack Armstrong (10th), and Jacob Hopkins (12th).

Morpeth Harriers Senior Women finished as third team, being led home by Emma Holt (2nd),
with supporting runs coming from Josie Cram (6th) and Kate Chapman (53rd).

The Morpeth Harriers Male contingent contesting the Sherman Cup were
certainly having the better share of the spoils on the day,
as they secured a team win in the Under 15 Boys event,
despite new signing Taylor Glover who finished fourth,
still not being eligible to count following his transfer from Blyth.
Just ahead of him in third place was Kieran Hedley, who was only
fifteen seconds behind race winner Max Pearson of Tynedale.
Completing the Morpeth scoring tally were Adam Shewry (10th) and Joe Dowd (12th).
Other Morpeth Harriers placings in this event came from Josh Burton (22nd),
Connor Marshall (23rd), Jordan Hedgecock (27th), and Cameron Dick (31st).

Morpeth Harriers only other team results on the day came from their
Veteran Men and Veteran Women who finished seventh and fifteenth respectively.

The Men were led home by Paul Waterston, who was twelfth overall.
Further scoring counts were produced by Rob Hancox (19th), and Alistair MacDonald (57th).
Other Morpeth Harriers Veteran Men in action were Steve Haswell (215th),
Peter Scaife (222nd), Kevin Bray (235th), Les Cavill (248th),
and Andrew Stephenson (352nd).

Morpeth Harriers Veteran Women were led home by Gwenda Cavill (75th),
with supporting runs coming from Lesley Chapman (128th), and Sue Smith (129th).

The club can count itself very fortunate to win the Sherman Cup
on the back of some excellent performances by four of the counting
age groups in their Male section, however could have been out of the
reckoning on another day through the lack of turnout in their Under 13 Boys section,
where only two athletes toed the start line.

Ross Charlton finished tenth, with Thomas Cunningham two places behind him,
lack of a third runner could have proved costly, a factor which greatly disappointed
Team Manager Mike Bateman, after earlier promises of turnout had revealed no show.

Bateman was more disappointed however by the lack of turnout from the club in the younger age Females,
who rendered themselves with a no chance situation in the accompanying Davison Shield competition.
After promises of turnout, the club failed to finish as a team in the Under 15 Girls,
and Under 17/Under 20 Women’s section, where the athletes who did turn out
fought very bravely with very respectable performances.

Gracie Hufton continues to make very good progress in the
Under 15 Girls section where she finished 20th.
Abby Sheldon and Charlotte Jewell did well to finish tenth and eleventh
respectively in the Under 17/Under 20 Women’s section.

In a competition where the club have always medalled on previous occasions,
it was certainly disappointing to be let down by a few who did not fulfil promises made.

One area where Morpeth Harriers were subscribed well however
was in the non scoring Under 11’s event, where the club managed to
turn out a total of five athletes in the large field of 142 finishers.

The field in this event is now becoming so large that organisers
feel forced to run separate races for Boys and Girls in future.
Bobby Stone appears to have recaptured his form by finishing a superb second overall,
and he only lost out for victory by the slender margin of one second.
Dylan Davies was ninth Boy in twelfth place overall.
Next home for Morpeth Harriers was Rhiannon Hedley who was tenth girl in 23rd place.
She is steadily making her way back to better form following a troublesome virus.
Other Morpeth finishers were James Tilley (56th), and Josh Adams (57th).

Click here for Sherman Cup/Davison Shield Results

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Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League (1)
A record number of runners were granted excellent autumn sunshine
for the first Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League Meeting of the season,
held at East Cramlington Nature Reserve on Saturday 11th October.

Amongst them were a total of sixty athletes from the ranks of Morpeth Harriers,
and the club managed to secure two excellent team victories,
plus an excellent second place by their Under 15 Boys,
amongst some good individual performances, notably Jonny Taylor,
who marked his return to racing after a lengthy period of inactivity,
by easily recording the fastest Senior Men’s time of the day.
From a Fast Pack start, and giving five minutes to a good proportion
of the record near 600 strong field of finishers,
Taylor was the second home for the Morpeth Senior Men’s squad,
who finished fourth in the Division 1 section on a day
when all clubs were well endowed with key athletes.
He finished an excellent tenth overall.

Running in his very first Senior Harrier League race,
Elliot Kelly produced a superb performance to lead the Morpeth squad home,
finishing in third place overall from a Slow Pack start.
He led for two laps of the three lap event, and the fact that he ended up
as tenth overall fastest in the race speaks volumes on his individual effort.

Third home for the club was Thomas Straughan,
who finished 14th from the Medium Pack,
and was also one of the day’s top ten performers.

Another leading performer for Morpeth was Richard Morrell,
who finished as fourth from the club in 41st place from a Fast Pack start.

Fifth counter was Mark Snowball, who finished 94th from the Slow Pack,
and completing the scoring tally was Paul Waterston,
who finished 120th from the Medium Pack.

Other Morpeth Harriers Senior Men’s team performances came from
Sam Hancox (124th) (Fast Pack), Phil Walker (139th) (Medium Pack),
Rob Hancox (171st) (Medium Pack), Jim Alder (184th) (Slow Pack),
Alistair MacDonald (185th) (Slow Pack), Richard Kirby (260th) (Slow Pack),
Andrew Richardson (276th) (Slow Pack), Peter Scaife (297th) (Slow Pack),
Steve Haswell (302nd) (Slow Pack), Les Cavill (337th) (Slow Pack),
Paul Bellingham (346th) (Slow Pack), Mark Crosby (411th) (Slow Pack),
Chris Waugh (445th) (Slow Pack), and Andy Stephenson (485th) (Slow Pack).

Finishing sixth overall from the Slow Pack, Jacob Hopkins led Morpeth Harriers Under 17 Men
to team victory ahead of Sunderland Harriers and Gateshead Harriers.

He was closely followed home by new club-mate Jack Armstrong, who was seventh from the Slow Pack.
Completing the Morpeth winning tally was another newcomer James Young,
who was one of the fastest performers on the day when finishing tenth overall from the Fast Pack.
Although not one of the scoring three, another Morpeth Harriers newcomer
Adam Gibbs could feel well pleased with his efforts in finishing 16th from the Fast Pack.

Another of the Gibb’s family who could also feel well pleased with her day was his step-mum Victoria,
who when finishing fourth from the Slow Pack, led Morpeth Harriers Senior Women
to a resounding Division 2 team victory ahead of Jarrow and Hebburn and third placed Elswick Harriers.

The former Wallsend Harrier was having her first Harrier League
outing in the Blue and White vest since signing earlier this year.
Victoria was very well supported in the team’s victory by Josie Cram,
who ran superbly to finish sixth from the Slow Pack, Jane Hodgson,
who was fourth fastest overall when she finished 16th from the Fast Pack,
and Jane Briggs who also ran well from the Slow Pack, finishing two places behind Jane.

Although not amongst the scoring four, Morpeth’s Gwenda Cavill
could feel well pleased in her efforts to finish 58th from the Slow Pack
in a record breaking Senior Women’s field of a total of 333 finishers.

Having his very first outing as an Under 15 Boy in the Harrier League,
Morpeth Harriers Inter Counties Cross Country representative Joe Dowd
shrugged off any doubts as to whether he would cope with older opposition,
when he finished sixth from the Slow Pack, and led his club to second team place
on the day behind a strong Tynedale squad.

Joe was well supported in the squad’s efforts by newcomers
Jordan Hedgecock and Jamie Duguid, who were both having
their first taste of Harrier League competition.
They finished 25th and 26th respectively from the Slow Pack.

However another Morpeth Harrier who also did well was newcomer Connor Marshall.
The former Blyth youngster finished ninth from the Slow Pack,
however is still ineligible for team competition following his transfer.
Kieran Hedley of Morpeth Harriers was fifth fastest performer
on the day when finishing 29th from the Fast Pack.

Other Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Boys in action were
Cameron Dick (33rd) (Slow Pack), Lewis James (39th) (Slow Pack),
Josh Burton (47th) (Fast Pack), and Philip Kirby (50th) (Fast Pack).

Morpeth Harriers Under 17/Under 20 Women’s squad finished fourth on the day.
They were led home by Abby Sheldon, who ran well to finish eighth from the Slow Pack.
Charlotte Jewell finished 20th as the clubs second counter.
Running from the Fast Pack, she was twelfth fastest in a total field of 30 finishers.
Completing the Morpeth scoring tally was Amber Cormack,
who was 27th from the Fast Pack, and was fifteenth fastest overall.

Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Boys finished as sixth team on the day.
They were led home by Josh Nelson, who finished 14th from
the Slow Pack in an excellent total field of 65 finishers.
Second to finish for Morpeth was Ross Charlton,
who performed well when placing 26th from the Fast Pack,
and he emerged as sixth fastest on the day.
Completing the Morpeth scoring three was Sam Bradley,
who finished 37th from the Slow Pack.
Another Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Boys performer was Adam Kirby,
who finished in 51st place from the Slow Pack.

Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Girls finished in eighth team place on the day,
being led home by Lily Heaton, who was seventeenth from the Slow Pack.
One place behind Lily was club-mate Holly Peck, who ran superbly from the Fast Pack,
and was fourth fastest overall in a total field of 63 finishers.
Completing the Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Girls scoring tally was newcomer
Nicole Teasdale, who finished 52nd from the Slow Pack.
Another Morpeth newcomer Grace Bathgate finished 56th from the Slow Pack.

The only disappointment on the day however for Morpeth Harriers
was not being able to complete as a team in the Under 15 Girls event.
They did have athletes Kate Seymour and Gracie Hufton well up in
11th and 24th places from the Slow Pack in a total field of 51 finishers.

If they had managed to complete in this age group it would mean
that the club would have finished as a team in every age group,
which would have made a fine start for the season.

One event where Morpeth Harriers were supported however
was in the non scoring Under 11’s race, where the club had no
fewer than ten very enthusiastic participants in a 159 strong field of finishers.

The club had nine Boys and one Girl competitor facing the starter.
First to finish for the club was Dylan Davies, who was eighth.
Not far behind him in 15th place was another Dylan, Dylan Gooding.
Third Morpeth Harriers finisher was Bobby Stone, who was 38th.

Other Morpeth Harriers finishers in the Under 11’s event were
Callum Rowell (41st), Edward Kirby (46th), Elliot Cummings (52nd),
Joshua Adams (54th), James Tilley (58th), Amy Lott (64th), and Aaron Haldane (77th).

Many thanks go to Blyth Running Club for their organisation on the day.

Click here for Results

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Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League (6)
Thomas Cunningham, younger brother of Alex, certainly enjoyed his first taste of proper
Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League action on Saturday 22nd March
at Cardinal Hume School, Wrekenton, when he led Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Boys
home to second place on the day, and to a well deserved team title for the season.

Cunningham, who had run all of his previous races in the Under 11 Try it Cross Country events,
and had always finished prominently, was certainly undaunted as he finished fifth overall from the Slow Pack,
and 21st equal fastest time in the field of 60 finishers, some of whom were nearly two years older than himself,
including his older brother, who was also to share in the team count.

Ahead of the older Cunningham was Joe Dowd, who again proved outstanding,
by clocking the day’s second fastest time when finishing ninth, running from the Fast Pack,
who gave 80 seconds start to Slow Pack runners.

Alex was obviously overjoyed to share team glory with his younger sibling,
when he finished in 24th place from the Fast Pack, and posting the day’s tenth fastest time.

Other good efforts on the day for Morpeth Harriers in the Under 13 Boys event came from
Cameron Dick (32nd) (Fast Pack) (14th Fastest), Daniel Dixon (34th) (Fast Pack) (16th Fastest),
and Wilf Campbell (37th) (Fast Pack) (19th Fastest).

Amidst the joy of the Under 13 Boys League win, there was also bitter disappointment for Morpeth Harriers,
when their Senior Men lost out on a Division 1 title, mainly due to a lack of commitment from
other Senior Men club members, who chose not to turn out on the day, to give support to the
excellent efforts achieved throughout the season by some of the clubs more established A team athletes,
who were quite deservedly taking a weekend off, after a very heavy programme of activity,
involving some success at major championships.

Nevertheless one of those A team athletes Carl Avery was very hungry for action,
and success if he could manage it. He led Morpeth Harriers to tenth place on the day,
which unfortunately relegated them to third place overall for the season in Division 1,
behind winners Durham City, who were second on the day, with Tyne Bridge claiming second place,
by virtue of third place on the day.

Winners on the day in Division 1 were Sunderland Harriers,
who managed to escape relegation by virtue of the victory.

Avery, running from the Fast Pack, finished 23rd overall, and was the fourth fastest on the day.
Further excellent Morpeth team support came from Mick Thomsen (76th) (Medium Pack),
Sam Hancox (135th) (Fast Pack), Jim Alder (154th) (Slow Pack),
Geoff Whitman (196th) (Medium Pack), and Rob Hancox (223rd) (Medium Pack).

Also turning out on the day for the Morpeth Senior Men were Bill Tilley (284th) (Slow Pack),
Phillip Caldwell (285th) (Fast Pack), and Andrew Stephenson (397th) (Slow Pack).

Much credit goes to Sam Hancox, who has competed in all six Harrier League meetings,
plus the Sherman Cup competition this season, in addition to North Eastern, Northern,
English National, and UK Inter Counties Cross Country Championships,
showing a true clubman spirit throughout all, a superb effort from one still so young.

Adam Weightman of Morpeth Harriers had an excellent win from the Slow Pack in the Under 17 Mens event,
and he led his club to third team place on the day, with support coming from
Phil Winkler (9th) (Fast Pack), and Joe Elder (20th) (Fast Pack).
That placing saw them finish second team in the Under 17 Mens Grand Prix for the season.
Weightman and Winkler shared identical finishing times, that were both third fastest on the day out of 29 runners.

Fourth place on the day saw Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Boys finish as third cumulatively for the season.
They were led home by Jacob Hopkins, who certainly produced one of his best runs of the winter,
when he finished in seventh place from the Fast Pack,
posting the day’s fifth fastest overall time out of 33 on the course.

Not far behind Jacob was his club colleague Kieran Hedley,
who ran well to finish tenth from the Fast Pack, who posted the eighth fastest time.
Closing the Morpeth Harriers scoring count was Sam Williams,
who finished in 19th place from the Fast Pack, and was twelfth fastest overall.

Other Morpeth Harriers performers in the Under 15 Boys event were
Adam Shewry (24th) (Fast Pack), Lewis James (25th) (Slow Pack),
Josh Burton (31st) (Fast Pack), and Alex Dunlop (32nd) (Slow Pack).

Charlotte Jewell was Morpeth Harriers lone finisher in the combined Under 17/Under 20 Womens event.
Jewell competed well from the Fast Pack, to finish in eighth place, and as sixth fastest overall.
She was also fifth Under 17 finisher.
Morpeth Harriers placed as fourth team cumulatively for the season in this age group.

Running from the Slow Pack, Jessica Young-Rogers led Morpeth Harriers
Under 13 Girls home to fourth team place on the day by finishing eighth.
Giving good team support were Holly Peck, who was returning to the scene
of her excellent victory a few weeks previous, and Gracie Hufton,
in her second Harrier League outing in a Morpeth vest.
Peck finished 24th from the Fast Pack, and was eighth fastest overall.
Hufton finished 27th from the Slow Pack
. This result sees Morpeth Harriers in twelfth place cumulatively for the season in this age group.

Despite a recent heavy programme competitively, Morpeth Harrier Emma Holt
turned out to defend her crown in the Senior Womens Grand Prix with distinction.
Holt finished fourth from the Fast Pack, posting the day’s fastest time by some margin.
Also having a good run was her club colleague Jane Hodgson, who successfully posted
the day’s third fastest time when finishing fourteenth from the Fast Pack.
Hodgson also finished fourth in the Senior Womens individual Grand Prix for the season.

Once again Abby Sheldon was Morpeth Harriers only athlete in the Under 15 Girls event.
Sheldon’s performance saw her finish 12th, and she posted the eighth fastest time from the Fast Pack.

Finally Morpeth Harriers had three competitors taking part in the Under 11’s Try It Cross Country event.
Finishing an excellent 16th in a field of 100 finishers Rhiannon Hedley was third girl home.
Morpeth Harriers other finishers were Harry Hoggan, who placed 43rd, and Joshua Williams, who finished 63rd.

Several athletes from the club did well in the Individual Grand Prix standings for the season.
Not surprisingly Joe Dowd has won the Under 13 Boys section.
Alex Cunningham also did well by finishing ninth behind Dowd.

In the Under 15 Girls section Abby Sheldon is seventh.

The club have two athletes with good performances cumulatively in the Under 15 Boys section.
Kieran Hedley is sixth, and Jacob Hopkins is eighth.

In the Under 17/Under 20 Womens section, Charlotte Jewell is sixth,
and is either third or fourth Under 17, which is still to be confirmed.

Phillip Winkler and Ryan Green are third and fifth respectively in the Under 17 Mens section,
and in the Senior Mens section, Richard Morrell leads the performance table,
with Ade Whitwam and Thomas Straughan in fifth and ninth places respectively.

Click here for complete results
Click here for Final League Results

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Home Countries International Cross Country Championships !
Representing the North of England, Guildford based Morpeth Harrier Ashley Gibson returned to the
scene of her excellent English National Cross Country performance last month on Saturday 22nd March,
when she finished sixth in the Senior Womens event at the Home Countries International
Cross Country Championships, held at Wollaton Park, Nottingham.

Gibson finished just under a minute adrift of race winner Birchfield Harrier Catherine Blew, who was
representing the Midlands, and she led the North to second team place behind an England select squad.

Also competing at the event was her Morpeth Harriers club colleague Ady Whitwam,
who was representing the Army for a Combined Services Select Squad. Finishing 21st overall,
Whitwam was third counter for a squad which finished third behind an England select squad.

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UK Inter Counties Cross Country Championships !
For the fourth year in succession, and for the ninth time ever, the North East Counties won
a much prized set of team Gold medals in the Senior Mens 12k event,
at the highly competitive UK Inter Counties Cross Country Championships,
which were once again held on what has become the adopted home of the contest,
at Cofton Park, near Birmingham on Saturday 8th March.

That achievement proved to be the icing on the cake, and a fitting end to a day
where the regions other medal successes had earlier come individually in the Under 13 Boys 3k,
and Under 17 Womens 5k events, courtesy of the Silver Medals picked up by respective
English National Cross Country Champions from two weeks previous,
Josh Cowperthwaite of Middlesbrough Athletics Club, and Lydia Turner of Birtley AC.

Ironically Turner’s Birtley AC clubmate Kate Waugh, only narrowly missed out by eight
seconds for individual Bronze in the Under 15 Girls 4k event where she finished fourth.
Waugh did see compensation in the fact that she had picked up an award for her performances
in the series of UK Cross Challenges, of which the Cofton Park event served as the final.

It was fitting that the North East Senior Men were led home to their Gold tam success
by reigning North East and Northern Cross Country Champion Dan Garbutt,
who ran solidly throughout to finish ninth against top class opposition from all over England.

Garbutt was fully assisted by fellow members of a strong squad, who included
Morpeth Harriers Richard Morrell and Lewis Timmins, who placed 21st and 26th
respectively as the fourth and fifth counters of the required six to score.
Other Morpeth Harriers outside the scoring six, but still producing good sound
performances were Matthew Nicholson (42nd), and Ross Floyd (133rd).

Nevertheless all of the regions athletes finished in the top half of a 276 strong field of finishers,
who were led home by Middlesex’s National Silver Medallist, and British Student’s Champion
Richard Goodman of Woodford Green, who just managed on this occasion to outsprint
National Champion Steve Vernon of Greater Manchester and Stockport.
Ironically although Vernon has won English National titles, he is yet to win an Inter Counties.

Other counters in the successful North East Senior Mens squad were
Yared Hagos (Wallsend Harriers) (18th), Carl Smith (Leeds City) (19th),
and Ben Douglas (Durham City) (39th).
Also running in the Senior Mens event was Morpeth Harrier Nathan Shrubb,
who ran superbly to finish 22nd, and led his newly adopted county Dorset, to 19th team spot.

The next best team result for the region came from the Under 17 Women in their 5k event.
Led home by the aforementioned Turner, they finished fourth, only losing out for Bronze by thirteen points behind
Cheshire, who were led home by Turner’s conqueror Harriet Knowles Jones.
Producing one of her most excellent performances ever, Charlotte Jewell came through
to claim the final fourth counters spot, when finishing a well earned 77th place out of 260 finishers,
and well ahead of some of her more well acclaimed North East rivals, that just happened to include her Morpeth
Harriers clubmate Alison Brown, who later admitted to feeling tired in the closing stages,
mainly due to a lack of fitness in having been unable to train successfully for a couple of weeks due to injury.
Brown finished in 155th place, however remained upbeat, and pleased for her clubmate Jewell.

One of the region’s most solid team performances on the day, came from their Senior Women,
who battled well in their 8k event, which boasted a 270 strong field of finishers.
Led home by Durham’s Rosie Smith, who was so close to an individual medal
when she finished sixth, the squad finished seventh.
Morpeth Harrier Emma Holt ran strongly to finish 36th as second counter,
with further scoring performances coming from Alex Snook (Jarrow) (47th),
Tracey Millmore (Birtley AC) (71st), Rachel Lundgren (Gosforth) (82nd),and Elaine Leslie (Jarrow) (91st).

Running what was probably the best performance of his young life, Morpeth Harrier Sam Hancox
can take much pride and pleasure from the fact that he came through as the fourth and final counter,
for the North East Under 20 Mens squad in their 8k event, which opened the ten event programme.

Using exactly the same tactics he had successfully employed two weeks previously at Nottingham
in the English National Championships, Sam started very steadily not far from the rear of the field,
however still found time in the two and a half lap event to work his way through to finish
in a much credited 71st place in a field of 177finishers.
The North East finished as ninth team in this event, with Hancox giving very able team support
to the front running efforts of Adrian Bailes (52nd), Jonathan Currie (60th), and Jordan Bell (65th).

Another ninth team placing came from the regions Under 13 Boys in their 3k event.
They were led home by individual Silver medallist Cowperthwaite, and Morpeth Harriers
Inter Counties debutant Joe Dowd ran superbly to finish 113th out of 300 finishers
to close the North East scoring count in the four to score event.

Another superb Morpeth Harriers performer for the North East was Elliot Kelly,
who finished in 81st place in the Under 17 Mens 6k event, and was the fourth
and final scoring counter for a squad that finished as fourteenth in a very tough
and competitive participating field of 266 finishers.
With very little Cross Country events left for him this campaign, Kelly effectively ran out of his skin
to achieve this excellent performance, and successfully locked horns with counterparts who have
had the better of him competitively recently, notably fellow North Easterner, Gateshead’s James Cripwell,
who was only one place ahead of him in the final results, with the same recorded time.

Not so fortunate however was Kelly’s Morpeth clubmate Nathan Cox.
The North East Under 17 Mens Champion unfortunately suffered an asthma attack
during the early proceedings of the two lap contest and was forced to slow considerably.
Cox eventually finished in 105th place.

Other good North East team performances came from the Under 15 Boys,
who finished as fifth team in their 4.5k event, the Under 20 Women,
who finished as sixth team in their 6k event, the Under 15 Girls led by
fourth placed Waugh, who finished tenth team, and finally the regions
Under 13 Girls who finished as thirteenth team.
There were no Morpeth Harriers in these squads.

With a total of 80 points collectively from the ten programmed events,
in which the North East Counties finished as a team in all, the region finished
as third team behind winners Yorkshire, and second placed Surrey.

Congratulations go to the respective North East Team Managers for their
efforts in pulling their squads together to produce a superb overall result.

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Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League (5)
Joe Dowd’s emphatic victory in the Under 13 Boys event, at the fifth and penultimate
Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League meeting at Alnwick on Saturday 1st March,
must go down as not only Morpeth Harriers best performance on the day,
but also ranks as one of the clubs best performances by one of their younger age group athletes for some time.

Running from the fast pack, and giving eighty seconds start to a good proportion of a 61 strong field of finishers,
Dowd devoured all in front of him, as he got round the hilly circuit on the pastures on the North side of Alnwick
Castle, to eventually take victory by four seconds over his closest rival.

He won a Harrier League Gold medal on the day for his efforts,
and also led his clubs Under 13 Boys squad to an on the day team victory,
which puts now them in a very prominent position going into the final fixture later in March,
which is being re-routed to Wrekenton.

Supporting Dowd in the Morpeth Harriers team victory on Saturday
were Wilf Campbell (6th) (Slow Pack), and Ross Charlton (12th) (Fast Pack).
In addition to the scoring three, Morpeth Harriers enjoyed seeing creditable
performances from other Under 13 Boy athletes.
Not far behind the aforementioned Ross Charlton came Daniel Dixon,
who ran well from the Fast Pack to finish fifteenth, and was eleventh fastest on the course.
Twelfth fastest, and finishing nineteenth overall was Alex Cunningham (Fast Pack).

Other Morpeth Under 13 Boys performances were as follows
Adam Kirby (31st) (Slow Pack), Cameron Dick (32nd) (Fast Pack),
Robbie Dunlop (52nd) (Slow Pack), and Robbie Elder (54th) (Slow Pack).

Another team victory on the day for Morpeth, was achieved by their Under 17 Men,
which also saw an individual winner for the club in Jarod Lewis,
who took victory by fifteen seconds from the Slow Pack.

Jarod was supported in the team victory by a very much fit again
North Eastern Under 17 Mens Cross Country Champion Nathan Cox,
who finished fifth from the Fast Pack as third fastest overall,
and Phillip Winkler (7th) (Fast Pack), who was fifth fastest.

Other Morpeth Under 17 Men running at Alnwick were,
Ryan Green, who finished eleventh from the Fast Pack,
and was seventh fastest on the course,
and Joe Elder, who finished 29th from the Fast Pack.

Running from the Medium Pack, and clocking the fifth fastest time overall,
Carl Avery led the Morpeth Harriers Senior Men home for the second time
in the Harrier League, when he came through to finish third overall.

Unfortunately on this occasion Morpeth Harriers couldn’t clinch another team victory on the day in Division 1,
just being outrun by Tyne Bridge; however they still remain on top respectively on the season.

Further team support came from Lewis Timmins (8th) (Fast Pack) (2nd Fastest),
Richard Morrell (12th) (Fast Pack) (4th Fastest), Rob Hancox (34th) (Slow Pack),
David Steel (49th) (Slow Pack), Mick Thomsen (76th) (Medium Pack).

Although they were outside the scoring sextet, the following Morpeth Harriers battled hard throughout
to gain very respectable placings in the Senior Mens event, which had a total of 427 finishers on the day.
Phil Walker, who had led the clubs Veteran Men to Gold medals at the British Masters 10 mile Championships
at Maryport, Cumbria, the previous Sunday, ran well from the Medium Pack to finish 97th.
Not far behind him, and also from the Medium Pack was Paul Waterston,
who had also been a member of the winning team at Maryport,
along with the aforementioned Mick Thomsen, Paul finished in 104th place.

Jim Alder who had also competed well at Maryport,
was next Morpeth Harrier home, finishing 119th from the Slow Pack.

Running from the Fast Pack, Sam Hancox battled hard throughout to finish in 123rd place.

Geoff Whitman, who was having his first run in the Medium Pack,
and he did well to come through to 160th place.
Despite still carrying a shin injury, Richard Kirby battled through
the pain barrier to finish in 258th place from the Slow Pack.
Having his first outing in a Morpeth vest, Andy Stephenson
battled to finish 376th from the Slow Pack.

Emma Holt and Jane Hodgson of Morpeth Harriers, both produced excellent
runs to finish 3rd and 6th in the Senior Women’s event,
and were fastest and third fastest in the race.
Unfortunately the club could not muster a third supporting team counter on the day,
which has more than likely ruled out any promotion chances from Division 2.

Morpeth Harriers two Under 15 Girls Lizzie Rank and Abby Sheldon both performed well in their event.
While Lizzie stuck to the task in hand by finishing fourth from the Slow Pack,
Abby finished eleventh overall from the Fast Pack, posting the eighth fastest time on the day,
which sees her looking prominent in the seasons Grand Prix standings.

It was good to see Morpeth Harriers with a finishing team, which placed eighth in the Under 13 Girls event.
They were led home by Kate Seymour, who finished 19th overall from the Fast Pack, and was eighth fastest.
Two places behind her was Holly Peck, who was promoted for her first run in the Fast Pack,
following her outstanding victory in the previous meeting at Wrekenton. Holly was ninth fastest in the race.
Completing the scoring trio was club newcomer Gracie Hufton, recently transferred from Blyth Running Club,
who despite losing a shoe, and rallied through to finish in 42nd place from the Slow Pack.

Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Boys squad finished fourth,
being led home by Kieran Hedley (10th) (Fast Pack),
closely followed home by Jacob Hopkins (11th) (Fast Pack),
with Sam Williams (19th) (Fast Pack), completing the scoring trio.
This squad did well in terms of turnout, as in addition to the scoring three,
they also saw creditable runs from Adam Shewry (25th) (Fast Pack),
Josh Burton (27th) (Fast Pack), Lewis James (33rd) (Slow Pack),
and Alex Dunlop (36th) (Slow Pack).

Having just been made aware of her selection as a late replacement
in the North East’s Under 17 Women’s team for this weekend’s
Inter Counties Cross Country Championships, being held in Birmingham,
Morpeth Harrier Charlotte Jewell celebrated by finishing eighth in her race
from the Fast Pack, and coming home as seventh fastest in the event.

The Under 11’s non scoring Try it Cross Country saw
Morpeth Harriers field nine athletes amongst the 114 finishers.
Leading performers were Thomas Cunningham (5th) (5th Boy), Bobby Stone (8th) (8th Boy),
and Rhiannon Hedley (17th) (4th Girl).
Other Morpeth performances came from Dylan Gooding (31st), Josh Gair (35th),
Edward Kirby (39th), Callum Rowell (54th), Joshua Williams (59th),
and Jordan Bowling – Mowatt (67th), and Owen Bowling Mowatt (87th).

The event was held in sunshine with very little wind to trouble competitors, and conditions
although there were some muddy patches, the majority of the course was relatively dry.

Thanks must go to Jim Lillico and Sue Bolam and their team at Alnwick Harriers
for hosting a successful event on behalf of the North Eastern Harrier League.

The nine race programme was enjoyed by a total of 1,012 finishers.

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2014 English National Cross Country Championships !
Elegant Wollaton Hall, with its picturesque surrounding parkland in Nottingham,
provided an excellent backdrop for the annual English National Cross Country Championships,
once again sponsored by Saucony, which were held on Saturday 22nd February.

Over 7,500 enthusiastic runners from all over England descended on the venue,
which had previously been used for the Inter Counties Championships,
but never a “National,”, as it’s affectionately known, and the local Corporation
with the added expertise of Notts AC official Mick Robinson, had designed a new course,
which very largely gained the approval of those who were participating in the ten event programme.

Apart from a couple of areas which had turned boggy, the ground was in remarkably good condition,
however in the later stages the heavy areas became very apparent, and several participants either fell in deep mud,
or lost shoes during action, nevertheless the fresh areas that were found, were largely appreciated by the masses.

Morpeth Harriers were defending the Senior Mens title, that they won in slightly
more difficult snowy and sludgy conditions at Herrington Country Park,
in Sunderland twelve months previously, however their hopes were dealt
an early blow with leading runner Jonny Taylor having to drop out at the eleventh hour with illness,
which was also a blow to the runner himself, after establishing a superb run of form
from some top quality International events since early January.

With Taylor out, it was a tremendous mountain to climb in order to retain the title,
and disappointingly those hopes were further dented when other leading Morpeth participants,
Richard Morrell, Peter Newton, and Matt Nicholson were all forced out during the action in their 12k event.

With Morrell and Newton it had been illness in the week leading up to the championships,
and Nicholson had fallen foul to a troublesome hamstring injury
that he had sustained during the Northern Championships last month.

However on the plus side, Morpeth were led home superbly by a very strong,
and very much true to form run by Nick Swinburn, who once again found himself
unlucky to miss out on an individual medal, by all of a mere nine seconds.
Swinburn finished fourth, after always been in the leading group over the tough three lap circuit,
and only lost out owing to the strength of those at close quarters to him,
notably winner Steve Vernon of Stockport Harriers, who is also Swinburn’s
England Mountain Running colleague as well as his GB team captain,
Southern and British University Champion Richard Goodman of Shaftesbury Barnet,
and young Andy Hayes of Hallamshire.

Morpeth Harriers eventually emerged as sixth Senior Mens team,
and also second from the North of England, behind their fierce rivals Leeds City,
who also found Bedford and County, and event hosts Notts AC too good for them on the day.

Swinburn was well supported in the team effort however by Lewis Timmins,
fresh from a warm weather stint in Portugal with his coach Lindsey Dunn,
who ran strongly throughout to finish in 34th place.

Ade Whitwam in his first National Cross Country for Morpeth,
also supported well by finishing in 53rd place.
Nathan Shrubb (83rd), and Ross Floyd (91st),
ran strongly and closely throughout to finish as Morpeth’s fourth and fifth counters.

The club’s scoring count was completed by Ian Harding,
who now looks to have regained some of his better form.
Harding finished in 112th place.

A great deal of praise is to be given to the runs of those who also turned out
to face the challenge for Morpeth Harriers on the day, although who were non scorers.

Andrew Lawrence, who despite taking a tumble during the proceedings,
battled on to remain in the top end of the 1600 plus field, and finished in 180th place.
Thomas Straughan, always Mr reliable, who ran well throughout to finish in 231st place,
and was closely followed home in 233rd place by John Butters,
who indeed had one of the clubs best runs of the day.
Fergus Bates (360th), Geoff Whitman (701st), and Rob Hancox (713th),
also produced excellent creditable performances, by each of them ensuring
that they stayed in the top half of a strong field.

After being the early pacesetter in the Senior Womens two lap 8k Championship,
Morpeth Harrier Ashley Gibson settled for a very creditable 13th place,
finishing just a minute adrift of the individual medals, which were claimed by Gemma Steel (Charnwood),
Steph Twell (Aldershot and Farnham), and her club colleague Lily Partridge,
who just managed to outpace the first Northerner Katie Brough of Vale Royal.
Gibson was the fourth placed athlete from a Northern club.

Morpeth Harriers emerged as 27th Senior Womens team, and sixth from the North,
with further team support to Gibson coming from Emma Holt (42nd),
Kate Chapman (329th), and Gwenda Cavill (379th).
In addition to the scorers Lesley Chapman competed, and finished in 480th place.
708 finishers competed in the Senior Womens event.

Morpeth Harriers only other team performance came from their very much below strength
Under 13 Boys squad, who battled bravely through their 3k one lap event to finish as 38th team.
Lacking Joe Dowd, Will Sibson, and Cameron Dick, they were always going to be up
against the odds in the team battle, and it was the oldest of their squad Alex Cunningham
who was first home for them, finishing in 230th place.
Ross Charlton can feel well pleased that he finished the event,
in comparison to his Northern Championship experience, where he had failed to finish following the loss of a shoe.
This time round Charlton did well, and finished only five seconds adrift of Cunningham in 241st place.
Third counter for Morpeth in this age group was young Wilf Campbell, who finished 305th.
Nursing a painful injury Matthew Waterfield battled through to
finish in 367th place to complete the Morpeth scoring tally.

On to the individual performances, and the best of these belonged to Charlotte Jewell,
who ran well despite the odd muddy experience, to come home in 79th place
out of 211 finishers in the Under 17 Womens 5k event, that was superbly won by
fellow North Easterner Lydia Turner of Birtley, who in addition led her club to very first National team title.
Jewell can also take some pleasure from the fact that she was also eighth from the North East region.

Another good Morpeth Harriers performance came from Elliot Kelly,
who finished a good 91st out of 272 finishers in the Under 17 Mens 6k Championship.
Kelly was also fourth from the North East.

Not so fortunate however was his Morpeth club colleague Phillip Winkler,
who after taking a tumble in the mud on the now fast deteriorating heavy sections of the course,
struggled to make up lost ground on what had been an excellent placing,
and bravely battled through to finish in 148th place.

Morpeth Harriers sole competitor in the Junior Mens 10k Championship Sam Hancox,
battled resolutely throughout his race, to finish in a very creditable 105th place,
in a top class event won by Reading AC International Jonathan Davies,
who just outsprinted Birchfield’s former Sunderland Harrier,
and former Northern Champion Weynay Ghebresillasie to the finish line.

In her very first National, Morpeth Harrier Abby Sheldon thoroughly braved the mud in her
Under 15 Girls 4k Championship, to finish in a very creditable 165th place out of 355 finishers.

After a very strong start, Morpeth’s Adam Shewry finished in 277th place
in the Under 15 Boys 4.5k Championship.

Thankfully in contrast to recent weeks, apart from strong windy moments,
runners endured near ideal cross country conditions, with sunny intervals throughout,
and believe it or not, “ not a single drop of rain to be seen.”

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Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League (4)
Some excellent front running by Carl Avery, spearheaded an equally brilliant winning performance
by Morpeth Harriers Senior Men, at the wind affected fourth Start Fitness North Eastern
Harrier League meeting, held at Cardinal Hume School, Wrekenton, Gateshead on Saturday 8th February.

Avery, who competed for the club when he was a youngster, only returned to the sport recently,
and certainly produced an eye-catching performance, as he claimed his victory with
69 seconds to spare over his closest rival.

Leading from the gun in the Slow Pack, he quickly established a healthy advantage, which he
maintained throughout the three laps, and his victory was further enhanced by the added
knowledge that he had clocked the eighth fastest time overall in the 450 plus strong field.

Avery will certainly take good stock of his victory, and progress now
to be a leading player for Morpeth Harriers, his boyhood club, and will prove
to be a most welcome acquisition to their already very strong squad.

That strength was certainly proved, as Morpeth Harriers Senior Men maintained
their leadership in the Division 1 table, by having no less than eleven athletes
in the top 100 on the course, and their six required counters all within the first 25.

Supporting Avery in the team count was firstly Richard Morrell, who was easily
the fastest on the day, by coming through from the Fast Pack to finish a superb fifth.

Third counter was Ross Floyd, who also produced a superb run
from the Fast Pack to finish 14th, and as fifth fastest overall.

Fourth man home was Blaydon Harrier League winner Ade Whitwam, who now looks
fully recovered from the injury he picked up in the Morpeth New Years Day Road Race.
Also running from the Fast Pack, Whitwam ran the seventh fastest time to finish in 17th place.

Next home was young Sam Hancox, who is clearly warming up for his forthcoming
Inter Counties appearance for the North East Under 20 Mens squad.
Running from the Medium Pack, Sam finished in 20th place.

Closing the scoring count for Morpeth Harriers was Fergus Bates,
who finished 23rd from the Medium Pack, just one place and seven
seconds ahead of clubmate John Butters, also running from the Medium Pack.
Not far behind Bates and Butters was another Morpeth Harrier Geoff Whitman,
who finished 29th from the Slow Pack.

As a result of the excellent aforementioned performances, Hancox, Bates and Butters
now see themselves promoted to the Fast Pack, and Whitman goes to the Medium Pack.

Other Morpeth Harriers Senior Mens performances were as follows
Rob Hancox (53rd) (Slow Pack), Thomas Straughan (83rd) (Fast Pack),
Phil Walker (98th) (Medium Pack), Michael Dawson (104th) (Fast Pack),
Paul Waterston (112th) (Medium Pack), Phillip Caldwell (213th) (Fast Pack),
Neil Gunstone (227th) (Fast Pack), Bill Tilley (251st) (Slow Pack),
and Les Cavill (253rd) (Slow Pack).

For Tilley, Saturday’s run also marked a return to the sport with his club,
having been a prominent runner in the 90’s with them.

On the team front, Morpeth Harriers Senior Men finished forty one points clear of Durham City,
with Tyne Bridge Harriers a further nineteen points adrift in third place in Division 1.

Avery’s individual win was one of four for Morpeth Harriers on an excellent performance day for the club,
and in the Senior Women’s event, Emma Holt took great pleasure in winning over two laps from the Fast Pack,
and was clearly the fastest runner on the course. She won with nineteen seconds to spare over her closest rival,
and was the fastest by seventy three seconds.

Second counter for Morpeth Harriers was Jane Hodgson, who continues
to make steady progress in her comeback to competition.
Jane finished in 25th place from the Fast Pack,
and was the seventh fastest overall in the field of 216 finishers.

Morpeth Harriers Senior Women’s team count for sixth place in Division 2
was completed with Gwenda Cavill finishing 73rd from the Slow Pack.

Another Morpeth Harriers winner was Matthew Waterfield, who led the clubs
Under 13 Boys home to a narrow team victory over Tynedale Harriers.
Running from the Slow Pack, Matthew won with twelve seconds to spare over his closest rival.

However the performance of the day for Morpeth Harriers in this age group
was undoubtedly that of Joe Dowd who clocked the fastest time to finish fourth
from the Fast pack, narrowly missing out on an on the day Harrier League medal by two seconds.

Another good run which closed the Morpeth Harriers winning team count was that of Cameron Dick,
who finished 15th from the Fast Pack, and was sixth fastest overall on the day.
Other Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Boys performances came from Ross Charlton (23rd) (Fast Pack),
Alex Cunningham (24th) (Fast Pack), and Robbie Dunlop (37th) (Slow Pack).

Holly Peck’s outstanding run in the Under 13 Girls event brought
her an excellent and perhaps surprising individual victory.
Surprising in that, having only just become 11 year old in November,
she was running against opponents, some of whom were nearly two years older,
and that her victory was achieved with thirty four seconds to spare over her closest rival.
Holly’s achievement was further enhanced by the fact that she
was also fifth fastest in the 57 strong field of finishers.

Only a one point margin deprived Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Boys
of a team win at the hands of Durham City.
They were led home by a much rejuvenated Kieran Hedley,
who thankfully now seems to have put his heel injury worries behind him.
Hedley superbly finished in fifth place from the Fast Pack,
and can take much needed confidence from the fact that
he was fourth fastest in the field of 30 finishers.

Jacob Hopkins was Morpeth Harriers second counter in this event,
and he can take added confidence from the fact that he was eighth fastest
overall when he finished twelfth from the Fast Pack.
Completing the scoring three for Morpeth was Adam Shewry who
finished 20th from the Fast Pack, and was 13th fastest.
Other Morpeth Harriers performances in the Under 15 Boys event came
from Josh Burton (23rd) (Fast Pack), Sam Williams (24th) (Fast Pack),
Lewis James (25th) (Slow Pack), and Alex Dunlop (29th) (Slow Pack).

Phillip Winkler continued his steady progress back after a short bout of illness,
and he produced a superb performance to emerge as third fastest in the
Under 17 Mens event, when he finished seventh from the Fast Pack.
Running from the Slow Pack, his Morpeth Harriers club colleague
Joe Elder finished tenth, in the finishing field of 22.

Another small field was that of the Under 17/Under 20 Women’s event.
However Morpeth Harriers two performers Louise Brett, and English Schools
bound Charlotte Jewell certainly gave good account for themselves.

Normally a sprinter, Louise persevered well in the wind and mud,
to finish in ninth place overall from the Slow Pack.

Charlotte also came through well to finish 13th from the Fast Pack,
and was ninth fastest overall in the field of 26 finishers.

Another Morpeth Harrier who competed well in the conditions was Abby Sheldon,
who finished 14th in the Under 15 Girls event, and was ninth fastest in the field of 31 finishers.

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North Eastern Counties Athletics Association Cross Country Championships !
Nearly 900 runners took part in the 108th North East Counties Cross Country Championships,
held at a cold and windy Temple Park Leisure Centre, South Shields on Saturday 14th December,
with the Senior Men 12.4k and Senior Womens 8.41k events attracting near record fields.

The last time that numbers had reached such heights was in 2011,
when the 2010 Championships were held in the January,
again at Temple Park, because of severe snowfall in December.

The nine race programme commenced at 11.00am with the Under 13 Boys 3.1k event,
and it brought Morpeth Harriers the first of the eventual three sets of team medals
that they were to win on the day. Ironically the club won only one individual medal,
however they were to experience a few near misses on that score.

The individual medal was won by Nathan Cox, who also had the added pleasure
in leading his clubs Under 17 Mens squad to a most welcome team Gold.
Cox took his time to establish his lead in their 6.1k two lap event; however he chose his
moment well to stride away to a well earned victory over Birtley’s Tom Goulding.

His winning margin was fifteen seconds, and he was well supported in the
team victory by Elliot Kelly, who came through excellently to finish seventh,
and Phillip Winkler, who looks to be nearing his better form with his ninth placing.
Cox, Kelly and Winkler also look likely candidates to be considered by the selectors
for the North East team to compete at the Inter Counties in Birmingham in March.
Morpeth Harriers other runner in this event was Joe Elder, who finished in 28th place.
Unfortunately Ryan Green had been forced out of the event with illness.
Second and third team places went to Gateshead Harriers and Tynedale.

Team Gold was also celebrated by Morpeth Harriers Senior Men in their three lap 12.4k event,
who had no fewer than eleven runners within the top thirty finishers,
and their scoring six in the top ten. What is most amazing is that the club just didn’t
manage to land an individual medal in the event which they dominated.

Leading the Morpeth charge was Olympian Nick McCormick,
who was having his first Cross country outing in two years,
and he was certainly the closest to a medal,
just being pipped by Wallsend’s Yared Hagos by a mere two seconds.

Ethiopian Hagos had certainly been desperate to claim a medal,
having seen his chances of Gold and Silver dashed by Dan Garbutt of Durham City,
and Stockport’s Jack Martin, formerly with Sunderland Harriers.

Whilst McCormick was disappointed not to claim an individual medal,
he was delighted to lead his club to a superb team victory,
with excellent support coming from Nick Swinburn (5th), Peter Newton (6th),
Lewis Timmins (7th), Richard Morrell (8th), and Matthew Nicholson (10th).
Outside the counters, the event also saw good runs by Karl Taylor (15th),
Jordan Scott (16th), Andrew Lawrence (23rd), and Thomas Straughan (24th).
Ross Floyd unfortunately felt a little under par when he finished 28th.
Other Morpeth Harriers Senior Men competing were Mick Thomsen (48th),
Paul Waterston (50th), and Rob Hancox (117th).

Unfortunately one of Morpeth Harriers key runners Ryan Stephenson
was forced to pull out near the end of the first lap, as he slipped and
collided with a marker post, which caused a muscle strain.

Morpeth Harriers Senior Mens Team Manager could feel very happy with his charges
following this performance, and they look well on course to defend their
English National Cross Country title in February.

Several members of the squad will also be under consideration for
the Inter Counties following these performances.
Runners up in the Senior Mens team race were Gateshead Harriers,
with the Bronze medals going to Durham City, led home by winner Garbutt.

A particularly pleasing result on the day for Morpeth Harriers was the Silver
team medals achieved by their Under 13 Boys squad in their 3k event,
who were unfortunately minus the services of one of their leading lights Alex Cunningham, due to illness.

They were led home by a very much man in form Joe Dowd,
who very nearly helped himself to an individual Bronze medal,
when he finished fourth, just losing out by a mere two seconds at the finish line.
Joe was well supported in the Morpeth Harriers team effort by Will Sibson (8th), and Cameron Dick (22nd).
Just outside the scoring three was Matthew Waterfield, who finished in 24th place.
Other finishers for Morpeth Harriers in this event were Ross Charlton (38th),
and Josh Nelson (50th), who did well in his first competitive outing for the club.
First team place went to Middlesbrough (Mandale).

The combined Under 17/Under 20 Womens 4.7k event saw Morpeth Harriers finish as fifth team.
Having no Under 20 athletes making the start line,
the clubs three scoring Under 17’s did well against some older rivals.
Leading them home was Alison Brown, who ran well to finish fourteenth overall,
and was seventh in her age group. Charlotte Jewell and Amber Cormack
completed the Morpeth Harriers scoring count when finishing in twenty third
and twenty fifth places respectively, and 13th and 14th in their age group.

The Under 15 Girls 3.9k event saw Morpeth Harriers finish as seventh team.
They were led home by Abby Sheldon, who having joined the club earlier this year
was competing in her very first Cross Country Championship.
Abby did well to finish seventeenth in a total finishing field of 43 runners.
Lizzie Rank (21st), and Georgia Priest (43rd) completed the Morpeth Harriers scoring count.

Eighth team place was achieved by Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Girls in their 3.1k event.
Leading them home was Kate Seymour, who battled well throughout to finish in twelfth place.
In her very first Championship, and running a year young to most of her rivals,
Holly Peck ran well and solidly to finish an excellent 27th in a field of 70 finishers,
to be her clubs second counter.
Completing the scoring count was Harriet Priest, who finished 65th.
Unfortunately the club were shorn of the services of Ailsa Jones (family bereavement),
otherwise this age group would have probably finished higher in the team results.

This factor also ruled out Ailsa’s elder brother Euan, who would have competed in the
Under 15 Boys 3.9k event, where Morpeth were already somewhat weakened by the
loss of Kieran Hedley, who unfortunately had to once again surrender to a most troublesome heel injury.
Morpeth Harriers did eventually come through to finish in tenth team place.
They were led home by Jacob Hopkins, who by his own admission
had a below par run when finishing in 20th place in a 49 strong field of finishers.
Further team support came from Adam Shewry (31st), and Samuel Williams (42nd).

Morpeth Harriers Senior Women finished in eleventh team place in their 8.4k event.
They were led home by Emma Holt, who finished just outside the individual medals in fourth place.
The other scoring counts came from Kate Chapman (60th), and Gwenda Cavill (80th).
Morpeth Harriers other finisher in this event was Claire Bruce, who was 104th.

A very late withdrawal rendered the Morpeth Harriers Under 20 Mens squad incomplete,
and this was the only age group where the club failed to score.
Had they managed to muster a third runner the club could have
possibly gained more team medals in their 8.41k event,
because the two who ran, Sam Hancox and Phil Caldwell
finished well in 12th and 16th places respectively.

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Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League ( 3 )
It took a very determined squad effort by Gateshead Harriers, to prevent reigning champions,
and event hosts Morpeth Harriers, from achieving another rampant Senior Mens Division 1
team victory at the third Start Fitness sponsored North Eastern Harrier League meeting,
held for the very first time at Wallington in Northumberland on Saturday 30th November.

Popularity surrounding the event, resulted in unprecedented parking problems at the venue,
which meant that in the early stages organisers were forced to call a temporary halt to affairs,
to allow for traffic to be placed inside the course area.

Thanks must go to the Staff of National Trust and Wallington
for their kind assistance and understanding during this difficulty

In order to be able to complete the nine race programme successfully
the organisers also had to shorten the Under 17 Mens
and Under 17/Under 20 Womens events to one lap from two.

Eventually the final event of the day, the Senior Mens 3 Lap race,
got underway at 14.55, some 40 minutes behind schedule,
however it did not take long for athletes to get well into their stride on the
course which covered the pastures, woodland, and pond areas of resplendent Wallington.

It is doubtful whether many of the front runners would stop to take notice
of the environment as they got round the three lap circuit in around thirty five minutes.

One of those front runners was Morpeths Richard Morrell,
who posted the second fastest time of the day from his Fast Pack start
to come home in sixth place, as the clubs first counter,
his finishing time only being bettered by Cameron Boyek of Shildon,
who was first home, and had started from the Slow Pack,
boasting a five minute handicap start on Morrell.

Morrell led Morpeth Harriers to second team place on the day,
with further support coming from Ade Whitwam,
who has progressed to the Fast Pack from Slow in the first two fixtures.
Whitwam was third fastest on the day when he finished in ninth place overall.

Third counter for Morpeth Harriers was Ross Floyd,
who was fifth fastest when finishing twelfth from the Fast Pack.

Finishing in fifteenth place from the Slow pack was Phil Walker,
who is certainly returning to form.
He was Morpeth’s fourth counter.

Completing the Morpeth scoring six were Sam Hancox (46th) (Medium Pack),
and Fergus Bates (50th) (Medium Pack).

Other Morpeth Harriers Senior Mens performances came from
Mick Thomsen (55th) (Medium Pack), Rob Hancox (74th) (Slow Pack),
Thomas Straughan (81st) (Fast Pack), Geoff Whitman (118th) (Slow Pack),
Paul Waterston (141st) (Medium Pack), Neil Gunstone (177th) (Fast Pack),
Jim Alder (183rd) (Slow Pack), Tony Holt (241st) (Slow Pack),
Les Cavill (276th) (Slow Pack), and Richard Kirby (300th) (Slow Pack).

Running the second fastest time of the day from the Fast Pack,
Morpeth Harrier Emma Holt finished fifth overall behind
International Alyson Dixon of Sunderland Strollers,
and led her club to a superb Senior Ladies Division 2 team victory.

Further team support came from Lorna MacDonald (11th) (Medium Pack),
and the returning Jane Hodgson, who ran excellently from the Medium Pack to finish
20th overall, in her first race following the birth of her first child earlier in the year.

Other Morpeth Harriers Senior Ladies performances came from
Rachel McCoy (148th) (Slow Pack), Lesley Chapman (151st) (Slow Pack),
and Claire Walker (167th) (Slow Pack).

Another team victory on the day for Morpeth Harriers came from their Under 13 Boys squad,
who are really starting to blossom into a very useful squad.
They were led home by Daniel Dixon, who finished seventh from the Slow Pack.
Not far behind Daniel was clubmate Ross Charlton, who finished ninth from the Slow Pack.

Completing the Morpeth Harriers scoring trio was Joe Dowd,
who produced undoubtedly his best performance of the winter,
when he finished fourteenth overall from the Fast Pack.
He was fifth fastest in the race.

Other Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Boys performances came from newcomer Wilf Campbell,
who finished eighteenth from the Slow Pack, Will Sibson (20th) (Fast Pack) (7th Fastest),
Alex Cunningham (23rd) (Fast Pack) (9th Fastest), Cameron Dick (24th) (Fast Pack) (10th Fastest),
Sam Bradley (44th) (Slow Pack), and Adam Kirby (54th) (Slow Pack),
who unfortunately somehow missed the start of his race.

Led home by Josh Burton, who finished sixth from the Slow Pack,
Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Boys finished as second team behind Tynedale Harriers.
Philip Kirby was second counter, when he finished tenth from the Slow Pack.
Both of these athletes will progress to the Fast Pack for future events as a result of these performances.
Morpeth Harriers scoring count was completed by Jacob Hopkins,
who was eleventh fastest overall, when placing seventeenth from the Fast Pack.
The club could take particular pleasure from the fact that including Burton,
Kirby and Hopkins, they fielded a total of seven athletes in this age group.
Other performances came from Sam Williams (32nd) (Fast Pack),
Euan Jones (33rd) (Fast Pack), Adam Shewry (34th) (Fast Pack),
and Lewis James (37th) (Slow Pack).

Running on a shorter course of one large lap, Morpeth Harriers Under 17/Under 20 Womens
squad placed third behind winners Birtley AC, and second placed Durham City.
They were led home by Alison Brown, who came through to finish eleventh from the Fast Pack,
and was ninth fastest in the race.
One place behind her was club colleague Louise Brett, who ran from the Slow Pack.
The Morpeth scoring count was completed by Charlotte Jewell, who was fourteenth
from the Fast Pack, and eleventh fastest overall.
Other Morpeth Harriers performances in this event came from
Beth Woolley (17th) (Slow Pack), and Alice Kelly (24th) (Slow Pack).

The Under 17 Mens event, which also saw their course reduced to one lap,
saw Morpeth Harriers finish as fourth team.
Clocking the fourth overall fastest time, Ryan Green led the squad home
when finishing eleventh from the Fast Pack.
Next home for the club was Phillip Winkler, who was eighteenth from the Fast Pack, (eighth fastest),
and Elliot Kelly completed the Morpeth count in 25th place from the Fast Pack,
and was fourteenth fastest in the race.

Two excellent individual Morpeth Harriers on the day were
Abby Sheldon (Under 15 Girls) and Ailsa Jones (Under 13 Girls).
Sheldon finished ninth overall from the Fast Pack, and emerged as sixth fastest in the event.
Meanwhile Jones produced a solid performance to finish fifth overall from the Slow Pack,
and as a result of that performance will see herself promoted to the Fast Pack for future meetings.
Unfortunately both of these athletes had no other competing clubmates to share their triumphs.

The Under 11’s Try it Cross Country event that accompanies the main
Harrier League programme had a total of 113 finishers,
including eleven from the ranks of Morpeth Harriers.
First home with an excellent performance was Thomas Cunningham, who finished fifth overall.
Next to finish from the club was Rhiannon Hedley, who was twelfth overall and second girl.
One place behind Rhiannon, and a mere four seconds adrift was clubmate Holly Peck.
Other Morpeth Harriers finishers in the Under 11’s event were Dylan Gooding (34th),
Bobby Stone (51st), Josh Gair (52nd), Edward Kirby (56th), Harry Hoggan (62nd),
Leah Ayres (73rd), Joshua Williams (75th), and Danny Dowd (107th).

Bobby Stone would normally have featured amongst the prominent finishers,
unfortunately an ankle injury sustained during the event limited his mobility.

On a closing note Morpeth Harriers would wish to once again thank the National Trust,
and the Staff of Wallington, particularly Matthew Watson, who played a crucial role,
for their valuable assistance given to the event, also to the clubs members and friends
who helped with marshalling, car parking, and course building and disassembly, partly done in the dark.

Particular thanks, and a great deal of credit must go to Kevin Flannery of Gateshead Harriers for his expertise,
and to Kevin Bray who masterminded and oversaw the organisation both on the day, and in its preparation.

Despite some of the unexpected problems, the event went well, and the new courses
were much appreciated by those who experienced them, and were very much labelled
as true Cross Country courses, and a true test of ability.

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Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League (2)
The second Start Fitness sponsored North Eastern Harrier League,
held at Jarrow’s Bedewell Park on Sunday 24th November, again attracted large fields,
despite other major events taking place both inside and outside the region over the weekend.

547 finishers competed in the Senior Mens event,
which saw Morpeth Harriers achieve an inspired Division 1 team victory,
which after two meetings puts them firmly in the hot seat at the head of the table.

Having five of their six required counters within the first sixteen finishers
certainly paved the way to a convincing victory,
with Durham City twenty two points adrift in second place,
and Wallsend Harriers a further thirty two points behind in third spot.

To the clubs ultimate credit, no less than four of those who ran in the previous days
Norman Woodcock Road Race, turned out again on a much tougher terrain.

Leading the Morpeth Harriers charge was Andrew Lawrence, who celebrated his birthday
by coming all the way home from his London base for the occasion,
and to finish a very respectable second from the Slow Pack.

One place behind Andrew was his new clubmate Ade Whitwam,
who having won the previous Harrier League race at Blaydon,
saw himself promoted to the Medium Pack, and his effort from there
saw him emerge as fourth fastest on the course on this occasion.

Finishing just behind Whitwam in fourth spot was John Butters,
who was Morpeth Harriers third counter.

Morpeth’s fourth and fifth counters were Ross Floyd and Matthew Nicholson,
who finished 14th and 16th respectively from the Fast Pack,
and were the second and third fastest in the race.

Closing the winning Morpeth Harriers team score was Michael Thomsen,
who finished 54th from the Medium Pack, one place ahead of club colleague Fergus Bates,
who also ran from the Medium Pack, and had run the previous day.

Other Morpeth Harriers finishers were
Rob Hancox (94th) (Slow Pack),
Sam Hancox (121st) (Medium Pack),
Thomas Straughan (128th) (Fast Pack),
Paul Waterston (148th) (Medium Pack),
Alistair MacDonald (238th) (Medium Pack),
and Les Cavill (332nd) (Slow Pack).

Rob and Sam Hancox, and Alistair MacDonald,
had competed at Gosforth the previous day.

For the second meeting in a row, Morpeth Harrier Nathan Cox emerged as the fastest Under 17 Man.
Cox, who had been promoted to the Fast Pack following his Blaydon victory,
was certainly not daunted by having to give 160 seconds to most of the 33 strong field of finishers,
as he battled his way through deep mud to finish fourth, as he led his club to second team place
on the day behind Blyth Running Club, with further excellent supporting runs coming from
Elliot Kelly (10th) (Fast Pack) (4th Fastest), and Ryan Green (14th) (Fast Pack).
Morpeth Harriers other Under 17 Mens performer was Joe Elder,
who ran well to finish 19th from the Slow Pack.

There was also an excellent result achieved by Morpeth Harriers
in the combined Under 17/Under 20 Womens race,
where they finished third behind winners Durham City,
with Alnwick Harriers in third place.

They were led home by Amber Cormack, who from her Slow Pack start finished in sixth place overall.
Morpeth Harriers second counter was Louise Brett, normally more of a sprinter;
she had her first outing on the country, and was certainly pleased by
placing 20th overall from her Slow Packstart.
Completing Morpeth Harriers scoring three was Alison Brown,
who ran well to finish 23rd from the Fast Pack,
and one place ahead of clubmate Charlotte Jewell, who also ran from the Fast Pack.
Beth Woolley of Morpeth Harriers finished 28th from the Slow Pack in this event.

Third team place was also achieved by Morpeth Harriers team of very hardworking Under 13 Boys.
They were led home by the diminutive Ross Charlton, who finished 15th from the Slow Pack.
Further excellent team support came from Fast Pack runners Will Sibson (18th) and Alex Cunningham (21st).
Other good Morpeth runs came from Cameron Dick (24th) (Fast Pack), and Joe Dowd (30th) (Fast Pack).

Morpeth Harriers Senior and Veteran Women, led by Lorna MacDonald (11th) (Slow Pack),
finished as seventh in their Division 2 challenge.
Further team support came from Emma Holt (23rd) (Fast Pack),
who was third fastest in the event, and Kate Chapman (49th) (Slow Pack).

Other Morpeth Harriers results in the Senior and Veteran Womens event came from
Gwenda Cavill (81st) (Slow Pack),
Rachel McCoy (167th) (Slow Pack),
Claire Bruce (173rd) (Slow Pack),
Lesley Chapman (174th) (Slow Pack),
and Clare Walker (187th) (Slow Pack).

A very much weakened Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Boys team who
were minus Kieran Hedley (injured), and Jacob Hopkins (unavailable),
managed to at least muster a scoring three who finished seventh team in their event.

They were led home by Adam Shewry, who produced an excellent run to finish sixth from the Slow Pack.
Further good team support came from Lewis James, who finished 28th from the Slow Pack,
and Alex Dunlop (34th) (Slow Pack).

Abby Sheldon was Morpeth Harriers lone Under 15 Girl, and she finished 28th from the Fast Pack.

Morpeth Harriers had three runners in the Under 11’s event for Boys and Girls.
Bobby Stone and Rhiannon Hedley finished virtually neck and neck in eleventh and twelfth places,
with only a mere second dividing them at the finish line.
Stone was ninth boy finisher, and Hedley was third in the Girls race.
The other Morpeth Harrier competing was Leah Ayres, who finished 84th
in a total field of 132 finishers. She was also 39th Girl.

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British and Irish Masters Cross Country International !
Three of the four athletes from Morpeth Harriers, who were competing in the British and Irish
Masters Cross Country International in Bute Park, Cardiff on Saturday 16th November,
were amongst the successful medallists.

In his twentieth International for Scotland, Archie Jenkins picked up
a Bronze team medal in the Over 60 Veterans section, his individual position
in his event over an 8k distance, which also combined Over 50’s was 68th,
however he was nineteenth in his age group.

Bob Marshall was easily the best performer of the Morpeth quartet,
as he found himself amongst the counters for Scotland in the Bronze
medal winning Over 65’s section by finishing an individual fifth over the 6k distance.

Most successful was England’s Walter Ryder, who picked up a Gold Medal
as their fourth counter in the Over 70’s event, which was also run over a 6k distance.
Walter’s individual position was 33rd, and he was thirteenth overall in his age group.

Finally Michael Thomsen ran well in his first appearance for Scotland in the Over 35’s section,
and was very unlucky to just miss out on a medal as fourth team counter in a squad that were
only just pipped for Bronze team medals in their 8k event.
Michael was 64th overall in the race, and was 23rd finisher in his particular age group.

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Saucony English National Cross Country Relays !
A chilly wind, laced with intermittent squally showers, hampered runners competing in the ECCA National Cross
Country Relay Championships, held for the 26th time at Berry Hill Park in Mansfield on Saturday 2nd November.

The event was once again sponsored by Saucony the Sportswear company,
who also have an association with the event for nearly as long as the venue.

Morpeth Harriers also have a long association with the event,
with their Senior Men having won their title more than any
other competing club, and they have also claimed minor medals on several occasions.

On Saturday they had teams competing once again in the Senior Mens
4 x 5k competition, three from that age group actually made the start line.

In addition to the Senior Men, they also had teams competing in the Under 17 Mens 3 x 3k competition,
the Under 15 and Under 13 Boys 3 x 2k competition, and unfortunately a poor turnout on the
Female side of the club, saw them field only a single athlete in the Senior Womens 3 x 3k competition.

Nevertheless it was the Morpeth Harriers Senior Men who took centre-stage,
and despite missing five of their key athletes, the clubs A team
still managed to perform well against top class opposition.

On first leg, Ryan Stephenson had the squad in a very healthy 25th place with his clocking of 16m21.15s.
Following that, Lewis Timmins performed excellently to claw back thirteen places to finish twelfth
with his clocking of 16m07.10s, the clubs fastest clocking of the day.

Morpeth Harriers could not have asked more of third and fourth leg runners Matt Nicholson,
and championship debutant Ade Whitwam, as they successfully battled
to hold on to their placings, over the final two lap legs.
Nicholson clocked 16m38.45s, whilst Whitwam clearly showed his appetite
for the bigger contest as he got round in 16m43.15s.
Finishing twelfth also saw them as fifth from the North of England.

There was also a great deal of praise could be levelled at the Morpeth Harriers
Senior Mens B and C team performances, as they did well to finish 36th and 76th
respectively in a starting field of 184 teams on the course.

The Morpeth B team finished as sixth B team, with Nathan Shrubb (16m57.65s),
Michael Dawson (17m32.95s), Mark McLeod (17m25.85s),
and Andrew Lawrence (17m26.35s), all performing positively.

Morpeth Harriers C team were third C team behind Notts AC and Leeds City,
with Thomas Straughan producing their fastest time on second leg with 17m55.90s,
which clearly showed that he is returning to better form.
Straughan also clawed back 24 places as a result of his effort.

Other Morpeth C team clockings came from Mick Thomsen (18m32.15s),
Philip Caldwell (18m22.05s), and Paul Waterston, who is only just returning
to competitive action following a four month injury lay-off (19m47.30s).

Missing five key athletes meant that Morpeth Harriers Senior Men were very much up
against the odds at this level of competition, however the Team Management are very pleased
at the way that the remaining athletes responded to achieve a most positive result on the day,
and that a few of those athletes had seen some improvement from recent
performances, which bodes well with forthcoming major competitions very much on the horizon.

Also on the plus front, arguably one of the best Morpeth Harriers performers
on the day on an individual basis was Ashley Gibson.
Ashley turned out as the only member of an incomplete Senior Womens squad,
and could take personal delight in the fact that she clocked the seventh fastest time
over the one lap 3k circuit, when she came home in fifth place on the first leg in 10m09.85s.
Unfortunately she had no one to share her delight with, as the club could not manage
to field a team in the Senior Womens event.

It was indeed a poor show from the club in the Female competition as they also
failed to turn out teams in the remaining four age groups.

However there was a good Morpeth Harriers turn out in the other Male competitions,
with squads contesting the Under 17 Mens, Under 13 and Under 15 Boys competitions.

The best result for Morpeth in the younger age groups came from the Under 17 Men,
who following a steady start came through to finish 26th.

Ryan Green had them in 48th place on first leg, as he completed the 3k course in 10m07.70s.
Nathan Cox ran strongly on second leg, to claw back 23 places with his clocking of 9m52.35s.
Elliot Kelly did very well in coping with damage limitation on the final leg,
as he got round in 10m14.75s, to finish 26th.

With Kieran Hedley still out injured, Morpeth Harriers called upon Adam Shewry
for first time championship duty for their Under 15 Boys squad,
and he did not let them down as he came home 68th in 8m01.75 over the 2k circuit.
The earlier legs of Jacob Hopkins (7m20.10s), and Euan Jones (7m47.75s),
had paved the way for Shewry to battle for a respectable result.

Most unfortunate on the day were Morpeth Harriers three brave Under 13 Boys, who ended up in 63rd place.
Making his championship debut, first leg runner Will Sibson had the squad in 50th place,
when he came home in 50th place.
Unfortunately in the noisy melee of the changeover area, second leg runner Cameron Dick
had failed to spot that his illustrious team-mate Sibson had indeed finished,
and ended up by losing around a minute in time, and a number of places before he had set off in pursuit.

Dick eventually returned on his leg posting a time of 9m32.30s, having lost around twenty six places.
This factor did not daunt final leg runner Alex Cunningham however,
as he sought to claw back vital places, as he managed to get round in 8m00.80s. Cunningham did managed to gain back thirteen places, to finish 63rd.

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Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League (1)
Two Morpeth Harriers made inspirational Cross Country debuts for their new club on Saturday 26th October,
when they both secured individual victories at the opening Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League meeting,
held at Shibdon Pond, Blaydon, in sunny autumnal conditions.

The heavy overnight rain had left sticky patches on the relatively short circuit,
however this did nothing to deprive Adey Whitwam (Senior Men),
and Nathan Cox (Under 17 Men) of the opportunity of achieving ultimate success
in their first outings over the winter code for the club,
with the former achieving a 44 second marginal victory,
to lead them to third place in the Division 1 team race on the day.

Whitwam can also be pleased that his finishing time was eighth
fastest on the course, having run from the Slow Pack.
He was joined in the team effort by Paul Waterston (40th) (Slow Pack),
his first outing for four months due to injury, Mark McLeod,
another Morpeth Harrier debutant (44th) (Medium Pack),
Jonnie Taylor (45th) (Fast Pack), Richard Morrell (51st) (Fast Pack),
and Rob Hancox (70th) (Slow Pack).

The aforementioned Taylor and Morrell were fastest and third fastest,
and in addition to these, Morpeth clubmates Lewis Timmins, Ryan Stephenson,
and Matt Nicholson emerged as fifth, sixth, and seventh fastest.

This duly meant that Morpeth Harriers had supplied no less than
six of the top ten Senior Men performers on the course.
575 finishers took part in the Senior Mens 9k event.

Cox was first home in the 6k Under 17 Mens race, winning by seven seconds
from the Slow Pack, from Durham City’s Oliver Watson.
He was well supported in the team race, where Morpeth Harriers finished as third team,
by Ryan Green (3rd) (Slow Pack), and Elliot Kelly (26th) (Fast Pack).
Cox was also fastest overall, and additionally Green and Kelly were sixth and fifth fastest overall respectively.
Also having a good run for Morpeth Harriers in the Under 17 Mens event was Joe Elder,
who finished 28th from the Slow Pack.

Having his first Cross Country outing in the Under 15 Boys event for Morpeth was Kieran Hedley,
and he will feel really pleased to get this run under his belt,
as he has spent the last few weeks nursing a painful heel injury,
and was very keenly determined to make his mark in his new age group.

Kieran led the Morpeth Under 15 Boys squad home to an excellent second
team place on the day behind Tynedale, by finishing fourth from the Slow Pack.
He was further supported in the excellent team effort by
Josh Burton (12th) (Slow Pack), and Adam Shewry (14th) (Slow Pack). Jacob Hopkins also performed well to finish in 31st place
from the Fast Pack, and he was ninth fastest in the race.

Other Morpeth Under 15 Boy performers were Cameron Kirk (40th) (Slow Pack),
Lewis James (44th) (Slow Pack), Samuel Williams (46th) (Fast Pack),
and Alex Dunlop (51st) (Slow Pack).

To complete a good set of Male results for Morpeth Harriers,
their Under 13 Boys finished fourth in a very tight fight
for the minor places behind host club Blaydon Harriers.

Morpeth were led home by Will Sibson, who continues to improve with every outing.
Sibson finished fifth overall from the Slow Pack, and was eighth fastest in the race.
Not far behind him was Ross Charlton, who was Morpeth’s
second counter in eleventh place, running from the Slow Pack.
Completing the Morpeth scoring count was newcomer Robbie Dunlop,
who was 38th, also from the Slow Pack.
Although not a scorer on the day, Alex Cunningham did well to finish 41st
from the Fast Pack, and he was seventh fastest in the race.

Other Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Boys performers were
Cameron Dick (46th) (Fast Pack), and Joe Dowd (50th) (Fast Pack).

Apart from the Senior Women, there was a very poor turnout from Morpeth Harriers in the Womens events.
The Senior Women who finished thirteenth in a very competitive Division 2, were led home by Kate Chapman.

Last year’s Senior Womens Harrier League Grand Prix Champion Emma Holt was second home for Morpeth,
finishing 78th overall from the Fast Pack, giving four minutes start to a good proportion of the 308 strong field of finishers.

Holt was fourth fastest in the field on this occasion, finishing 75 seconds behind Durham City’s Rosie Smith,
23 seconds behind Jarrow’s Alex Snook, and only thirteen seconds adrift of Wallsend’s Danielle Hodgkinson.
Completing the Morpeth scoring count was Clare Walker, who finished 195th from the Slow Pack,
and not far behind her was newcomer Rachel McCoy, who was 200th from the Slow Pack.

Morpeth Harriers two competitors in the Under 17 Womens event performed well.
Charlotte Jewell finished fifth from the Slow Pack, and was ninth fastest.
Tenth fastest was her clubmate Alison Brown, who finished in fifteenth place from the Fast Pack.

Abby Sheldon once again showed she is a force to be reckoned with,
when she finished sixth from the Slow Pack, as Morpeth Harriers lone Under 15 Girls competitor.
She was seventh fastest in the race.

Morpeth Harriers fielded no less than ten competitors in the non scoring Under 11 Boys and Girls event.
First home was Thomas Cunningham, younger brother of Alex, who finished eleventh
Second home was little dynamo Rhiannon Hedley, younger sister of Kieran,
who powered her way home in fourteenth spot, and was second girl home.
Not far behind her in 20th place was clubmate Bobby Stone.

Other Morpeth Harriers finishers in the Under 11’s event were as follows
Holly Peck (38th) (10th Girl),
Harry Hoggan (51st),
Joshua Williams (67th),
Jordan Bowling-Mowatt (70th),
Matthew Ayres (96th),
Owen Bowling-Mowatt (103rd),
and Leah Ayres (116th).

The Under 11’s event had a record field of 134 finishers.

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Start Fitness North East Harrier League Sherman Cup / Davison Shield
An excellent turnout, linked with some equally excellent performances
from the Male athletes of Morpeth Harriers, brought the club
their first Cross Country success of the season on Saturday 28th September,
when they won the Sherman Cup, held at a new venue at Hedley Farm, Tanfield, Co Durham.

Warm autumn sunshine, along with a moderate breeze, made for excellent conditions,
and athletes were very quick to heap praise on the organisers for their choice of venue
for the North Eastern Counties Harrier League to hold their opening fixture, once again sponsored by Start Fitness.

None more so than Morpeth Harrier Nick Swinburn, who running
in what could easily be termed his own back garden,
as the land is owned by his Father, convincingly won the Senior Mens event
by a margin of thirty four seconds from Elswick Harrier Tadele Geremew,
recent winner of the Blaydon Race, and the Morpeth 10k,
and numerous other major races in the region.

Obviously oozing with confidence, and knowing every blade of grass beneath his feet,
Swinburn stole away as early as the end of the second of three laps,
and from there was never troubled, and took the Senior Mens Sherman Cup
individual Gold Medal with more than a little pride.

Twenty seconds behind Geremew in third place was Swinburn’s club colleague Karl Taylor,
who had one of his best runs so far in a Morpeth vest, despite almost losing a shoe in the early stages,
and more than fully deserved his individual Bronze medal for his efforts.

Morpeth Harriers were easy winners of the Senior Mens team race
ahead of Gateshead Harriers and Sunderland Harriers, and this was further
confirmed when Ross Floyd finished an excellent fifth to close their team score.

Not far behind Ross in eighth place was Michael Dawson,
who produced a superb run, and not far behind him was Jordan Scott in twelfth spot.

The clubs other Senior Mens performances came from James Taylor (45th),
Mick Thomsen (46th), Sam Hancox (60th), and Tony Holt, (husband of Emma)
making his club debut, finishing in 154th place.

Morpeth Harriers also did well in the Veteran Mens section,
(now scored separately), finishing sixth behind Tyne Bridge Harriers.
They were led home by Fergus Bates, who finished 26th overall, and was seventh Veteran Man.
He was supported in the team by Rob Hancox (60th) (24th Veteran Man),
and Jim Alder (108th) (46th Veteran Man).
Morpeth Harriers other Veteran Man finisher was Peter Scaife who finished in 176th place overall.

The clubs next best Male performance belonged to the Under 15 Boys,
who had a seven point victory over Sunderland Harriers.
This was indeed a bonus, as the club were forced to reckon without
the services of Kieran Hedley, (away on Family visit),
however it was Jacob Hopkins, who produced one of the runs of the day to finish eighth,
to lead them home, with excellent supporting runs coming from Euan Jones (12th), and Adam Shewry (18th).
One place behind Adam, came clubmate Josh Burton, who also produced a superb run.
Lewis James also produced an excellent run to finish in 34th place.

Morpeth Harriers band of young Under 13 Boys very nearly pulled off a team victory in their event,
just losing out to Low Fell Running Club by the margin of two points.
They were led home by the ever improving Alex Cunningham who finished in ninth place,
and was only fifteen seconds adrift of an individual medal; such was the close proximity of the leading athletes.

Cunningham was further well supported in the team effort by newcomer Will Sibson,
who had a superb run to finish eleventh, and only a further two seconds adrift,
and Matthew Waterfield, who did well to finish thirteenth.
Not far behind Waterfield was club colleague Joe Dowd, normally a sprinter, who was fourteenth.

Other good placings in the Under 13 Boys squad came from Ross Charlton (19th),
and Matthew Dodds (28th), and Robbie Dunlop also making his debut,
will take great experience from finishing 44th.

Morpeth Harriers Under 17 Men also added to their clubs successful Sherman Cup tally
when they finished as second team to Gateshead Harriers.

Without key runners Ryan Green and Phillip Winkler, the remaining squad of
Adam Weightman (7th), Elliot Kelly (10th), Jarod Lewis (15th),
and Joe Elder (21st) did well to achieve a good result all round,
and their overall spirit is to be commended.
This squad really promise to deliver rich dividends upon
the return of Green and Winkler, if they can achieve this result without them.

The combined efforts of wins by the Senior Men and Under 15 Boys,
along with second places achieved by the Under 13 Boys and Under 17 Men,
linked with sixth by the Veteran Men, saw Morpeth Harriers claim Sherman Cup victory
ahead of second placed Sunderland Harriers, and third placed Durham City, with Gateshead Harriers coming fourth.

Unfortunately the same could not be said for the clubs Female athletes,
could only finish as a team in three of the five age group races on offer.

The clubs best individual Womens performer was Emma Holt,
who fully earned her Silver Medal in the Senior event when finishing
second to Jarrow and Hebburn’s Alex Snook,
losing out by a twenty seven second margin over the two lap event.
Morpeth Harriers only other Senior Womens athlete to compete was Kate Chapman, who finished 41st overall.

The club did however have the three required athletes finishing in the Veteran Womens section.
They were led home by Shuna Rank, who was 89th overall, and 57th Veteran Woman.
Shuna was supported by Claire Bruce (95th) (61st Veteran Woman),
and Clare Walker (138th) (93rd Veteran Woman).

Morpeth Harriers best Womens result came from their Under 17’s,
who very nearly won, finishing only one point adrift of winners Birtley.
They were led home by Charlotte Jewell, who looks very much at home
on the Cross Country surfaces, and she can feel well pleased with her placing of sixth.
One place behind Charlotte came her Morpeth Harriers clubmate Amber Cormack, who also performed well.
Hannah Sheerin worked feverishly throughout, to finish an excellent tenth to close the Morpeth team count.

Kate Seymour produced an excellent individual performance to finish seventh in the Under 13 Girls event,
and led her club to seventh team place, courtesy of added team supporting runs from Harriet Priest (24th),
and Ailsa Jones, who despite feeling unwell during the event, carried on bravely to finish 51st,
after having to stop twice or thrice to draw breath during proceedings.

Unfortunately after promised turnouts Morpeth Harriers could only manage
to field two athletes in the under 15 Girls event.
In her very first Harrier League event Abby Sheldon produced an excellent run to finish tenth.
Lizzie Rank, who is not at her best at the moment, to her credit performed well to finish seventeenth.

If some of the clubs Female athletes had turned out as promised, there may well have also
been medals to show in this section for achievements, as they finished fourth on the day,
but not very far adrift of leading opposition.

In the non scoring Under 11 Boys and Girls event that accompanied
the Sherman Cup and Davison Shield competition,
Morpeth Harriers Thomas Cunningham and Bobby Stone
had superb runs to finish sixth and eighth respectively.

On a closing note, thanks must go to Mr Swinburn for the use of his excellent land for the event,
and there is no doubt that the venue will be used at some date,
with the promise of some additional facilities being provided.

Click here for complete results

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Sunderland Harriers Open XC Races !
Several Morpeth youngsters competed in the 30th Sunderland Harriers Open
Cross Country Races at Farringdon on Saturday 7th September.

Sadly Morpeth could not field a Senior Mens' Relay team with only Michael Dawson (6th in leg 1 in 9mins 25secs)
and Michael Thomsen (7th on Leg 2 in 10mins 00secs) taking part.
Gateshead Harriers were the runaway winners.

Rhiannon Hedley was the only top three placer finishing 3rd in the Under 11 event with a time of
4mins 25secs, behind Anna Pigford of Houghton (4:18). Holly Peck finished 6th (4:38).

Other Morpeth performances included,
U17 Men
5 Elliot Kelly 10:09;
13 Joe Elder 11:01

U17 Women
4 Alison Brown 11:29

U15 Boys
4 Kieran Hedley 10:19;
11 Josh Burton 11:20;
13 Adam Shewry 11:43;
17 Lewis James 13:51

U15 Girls
11 Abby Sheldon 12:55;
12 Lizzie Rank 12:58

U13 Boys 9 Cameron Dick 11:23;
11 Alex Cunningham 11:24;
13 Joe Dowd 11:44;
24 Sam Bradley 13:32;
28 Reuben Wilkinson 13:43.

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2012/2013 REPORTS

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League ( 6 )
at Prudhoe on Saturday 23rd March 2013.

Click below for report of the
UK Inter Counties Cross Country Championships !
at Birmingham on Saturday 9th March 2013.

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League ( 5 )
at Alnwick on Saturday 2nd March 2013.

Click below for report of the
2013 English National Cross Country Championships
at Herrington Country Park on Saturday 23rd February 2013.

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League ( 4 )
at Wrekenton on Saturday 9th February 2013.

Click below for report of the
2013 North of England Cross Country Championships
at Knowsley Park, Liverpool on Saturday 26th January 2013.

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League ( 3 )
at Bedewell Park, Hebburn on Saturday 15th December 2012.

Click below for report of the
2012 European Cross Country Championships
at Budapest on Sunday 9th December 2012.

Click below for report of the
North Eastern Counties Cross Country Championships
at Summerhill Country Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 8th December 2012.

Click below for report of the
McCain UK Cross Challenge Meeting
at Sefton Park, Liverpool on Saturday 24th November 2012.

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League ( 2 )
at Shibdon Pond, Blaydon on Saturday 17th November 2012.

Click below for report of the
Saucony English National Cross Country Relays
at Mansfield on Saturday 3rd November 2012.

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League ( 1 )
at East Cramlington on Saturday 27th October 2012.

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North East Harrier League Sherman Cup / Davison Shield
at South Shields on Saturday 29th September 2012.

Click below for report of the
Sunderland Harriers Open Cross Country Races
at Sunderland on Saturday 8th September 2012.

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Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League (6)
Saturday 23rd March saw the curtain come down on what arguably has been one of
Morpeth Harriers most successful of Cross Country campaigns,
the highlight of which was last month’s Senior Mens National Championship victory,
and ended with three outstanding team victories and a handful
of superb individual Grand Prix achievements in the
Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League series,
which also ended in relatively arctic conditions
on the higher reaches above Prudhoe High School.

One of those team victories was the Senior Men, who having all of their
six required counters within the top twenty one finishers,
easily secured the Division 1 League title,
for the very first time in its present divisional form.

The club had last won the Mens Harrier League title in 1988 at Chester Le Street,
when it was a singular division competition, and this was a most welcome title
to add to their already impressive seasonal tally, one which they have been
attempting to achieve for several years of trying.

Morpeth Harriers chances were very much boosted by the surprise
late appearance of five athletes, who had been destined to represent
their club at the North of England 12 Stage Road Relays in Blackpool,
however that event had suffered a cancellation at 8.00am that morning because of ice on the course,
which meant a turn-round after they had reached part way down the M6,
and they re-routed to help their club in a further quest for honours.

Two of those five were Graeme Taylor and Jonnie Nisbet,
who superbly led their clubs charge by finishing sixth and seventh
respectively from the Fast and Medium packs, with Taylor recording
the second fastest of the day, and Nisbet the seventh.
For Taylor, it also meant he had finished second in the
seasons Senior Mens Grand Prix standings

Also up with the leaders in the early stages for Morpeth was Jordan Scott,
however he was forced out of the action with a troublesome injury after
two gruelling laps in an increasingly cold wind.

Third home for Morpeth Harriers was young Matthew Boyle,
who on his very first Harrier League outing, competed well
to finish an excellent tenth from the Slow Pack.

Ross Floyd, fully dressed to fight off the elements with body hugging Lycra,
came through well to finish thirteenth from the Fast Pack,
and as fourth fastest in the field of 354 finishers, and was Morpeth’s fourth counter.
Next home from the club was their leading Alnwick finisher Phillip Caldwell,
who despite dropping out during his English Schools run at Catton Hall,
ran with a new spirit to finish an excellent fifteenth from the Medium Pack.
Morpeth Harriers winning count on the day was completed by Fergus Bates,
who again produced an excellent run from the Medium Pack, when placing 21st.

With Morpeth Harriers Senior Men already celebrating an emphatic
team victory ahead of Gateshead Harriers and Sunderland Harriers,
mention must be made of the superb supporting efforts of those who finished outside the scoring six.

First of these was young Sam Hancox, who in an outstanding season as a Junior Man,
did his club proud throughout the season by turning out in all six of the Harrier League meetings,
and was an actual counter in two, and also turned out in the Sherman Cup.
Sam came through in the Medium Pack to finish 30th.
Three places behind Sam was his clubmate Thomas Straughan,
who was an excellent tenth fastest overall in the field, running from the Fast Pack.

Mick Thomsen had another excellent run from the Medium Pack to finish 54th.
Next home was Rob Hancox, who finished 68th from the Slow Pack.
Rob, along with clubmate Peter Scaife, comes in for extra praise
for his extra supporting work in erecting the club tent throughout the season,
and encouraging Senior Mens turnout in his assistant coach capacity.
Jim Alder was next Morpeth Harrier home in 107th place from the Slow Pack,
and Gordon Dixon completed an excellent set of club performances
when finishing 144th from the Slow Pack, which meant that all
Morpeth Harriers had finished in the top half of the field.

Winning the Senior Womens event in a sprint finish on the day,
gave Morpeth Harrier Emma Holt an excellent victory in her Grand Prix effort.

Morpeth Harriers team victories for the season were also enjoyed by their
Under 13 Boys and Under 15 Boys squads,
after finishing third and second on the day respectively.

The clubs Under 13 Boys were led home at Prudhoe by Kieran Hedley,
who was second fastest overall when finishing third from the Fast Pack.
Kieran also finished second in the Under 13 Boys Grand Prix behind Tynedale’s Max Pearson.
Second counter for Morpeth Harriers in the Under 13 Boys event was Luke Wareing,
who on his first Harrier League outing did well to finish ninth from the Slow Pack.
Alex Cunningham completed the Morpeth Harriers team count when finishing
as ninth fastest in 20th place overall from the Fast Pack.
Other Morpeth Harriers performers were Josh Burton (30th) (Fast Pack),
Adam Shewry (32nd) (Fast Pack), and Robbie Elder (38th) (Slow Pack).

Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Boys were led home by Ryan Green,
whose fourth fastest effort from the Fast Pack got him to fourth overall,
which in turn made him second in the seasons Grand Prix standings.
The clubs team count on the day, was completed by Jarod Lewis (8th) (Fast Pack),
and Jacob Hopkins (10th) (Fast Pack).

Joe Elder was Morpeth Harriers lone Under 17 Man finisher.
He finished 23rd from the Slow Pack.

Kate Seymour was Morpeth Harriers lone finisher in the Under 13 Girls event.
She placed 24th from the Fast Pack.

Although not competing or finishing on Saturday, the following are
amongst the leaders in their respective Grand Prix standings for the season.
Alison Brown (3rd) (Under 17 Women),
Elliot Kelly (2nd) (Under 17 Men),
and Phil Winkler (4th) (Under 17 Men).

Once again despite the cold and severely testing conditions, there was an
excellent Morpeth Harriers turnout for the non scoring Under 11’s Mixed 1k event.
First home for the club was the ever improving Daniel Dixon,
who ran excellently to finish as fifth Boy in sixth place overall.
Next home from the club was Ross Charlton, who was eighth Boy finisher in tenth spot.
Thomas Cunningham was third home for the club in thirteenth place, and was tenth Boy.

Other Morpeth Harriers finishers were as follows
Sam Bradley (20th) (15th Boy),
Bobby Stone (23rd) (17th Boy),
Joseph Gair (27th) (19th Boy),
Rhiannon Hedley (35th) (13th Girl),
and Faye Archbold (41st) (17th Girl).

The club would wish to thank all of its members who turned out
throughout the season to contribute to some excellent squad successes.

Click here for complete Male Results

Click here for complete Womens Results

Click here for Womens Grand Prix Results

Click here for Mens Grand Prix Results

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UK Inter Counties Cross Country Championships !
For the ninth time ever, and for the third time in succession, the North East Counties Senior Mens
team triumphed over all of the country’s respective line-ups at the annual Inter Counties
Cross Country Championships, which also included the World Trials, held at Cofton Park,
near Birmingham on Saturday 9th March.

It also marked the end of the McCains Cross Challenge Series, run by British Athletics.
Before the event, it had been expected that the region would mount a very serious challenge
for honours in the Senior Mens 12k event, however what was not known was the relatively
landslide margin they would win by in both the six man effort, and the nine man count, especially the latter.

Having all of their nine to run finishing within the top seventy of a near 300 finishers in the event,
run over four laps of ever increasing mud was no mean feat by all means,
and the North East squad are to be credited to a man for their superb efforts.

They were led home by Morpeth Harrier Jonny Taylor, who after a dog fight for an individual medal,
finished fourth, just losing out to Hampshire’s Andy Vernon by the slender margin of eight seconds for Bronze.

Whilst Durham City’s Dan Garbutt, and Stockport’s former Sunderland Harrier
Patrick Martin finished ninth and fifteenth respectively to make the regions second and third counts,
Morpeth Harriers Lewis Timmins (17th), Richard Morrell (24th), and Ryan Stephenson (39th),
all battled well to finalise a winning six man score.

Meanwhile two more Morpeth Harriers, Matt Nicholson (57th),
and Ross Floyd (60th), along with Stockport’s Jack Martin (65th),
added to a tremendous North East Counties overall squad result.

This all also meant that five of Morpeth Harriers winning English National Cross Country squad
had managed to claim a second major title in the space of fourteen days.

The region was also well represented by their Under 13 Boys,
who superbly claimed Bronze team medals in their 3k event.
Amongst their counters was Morpeth Harriers Kieran Hedley,
who added this success to a very good tally of performances,
which include North Eastern Cross Country,
North of England and National Championships.

Hedley was third home from the region, in an excellent 23rd place,
supporting Tynedale’s Max Pearson’s leading effort to finish eighth,
and Middlesbrough Mandale’s Josh Cowperthwaite who placed twelfth.
The Bronze medal winning count was completed by Darlington’s Bradley Davies finishing 59th.

Ashley Gibson of Morpeth Harriers was the regions second finisher
in the Senior Womens 8k event when finishing 50th.
Rosie Smith of Durham City led the squad home in 13th place,
with further support coming from Middlesbrough Mandale’s Josie Stone (63rd),
Jarrow and Hebburn’s Alex Snook (71st), Middlesbrough Mandale’s Kerry Matthew (106th),
and Durham City’s former Morpeth Harrier Aiveen Fox (114th).
Just outside the scoring six, but not far adrift, was Morpeth Harrier
Emma Holt, who came through to finish 122nd.

Morpeth Harrier Alison Brown was seventh home from the region in 77th place
in the Under 17 Womens 5k event, where the North East were led home
to sixth team place by Birtley’s Lydia Turner, who agonisingly just missed out
on an individual Bronze medal by three seconds, when she finished fourth.

Charlotte Jewell of Morpeth Harriers marked her first Inter Counties opportunity
by competing well to finish as seventh from the region, in 165th place
in a field of 287 finishers in the Under 15 Girls 4k event,
where the North East finished seventh team.

Although not a counter, Ryan Green of Morpeth Harriers battled to finish 114th,
and easily in the top half of the Under 15 Boys 4.5k field, where the region finished as ninth team.

Also outside the counters was Morpeth’s Phillip Winkler, who battled gamely
to finish 175th in the Under 17 Mens 6k event, where the region finished a lowly 20th.

There were no Morpeth Harriers involved in the remaining three events on the ten race programme.
In the Under 20 Mens 8k event the North East finished just outside the medals in fourth team place.
The North East Under 13 Girls 3k squad finished thirteenth,
and their Under 20 Womens 6k squad finished fourteenth.

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Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League (5)
The spectacular backdrop of Alnwick Castle and its rolling pastures,
bathed in early spring sunshine, proved to be the perfect setting for the fifth and
penultimate Start Fitness sponsored North Eastern Harrier League, on Saturday 2nd March.

Over 800 enthusiastic runners in all, accompanied by their usual band of supporters
descended on the venue for nine event programme, which saw some superb results
achieved by athletes from Morpeth Harriers.

The club enjoyed two superb team wins from their youngest Male competitors,
and their Senior Men also competed well, to finish second on the day to Sunderland Harriers,
which clearly maintained their season long interest at the head of the Division 1 league table,
with one meeting still remaining, which will be held at Prudhoe later in the month.

The most notable talking point in the Senior Mens performances
was that of Junior Mens athlete Phillip Caldwell, who certainly took
full advantage of his slow pack start by establishing an early lead,
which he superbly held, until being caught in the later stages
by Sunderland Harrier Weynay Ghebresilasie.
The Northern Champion was easily the fastest man on the course by all of 83 seconds,
as he stole away for victory in his second Harrier League appearance.

Caldwell meanwhile battled on to take a well deserved second place medal on the day,
and led Morpeth Harriers home to second team place, with added support coming from
English National Cross Country Gold team Medallist Graeme Taylor (8th) (fourth fastest) (Fast Pack),
Ross Floyd (12th) (sixth fastest) (Fast Pack), Alistair MacDonald (22nd) (Slow Pack),
a truly brilliant run from Sam Hancox (34th) (Medium Pack), and Fergus Bates (35th) (Slow Pack).

Not far adrift of the counters and having an excellent run was Michael Thomsen,
who finished 41st from the Medium Pack.
In all it was an excellent turnout on the day by the Morpeth Harriers Senior Men,
who including the aforementioned mustered a total of thirteen athletes.

Other performances came from Mike Winter (71st) (Medium Pack),
Ed Hillier (102nd) (Slow Pack), Jim Alder (122nd) (Slow Pack), Gordon Dixon (173rd) (Slow Pack),
newcomer Mark Snowball (217th) (Slow Pack), and Richard Kirby (247th) (Slow Pack).

Morpeth Harriers two younger age group team victories came from their Under 13 and Under 15 Boys,
who in doing so further cemented their placing at the head of the respective Harrier League Grand Prix standings.

The Under 13 Boys were led home by Cameron Dick, who in his first outing revelled
in the part muddy surface to finish in fourth place from the Slow Pack.
Unfortunately he finished just three seconds adrift of a Harrier League individual medal.
An emphatic team victory for Morpeth was duly sealed, with Kieran Hedley
producing a superb fastest on the day from the Fast Pack to place fifth,
and an excellent Adam Shewry finishing seventh, from the Slow Pack.
Other good performances came from Alex Cunningham (27th) (Fast Pack),
Phillip Kirby (37th) (Fast Pack), Josh Burton (39th) (Fast Pack),
and Robbie Elder (44th) (Slow Pack).

Running from the Slow Pack, Morpeth Harrier Euan Jones produced an excellent
run to finish seventh and led the clubs Under 15 Boys home to team victory,
with excellent scoring support coming from Ryan Green (8th) (fifth fastest) (Fast Pack),
and Jacob Hopkins (14th) (tenth fastest) (Fast Pack).
Other Morpeth Harriers performers in this age group were Jarod Lewis (16th) (Fast Pack),
and Sam Williams (19th) (Fast Pack).

In a very tight team race, Morpeth Harriers Under 17 Men finished fourth on the day
behind Tynedale Harriers, Blackhill Bounders, and hosts Alnwick Harriers.
Running an excellent second fastest of the day, Phillip Winkler came through
from the Fast Pack to finish in eighth place, and only thirty one seconds adrift
of the fastest man Isaac Dunn of Blackhill.
Second placed Morpeth Harrier was Elliot Kelly.
He was fifth fastest overall, when he placed 13th from the Fast Pack.
Joe Elder closed the Morpeth Harriers Under 17 Mens team count when finishing 22nd from the Slow Pack.

In the combined Under 17 and Under 20 Womens event,
Morpeth Harrier Alison Brown produced an excellent run to finish fifth from the Fast Pack,
and was a superb fourth fastest in the event.

Ailsa Jones led Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Girls home to fifth team place
when she finished eleventh from the Slow Pack.
Running the eighth fastest time of the day, Lizzie Rank was second
counter when finishing 18th from the Fast Pack.
Kate Seymour closed the scoring count when finishing 36th from the Fast Pack.

Morpeth Harriers Senior Women finished as eighth in Division 2 in their two lap event.
They were led home by a very much in form Emma Holt,
who was fourth fastest overall on the day when she came through
to finish a superb seventeenth from the Fast Pack.
Further supporting runs came from Gemma Floyd (55th) (Fast Pack),
and Claire Bruce (127th) (Slow Pack).

The non scoring mixed gender Under 11’s event, which is classed
as a development event, saw a total of 60 runners toe the starting line.
Amongst them were eight athletes in Morpeth Harriers colours
. It gave the club an opportunity to give some of their aspiring youngsters a rare taste of competition.
The 1k course for the Under 11’s had been modified to include a steep climb,
which also involved a steep downhill.

One young man who certainly revelled was Daniel Dixon,
son of the clubs long serving Veteran Gordon, was first home for the club in sixth place,
finishing two places ahead of clubmate Adam Kirby.
Three places behind Adam came Ross Charlton, also clearly enjoying his first taste of action.
Next home for the club was Rhiannon Hedley, (younger sister of Kieran),
who is gaining more experience with each outing
. She finished 15th, and was fourth girl finisher.
One place behind Rhiannon was another Morpeth debutant in Bobby Stone.
Other Morpeth Harriers finishers were Brandon Thompson (42nd),
Joshua Williams (43rd), Matthew Bell (49th), and Faye Archibold (56th) (19th Girl).

Alnwick Harriers are to be thanked for once again organising and marshalling
an excellent Harrier League in the most scenic of settings,
and thanks also go to the Duke and the Duchess of Northumberland
for the use of their land for the event, and the provision of adequate parking facilities.

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2013 English National Cross Country Championships !
At long last, after many years of numerous tireless efforts,
Morpeth Harriers Senior Men have secured an English National Cross Country title,
and they did it on relatively local soil, albeit on Wearside.

Seventeen athletes from the clubs ranks turned out at Herrington Country Park, on Saturday 23rd February,
in what could only be described as arctic conditions, very similar to the North of England Championships,
held at Knowsley last month, to ensure that they were to be a force to be reckoned with,
and their scoring six, who included four of their Bronze medallists from Knowsley,
brought success by finishing in the top sixty of a 1,000 plus field of starters.

Morpeth Harriers were led home, in this the 126th running of the Senior Mens 12k Championship,
by their severely mud splattered European Cross Country Championship team Silver medallist Jonny Taylor,
who having recovered his composure following a second lap tumble when lying in the first three in contention,
along with Northern Champion Steve Vernon of Stockport,
and 2012 winner Keith Gerrard of Newham and Essex Beagles, finished in a superb eighth position.

It soon became apparent that Morpeth Harriers were winning the battle of the tricky conditions,
as their next three finishers, Richard Morrell, Lewis Timmins, and Matthew Nicholson,
came home in excellent positions of 11th, 15th, and 21st positions respectively.

So with four home, it remained to be seen whether the next two could ensure success,
and indeed there was joy to be seen on the clubs team management faces
when Graeme Taylor and Ryan Stephenson, who were having their first “National” for the club,
defied all odds to finish in 46th and 52nd places respectively.

When the results were finally announced, Morpeth Harriers had beaten fellow Northerners Leeds City,
the reigning champions, who were on for a hat-trick of successes,
with Midland club Tipton Harriers taking third place.

Just adrift of the six counters were Nick Swinburn, Ian Hudspith and Ian Harding,
who all had excellent runs to finish in 74th, 75th and 80th places respectively.

These placings also saw Morpeth Harriers at the head of the separate nine to count listing,
( non award winning), again ahead of Leeds City, but Notts AC replacing Tipton in third spot.

Morpeth Harriers had five more athletes who did well to place in the first 200.
They were Jordan Scott (113th), Michael Dawson (150th), Ben Harrison (166th),
Andrew Lawrence (170th), and Thomas Straughan (185th).

In addition to these, Paul Waterston, Michael Thomsen and Alistair MacDonald,
all produced excellent runs in the tricky conditions, to finish 230th, 345th, and 480th respectively,
which meant that the clubs Senior Mens squad had finished entirely in the top half of a large field.

Morpeth Harriers Senior Mens Road and Cross Country Team Manager David Swinburne was very upbeat
afterwards about his squads performance, particularly the bravery of Jonny Taylor,
Richard Morrell, who had undoubtedly played a star role on the day,
and Ryan Stephenson, who had coped superbly in conditions not to his particular liking.

He also singled out special praise for Nick Swinburn, and particularly Ian Hudspith,
who both despite not getting amongst the scoring six, had shown great supporting character on the day.

David Swinburne added that the present squad could now go on as a realistic force in the quest
for medals at the forthcoming Northern and National Road Relay Championships later in the next two months.

He also praised the clubs President Jim Alder and Secretary Mike Bateman for their work
done behind the scenes as supportive mentors.

Alder was particularly thrilled to be asked to present the medals
on behalf of the England Cross Country Association
to his club at the presentation at the end of proceedings.

The Senior Mens event saw Newham and Essex Beagles Keith Gerrard
retain his hold on the title, with Northern Champion Steve Vernon of Stockport,
once again having to settle up for the runners up spot, after mounting a superb challenge throughout

In addition to the Senior Mens achievements, Morpeth Harriers also celebrated
other good performances at the Saucony sponsored championships.

Most notable was that of Kieran Hedley, who followed up his seventh placing
at last month’s Northern Championships by finishing a superb seventeenth
against countrywide opposition in the Under 13 Boys 3k event.
Although feeling rather shivery afterwards, Hedley clearly mastered
the tricky surface that was getting steadily worse.

He was pleased to lead his club to ninth team place,
with excellent support coming from Philip Kirby (100th),
Alex Cunningham (102nd), and Josh Burton (119th),
in a field of 205 finishers.

Another competing Morpeth Harrier in the Under 13 Boys event was Matthew Ingledew,
who unfortunately was minus his spikes, and finished in 202nd place.

223 runners finished in the Under 15 Boys 4.25k event,
which was run when the snow was falling at its thickest.
Morpeth Harriers were led home to eighteenth team place by Ryan Green,
who adapted better than some to the conditions to finish in 66th place.
Green was supported in his clubs team effort by Jarod Lewis (141st),
Jacob Hopkins (175th), and Sam Williams (203rd).

With the conditions not to his particular liking, Morpeth Harrier Jonnie Nisbet
battled strongly to finish in the top half of the Junior Mens 10k Championship field.
He came home in 71st place.
Although Morpeth could not mount a team challenge in this event,
with only three runners taking part, their other two,
Sam Hancox and Tom Brookes battled well to finish 102nd and 106th.

The Senior Womens 8k event saw Morpeth Harrier Emma Holt
maintain her excellent form by finishing 55th, and was superb second from the region,
having mastered the difficult conditions with a great deal of determination.
Although further back in the field in 330th place,
club colleague Claire Bruce battled bravely to the finish.

In the Under 17 Womens 5k event, which was the first on the ten race programme,
runners were experiencing relatively virgin snow,
which was proving to be deep in some parts of the course.
Nevertheless Morpeth Harrier Alison Brown coped well with a great deal
of determination to place 58th in a total field of 150 finishers.
She was also seventh from the North East, and well ahead of some useful opposition.
Hannah Sheerin from Morpeth Harriers finished 125th.

In the Under 15 Girls 4.25k event, Morpeth’s Charlotte Jewell
battled all the way to finish 108th in a total field of over 200 runners.
She was also eighth from the region.

Another Morpeth Harriers finisher in this event was Harriet Grace,
who ran a determined race to place 202nd.

In her very first “National,” Morpeth Harrier Kate Seymour
ran well to finish 173rd in the Under 13 Girls 3k event.

Morpeth Harriers wish to thank their most loyal supporters
Rob Hancox and Peter Scaife for turning out in the early morning,
in what could only be described as appalling conditions,
in order to erect the well required club tent,
and for providing hot liquid, with the added bonus of some hot food al fresco,
a treat well appreciated by all on cold and wintry day.

Thanks also go to the organisers English Cross Country Association,
and UKA Officials and volunteer course marshals and first aid
for their sterling efforts to ensure the welfare and safety
for all who took part in a superb event,
despite the difficult conditions that prevailed throughout.

Click here for complete National results

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Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League ( 4 )
Senior Womens race at Harrier League at Wrekenton
Morpeth Harrier Emma Holt (formerly Pearson), fully celebrated her call up to the North East’s
Senior Womens squad for the UK Inter Counties Cross Country Championships,
scheduled to be held in Birmingham next month,
by storming to an impressive second place from the Medium Pack,
at the fourth Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League,
held at Wrekenton on Saturday 9th February.

She also picked up a well earned Harrier League individual Silver Medal
for her effort, and clocked one of the day’s fastest times.

Emma Holt in action at Harrier League at Wrekenton
Holt is also preparing for a spring triathlon, and her form at present certainly points
to a successful period of competition for the Morpeth based Veterinary Surgeon.

She not only picked up a team medal with her club at December’s North Eastern Counties Championship
at Hartlepool, but was also one of the region’s top performers at last month’s
North of England Cross Country Championships, hence her inclusion for the Inter Counties.
Claire Bruce at Harrier League at Wrekenton
Morpeth Harriers other Senior Woman finisher was Claire Bruce,
who placed 110th from the Slow Pack.

It was also a successful day for Morpeth Harriers Senior Men,
who scored an impressive team victory, despite missing some of their leading lights.

The clubs first finisher however was a non scoring athlete,
when Adam Morrell placed sixth from the Medium Pack.

Adam Morrell, Richard Morrell and Thomas Straughan at Harrier League at Wrekenton
However his brother Richard, who can now count officially for Morpeth,
following his transfer from New Marske, was not far behind in eleventh place,
and led the clubs charge from the Fast Pack, and was second fastest overall on the day.

One place behind Richard was Morpeth’s Thomas Straughan,
who impressively came from the Medium Pack to make the second count for his club.

Paul Waterston, Graeme Taylor and Ian Harding at Harrier League at Wrekenton
The clubs third, fourth, and fifth counters finished in quick succession.
Veteran Paul Waterston finished 26th from the Medium Pack,
and Fast Packers Ian Harding and Graeme Taylor
both had excellent runs to finish in 27th and 28th places.

Morpeth Harriers certainly showed their superiority when Rob Hancox
closed his clubs winning count in 41st place from the Slow Pack.
Other Morpeth Harriers Senior Mens finishers on the day were
Alistair MacDonald (59th) (Slow Pack), Mick Thomsen (62nd) (Medium Pack),
Mike Winter (71st) (Medium Pack), Ed Hillier (110th) (Slow Pack),
and Sam Hancox (155th) (Medium Pack).

With the Northern Inter Counties Schools Cross Country
taking place at Guisborough, North Yorkshire,
the younger age group races were subject to some notable absentees,
so therefore the grand prix and league competition was suspended
for the Under 13 Boys and Girls, the Under 15 Boys and Girls,
the Under 17 Men, and Under 17 and Junior Womens events.

Adam Shrewry and Josh Burton at Harrier League at Wrekenton
In the Under 13 Boys event, Morpeth Harriers Adam Shewry,
and Josh Burton placed third and 23rd from the Slow and Fast Packs.

Sam Williams at Harrier League at Wrekenton
Sam Williams placed 18th from the Fast Pack in the Under 15 Boys event.

Morpeth Harriers lone runner in the Under 17 Mens event was Joe Elder,
who finished seventh from the Slow Pack.
Joe Elder at Harrier League at Wrekenton

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2013 North of England Cross Country Championships !
Morpeth Harriers heroes of the day in terms of team performance at the North of England
Cross Country Championships, held for the very first time at Knowsley Safari Park,
Merseyside on Saturday 26th January, were undoubtedly their Senior Men,
who very handsomely won a set of Bronze team medals, when finishing behind winners Leeds City,
with Stockport Harriers taking second, and being led home by now record five times individual
champion Steve Vernon, who won with a minute to spare over club colleague Patrick Martin,
(formerly Sunderland Harriers).

The event went ahead, mainly thanks to the efforts of the Safari Park,
and local athletics club officials, who were all up at dawn to begin a massive
operation to organise snow clearance, which had hit the region as late as Friday evening,
and certainly threatened cancellation, which would have proved disappointing,
with a lot of athletes itching to get themselves back into competitive action
following previous snowstorms which have plagued Britain in general since New Year.

Lewis Timmins in action at the North of England XC Championships on Saturday 26th January
It was indeed a very “tigerish” performance by Morpeth Harrier Lewis Timmins,
when he led his club home by finishing an individual twelfth, which was indeed an example to follow.
Richard Morrell, having his first major championship in a Morpeth vest
was next to come home in nineteenth place, and he was closely followed
in two places later by Matt Nicholson, who produced one of his best runs ever for the club,
in respect of the tricky conditions he was facing up to.
Richard Morrell and Matt Nicholson in action at the North of England XC Championships on Saturday 26th January

Further excellent squad support came in the form of Graeme Taylor, Ross Floyd,
and Jordan Scott, who followed each other home in 39th, 40th, and 41st places respectively,
with only ten seconds dividing them, closing the Morpeth Harriers team score.

It was indeed an excellent all round team effort, including those of the non scorers,
with Ben Harrison finishing 81st, Thomas Straughan finishing 100th,
and Paul Waterston coming home in 150th place, which clearly outlined an excellent effort,
with nearly 600 Senior Men having faced the starter.

Commenting afterward on his squads performance, Morpeth Harriers Mens Road
and Cross Country Team Manager David Swinburne “felt that they had responded
quite positively to the conditions, and the fact that all nine who had turned out were
in the top third of the entire field showed a definite renewed strength in depth,
a factor that will prove very valuable in forthcoming competitions."
“In addition to this, the added factor that the clubs Senior Men were winning medals
again in the Northern Cross Country Championships, an achievement that hadn’t been
realised since as far back as 2003, when he himself had been a member of an illustrious six,
who claimed Silver medals, at Heaton Park, in Manchester.”

In addition to the Senior Mens achievement, there were also some good quality
performances achieved by Morpeth Harriers athletes in other supporting events.
Particularly of note was that of Kieran Hedley in the Under 13 Boys 3k event.
Despite the tricky surface, Kieran ran very positively throughout,
and after a very good and determined start, he stuck to the task in hand,
to come home in an excellent seventh place out of 125 finishers,
and only a mere seven seconds adrift of a medal winning achievement,
such was the outstanding quality of his run.

Unfortunately and somewhat disappointingly he had no one to share his triumph
from Morpeth Harriers within his age group, leaving a no show in team affairs.

Another excellent individual performer on the day was Alison Brown,
who no doubt had probably one of the longest journeys on the day,
having come from her Berwick base.
Alison battled her way round her two lap 5.3k Under 17 Womens course
to finish a superb 29th of 90 finishers, and beating off some of her
worthy North East opponents into the bargain.

In the Senior Womens 8k event, which was two hard and gruelling laps
of what was now fast becoming a well churned up course,
of a mixture of mud base underneath melting snow,
Morpeth Harriers lone starter Emma Holt (formerly Pearson),
very much used her triathlete strengths, to come home an excellent 31st of 217 finishers.
Unfortunately lack of further team support denied her of sharing
what could have very easily resulted in a set of team medals.

Another lone starter on the day for Morpeth Harriers was Charlotte Jewell.
Charlotte gave a very polished and determined performance to finish 45th
of 126 finishers in the Under 15 Girls one lap 4k event and was fourth of twelve from the North East.

A very strong field of 107 finishers in the Under 17 Mens two lap 5.8k event
saw Morpeth Harrier Philip Winkler battle his way through to finish 47th.
Clubmate Elliot Kelly also battled to stay in contention,
but found the going tough when he came home in 65th place.
Unfortunately Joe Elder did not have the best of preparations for his race,
arriving at the venue with only a few minutes to spare,
having made the fateful error in journeying via the M6 hoping for a clearer route.
Joe persevered to finish 105th.

Morpeth Harriers only other team finishers on the day were their Under 15 Boys,
who disappointed both collectively and individually to finish as 16th team in their one lap 4k event.
Leading the squad home was Ryan Green, who was well up with the leading contenders
in the early stages, however faded to finish 85th as the event progressed.
The other Morpeth Harriers finishers in this age group were Jacob Hopkins (113th),
Jarod Lewis (126th), and Euan Jones (134th).

A final vote of thanks must go to Northern Athletics for their determination
in getting a good team together to ensure that the event took place,
when other regional events had not survived.

Click here for complete results

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Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League ( 3 )
For the second week in a row, heavy muddy surfaces were very much the order of the day
for Morpeth Harriers athletes taking part in the third Start Fitness North Eastern
Harrier League meeting, held at Bedewell Park, Hebburn on Saturday 15th December.

It was a return to the venue for the league, after an absence of over ten years,
however the heavy rain on the Friday had made the tight course tricky in places,
however athletes certainly welcomed the slightly milder temperatures that prevailed throughout.

An excellent turnout for Morpeth Harriers in the Senior Mens 3 lap event
saw them finish third overall on the day in a very close challenge in Division 1
against winners Sunderland Harriers, and second placed Durham City.

This was achieved largely by having the scoring six of their twelve athletes on show,
amongst the top sixty of a total of nearly 400 starters.
First home for the club was Matt Nicholson,
a former Harrier League Champion,
who was having his first outing for some time.
Running from the Medium Pack on a 2m30s handicap,
he worked his way through to fourth on the day,
clocking what was the second fastest overall on the day.

Next home for Morpeth Harriers Senior Men was the ever improving Fergus Bates,
who produced an excellent run from the Slow Pack to finish ninth, and sees him elevated
to the Medium Pack for the remainder of the campaign as a result of his efforts.
Third home was Medium Packer Neil Gunstone, who had a superb run to finish a well accomplished 13th.
Fourth counter for Morpeth was Thomas Straughan, who produced very much a solid run
from the Medium Pack to finish 51st.

Completing the Morpeth Harriers scoring six were Alistair MacDonald (55th) (Slow Pack),
and Graeme Taylor, who produced a superb fourth fastest clocking of the day,
to work his way through to 56th from the Fast Pack.
Other Morpeth Harriers Senior Men to finish were, Rob Hancox (89th) (Slow Pack),
Stephen Bradley (95th) (Slow Pack), Jim Alder (133rd) (Slow Pack),
Sam Hancox (185th) (Medium Pack), Les Cavill (249th) (Slow Pack),
and Archie Jenkins (294th) (Slow Pack).

Senior Womens race at Harrier League at Bedewell Park
Another good Morpeth Harriers effort on the day came from their Senior Women,
who finished second in Division 2 behind Low Fell.
They were led home by one of their team silver medallists
from the previous weeks North Eastern Championships.

Gemma Floyd worked her way through from the Medium Pack,
to finish ninth, and ninth fastest in the race.
Morpeth Harriers second counter was Deborah Oakley,
who was making a welcome return in a Blue and White vest,
after considerable period away because of her studies.
Deborah came through to finish 25th from the Slow Pack.

Completing the Morpeth Harriers scoring count was Jane Briggs,
who came through from the Slow Pack to place 66th.
Also running for Morpeth Harriers was Claire Bruce,
who finished 95th from the Slow Pack.

Under 13 Boys race at Harrier League at Bedewell Park
Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Boys squad are certainly developing a healthy zest for success and competition,
and on Saturday they showed that they are a force to be feared by winning their team race
by a nine point margin over Durham City, with Tynedale a further three points adrift in third.

They were led home by Kieran Hedley, who was second fastest on the day,
and subsequently earned himself an individual Harrier League medal,
by coming home in third place from the Fast Pack.
Unfortunately in doing so, he denied his Morpeth Harriers clubmate
Joe Dowd by seven seconds, his first individual medal.
Nevertheless Dowd, who finished fourth from the Slow Pack,
was pleased to be part of his team’s success, with Philip Kirby closing the
Morpeth Harriers count, when finishing 19th from the Fast Pack.
Further good Morpeth Harriers performances came from Josh Burton (21st) (Fast Pack),
Tom Hizzett (24th) (Slow Pack), and Adam Shewry (32nd) (Slow Pack).

Sam Williams in action at Harrier League at Bedewell Park
Sam Williams led Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Boys home to second team place in their event,
by finishing an excellent 8th from the Slow Pack, which means he was elevated to the Fast Pack
for the remainder of the season.
Further team support came from North Eastern Cross Country
silver Medallist Ryan Green (12th) (Fast Pack) (7th Fastest on day),
and Jacob Hopkins (15th) (Fast Pack) (9th Fastest on day).

One man who is certainly hitting better form as the New Year approaches is Philip Winkler,
and he certainly proved his worth when he clocked the day’s second fastest time,
when finishing fifth in the Under 17 Mens event from the Fast Pack.
Morpeth Harriers clubmate Elliot Kelly put in a battling performance
to finish as seventh fastest, in twelfth place from the Fast Pack.
Unfortunately illness to Joe Elder meant that Morpeth were
unable to mount a team challenge in this age group.

Charlotte Jewell in action at Harrier League at Bedewell Park
Another Morpeth Harriers athlete who is certainly making steady progress is Charlotte Jewell,
and she proved this beyond all doubt, when finishing a good fifth in the Under 15 Girls event, a race where all of the first six finishers had run from the Fast Pack.

Alison Brown also gave good account for herself in the
combined Under 17/Under 20 Womens event,
where she placed ninth from the Fast Pack,
and was seventh fastest on the course,
and was sixth Under 17 in the field.

Morpeth Harriers had two finishers in the Under 13 Girls event.
Harriet Priest finished 21st from the Slow Pack,
and Kate Seymour was not far behind in 27th spot, running from the Fast Pack.

In the combined non-scoring Under 11 Boys and Girls event,
Morpeth Harriers had three runners taking part.
Adam Kirby was the first of those to finish, placing 15th overall, as eleventh Boy home.
Next to finish was Rhiannon Hedley, who was 33rd overall, and was twelfth Girl home.
Joshua Williams was the third Morpeth Harrier home, finishing 52nd, and was 28th Boy.

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2012 European Cross Country Championships !
An untimely fire which closed Hungary’s Budapest Airport on Thursday 6th December,
severely affected travel preparations for Great Britains European Cross Country
squad en-route to the 2012 Championships, which were held on Sunday 9th December.

Most of the squad, which included Morpeth Harrier Jonny Taylor,
did not arrive at their designated hotel until the early hours of Saturday morning,
due mainly to them having to find alternative routes to their destination.

Added to this, they also encountered some severe arctic conditions,
which also affected the Budapest course, with packed snow being the underfoot option,
very much limiting the athletes chances of getting a decent preview prior to the competition itself.

However despite all of these annoyances and frustrations,
Taylor and the rest of the squad did manage to put all behind them
by the time they began their 9.88k event, and put in an excellent performance
that saw them finish as second team behind Spain, and only by a margin of three points,
and well clear of Italy, who had the race winner in Andrea Lalli (30m01s).

For Taylor himself, he had a good race, and was always in the
immediate chasing pack of around a dozen athletes, and he eventually
emerged as Great Britain’s third counter in eleventh place (30m30s).

The squad were led home excellently by Border Harriers USA based Tom Farrell,
who himself narrowly missed out on an individual medal, when finishing fourth in 30m14s.

Farrell had fully justified his late selection in preference to Well City Harrier Frank Tickner,
despite missing the UK Trials in Liverpool because of his studies in America.

Second counter was Stockport’s Steve Vernon, who finished one place ahead of Taylor.
Vernon had also taken personal delight slightly earlier, when seeing his Stockport
team-mate Jessica Coulson take victory in the Under 23 Womens event.

Great Britains Silver Medal team count in the Senior Mens event
was further completed by Andy Vernon (Aldershot) (13th) 30m33s,
Tom Humphries (Cannock) (17th) 30m37s,
and Keith Gerrard (Newham) (59th) 31m47s.

A total of 84 completed the course, with 2011 Champion Atelaw Bekele
of Belgium only managing to finish 58th in 31m41s.

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North Eastern Counties Cross Country Championships !
Extreme wintry showers in the earlier part of the week,
which eventually gave way to slightly milder temperatures,
with some moderate rainfall, left the course conditions at
Summerhill Nature Reserve, Hartlepool,
heavy and almost waterlogged in several places for athletes
competing at the 107th North Eastern Counties Association
Cross Country Championships, held on Saturday 8th December.

It brought very tricky surfaces for those, non no more so than the
Senior Men, who did battle over a four lap 12k distance.

Winners of that battle were the Morpeth Harriers squad,
who gave the club their most impressive performance of the day,
by a winning margin of 123 points over Tyne Bridge Harriers,
with Sunderland Harriers a further 12 points adrift.

Morpeth Harriers were led home by Lewis Timmins in third place,
whose final efforts saw him only a mere nine seconds adrift
of race winner Andy Wiles of New Marske, who won his first
Championship after a number of minor placings in recent years.

Timmins could take personal delight in securing an individual Bronze medal,
however even more joy was to come his way, when supporting runs by Peter Newton (4th),
Ross Floyd (5th), Jordan Scott (14th), Andrew Lawrence (16th), and Michael Dawson 33rd),
saw Morpeth Harriers take the Senior Mens title.
The performances of Floyd and Scott were particularly exceptional.

Morpeth Harriers also saw some good performances come from
some of their non-scorers in the Senior Mens event.
First of those was Paul Waterston, who battled relentlessly to finish a well earned 38th,
as did Thomas Straughan who finished 42nd.
Michael Thomsen can count himself unlucky to finish one place outside the top 50.

Other Morpeth Harriers Senior Men performances came from Fergus Bates (55th),
Phil Walker (64th), Alistair Douglass (97th), and Alistair MacDonald (148th).

Morpeth Harriers Senior Women were severely weakened by injury to their
Team Manager Sarah Wilkinson and Ashley Gibson with a late illness,
however those left to do battle are to be commended on their
Silver Medal Team victory in their three lap 8k event.

They were led home by triathlete Emma Pearson, who revelled in the mud to finish seventh,
and received tremendous team support from Morag Stead (10th), and Gemma Floyd (20th).

Morpeth Harriers also saw three sets of Bronze team medals come from their Under 13 Boys,
Under 15 Boys, and Under 17 Men, in addition two Silver and Bronze individual medals respectively,
coming the way of Ryan Green and Kieran Hedley, which in turn secured them automatic places
in the regions squads for the Inter Counties Championships,
scheduled to be held in Birmingham in March 2013.

Green, more used to performing over 800m on the track,
had what is probably his best ever Cross Country performance to date,
when he finished second to Gateshead Harrier Markhim Lonsdale,
who was adding a Gold to the one he won at Cramlington last year as an Under 13.

He can also feel well pleased that he was only twenty two seconds adrift of victory,
however was well pleased to see added team Bronze medals coming to his club,
courtesy of support from Jacob Hopkins (18th), and Euan Jones (25th).

Hedley led no less than seven of his Morpeth Harriers clubmates
home in the one lap Under 13 Boys 3.2k event.
Further team support came from excellent runs from Philip Kirby (11th), and Joe Dowd (18th).
Other Morpeth Harriers performances in this age group came from Josh Burton (24th),
Louis Stripp (30th), Mark Booth (32nd), Alex Cunningham (33rd), and Adam Shewry (39th).

Fifth placed Philip Winkler, Morpeth Harriers 2011 Under 15 Boys Champion,
led his clubs Under 17 Men home to Bronze team medals in their two lap 5.6k event,
with good support coming from thirteenth placed Elliot Kelly,
with Joe Elder closing the team score in 41st place.

Led home by eleventh placed Lizzie Rank,
Morpeth Harriers young team of Under 13 Girls
did well to finish as fifth team in their one lap 3.2k event.
Good runs by Ailsa Jones (21st), and Kate Seymour (27th)
of 54 starters supported Rank’s efforts.

Sam Hancox finished a well earned 13th in the Under 20 Mens 8.7k 3 lap event,
Alison Brown and Hannah Sheerin finished seventh and twelfth respectively
in the Under 17 Womens two lap 5.6k event, and Charlotte Jewell performed
excellently to finish tenth in the Under 15 Girls one lap 3.5k event,
where club colleague Harriet Grace persevered in the difficult conditions to finish 28th.

Full marks must go to Stuart Pailor and his team at Hartlepool Burn Road Running Club,
for managing to get the competition in place considering the difficult circumstances they faced.

Click here for complete results

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McCain UK Cross Challenge Meeting !
Morpeth Harriers will be forced to reckon without the services of leading light Jonathan Taylor,
at next month’s North Eastern Counties Championships,
scheduled to be held at Hartlepool on Saturday 8th December.

Instead, Taylor will be spearheading the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland squad
at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships, in Budapest, Hungary, on the following day.

Taylor fully earned his selection as the country’s No 1, when he achieved one of the
biggest victories of his career in Saturday’s McCain UK Cross Challenge meeting
at Sefton Park, Liverpool, which also incorporated the official European Trials.

He certainly put in an excellent performance, as he clearly outclassed a strong line-up in the
Senior Mens 9.8k event, and won with 20 metres and four seconds to spare over
Aldershot’s Andy Vernon (29m59s), who was defending his title.

Third place went to Stockport’s Steve Vernon (30m00s),
with Tom Humphries of Cannock finishing fourth in 30m03s.

Inter Counties winner Keith Gerrard of Newham secured the
final automatic spot for Budapest, when he placed fifth in 30m04s.

The final discretionary place in the squad is still to be decided between sixth places Frank Tickner (30m07s)
of Wells City, and Border’s Tom Farrell, who was unable to be in Liverpool because of his USA commitments.

Nevertheless, Taylor still heads up a very good Great Britain and Northern Ireland squad,
and Morpeth Harriers offer him congratulations and best wishes on his fine achievements.

The only other Morpeth Harrier competing in Liverpool was Nick Swinburn,
who will feel a little disappointed in finishing 59th in 32m10s

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Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League (2)
Despite two prestigious road races being held at the weekend,
in the form of the Brampton to Carlisle 10 Mile Road Race,
and the Leeds Abbey Dash, there were still record turnouts
for the Senior Mens and Womens events,
at the second Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League meeting,
held at Shibdon Pond, Blaydon, on Saturday 17th November.

In addition the younger age group events were also well subscribed,
making it an extremely busy day for the ever willing band of NECAA officials.

It was also a fairly respectable day of results for the
competing athletes from the ranks of Morpeth Harriers.

Best team result for the club, albeit marginally on count back,
came from their Under 15 Boys, who were led home by the
events second fastest on the day Ryan Green,
who worked his way through the heavy muddy terrain from the Fast Pack,
to finish a much earned fourth, sixteen seconds, and one place,
behind the events fastest performer, Joe Armstrong of Gateshead Harriers.

Second counter for Morpeth was Sam Williams,
who had what was probably one of his best ever runs,
when he finished twelfth from the Slow Pack,
and because of his placing will live to fight another day in a Slow Pack start.

What was most important, and crucial to team affairs for Morpeth in this age group,
was Jarod Lewis’s placing of 16th from the Fast Pack, which meant that
they had finished with the same points total as Gateshead Harriers,
however he was ahead of their third and final counter,
which gave Morpeth Harriers the winning verdict.

To further emphasise Morpeth’s stance in the event,
their fourth finisher Jacob Hopkins, although still outside the scoring three,
was also ahead of Gateshead’s final man, when he finished 20th from the Fast Pack.

The club’s next best performers on the day were undoubtedly their Under 13 Boys.
Things are certainly looking healthy in this age group, and their individual performances
do spell a rosy future for Morpeth Harriers at this level.

Finishing second on the day to a very rampant Tynedale,
who won having athletes in first, second and fourth positions.

Morpeth Harriers did have their first man home in third spot however.
The ever improving, yet still diminutive Alex Cunningham produced
an excellent run from the Slow Pack, and his effort gave him
an individual Bronze finisher’s medal on the day,
and saw him elevated to the Fast Pack for the forthcoming fixtures.

Alex was also the fourth fastest overall in the race, despite having
a seventy five second advantage over some of his rivals,
in what was a 63 strong field, of which including Cunningham,
Morpeth Harriers had a total of nine competing.

Morpeth Harriers second team place on the day was further confirmed
by Kieran Hedley and Josh Burton finishing in seventh and eighth places
respectively from the Fast and Slow Packs.
Hedley was also third fastest in the race.

Other U/13 Morpeth Harriers producing excellent runs were,
Jamie Robertson (17th) (Slow Pack),
Adam Shewry (26th) (Slow Pack),
and Philip Kirby (30th) (Fast Pack).

There was also great promise showing in the performances of
Connor Barclay (45th) (Slow Pack), Robbie Elder (52nd) (Slow Pack),
and Lewis James (59th) (Slow Pack), who had found the last quarter
of the race particularly tough after encountering an untimely stitch.

For the second meeting in a row, Morpeths Elliot Kelly
emerged as the fastest performer in the Under 17 Mens event.

Having being promoted to the Fast Pack following his outstanding victory at Cramlington,
the Benfield Motor Group Athlete of the Month for October forged his way through to thirteenth place,
having given a 140 second start to many of his rivals in the 37 strong field of finishers.
Although his margin of fastest was a much slender nine seconds on this occasion,
he nevertheless put in an excellent performance, that all being well will bring
fruit to the table in the forthcoming weeks.

On this occasion Morpeth Harriers team effort saw them finish third on count back,
having tied with second placed Alnwick on team points,
however lost out by virtue of their third counter finishing
behind the Alnwick equivalent, albeit by two places.

They were led home by 2011 North East Under 15 Boys Cross Country Champion Philip Winkler,
who used his Slow Pack start to forge a healthy early lead, which he still retained at the halfway point.
However he found himself very much chased down in the later stages by George Sanderson of Tynedale,
who was also running from the Slow Pack.
Sanderson led his club to team victory on the day by winning by a margin of seven seconds,
by clocking what was the second fastest of the day.
Winkler’s clocking made him fifth fastest on the course.

Kelly was Morpeth Harriers second counter,
and Joe Elder closed the team score,
when finishing in 29th place from the Slow Pack.

460 finishers lined up in the three lap Senior Mens event,
a record turnout, including fourteen from Morpeth Harriers.

They were led home by twelfth placed Alistair Douglass, running from the Slow Pack.
Not far behind Douglass in eighteenth place was his clubmate Peter Newton,
whose run from the Fast Pack was easily the fastest clocking of the day.

The next finishers for Morpeth Harriers unfortunately could not count to their team score on the day,
having just transferred from New Marske and Middlesbrough (Mandale) respectively.

Brothers Richard and Adam Morrell both ran well to finish 42nd and 61st
from the Fast and Medium Packs respectively, and both look set to add more
grit and iron to the Morpeth Senior Mens set up.

Effectively they have also followed on from their more well known Father Tony,
who was a prominent International in the eighty’s, who ended his illustrious career
wearing the Blue and White of Morpeth.

Next and third counter on the day was Ed Hillier,
who came through to finish 103rd from the Slow Pack.
Graeme Taylor had another very effective run to finish 105th
from the Fast Pack, and was sixth fastest overall.

Stephen Bradley came home as fifth counter in 109th place from the Slow Pack,
and Sam Hancox produced another excellent run to finish in 154th place from the
Medium Pack to close the Morpeth Harriers Senior Mens team score,
which saw them finish as seventh from Division 1.

The end result was not quite as good as the Cramlington effort,
however with still four meetings remaining there is still more
scope for divisional honours in the melting pot.

Other Morpeth Harriers Senior Mens performances were as follows
Jim Alder (183rd) (Slow Pack),
Richard Kirby (267th) (Slow Pack),
Steve Haswell (287th) (Slow Pack),
Les Cavill (320th) (Slow Pack),
Archie Jenkins (340th) (Slow Pack),
and Bernie Cordes (450th) (Slow Pack).

Another record field on the day was that of the Senior Women,
who had 198 finishers in their two lap event.

Morpeth Harriers finished as fifth team in Divison 2 on the day,
and were led home by Emma Pearson, whose Medium Pack effort,
where she was giving two minutes to the majority of the field,
saw her progress to eleventh place overall by clocking the third fastest time on the day.

Fastest time of the day went to her Morpeth clubmate Ashley Gibson,
who despite a Fast Pack start, and giving four minutes away to most of the field,
produced an excellent run to finish in 20th place.

The Morpeth Harriers team score was closed by Veteran Claire Bruce,
who finished 100th from the Slow Pack.

Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Girls finished as sixth team in their one lap event.
They were led home by Charlotte Jewell, who produced a good run from the
Fast Pack to finish in 21st place in the 40 strong field.
Her run made her eleventh fastest in the race.

Further team efforts came from Harriet Grace,
who produced an excellent run from the Slow Pack to finish 28th,
and Florence Thomson, who was not far behind her in 34th spot.

Running from the Fast Pack as a result of her previous run at Cramlington,
Kate Seymour was Morpeth Harriers leading finisher in the Under 13 Girls one lap event.

She finished 43rd of 57 finishers in total, and with team support from
Harriet Priest (51st) (Slow Pack), and Lucy Huddleston (52nd) (Slow Pack),
Morpeth Harriers finished as ninth team.
Another Morpeth Harriers finisher in this event was Georgia Priest,
who finished 55th from the Fast Pack.

Alison Brown continued her good form, when running from the Fast Pack,
she came through to finish in fourteenth place, and tenth fastest in the
Under 17/Under 20 Womens one and a half lap event,
which had a total of twenty five finishers.
Unfortunately Morpeth Harriers had no team finish in this event.

In the non scoring Under 11 mixed small lap event,
Morpeth Harrier Adam Kirby had an excellent run to finish thirteenth.
Rhiannon Hedley, also had an excellent run to finish twenty sixth, and was ninth Under 11 girl home.
Joshua Williams finished in 58th place, and newcomer Matthew Bell finished 63rd.

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Saucony English National Cross Country Relays !
Despite a very genuine all round squad effort, Morpeth Harriers Senior Men narrowly missed out
on medals at the annual English National Cross Country Relay Championships, in their 4x5k
race, held at the events traditional venue of Berry Hill Park in Mansfield on Saturday 3rd November.

The clubs A team finished forty five seconds adrift
of third placed fellow Northerners Stockport Harriers,
who had been somewhat boosted by the first leg effort of 15m17.15s,
which proved to be the fastest overall time of the day.

Morpeth Harriers fastest performer on the day was their Olympic 5000m representative Nick McCormick,
whose 15m38.75s, moved the squad through to their final fourth placing.

The earlier legs of Nick Swinburn (15m54.60s), Ian Hudspith (15m54.45s),
and Lewis Timmins (15m57.95s), had seen the squad progress from twelfth to seventh,
leaving McCormick well in the frame to attempt a genuine medal challenge.

Jonny Taylor, last weeks fastest performer at the North Eastern Harrier League,
was unavailable to take his place in the squad due to a forthcoming International commitment in Spain,
and a further blow came from the unavailability of Peter Newton because of work duties.

The Senior Mens event was clearly won by southerners Belgrave Harriers,
who were very much boosted by the appearance of two unheard of Spaniards,
which raised quite a number of eyebrows on the day.

Second place went to solid performers, and fellow Northerners Leeds City.

Morpeth Harriers also had B and C teams in the event, who placed 25th and 68th respectively.

The B teams fastest performer was their first leg runner, whose 16m22.25s saw him finish 37th.
They then progressed to their final placing courtesy of Andrew Lawrence (17m26.70s),
Nathan Shrubb (16m26.70s), and Championship debutant Graeme Taylor (16m54.70s).

Likewise the Morpeth C teams fastest performer was first
leg runner Michael Dawson, who clocked 17m13.40s.

Other efforts came from Ben Harrison (17m34.85s),
Thomas Straughan (18m13.30s),
and Michael Thomsen (18m32.15s).

Morpeth Harriers Senior Womens Road and Cross Country Team
Manager Sarah Wilkinson was well rewarded by seeing her charges
finish a much acclaimed ninth of 102 complete teams in their 3 x 3k event.

After their first leg runner Ashley Gibson had the squad in thirteenth place
with her clocking of 10m34.65s, which was just outside some of the fastest times,
the Veteran Wilkinson, more or less led by example on the second leg,
as she climbed six places to get her club amongst the top ten performers on the course.

Although she has been out of competition in recent months,
fellow Veteran Morag Stead clearly showed an appetite for battle on the final leg,
and despite losing a couple of places to slightly faster opposition,
was still relatively upbeat with her personal clocking of 11m00.95s.

In the younger age group events, Morpeth Harriers best performance
came undoubtedly from their Under 13 Boys, who fielded two in the second year level,
and one from the first year in their 3 x 2k event.

First leg fell to Kieran Hedley, who did well to come home
in twelfth place, with a very enthusiastic 7m26.80s.
Second leg runner Philip Kirby ran a superb 7m45.65s,
to maintain twelfth place throughout, despite a number of serious challengers around him.
Alex Cunningham, who was the lesser experienced in the squad,
did his very best to ensure damage limitation on the final leg,
and can feel well encouraged that his 8m28.70s,
only saw him lose thirteen places, to a final 25th spot.

Next best for Morpeth Harriers were their Under 17 Women,
who finished their 3 x 3k event in 49th place.

On the first leg, Alison Brown came home in 32nd place in 10m04s,
which was around a minute adrift of the ten fastest times.

Hannah Sheerin slipped to 44th on the second leg,
with her clocking of 11m10.85s, and Molly MacDonald
on the final leg finished 49th in 12m04.60s.

Perhaps the most disappointing result for Morpeth Harriers
came in the Under 15 Boys 3 x 2k event.

Unfortunately Jarod Lewis was unavailable,
which definitely weakened their chances.
On first leg, Jacob Hopkins ran with a lot of caution because of the conditions,
and his particular current level of fitness,
and came home a little further down the field than expected.
He finished 73rd with his personal clocking of 7m37.50s,
leaving second leg runner Ryan Green with the unenviable task
of having to chase down a strong opposition in front of him.
Green did however manage to claw back a mammoth 31 places
with his clocking of 7m06.05s, leaving final leg runner Sam Williams,
the less experienced in the squad, with the task of completing their effort.
Williams did give battle, but unfortunately slipped to 56th with his clocking of 8m29.60s.

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Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League (1)
The Morpeth “Mudlarks” were very much alive, and extremely well,
in the Senior Mens 3 lap event at the first Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League fixture,
held at East Cramlington Nature Reserve on Saturday 27th October.

Following extremely wintry conditions that hit the region late on Friday evening,
which prevailed through most of the night, an early morning inspection was certainly
required to ensure the safety of all throughout the nine race programme,
and the event went ahead despite the race referee declaring the
course condition as “bottomless” in racing terms.

This however did nothing to deter Morpeths Jonny Taylor,
who achieved the fastest Senior Mens time, as he worked his way through
the field to finish in twelfth place overall, and as third counter for his club,
who very much mounted an early challenge for honours in the Division 1 title race.

Taylor had also given five minutes to most of a 425 strong field of finishers.

Morpeth Harriers Senior Men certainly emphasised their superiority,
and were led home by a superb Jonny Nisbet effort, running from the Slow Pack,
who finished second overall, as seventh fastest on the course.

Morpeth Harriers second counter was Neil Gunstone,
who also took full advantage of his Slow Pack start,
by racing home to fifth place.

The Morpeth scoring count was superbly completed by
Nick Swinburn (14th) (2nd Fastest) (Fast Pack),
Lewis Timmins (18th) (3rd Fastest) (Fast Pack),
and a very much inform Sam Hancox, who produced another excellent
performance, by steadily placing 21st from the Slow Pack.

Added to all this, the non scoring performances of Ross Floyd (46th) (Fast Pack) (5th Fastest),
and Graeme Taylor (48th) (Fast Pack) (6th Fastest), were most creditable,
and served to give their club what is probably its best ever Harrier League team performance,
having finished with six of the to seven fastest on the course was no mean achievement, to say the least.

Further down the field, Morpeth Harriers could also pay tribute to the performances of
Philip Caldwell (74th) (Slow Pack), Thomas Straughan (75th) (Medium Pack),
Michael Thomsen (78th) (Medium Pack), Rob Hancox (79th) (Slow Pack),
and Paul Waterston (88th) (Medium Pack).

Gary Jones found the going a little tough after a period of limited competition,
due to injury, and came home in 187th place from the Fast Pack.

It was very heart-warming to see Morpeth Harriers field a squad
in the two lap Senior Womens event, which saw them place as fifth team overall,
and second in Division 2 behind Elswick Harriers.

They were led home by Gemma Floyd, who running from the Medium Pack,
finished twelfth, and was seventh fastest in the race.
Morpeth Harriers second finisher, was newcomer Lindsay Turnbull,
and looked every inch the part in the difficult conditions
as she got round to finish twenty first from the Slow Pack.

After a couple of seasons out of competition with persistent injuries,
Morpeth Harriers were pleased to welcome back their former
Womens Road and Cross Country Team Manager Gwenda Cavill to the fray,
and despite a slight loss of fitness, she performed extremely well to finish fortieth
in a total field of 179 from the Slow Pack.

One of the best individual Morpeth Harriers performances on the day
undoubtedly belonged to Elliot Kelly, who after starting very steadily
from the Slow Pack, tested himself on the difficult surface,
and carefully stole away from his rivals in the Under 17 Mens two lap event.

By halfway, he was a good thirty seconds clear, and in an almost gazelle like fashion
he won with thirty five seconds to spare over second placed James Cripwell of Gateshead.

Kelly can also feel well pleased in the knowledge that he was the fastest
of 36 competitors on the course; however will feel a little disappointed
that he had no fellow Morpeth Harriers with him to share some team success.

Back to the team front, and Morpeth Harriers can feel well pleased
with the efforts of their Under 13 and Under 15 Boys who managed
to finish as second in their one lap 3.2k events respectively.

The Under 13 Boys were led home by Kieran Hedley,
who produced an excellent second fastest of the day run
from the Fast Pack, who gave most of their rivals an eighty second start.
Kieran came through to finish seventh overall in a finishing field of 52,
which included eight of his fellow Morpeth Harriers clubmates.

In that light, further team counts came from Louis Stripp,
who marked his Harrier League debut, with an excellent
run from the Slow Pack to finish eleventh.
Not far behind Louis in 14th place from the Slow Pack was Josh Burton,
who closed the Morpeth Harriers team score.
15th and 16th places also went to Morpeth Harriers,
in the form of Alex Cunningham (Slow Pack),
and Jamie Robertson (Slow Pack).

Other Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Boys who competed were
Philip Kirby (22nd) (Fast Pack), Adam Shewry (29th) (Slow Pack),
Robbie Elder (45th) (Slow Pack), and Lewis James (48th) (Slow Pack).

Running from the Slow Pack, Jacob Hopkins led the Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Boys squad home,
when he finished seventh overall, and one place ahead of club colleague Ryan Green,
who ran from the Fast Pack, and was third fastest on the course.
The team count was completed with Jarod Lewis finishing 21st from the Fast Pack.
Morpeth Harriers other performer in this event was Sam Williams, who finished 28th from the Slow Pack.

Morpeths Alison Brown ploughed a lone furrow for her club
in the Under 17/Under 20 Womens 4.83k event.
She finished a well earned fourth from the Slow Pack,
and was eighth fastest on the course,
and was third placed Under 17.

Another praiseworthy Morpeth Harriers team performance came from
their very young and promising Under 13 Girls.
Although they very much missed their front running abilities of Ailsa Jones,
the squad produced a performance that saw them finish as sixth team.
They were led home by Kate Seymour, who on her Harrier League
debut finished sixth from the Slow Pack.
Second counter was Teegan Dryden (23rd) (Fast Pack),
and Harriet Priest (35th) (Slow Pack), completed the Morpeth tally of points.
Georgia Priest finished 46th from the Fast Pack in this age group.

Morpeth Harrier Charlotte Jewell ran well to finish ninth fastest in a field of 28
in the Under 15 Girls, who also included her clubmate Florence Thomson.
Charlotte was 14th overall from the Fast Pack, and Florence finished 17th from the Slow Pack.

Morpeth Harriers had two athletes competing in the Mixed non scoring Under 11 event,
where Adam Kirby finished 20th as fourteenth Boy,
and Joshua Williams finished 45th as twenty sixth Boy.

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Start Fitness North East Harrier League Sherman Cup / Davison Shield

The first meeting of the Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League 2012-13
got underway on Saturday 29th September, with the holding of the Sherman Cup (Men)
and Davison Shield (Women) competitions at Temple Park Leisure Centre, South Shields.

Despite the heavy rainstorms that blighted the North East region earlier in the week,
the conditions underfoot for runners were remarkably good,
and it was only a strong prevailing wind, along with thankfully some warm autumn
sunshine that greeted runners for their first major cross country outing of the season.

The Sherman Cup and Davison Shield competition success is totally relient
on the competing clubs being able to turn squads out in all of the events,
five in the Men, and five in the Women, and being able to obtain the best
aggregate scores from those events collectively.

At the time, pending full final confirmation of all of the results,
it was thought that Morpeth Harriers had been successful in both competitions,
and thus retaining their hold on the Davison Shield.

Once results are confirmed, the league will arrange to present outstanding medals
and trophies at the first meeting proper, scheduled to be held at East Cramlington Nature Reserve,
and hosted by Blyth Running Club on Saturday 27th October 2012.

On to the Morpeth Harriers performances on the day,
and the club were very strong in the Mens competition,
with the first three to score in each of the five sections on offer.

Particularly strong were the Senior Men, who finished a very close
second to their fiercest rivals Gateshead Harriers.

They were led home by a very rampant Jonny Nisbet,
who more than crowned his first Senior Harrier League outing,
by placing an excellent seventh in 31m58s,
and only a minute behind event winner Phil Hurst of Elswick Harriers.

Second home for Morpeth Harriers was Jordan Scott,
who is now beginning to show signs that he is reaping the
benefit of extra training sessions following the resurrection
of his running career in recent months.
Jordan always held great promise as a Young Athlete,
however left the sport for a couple of years, and is now
rejuvenated by the inspiration of others around him,
and his performance in finishing tenth in 32m19s has more than
repaid the faith of his supporters.

This can also be said of Morpeth Harriers third counter Thomas Straughan,
who produced an outstanding run to finish twenty second in 33m38s .

Also competing well for Morpeth Harriers,
although outside the scoring three were Tom Brookes (25th) 33m49s,
Alistair Douglass (39th) 34m23s, and Sam Hancox (64th) 35m22s.

Other Morpeth Harriers Senior Mens results were as follows
John Woods (87th) 36m19s,
Tony Lewis (100th) 37m10s,
and Ben Etterley (214th) 42m53s.

For the first time Veteran teams were scored separately in the competition,
and in this respect Morpeth Harriers finished well ahead of Gateshead Harriers in the Mens section.

They were led home by Fergus Bates, who produced an excellent run
to finish 33rd overall in 34m11s, and was tenth Veteran Man to finish.
Second counter for Morpeth Harriers was their evergreen and long serving Gordon Dixon,
fresh from his previous weeks exploits in Dumfries.
Dixon was seventeenth Veteran finisher, when placing 69th in 35m28s.
Third counter was Rob Hancox, who worked his way round solidly to finish 91st overall,
and was twenty seventh Veteran Man to finish in 36m27s.
Morpeth Harriers other Male Veteran finisher was Jim Alder,
who came home in 122nd place as forty third in the category.

The clubs younger age Male athletes also contributed greatly to the overall success.

Their Under 17 Men finished second to Gateshead Harriers,
being led home by an excellent Elliot Kelly, who finished ninth in 22m13s.
Only two seconds and one place behind him was clubmate Philip Winkler,
who did remarkably well considering he had spent most of the previous week fighting off a virus.
The Morpeth Harriers tally was completed by Joe Elder, who finished twenty eighth in 24m57s.

Next best performers for Morpeth Harriers were their Under 13 Boys,
who finished second, narrowly missing out for victory to Chester Le Street.
They were led home by Keiran Hedley, who finished fourth in 11m51s.
Further excellent team support came from Philip Kirby (7th) 12m24s,
and Alex Cunningham (8th) 12m31s.
There was also a further excellent run in this age group event from Joe Dowd,
who finished in fourteenth place in 12m53s.

Other Morpeth Harriers to finish in this event were as follows
Adam Shewry (30th) 13m58s,
Matthew Briggs (38th) 15m13s,
Lewis James (40th) 16m17s,
and Hamish Thomson (45th) 19m47s.

Jacob Hopkins led Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Boys home
to third team place behind Gateshead Harriers and Tynedale.

Hopkins finished tenth overall, one place and six seconds ahead
of his clubmate Jarod Lewis in a time of 11m44s.
Sam Williams (25th) 13m21s, completed the Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Boys scoring tally.

On to the Womens Davison Shield competition,
where the main threat to Morpeth Harriers supremacy came from
Gosforth Harriers, who scored likewise in four of the five sections on offer.

However the difference margin of 140 points in the newly separately
scored Veteran Womens event gave Morpeth
just the advantage that they needed for overall victory.

Morpeth Harriers were inspirationally led home by their Team Manager Sarah Wilkinson,
who ran exceptionally well to finish as first Veteran, in third place, and in a time of 23m18s,
that was only one minute and twenty seconds adrift of Senior race winner Rosie Smith of Durham City.
Second counter for Morpeth Harriers was Jane Briggs,
who finished 28th overall in 28m08s, and was thirteenth Veteran.
Completing the Morpeth Harriers winning scoring count was Claire Bruce,
who was 53rd overall in 29m31s, and was twenty ninth Veteran.

Disappointingly Morpeth Harriers could only manage to muster one Senior Lady on the day.
Kate Chapman finished an excellent 18th overall in 27m15s, and was tenth Senior.

Next best result for Morpeth Harriers in the Female section came
from their Under 13 Girls who finished fourth behind Gosforth Harriers.
This event very nearly became voided as it emerged that runners
had somehow managed to go off course, however the Race Referee saw sense in allowing
the result to stand, on the basis that it was the entire field of forty four finishers who had faulted.
They had literally wiped off around five and a half to six minutes off
the expected time as the first finisher came home in 5m46s.

Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Girls were led home by Teegan Dryden, who finished fifth overall in 6m11s.
Second counter for Morpeth Harriers was Kate Seymour, having her first ever Harrier League outing.
Kate finished in thirteenth place in 6m31s.
Completing the Morpeth Harriers scoring count was Lois Scott, who finished 42nd in 7m29s.

Charlotte Jewell led Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Girls squad
home to fifth team place, when finishing 14th in 13m38s.
Not far behind Charlotte in fifteenth place was Amber Cormack, who clocked 14m05s.
The Morpeth Harriers scoring count was completed by Florence Thomson, who finished 23rd in 15m47s.
One place and ten seconds behind Florence was her clubmate Harriet Grace.

Alison Brown had an excellent run to finish eighth in 19m01s,
and as fifth Under 17 athlete in the combined Under 17/Under 20 Womens event.
Morpeth Harriers finished as fifth team in this age group,
with further team support coming from Hannah Sheerin (16th) (11th Under 17) 20m32s,
and Sarah Wilkes (21st) (12th Under 17) 22m04s.

The combined non scoring Under 11 Boys and Girls race,
which accompanied the Sherman Cup and Davison Shield events,
saw a total of 57 finishers face the starter,
including four very promising young athletes from Morpeth Harriers.
First home from the club was Daniel Dixon, who was 24th overall in 3m51s
for approx 1200m, and he was fifteenth Boy finisher.
Not far behind him in 25th place, and as sixteenth boy finisher
was Adam Kirby, younger brother of Philip, who clocked 3m53s.
Next home from Morpeth Harriers was Rhiannon Hedley, younger sister of Kieran,
who finished 33rd as fourteenth girl, in a time of 4m01s.
Joshua Williams completed the Morpeth Harriers quartet,
when he finished 37th in 4m09s, and he was twentieth Boy finisher.

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Sunderland Harriers Open XC Races !

Whilst the club quite surprisingly, and disappointingly fielded no athletes
in either the Senior or Veteran Men, or Senior Womens events
at Sunderland Harriers Open Cross Country Meeting,
held at Farringdon School on Saturday 8th September,
Morpeth Harriers could feel quite proud of their
Young Athletes achievements on the day respectively.

There were wins for Under 17 Man, Philip Winkler,
and very promising Under 13 Boy Kieran Hedley,
and also a well earned second place for Under 17 Woman Alison Brown,
who in doing so fended off most of her main rivals in her age group,
apart from the formidable Lydia Turner of Birtley.

For Winkler’s part, he probably achieved his closest victory since his
Under 15 Boys North East Championship win at Cramlington last December.
He won with one second to spare over his closest rival Chris Peverley in 9m18s.
The closeness of the Under 17 Mens event at the front could be clearly found
in fellow Morpeth Harrier Elliot Kelly’s performance, in that he was only
twenty seconds adrift of Winkler, and could only claim seventh spot.
Joe Elder continued his comeback from injury by finishing 23rd in 11m17s.

Kieran Hedley’s win in the Under 13 Boys event clearly gave him immense satisfaction,
in that he defeated one of his closest rivals in South Shields’s Matthew Wakefield,
posting a time of 10m30s, which gave him an eight second winning margin.
Fellow Morpeth Harriers Phil Kirby, Robbie Elder, and Lewis James,
also performed well to finish 12th, 25th, and 27th
in respective times of 11m52s, 13m31s, and 15m17s.

Kieran Hedley’s younger sister Rhiannon continues to thrive on competition,
by finishing an excellent tenth in the Under 11 Girls event in 4m56s,
seeing off competition from girls a year or so older in the process.

As aforementioned Alison Brown also saw off some of her sternest rivals,
when finishing a good second in the Under 17 Womens event in 11m13s,
fellow Morpeth Harrier Hannah Sheerin came through to finish fifth in 12m13s.

Morpeth Harriers had three athletes competing in the Under 15 Boys event.
Ryan Green finished third behind Gateshead pair Joe Armstrong and Markhim Lonsdale in a time of 9m42s.
Jacob Hopkins finished seventh in 10m39s, and newcomer Daniel Almond
will have gained great experience in his first outing in a Morpeth vest, which saw him finish 22nd in 13m53s.

In the Under 15 Girls event, Morpeth Harriers two athletes
Charlotte Jewell and Florence Thomsen finished ninth
and seventeenth respectively in 12m09s, and 14m17s.

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2011/2012 REPORTS

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North East Harrier League ( 6 )
at Prudhoe on Saturday 24th March 2012.

Click below for report of the
UK Inter Counties Cross Country Championships !
at Birmingham on Saturday 10th March 2012.

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North East Harrier League ( 5 )
at Alnwick on Saturday 3rd March 2012.

Click below for report of the
2012 English National Cross Country Championships !
at Parliament Hill Fields on Saturday 25th February 2012.

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North East Harrier League ( 4 )
at Wrekenton on Saturday 11th February 2012.

Click below for report of the
2012 North of England Cross Country Championships !
at Pontefract on Saturday 28th January 2012.

Click below for report of the
Durham Cathedral Cross Country Relays !
at Durham on Sunday 22nd January 2012.

Click below for report of the
North Eastern Counties Cross Country Championships !
at East Cramlington on Saturday 10th December 2011.

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North East Harrier League ( 3 )
at Blaydon on Saturday 26th November 2011.

Click below for report of the
2011 English National Cross Country Relays
at Berry Hill Park, Mansfield on Saturday 5th November 2011.

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North East Harrier League ( 2 )
at Sunderland on Saturday 29th October 2011.

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North East Harrier League Sherman Cup / Davison Shield
at South Shields on Saturday 22nd October 2011.

Click below for report of the
Start Fitness North East Harrier League ( 1 )
at Cramlington on Saturday 8th October 2011.

Click below for report of the
Sunderland Harriers Open Cross Country Races !
at Sunderland on Saturday 10th September 2011.

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Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League (6)

Dense early morning fog eventually gave way to excellent Spring sunshine
for the hardy competitors who took part in the final meeting of the 2011/12
Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League, held in lofty pastureland situated above
Prudhoe High School in the picturesque Tyne Valley, on Saturday 24th March.

It also brought to a close, a particularly busy and competitive
Cross Country season for athletes from Morpeth Harriers,
and at least brought some reward for two of their teams, and six of their individuals.

On the team front, the clubs Under 13 and Under 15 Boys won their respective divisions,
with the former only achieving success at the final hurdle due to a superb performance
on the day that saw them finish first, and well ahead of prospective challengers Tynedale Harriers.

The six individual awards gained by athletes from Morpeth Harriers will be presented
at a special awards ceremony, to be held at the sponsor Start Fitness’s
premises on Pilgrim Street, Newcastle on Thursday 12th April at 5.45pm.

Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Boys were undoubtedly boosted by a
superb front running performance from young Samuel Williams,
who almost led from gun to finishing tape, to win with eight seconds to spare over his closest rival,
who just happened to be the days fastest performer in Tynedale’s Matthew Jackson.

Not far behind Matthew in fourth place overall, and second fastest on the day,
Morpeth’s Jacob Hopkins, who by virtue of this performance,
emerges as third in the seasons overall Grand Prix rankings,
which will earn him an award at the aforementioned presentation evening.
Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Boys team score on the day was completed by Kieran Hedley,
who finished in eighth place, and was fourth fastest.
That performance sees Kieran as fifth fastest cumulatively in the seasons Grand Prix rankings.

Other Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Boy performances on the day came from
Euan Jones (26th) (Fast Pack), and Lewis James (44th) (Slow Pack).

An truly excellent season for Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Boys
came to a very fruitful end by them winning their league title,
and by creating a new record in itself, by providing the league’s
Grand Prix standings with its first, second and third athlete.

On the day itself, it was those three athletes who further confirmed
their dominance, when combining to form yet another team victory.
Elliot Kelly sealed his Grand Prix victory by finishing as fastest on the day in second place overall,
and Philip Winkler (7th) (Fast Pack), and Ryan Green (9th) (Fast Pack) emerged
as third and fourth fastest on the day to take the second and third spot cumulatively.
Although not a counter on this occasion, Jarod Lewis had another good run to finish fifteenth from the Fast Pack.

Unfortunately there was some disappointment on the day,
when Morpeth Harriers Senior Men missed a golden
opportunity to win the Division 1 title for the first time.
Instead it went to Gateshead Harriers, who by comparison turned
out in force on the day, and very easily won by a fair margin.

Morpeth Harriers finished third in the division on the day, however all credit
must go to those who turned out on the day to fly the club flag.
First of those was newcomer James Taylor, who firmly used his fell running talents,
and certainly looks a promising act, as he came home in third place from the Slow Pack,
only headed by Durham City’s Dan Garbutt, and
Gateshead’s Keiran Flannery, both also from the Slow Pack.

Next home for Morpeth Harriers was Tom Brookes, who finished eighth from the Slow Pack.
Ross Floyd, who is hoping to grab a place in Morpeth Harriers 12 Stage Road Relay team
at this weekends North of England Championships in Liverpool,
firmly put his name in the hat for possible selection, when he came home as
the clubs third counter, when finishing 44th from the Fast Pack, and as tenth fastest overall on the day.
Three places behind Ross came clubmate John Woods, who had an excellent run from the Medium Pack.

Next came Morpeth Harriers Road and Cross Country Team Manager David Swinburne,
who as usual led by example by finishing in an excellent 55th place from the Fast Pack.
Unfortunately Morpeth Harriers had to look to 109th place to close their scoring count,
with Michael Winter doing his level best from the Slow Pack, however it just was not
quite enough to manage a required team success.
Credit must also go to Phil Walker and Rob Hancox, who turned out on the day
to finish in 136th and 154th places from the Medium and Slow Packs respectively.

In the Senior Womens event, Morpeth Harrier Jane Hodgson confirmed her superiority
in the Grand Prix standings by finishing in second place on the day, and only lost out on the day for fastest,
albeit by six seconds, to Durham City’s Rosie Smith, who had chosen to run from the Medium Pack,
giving her a two minute advantage for a rampant Hodgson to chase down.

Such is the quality of Hodgson’s performance, that she should get so close to a seasoned International talent.
Hodgson will however have the satisfaction of picking up her Grand Prix award from Start Fitness.

It was extremely pleasing to see Morpeth Harriers close as a team
in the Senior Womens event for only the second time this season.
Further team support came from Gemma Floyd (9th) (Medium Pack),
and Maxine Czarneka (51st) (Fast Pack).
Those placings gave Morpeth Harriers second team placing on the day
behind Tyne Bridge Harriers in Division 2.

Morpeth Harriers also finished as a team in the Under 13 Girls event, when they placed fourth.
They were led home by Teegan Dryden (17th) (Fast Pack), with further team support coming
from Lois Scott (20th) (Slow Pack), and Georgia Priest (25th) (Fast Pack).

Morpeth Harrier Alison Brown continued her busy strong season by finishing sixth
in the Under 15 Girls event, which also sees her finish as sixth in the overall
Grand Prix standings for the campaign, and clubmate Charlotte Jewell continued
her impressive progress when finishing tenth from the Fast Pack.

Having already sealed victory in the Grand Prix standings for Under 17 Men,
Morpeth Harrier Jonnie Nisbet sensibly chose not to take his place on the start line,
for what would have been his last race in that age group.Instead he wisely chose to take a
well earned break after a hectic spell of Cross Country activity,
and he will also be one of the clubs athletes to be honoured
at the forthcoming presentation evening at Start Fitness.

Morpeth Harriers sole athlete in the Under 17 Mens event was Sam Hancox,
who ran well to finish eleventh from the Fast Pack.

In the non scoring Under 11’s race, Morpeth Harrier Ailsa Jones
ran with a great deal of credit to place thirteenth overall.
She was also fourth Female finisher.

Other Morpeth Harriers to feature in this event were Matthew Ingledew (18th),
Robbie Elder (20th), and Charlotte France (34th).

In summing up the Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League season
Morpeth Harriers can feel well proud of the efforts of their younger age Boys teams,
can say tough luck to those Senior Men who made the effort, and can look
forward to a great deal of promise from their younger girls,
and to build on some strengths that exist in their Womens squads.

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UK Inter Counties Cross Country Championships !

The North East region certainly did itself proud with its performances
over the ten events on offer at the UK Inter Counties Cross Country Championships,
held at Cofton Park, Birmingham on Saturday 10th March.

North East Counties AA Chairman Bill McGuirk spoke
very proudly of the squads efforts on Sunday morning,
and clearly highlighted the regions Senior Men
as being the outright stars of the show,
as they saved the best to last by winning
team Gold Medals in their 12k team event.

Whilst New Marske's Ricky Stevenson could be very pleased with his individual Silver,
when finishing a close second to recent National winner Keith Gerrard
of Newham and Essex Beagles, representing Lancashire,
he could be very equally pleased that his efforts saw
him lead his North East colleagues to team Gold,
with a great deal of worthy support coming from the other five counters,
that included no less than four members from Morpeth Harriers.

Jonathan Taylor, who had certainly looked a possible candidate
for an individual medal in the early exchanges,
could count himself to be very unlucky to closely lose
out in the closing stages to Belgrave's Phil Wicks, representing Surrey.

However the excellent performances by Morpeth's Lewis Timmins (11th),
Peter Newton (28th), and Matthew Nicholson (31st),
added to Leeds City's Carl Smith (48th), sealed the well earned team medals.

Credit must also go to Gateshead's Ryan Stephenson (85th),
and Durham City's Michael Grimes (101st) for their non scoring efforts.

Another Morpeth Harrier who gave a very creditable performance on the day was Ben Harrison,
who in finishing 190th closed Cumbria's team score to give them fifteenth team place.

The regions Under 17 Mens squad just missed out on team medals,
finishing fourth in their 6k event, with Jonny Nisbet coming home in 35th place as fourth counter.

A much weakened Senior Womens squad performed well to finish as sixth team in their 8k event,
with a very exhausted Jane Hodgson of Morpeth Harriers being their third counter in 43rd place.

Led by Gateshead's Markhim Lonsdale, who ran well to take the individual Gold Medal,
the North East's Under 13 Boys squad finished in a very creditable seventh team place in their 3k event,
with Morpeth Harrier Jacob Hopkins coming home as their third counter in 54th place.

Although outside the scoring four, his clubmate Kieron Hedley
can feel well pleased with his placing of 151st, and as seventh from the region.

Morpeth's Philip Winkler and Elliot Kelly,
were second and fourth counters
for the North East's Under 15 Boys squad,
who finished in tenth team place in their 4.5k event,
by finishing in 45th and 85th places respectively.

In the Under 15 Girls 4k event, where the North East finished seventh,
Alison Brown of Morpeth was sixth home in 152nd place overall.

Morpeth Harriers only other competitor on the day was Ailsa McGregor,
who was fourth counter for the regions Under 20 Womens squad,
who finished ninth in their 6k event.

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Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League (5)

Cross Country athletics action returned to The Pastures in the grounds
of Alnwick Castle for the first time in several years on Saturday 3rd March,
with the holding of the penultimate and fifth Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League meeting.

The event proved to be a success on the organisational front for the local club Alnwick Harriers,
who were heaped with praise for their skills in selecting a scenic,
yet tough course for all, which provoked acclaim despite its testing terrain.

It also saw Morpeth Harriers achieve a great deal of success on the day,
by providing the event with five of the fastest times achieved in the nine event programme,
three individual winners, one team victory for their Under 15 Boys,
which more or less cemented their position as League Champions
in the Grand Prix standings for the season, and an excellent Senior Mens performance,
where they finished third on the day from Division 1,
but comfortably ahead of Gateshead Harriers,
which now sees them back at the top of the division,
albeit with a slender one point lead, as they face a final showdown
at an equally tough and demanding Prudhoe course in three weeks time.

The best all round performance on the day for Morpeth Harriers
undoubtedly belonged to their Under 15 Boys squad,
who were led home in style by their North East champion Philip Winkler,
who managed to escape the close attentions of his second placed club mate Elliot Kelly,
also running from the Fast Pack, and to put a thirteen second cushion between himself and Kelly,
as he clocked the fastest time of the day.

It was very nearly a one, two, three for Morpeth, with Ryan Green,
having made a wonderful recovery from the hamstring injury that he suffered
in the English National Cross Country in London the previous week,
just being outpaced by Chester Le Street’s Tom Goulding, and having to settle for fourth.

However Green’s placing along with Winkler and Kelly’s gave Morpeth Harriers
an emphatic team victory ahead of the host club Alnwick and third placed Tynedale.
Although not one of the scoring three, Jarod Lewis once again had an excellent run
when he finished tenth from the Fast Pack.

This result definitely presents an interesting scenario in the Grand Prix
standings for Winkler and Kelly as they go into the final meeting at Prudhoe,
with Kelly the current leader overall, and the only one who could
pip him for the title is Winkler, should he beat him in the final showdown.

Lewis Timmins certainly bounced back from his disappointments in London,
when he clocked the fastest time of the day by a fair margin
when finishing fourth overall in the Senior Mens event.
He also led the Morpeth Harriers squad home to third team place on the day,
with equally excellent assistance coming from club mate Peter Newton,
who clocked the second fastest time, also from the Fast Pack.

That third team placing, also saw them second from Division 1, which puts
them marginally ahead of Gateshead going into the final meeting at Prudhoe.
The Morpeth Harriers dominance was clearly underlined as their six counters
were all inside the first fifty five of a 342 strong field of finishers.

Third home for Morpeth was Thomas Straughan, who did well in his promotion
to the Medium Pack, when finishing in an excellent 26th place.
Next home was Stephen Bradley from the Slow Pack, from which he will live
to fight another day, as he finished in 31st place.
The scoring six were completed by Mick Thomsen (50th) (Medium Pack),
and Gordon Dixon (52nd) (Slow Pack), who definitely performed well
as a firmly established endurance competitor.
Just outside the scoring six was John Woods, who ran well as
a newcomer to the Medium Pack, when finishing 55th.

Morpeth Harrier Jane Hodgson firmly kept her grip at the top
of the Senior Womens Grand Prix standings, when finishing third
from the Fast Pack, and as easily the fastest performer,
when finishing a good thirty seconds clear of her closest rival,
the visiting and non scoring Jacqueline Fairchild of Trafford AC.

Maxine Czarneka was Morpeth’s only other finisher on the day,
when placing 20th overall, and as fourth fastest from the Fast Pack.

The Under 17 Mens event eventually became a stroll in the park for
Morpeth’s Jonnie Nisbet, as he sat in on the first of the two laps,
and eventually stole away to win by a very comfortable twenty eight seconds
over his closest rival Isaac Dunn of Blackhill.

In the absence of his fiercest rival Markhim Lonsdale of Gateshead Harriers,
Jacob Hopkins celebrated a superb victory in the Under 13 Boys event,
by a margin of six seconds over his closest rival.
However his run from the Fast Pack was a good fourteen seconds faster
than his closest rival in terms of handicapped time.
Morpeth Harriers finished as third team in this event,
with further support coming from Kieran Hedley (9th) (Fast Pack),
and Philip Kirby (27th) (Fast Pack).

In an event mainly dominated by Fast Pack runners, Morpeth’s Alison Brown
fought well to finish fifth in the Under 15 Girls event.
Charlotte Jewell, also running from the Fast Pack, came through to finish in 17th place.

Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Girls squad finished in fourth team place,
being led home by Olivia Priest, who finished sixth from the Slow Pack.
The scoring count was completed by Teegan Dryden (10th) (Fast Pack),
and Lois Scott (30th) (Slow Pack).
Lois was closely followed home in thirty first place
by Georgia Priest, who ran from the Fast Pack.

In the Non scoring Under 11’s event, Morpeth’s Matthew Ingledew
competed well in his first event to finish ninth.
His clubmates Adam Kirby and Harriet Priest finished fourteenth
and twenty fifth respectively, with Harriet being the ninth Female home.

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English National Cross Country Championships !

Start of the Senior Mens race at the Nationals on Saturday 25th February
There was evidence of spring in the air when hundreds of athletes
descended on Parliament Hill Fields, Hampstead Heath,
in London on Saturday 25th February for the 125th
renewal of the English National Cross Country Championships.

It was the twelfth occasion that the Championships had been held at the iconic venue,
which has now become known as its ancestral home.

The event began in 1876, when only a handful of Senior Male athletes took part,
which has now generated into a ten event programme,
covering competitors from Under 13 upwards, and of both genders.

In contrast to 2011, when conditions at Alton Towers, Staffordshire,
were much less favourable, and nearly became abandoned,
the course at Parliament Hills was in good raceable condition for all.

Against what has become a most well known backdrop,
as seen on many TV films and documentaries, runners were to get a fleeting glance
of the wonderful view of the London architectural skyline from the infamous Kite Hill,
the highest point on the course, only those who could allow the time to take it in.

Most were there for the competition of course, and none more so than Morpeth Harriers
best individual performer on the day Jonnie Nisbet.
Jonnie finished 21st in the Under 17 Mens one small lap and one long lap 6k event in a time of 20m24s,
which saw him as first home for the region, just one place ahead of North East Champion Wayne Parker,
whom he passed in a close run to the finish line.
Nisbet was also fourth home from the North of England,
and was ahead of two Northern minor medallists in Fergus Roberts
of Richmond and Zetland (28th), and Tom Bains of Hallamshire (31st)

Morpeth Harriers were represented in five of the ten events on offer,
however could only complete as a team in the Senior Mens 12k,
for reasons to be explained further on in this report.

They finished as first from the region in eleventh team place behind a dominant Leeds City,
who retained the title that they had won in the swamp like conditions at Alton Towers
twelve months previous, and were also third from the North of England behind Stockport.

The Morpeth Senior Mens squad were led home by Jonny Taylor,
who after being amongst the front runners in the early stages gradually went off the hectic pace to finish ninth.
Second home was Matt Nicholson, who ran solidly to finish 35th,
however finished needing medical attention for apparent breathing difficulties.

Two places behind him was Lewis Timmins,
who by his own admission had a disappointing run.

Fourth counter was Sam Forester, who had jetted in
from Germany especially for the event.
Sam can feel well pleased with his efforts to finish 118th,
however had been battling for a top 100 placing.

Next home for Morpeth Harriers was Andrew Lawrence,
who on relatively home turf, being based in London, did well to finish 210th.
Andrew has a good individual record on Parliament Hill,
having been a Morpeth Harriers team medallist at the venue
for their Under 17 and Under 20 Mens teams at previous Championships.

Completing the Morpeth Harriers team score was Ben Harrison in 278th place,
just three places and one second ahead of club colleague Neil Gunstone.

Other Morpeth Harriers Senior Mens performances came from
Paul Waterston and Mike Hegarty,
who finished in 601st and 618th places respectively
in a field of 1,688 Senior Mens competitors.

Other North East clubs to finish amongst the teams in the Senior Mens event were
South Shields (71st), Saltwell (88th), Low Fell (95th), and Aurora (125th).

The most disappointing result of the day for Morpeth Harriers
undoubtedly came in the Under 15 Boys 4.5k event,
where Ryan Green (hamstring pull) was forced out in the early stages,
and although he responded to medical assistance,
and was later able to walk around to support colleagues in subsequent events,
he now faces a race to be fit in time for the English Schools Cross Country Championships,
at Ilton, Somerset in three weeks time, where he is one of Northumberland’s leading hopes.

Despite the loss of Green, his Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Boy
colleagues carried on to achieve good individual efforts.
North East Champion Phil Winkler led them home in 37th place,
and was first from the region, as well as being sixth from the North of England.

Elliot Kelly again produced an excellent run to finish 60th,
and was second from the region, as well as being tenth from the North of England.
Third home was Jared Lewis, who when finishing 161st
in a total field of 366 finishers really excelled,
and in addition was sixth from the region.

It was thought by Morpeth Harriers team bosses,
if Green had finished in his usual place,
the club would have achieved sixth team place,
and would have made them the clubs best team performers on the day,
as well as second from the North of England.

One Morpeth Harrier who certainly benefitted from being
cheered on by her clubmates was Alison Brown,
who in finishing 98th made it into the top 100
of a 342 strong field in the Under 15 Girls 4k event.

Jacob Hopkins maintained a great deal of pride with his performance
in the Under 13 Boys 3k event, where he finished in an excellent 66th place,
and was third finisher from the region behind Gateshead Harrier Markhim Lonsdale,
who finished in Silver medal place on the day, only losing out for Gold by a mere four seconds.
Hopkins’s Morpeth Harriers club colleague Euan Jones
also ran well to finish 252nd in a 373 strong field of finishers.

Unfortunately on a negative note, Alison Brown was Morpeth Harriers
only female competitor on the day, a factor that must be judged by coaches at the club.

Click here for complete 2012 National XC Results

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Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League (4)

There were some good performances from athletes from Morpeth Harriers
at the fourth meeting of the Start Fitness sponsored North Eastern Harrier League,
held at Cardinal Hume Catholic School, Wrekenton, Gateshead on Saturday 11th February.

Despite a cold chilly wind, the area seemed to escape the worst
of the wintry conditions that threatened to engulf the country,
and organisers were cheered that they were able to offer conditions
that were manageable with care in places.

Pride of place amongst the Morpeth Harriers performances
must go to their Under 15 Boys squad, who more or less cemented
their place at the top of the seasons Grand Prix standings
with an outstanding team victory on the day.

With leading light, and North East Cross Country
champion Phil Winkler out through injury,
it was left to Elliot Kelly to lead the clubs charge,
and despite suffering the effects of a heavy cold,
he put in a tremendous performance to finish a superb individual third,
and as second fastest on the day overall.

Next home was Ryan Green, who finished seventh, and as fifth fastest on the day.
Green was largely spurred on at the finish, by the sight of his Morpeth Harriers clubmate Jared Lewis,
who it has to be said gave a very polished individual performance to finish ninth,
and only two seconds adrift of Green.Lewis was sixth fastest on the course.
Kelly and Green currently lie second and third in the Grand Prix standings individually.

Jonnie Nisbet made light work of an easy victory in a
sparsely contested Under 17 Mens event,
where he won with twelve seconds to spare over his closest rival.
Unfortunately club colleague Phil Caldwell suffered a recurrence of injury,
and was forced to pull out during the second lap.
Meanwhile Sam Hancox bravely fought his problems to finish 13th.

Morpeth Harriers Senior Men continued their fight at the top of Division 1
by finishing third from the Division on the day behind Sunderland and Gateshead.
They now lie in second place, and one point behind Gateshead,
with Sunderland Harriers further adrift by five points in third.

Thomas Straughan, having his first Harrier League outing,
excelled in finishing in sixth place from the Slow Pack, and led the Morpeth squad home.
He now finds himself promoted to the Medium Pack for the remainder of the season.

Another Morpeth Harrier who sees himself promoted is John Woods,
who came home in tenth place from the Slow Pack,
and the same applies to Morpeth Harriers third finisher Mick Thomsen,
who came home in 21st place from the Slow Pack.
Just missing out on a promotion is Morpeth's fourth finisher Stephen Bradley,
who finished 33rd from the Slow Pack.
Alistair MacDonald was the clubs fifth finisher
in 90th place overall from the Slow Pack,
and the Morpeth Harriers scoring count was completed
with Mike Hegarty coming home in 127th place from the Medium Pack.

Other Morpeth Harriers Senior Mens performances were as follows
Paul Waterston (154th) (Fast Pack), Les Cavill (195th) (Slow Pack),
Richard Kirby (201st) (Slow Pack), and Chris Waugh (209th) (Medium Pack).

In the Senior Womens event, Morpeth Harriers Gemma Floyd
and Jane Hodgson both produced outstanding runs.
Gemma, running from the Slow Pack battled throughout
on this her first Harrier League outing, to finish an excellent second.

Meanwhile Jane pulled out all the stops, to once again
clock the fastest time of the day when placing fourth.

Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Boys maintained their second place
in the grand prix standings, when finishing as second on the day
Also maintaining their second and third placings in the individual standings
were Jacob Hopkins and Kieran Hedley, who finished fifth and eleventh
on the day respectively from the Fast Pack.
Further team support came from an excellent Slow Pack
run from Samuel Williams, who finished 22nd.

Other Morpeth finishers in this event were Philip Kirby (25th) (Fast Pack),
Euan Jones (27th) (Fast Pack), and Lewis James (46th) (Slow Pack).

Hannah Sheerin and Charlotte Jewell both had good runs in the Under 15 Girls event,
which saw them place second and fourth from the Slow Pack.
Excellent runs by Teegan Dryden (4th) (Slow Pack), Georgia Priest (10th) (Slow Pack),
and Harriet Grace (19th) (Slow Pack), saw Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Girls
finish in third team place on the day behind Birtley and Elswick.

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North of England Cross Country Championships !

Superb individual performances by Jane Hodgson, Lewis Timmins and Jacob Hopkins
were the main highlights on a day when team medals for Morpeth Harriers
proved to be as elusive as horses with jockeys,
at the North of England Cross Country Championships,
held at Pontefract Park Racecourse, on Saturday 28th January.

The infrequently used West Yorkshire track, provided an excellent
and most dramatic backdrop for hundreds of runners from various Northern Athletic clubs
who descended on its territory, and the event was duly blessed with continued January sunshine
that prevailed throughout, and runners greatly appreciated the underfoot conditions,
that had been described in true racing terms beforehand by Race Referee Kevin Carr, as good to firm.

Those conditions surprisingly remained throughout the ten race programme,
which made athletes very much appreciative of the venue,
a factor clearly echoed by Senior Women, who being the ninth event on the day
would have normally experienced the heaviest of surfaces.

Amongst those Senior Women in their two lap 8k event was Morpeth Harrier Jane Hodgson,
who truly revelled in finishing seventh overall, and second from the North East
behind Durham City’s North East Champion Rosie Smith,
who ran excellently to finish fourth, just missing out on an individual Bronze by a mere 15 seconds.
Hodgson’s own performance also saw her only ninety seconds adrift of medals,
and was indeed tenacious to say the least.

Morpeth Harriers finished a very creditable ninth of twenty five closing teams,
and were again second from the region behind Durham City.
The supporting performances to Hodgson came from Emma Pearson (52nd),
Kate Chapman (94th), and Marie Drozdowicz (153rd ).

Morpeth Harriers Senior Men were undoubtedly the regions best performers
in their three lap 12k event by finishing seventh of 52 closing teams,
although final results may see them elevated to fifth.

Former Under 17 Mens Northern Cross Country Champion Lewis Timmins led them home,
having an excellent hardworking run throughout to finish in a very creditable tenth place overall,
and as second from the region behind New Marske’s Andy Wiles,
who finished just outside the individual medals.

Timmins’s outstanding performance was well supported by Matt Nicholson (23rd),
who had been well up with the leaders as they entered the second circuit,
Sam Forester, who had flown in from Germany in support of his club,
can feel well pleased with his placing of 54th in such company,
and North of England 10, 000metres Track Champion Peter Newton,
battled hard to come through to finish 64th.

Morpeth Harriers next finisher was Ross Floyd,
whose actual finishing position is undetermined at the time of going to press,
and finally Ben Harrison gave a dogged performance to finish in the top 100
by finishing 98th to complete the scoring count.

Other Morpeth Harriers finishers in the Senior Mens event were as follows
Gary Jones (116th), Neil Gunstone (117th), Paul Waterston (213th),
Michael Thomsen (250th), Gordon Dixon (347th).
There were 685 recorded finishers in the Senior Mens event.

In the Under 13 Boys 3.1k one lap event, Morpeth’s Jacob Hopkins battled tenaciously throughout,
and was quite prominent amongst the leaders in the early stages.
He eventually came home in 15th place overall, and as second from the region
behind Gateshead’s second placed Markhim Lonsdale,
but Hopkins was only a mere thirty seconds adrift of the
Bronze medal placing such was the strength of competition around him.

Morpeth Harriers team placing of ninth of seventeen closing teams
in the Under 13 Boys was very creditable, and was very much due to the excellent run of Hopkins,
supported by the equally excellent and perhaps surprising performance of Kieran Hedley,
who after spending nearly ten days in sick bay following a bout of influenza,
turned out in support of his club.
Hedley’s performance was a very much valued contribution
as he came home an individual 45th, and eighth from the region.
Further Morpeth team support came from excellent runs
from Philip Kirby (101st ), and Euan Jones (113th).

Morpeth Harriers best team achievement on the day undoubtedly came from their Under 15 Boys,
who led home by North Eastern Champion Philip Winkler finished in fourth place of sixteen closing teams,
and agonisingly just outside team Bronze medals.

Winkler who was always prominent in their one lap 4k event,
however may feel a little disappointed individually to finish in seventeenth place,
and third from the region behind Jarrow’s Thomas Coyne (9th),
whom he had out sprinted in the regional championships
at Cramlington, and Sunderland Harrier Joel Jones (12th).
Morpeth’s team count was further supported by Elliot Kelly (37th),
Ryan Green (61st), and Jarod Lewis, who produced one of his best
ever performances to finish 75th in a 158 strong field.

Jonny Nisbet was Morpeth Harriers lone competitor in the Under 17
6.2k event which involved completion of two 3.1k laps.
After a steady start Nisbet carefully made his way through the field,
which had a total of 111 finishers, to finish 18th,
and saw him as third from the region behind North Eastern Champion
Wayne Parker of New Marske (9th), and Gateshead’s Greg Chambers (15th).
On this occasion however North Eastern Bronze medallist Nisbet,
did finish well ahead of the North Eastern Silver medallist,
Gateshead’s Barry Maskell, who after a promising start,
sadly faded to finish in fifty eighth place overall.

At the time of producing this report final results have not been fully clarified,
which means that we cannot confirm the team performance of Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Girls squad,
who despite the first publication of results, which indicated that they had not finished as a team,
they did finish as a full squad, however Charlotte Jewell a key member of the squad
tripped shortly after the start, and unfortunately shed a shoe.
Having recovered her shoe, without the added help of a budding " Prince Charming",
she continued to chase down her rivals, and it is believed that she finished
approximately 100th of what is reported to be a 157 strong field.

If she was rewarded with a final position of 100th, this then when recorded
alongside the finishing positions of Alison Brown (43rd), Hannah Sheerin (122nd),
and Sarah Wilkes (135th), would have given Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Girls
squad a final team placing of fourteenth of eighteen closing teams.

Morpeth Harriers did not have any competing athletes in the Junior Mens,
Under 13 Girls, Under 17 Womens or Under 20 Womens age group events.

Click here for Full Results

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Durham Cathedral Cross Country Relays !

In a superb nailbiting finish, Morpeth Harriers Senior Men
managed to reverse the 2011 result by winning the title at the
28th Durham Cathedral Cross Country Relays on Sunday 22nd January.

After holding a close second place throughout the first two legs,
courtesy of Lewis Timmins (8m52s), and Ross Floyd (9m11s),
it was very much thanks to an excellent final leg by Matt Nicholson (8m55s),
who courageously fought out a very close battle with New Marske youngster Mark Shaw,
to come away eventually to secure a three second marginal victory,
with Gateshead A, a further twenty eight seconds adrift in third place.

In the final leg battle between Nicholson and Shaw,
Shaw had tried to shake the Morpeth man off at halfway,
however Matt was having none of it, and eventually managed
to gain a slender lead as the pair returned to face the
wind as they entered the final lap of the two lap effort,
which he maintained all the way to the finish line.

Morpeth Harriers Senior Mens B team, very much spurred by
Jonny Nisbet's first leg clocking of 9m35s, which saw him in tenth place at the stage,
came through to finish an excellent sixth, and as first B team, with further good
efforts coming from Gary Jones (10m00s), and David Swinburne (9m53s).

Neil Gunstone clocked 10m04s for an incomplete Morpeth Harriers C team in the Senior Mens relay.

An excellent first leg clocking of 10m32s, the fastest of the day,
by Ashley Gibson, set Morpeth Harriers Senior Women's A team
well on the way to an outstanding victory in their three stage relay.
The victory was so outstanding, that the legs of Jane Hodgson (10m42s),
and Sarah Wikinson (10m56s), second and third fastest on the day,
saw them take victory by a handsome 160 second margin over Durham University A
team, and a retention of the title that they had won twelve months previous,
with the Morpeth Harriers Senior Womens B team coming home in third spot,
a further sixty seconds adrift.Morag Stead, who had been in the victorious
A team twelve months previous, clocked the B teams fastest time of
11m15s, and that was well supported by Abbie Bagshaw's 11m55s,
and Kate Chapman's 12m40s on the final leg.

Morpeth Harriers Womens C team of Jane Briggs (12m56s),
Claire Bruce (14m12s), and Marie Drosdowicz (13m20s), finished in nineteenth place.

The Veteran Mens relay saw an excellent battle being fought out
at the front by North Shields Poly and Sunderland Harriers,
with the North Tyneside outfit eventually gaining victory over the Wearsiders by twenty one seconds.

However a lot of eyes were very much on the battle for third place,
with Morpeth Harriers Veteran Mens B team eventually winning the day
over the B team by a slender seven second margin.
Indeed it was a battle all the way from first leg,
when Paul Waterston (10m27s), for the B team, came home in fifth place,
and three places ahead of his A team colleague Terry Wall (10m41s).
On second leg, B team runner Phil Walker (10m43s) progressed up to third,
whilst A team runner Michael Thomsen (11m01s), also made progress by moving into fifth.

A very impressive last leg clocking by Chris Waugh (10m15s), fastest Over 50 Veteran Man,
managed to fend off the advances of Morpeth A team runner Neil Wilkinson,
who moved into fourth, following his equally impressive 9m50s,
which eventually emerged as the second fastest overall time,
behind North Shields Poly's Ian Twaddle (9m39s), clocked when he was scenting final leg victory.

Click here for Senior Mens Results

Click here for Veteran Mens Results

Click here for Senior Vets and Womens Results

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North Eastern Counties Cross Country Championships !

A superbly timed last gasp effort from Philip Winkler gave Morpeth Harriers
a much welcome individual Gold Medal win at the
North Eastern Counties Cross Country Championships,
held at East Cramlington Nature Reserve on Saturday 10th December.

The Mike Bateman coached Duchess High School pupil certainly
deserved all his plaudits as he calmly got on with the business in hand
to produce one of the finest performances of the day,
that also saw one of the tightest of finishes.

Perhaps it was Winkler's country roots, that saw him take on the role of a wily fox scenting its prey in front him,
that enabled him to grab the Under 15 Boys Gold Medal in the final run to the line
with Jarrow and Hebburn's Thomas Coyne, and only a mere second divided them at the death.

However for Winkler, it was a just reward for all of the hard work that he has put in,
along with his aforementioned coach, and this Gold is a much coveted
addition to the Silver Medal that he won at Darlington, when he was an Under 13.

Winkler was obviously overjoyed on learning that he had also
spearheaded a very much welcome Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Boys team
victory by a margin of twenty two points over Shildon, with further excellent support
coming from Elliot Kelly (6th), and Ryan Green (13th).
Kelly had an excellent run, and he clearly showed his bravery in the early stages
when he established a slender lead.
Green also ran a sensibly judged race to produce an excellent performance all round.

Although not making the scoring count, Joe Elder also deserves some praise for his performance,
where in finishing 18th, was easily in the top half of a fifty one strong Under 15 Boys field.
Morpeth Harriers other finisher in this event was Jarod Lewis,
who finished 29th, but will feel a little disappointed at not being further up the field.

Despite being without Maxine Czarneka through illness,
Morpeth Harriers Senior Women still managed to pull of an expected team victory.

The Northern Road Relay Champions, now boosted by the added presence
of former Elswick Harrier Ashley Gibson, won by a margin of eleven points over Durham City,
who included former Northern Junior Champion, and former Morpeth Harrier Aiveen Fox,
who emerged as their second counter in tenth place.

Meanwhile Morpeth Harriers led by Gibson (3rd) were outstanding in their win.
For Gibson, who never gave up, despite having to spend much of her race
having to chase down the powerful Rosie Smith (Durham),
and 2010 Champion Kirsty Legg of Middlesbrough Mandale,
a Bronze individual medal was well deserved.

However the addition of a Gold team medal was even more deserved,
following the excellent supporting performances by Jane Hodgson (4th),
and Team boss Sarah Wilkinson, who in finishing sixth was indeed a very inspirational force.

Slightly further down the field were Sarah Graham (19th),
Gemma Floyd (22nd), and newcomer Abi Bagshaw (24th),
whose excellent combined performances would have seen
an excellent B team performance in finishing as fifth best on the day.

Marie Drozdowicz, who is gradually getting back to full fitness
following a painful foot injury, and her finish in 57th place was a very creditable effort.
Margaret MacDonald also ran well to finish in 100th place in a strong field.

With a distinct lack of their normal front runners, including Team Manager David Swinburne (ill),
Morpeth Harriers Senior Men couldn't manage to pull off an expected team victory.
However certain absences did see a unique window of opportunity for some of the clubs lesser knowns,
to grab a chance of what became a Silver Medal team effort,
behind a relatively strong Gateshead Harriers.

Only thirty three points divided Morpeth from victory,
and it was Matt Nicholson who led them home with a solid
performance to finish fifth behind race winner Ricky Stevenson of New Marske,
who eventually won his own personal battle of wits with 2009 Champion Patrick Martin,
(formerly Sunderland Harriers), now with Stockport,
with Jack Martin, also now Stockport in third place.

Fourth place went to New Marske's Andy Wiles,
who was a Bronze medallist in 2009 behind Martin.

Next home for Morpeth in 18th place was Michael Dawson,
with Gary Jones having an excellent run to finish in 26th place as third counter.

Veteran Paul Waterston also produced a superb performance to emerge as the fourth counter in 34th place.
Morpeth Harriers Senior Mens scoring count was completed by Andrew Lawrence,
who made the journey from London worthwhile when placing 40th,
and one place ahead of clubmate Mike Hegarty,
who won his first ever North Eastern Cross Country Championship medal,
which in turn was just reward for all the hard work he has put in training.

Although the following did not make the scoring count they gave creditable performances.
Phil Walker (52nd), Neil Gunstone (60th), after missing the start,
Alistair MacDonald (70th), Gordon Dixon (80th), John Butters (86th),
John Woods (90th), Mick Thomsen (115th) (1st Championship),
and Rob Hancox (150th).
There were a total of 292 finishers in the Senior Mens Championships.

Only two points deprived Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Boys of a Gold Medal team win.
They finished behind Middlesbrough Mandale, and were led home by an excellent Jacob Hopkins,
who tried to stay with eventual race winner Markhim Lonsdale of Gateshead Harriers
for as long as he could muster over the 2.9k circuit.

Eventually Lonsdale drew away, however Hopkins did have the satisfaction
of putting five seconds between himself and Elswick's Ewan Cassidy,
to grab a Silver individual medal, to add to the aforementioned team medal.

Assisting Hopkins in the team medal were Kieran Hedley,
who produced a superb run to finish fifth, and Philip Kirby,
who gets better with every race, who finished in 22nd place
out of a 48 strong field of Under 13 Boys finishers.
Morpeth's Samuel Williams also ran creditably to finish in 32nd place.

Unfortunately a pre race bout of glandular fever hit Morpeth Harrier's
Jonnie Nisbet's chances of winning the Under 17 Mens title.
Nevertheless Nisbet took his place on the start line,
and battled bravely throughout the 6.3k event, to finish in third place,
to take the Bronze Medal behind New Marke's Wayne Parker,
and Gateshead Harrier Barry Maskell.

Nisbet will also be grateful to club colleagues Sam Hancox (25th)
and Matthew Leveson (26th), whose combined
supporting efforts gained additional Bronze team medals.

Unfortunately Morpeth Harriers just missed out on medals
in the combined Under 17/ Under 20 Womens event.
Ailsa McGregor was fifth Under 20 in eleventh place overall,
and Hannah Rank was sixth Under 20 in seventeenth place overall.
The scoring count was closed by Lucy Shuttleworth,
who was 25th Under 17, and 25th overall finisher.

Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Girls finished as fifth team behind Jarrow and Hebburn.
They were led home by Lizzie Rank (14th), with good supporting runs coming from
Teegan Dryden (19th), and Olivia Priest (23rd).
Harriet Grace and Lois Scott also finished for Morpeth Harriers in 33rd and 39th places out of 41 finishers.

It was very disappointing that Morpeth Harriers failed to field a complete Under 15 Girls squad,
and only an excellent run by Alison Brown (8th),
and Jennifer Tynemouth (36th) were to show for the club.

Morpeth Harriers just missed out on countback as the overall best performers on the day.
Finishing level on the day with Gateshead Harriers,
it was only the three teams wins to Morpeth's two that gave them the nod.

In the Ladies events Morpeth scored one more point than their rivals,
however Gateshead had the same margin in the Mens events.
Shildon were the third overall club on the day, however the margin was quite vast.

Credit must go to Blyth Running Club, and their Team Leader
Dave Kitching for their superb organisation on the day.

North East Counties Cross Country Championships Results

Under 13 Boys
A HREF=http://www.new-marske-harriers.co.uk/images/stories/nexc/print%20outs%20u13b.pdf>Click here for Under 13 Boys Results

Under 13 Girls
Click here for Under 13 Girls Results

Under 15 Boys
Click here for Under 15 Boys Results

Under 15 Girls
Click here for Under 15 Girls Results

Under 17 / Under 20 Women
Click here for Under 17/ Under 20 Women Results

Under 20 Men
Click here for Under 20 Mens Results

Senior Men
Click here for Senior Mens Results

Senior Women
Click here for Senior Womens Results

Under 17 Men
Click here for Under 17 Mens Results

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Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League (3)

Talented Irish import and Northumbria University student Eoin Everard
certainly marked his Morpeth Harriers debut with distinction,
when he easily clocked the days fastest time in the Senior Mens event
at the third Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League meeting held
at Shibdon Pond, Blaydon on Saturday 26th November.

On a slightly heavy surface, and giving five minutes to a good
proportion of his opponents as a result of his Fast Pack start,
he literally carved through all but thirty of the record 419 strong field,
to emerge as a very worthy fourth counter for his new club,
who finished as second team behind Gateshead Harriers.

Within this performance he also showed to his new clubmates
that Morpeth Harriers have acquired a very useful
talent potentially worthy of International status.

Morpeth were led home by Veteran Phil Walker,
who when finishing tenth fom the Slow Pack,
showed that he is getting back to somewhere very near his best form.

Only two places behind Phil was his Morpeth clubmate Chris Waugh,
who also came through from the Slow Pack.

Another man certainly returning to near his better form is Gary Jones,
and his run from the Medium Pack saw him finish a very creditable nineteenth.

Next home was the aforementioned Everard,
and the Morpeth Harriers scoring count was completed by the
excellent runs by Nick Swinburn (37th) (Fast Pack),
and Gordon Dixon (52nd) (Slow Pack).

What is very creditable about Morpeth Harriers Senior Mens
overall performance on the day, is that in addition to the scoring six,
another five from the club managed to finish inside the first 150.

In addition to Everard, Morpeth Harriers also produced the
fastest performers in another three events on the day.
Notable of these was Philip Winkler, who worked his way
through from the Fast Pack to finish fourth, and led his
clubs Under 15 Boys to a narrow team victory over Blyth,
with excellent further team support coming from
Elliot Kelly (8th) (Fast Pack), and also Ryan Green (12th) (Fast Pack).

Despite a mid race tussle with Blackhill's Isaac Dunn,
Morpeth's Jonnie Nisbet clocked the fastest Under 17 Mens
time to finish third on the day.

Ashley Gibson marked her Morpeth Harriers Harrier League debut
by posting the fastest Senior Womens time to come through to finish eleventh,
and led her club to second team place in Division 2.
Further team support came from excellent runs by Jane Hodgson (15th) (Fast Pack)
and Emma Pearson (41st) (Fast Pack).

Morpeth Harriers finished as fourth team in the Under 13 Boys event,
being led home by an excellent Jacob Hopkins,
who was second fastest when finishing fifth from the Fast Pack,
and just ahead of clubmate Kieran Hedley (6th) (Fast Pack), who was third fastest.
Morpeth's scoring count was completed by Philip Kirby (39th) (Fast Pack).

Alison Brown finished eighth in the Under 15 Girls event,
and her run from the Fast Pack saw her emerge as fifth fastest on the day.
Sarah Wilkes finished 18th from the Slow Pack for Morpeth.

The Under 13 Girls event saw Morpeth's Georgia Priest and Lois Scott
finish 11th and 24th respectively from the Slow Pack.

In the non scoring Under 11's event, Morpeth Harriers Ailsa Jones
and Harriet Priest finished as sixth and 17th females respectively.

Click here for complete Male Results

Click here for complete Female Results

Return To Cross Country Page Index

















































2011 English National Cross Country Relays

Some of the worst conditions ever faced at the venue,
blighted some athletes individual ambitions at the annual
Saucony English Cross Country Relays, held at Berry Hill Park,
Mansfield on Saturday 5th November.

A heavy rainstorm during the Under 15 Boys 3 x 2k event made its mark
on the normally reasonably pristine surface, which also continued to prevail
slightly during the Senior Womens 3 x 3k event which followed, however it
did manage to peter out during the final event of the day, the Senior Mens 4 x 5k.

On the day, Morpeth Harriers athletes managed to produce some
positive results from the four events in which they competed.
The most surprising however, and most welcome,
came from their Under 13 Boys, in their 3 x 2k event,
where they thoroughly exceeded all expectations by finishing
in 16th place out of 91 teams who faced the starter,
and were seventh from the North of England.

Fortunes were indeed boosted by first leg runner Kieron Hedley,
who in September was a relatively unknown force.
However he proved his worth when he came home in 18th place in 7m31s,
which was followed by Jacob Hopkins excellent 7m29s on second leg,
which in turn saw him rise eleven places to seventh.
This left final leg runner Philip Kirby, who would not always be automatic third choice
, with the task of maintaining a respectable placing.
Philip did an excellent job, by clocking 8m07s, which although saw him drop back to sixteenth,
still showed him to play his part in a superb result.

Morpeth Harriers fielded two Senior Womens teams in their event,
and their A team were boosted by the debut of Ashley Gibson (formerly Elswick),
who came home in seventh place on the first leg in 10m35s,
which just outside the top ten best performances of the day.

They maintained this position throughout the three leg event,
with further excellent support coming from Maxine Czarneka (11m15.95s),
and Sarah Wilkinson (11m11.50s).
That placing also saw them finish as second from the North of England
, behind Yorkshire's Bingley Harriers who finished in fifth spot.

Morpeth Harriers B team were 43rd, and were also sixth B team to finish.
Kate Chapman (12m57.35s), Carolyn Booth (formerly Dickie) (12m08.55s),
and Sarah Graham (12m02.35s), all had excellent runs.

Much had been expected of Morpeth Harriers Senior Mens performance,
and despite illness and injury respectively robbing them of the services
of Ian Hudspith and Nick McCormick, their two teams performed
superbly to finish in ninth and thirty first places.

The A team got off to an excellent start, with Jonny Taylor clocking
the days fifth fastest overall time of 15m48.35s,
and coming home with a first leg placing of fifth.

On second leg Peter Newton found a great deal of tough opposition around him,
as he battled in the tricky conditions to maintain a respectable placing.
Peter slipped to eleventh place, despite clocking 17m00.35s,
and third leg runner Ian Harding ran a similar 17m01.80s, as he dropped a further place.

Matt Nicholson did supply a last leg revival however as he got back up
to a final ninth at the end of his excellent 16m32.50s clocking,
as they also finished as fourth from the North of England.

The Morpeth Harriers Senior Mens B team also performed excellently to finish as third B team.
Their fastest runner was Michael Dawson, who clocked 17m23.40s when placing 59th.
Ben Harrison climbed a further six places on second leg when he got round in 17m54.55s.
David Swinburne kept the momentum going when he climbed a further eight places
to 45th with his clocking of 18m12.40s.
On the final leg, Morpeth Harriers welcomed back Sam Forester
to the fold after many years of absense, and the former Junior Great North Run
winner certainly did his club proud, as he clocked a superb 17m25.15s,
to climb a further mammoth fourteen places to their finishing spot.

The Under 15 Boys 3 x 2k event was run during what was the worst conditions of the day,
where a heavy downpour forced spectators and officials alike to seek some protective shelter.
During the course of proceedings Morpeth Harriers first leg runner Ryan Green
began the challenge by coming home in a time of 7m34s to finish 55th of the 98 starters,
and passed on to Joe Elder, who was called in as a last minute replacement for the ill Philip Winkler,
who gained a further place on his run of 7m47s.
Jarod Lewis finished off the final effort by placing 51st in 7m46s,
which gave Morpeth Harriers the mantle of 22nd from the North of England.

Having three out of their four competing teams in fairly high positions
was certainly a good result for Morpeth Harriers, after a good days work,
and withstanding the conditions, was a true testament to their athletes determination.

Return To Cross Country Page Index

















































Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League (2)

Having a total of nine finishers inside the top 80 of a 370 plus strong field,
saw Morpeth Harriers Senior Men achieve an outstanding result in the Division 1
Grand Prix standings, at the second Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League fixture,
held at Farringdon College, Sunderland on Saturday 29th October.

Those nine included their new signing Graeme Taylor,
who was a non counter on the day, owing to his recent
transfer from Jarrow and Hebburn.
Taylor is indeed a key signing for Morpeth,
having established an early lead in the individual standings,
after his run at the first meeting at Cramlington at the beginning of the month,
where he finished as fastest on the day in 23rd place.
On Saturday he emerged as seventh fastest in 54th place overall from the Fast Pack.
He was however behind five of his new clubmates, who all performed exceptionally.

First of those was Ian Harding, whose run from the Medium Pack,
with a two and a half minute handicap against the majority of the field,
came through to finish a well accomplished fourth,
and clocked the third fastest overall time of the day.

Second home for Morpeth Harriers was North of England
10,000metre Track Champion Peter Newton,
whose form continues to prosper with each run.
Peter's run from the Fast Pack, giving five minutes to the majority of the field,
saw him place an excellent 23rd, and as second fastest on the day,
and only 13 places, and only 76 seconds adrift of the fastest man,
the guesting Yarod of Bradford and Airedale.

Not far behind Peter, Morpeth Harriers saw their third counter
Chris Waugh place 42nd from the Slow Pack.
Fourth counter was Steven Bradley, who is showing great improvement
since joining the club this Summer, and his run to finish 45th overall
from the Slow Pack clearly testifies to his blossoming abilities.

Next home for Morpeth came Michael Dawson in 53rd place,
coming through as sixth fastest on the day from the Fast Pack,
and one place of the aforementioned Taylor.

This made Neil Gunstone as Morpeth's closing counter,
finishing in 67th place overall from the Slow Pack.

However other Morpeth Harriers who produced creditable runs on the day
were John Woods who finished one place behind Gunstone, also running from the Slow Pack,
and the clubs Road and Cross Country Team Manager David Swinburne,
who again put in one of his exemplary performances when finishing in 72nd place from the Fast Pack.

An excellent team leading performance by Jarod Lewis,
saw Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Boys just lose out in the
team race on the day to Gateshead Harriers.
Running from the Slow Pack, Lewis finished fourth overall,
and further team support came from excellent performances by
James Heppell (7th) (Slow Pack), and Philip Winkler (14th) (Fast Pack)
who in turn was sixth fastest in the race.
Morpeth's other runner in this event was Hans Paulsen,
who finished 46th from the Slow Pack.

Another good Morpeth Harriers result on the day came from their Under 13 Boys,
who finished third, only losing out for second on countback when on level points with Chester Le Street.
They were led home by a buoyant Jacob Hopkins, who continues to impress,
and his run from the Fast Pack to finish sixth overall, was indeed something special,
as he was third fastest on the course.
Not far behind him in eleventh place was Kieron Hedley,
who also produced an excellent run from the Fast Pack,
that saw him finish as eighth fastest overall.
The Morpeth team count was closed by Samuel Williams,
whose run from the Slow Pack saw him finish 17th overall.
Other Morpeth Harriers to finish in this age group were Euan Jones (32nd) (Fast Pack)
Philip Kirby (43rd) (Fast Pack),
Hamish Thomson (44th) (Slow Pack),
and Lewis James (53rd) (Slow Pack).

Jonny Nisbet continued his splendid form to finish in fifth place overall in the Under 17 Mens race.
Running from the Fast Pack he emerged as easily the fastest on the course.
Sadly here there was no Morpeth Harriers team challenge,
with the clubs only other competitor being Henrik Paulsen,
who finished 19th from the Slow Pack.

Jane Hodgson showed that her recent Marathon has not taken its toll
when she finished in 12th place in the Senior Womens event.
Running from the Fast Pack, she was the third fastest overall on the day.
Morpeth Harriers other runner in this event was Emma Pearson,
who also ran well from the Fast Pack to finish in 39th place out of a 153 strong field.

Unfortunately Morpeth Harriers could not turn out full teams
in either the Under 13 or Under 15 Girls events.
In the Under 13 Girls, Florence Thomson ran very confidently
from the Slow Pack to finish eighth overall,
and not far behind her was fellow Slow Packer Georgia Priest,
who finished in twelfth place.

Morpeth Harriers two Under 15 Girls Charlotte Jewell and Sarah Wilkes,
finished in twelfth and twentieth places respectively from the Slow Pack.

In the Non Scoring Under 11's event, Morpeth Harriers Ailsa Jones
and Harriet Priest finished in 15th and 40th places
as sixth and 22nd females respectively.

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Start Fitness North East Harrier League Sherman Cup / Davison Shield

A good club turnout, laced with a number of excellent individual performances,
saw Morpeth win the Davison Shield, and finish runners up in the Sherman Cup,
at Temple Park, South Shields on Saturday 22nd October.

In the Sherman Cup (Mens competition), unless there are any further result revelations,
Morpeth just lost out by a mere point to arch rivals Gateshead Harriers,
despite having enjoyed a team win by their Under 13 Boys,
and second placing on the day by their Senior Men and Under 17 Men.

The Davison Shield (Womens competition) brought a surprise,
however very much welcome team victory on the day by their Under 13 Girls.

On the individual front, there were excellent individual victories by Jonnie Nisbet (Under 17 Men),
and Sarah Wilkinson (Senior Women), however in Wilkinson's case it all came about as a surprise,
as she was unaware that long term leader Danielle Hodgkinson of Wallsend had in fact gone off course,
and had lost so much ground, she ended up in tenth place overall.
Afterwards, Wilkinson was honest enough to feel some remorse for her unfortunate rival,
and claimed that she had definitely done enough to have won the race comfortably

To gain success in these competitions clubs have to ensure full turnout in all four races by each gender.
In the Sherman Cup, only two other clubs apart from Morpeth Harriers achieved this,
Gateshead and Sunderland Harriers, however in the Davison Shield,
Morpeth were the only club to fully compete.

On the day Morpeth's Under 13 Boys clearly dominated,
and they were led home valiantly by their club Road Champion Jacob Hopkins,
who finished third, after just losing out for second in the run in.
He was very closely followed home by Kieran Hedley in fourth place,
and the scoring count was very ably completed by Leon Craggs,
who on his debut placed fifteenth.

Morpeth Harriers Under 17 Men put up a very game fight
to finish as second on the day to Gateshead.
They were led home by Jonnie Nisbet, who after a close first lap battle,
won a battle of wits with Gateshead's Barry Maskell,
to eventually create a handsome margin of fifty one seconds.
Good supporting Morpeth counts came from Philip Caldwell,
who finished 16th, and who bravely got round with the agony of a painful leg injury,
which may see him absent from the scene for a considerable period unfortunately,
and Sam Hancox who finished 18th.

Morpeth Harriers Senior Men finished in second team place to Gateshead,
and were led home by a much rejuvenated Matt Nicholson,
who came through well to finish third.
Good supporting counts came from Michael Dawson (7th),
and their Road and Cross Country Team Manager David Swinburne,
who produced one of his best performances for some time, when finishing fifteenth.

Finally on the Male side, Morpeth's Under 15 Boys,
who were minus the talents of Ryan Green and Elliot Kelly, finished fourth on the day.
They were led home by Philip Winkler, who ran well to finish fifth.
Supporting counts came from Jarod Lewis (12th), and Andrew Allan (23rd).

Best Morpeth result in the Davison Shield on the team front,
came from their Under 13 Girls, who were led home by Abbie Elliot (13th),
with supporting counts coming from Olivia Priest (15th), and Georgia Priest (17th).

Next best team result came in the Under 15 Girls,
who finished third on the day,
and were led home by Alison Brown (7th),
with further support coming from Charlotte Jewell (18th),
and Jennifer Tynemouth (26th).

Morpeth Harriers Senior Women finished as fourth team on the day,
being led home by the winner Sarah Wilkinson,
with excellent further support coming from Kate Chapman (18th),
and newcomer Abi Bagshaw, whose debut performance
to finish 30th in a field of 117 finishers, opened a few watching eyes.

It was good and refreshing to see Club Secretary Mike Bateman's efforts
to turn out a team of Under 17/Under 20 Women pay off,
as they added to the club success on the day, by finishing as fourth team.
They were led home by Ailsa McGregor, who despite a lack of recent competitive activity,
came through well to finish in eighth place.
Further excellent team support came from Lucy Shuttleworth (11th), and Polly Jeffrey (25th).

Other Morpeth Harriers performances not aforementioned were as follows

SHERMAN CUP
UNDER 13 BOYS
Philip Kirby (23rd),
Samuel Williams (31st)

UNDER 15 BOYS
James Heppell (27th),
Hans Paulsen (38th)

UNDER 17 MEN
Matthew Levison (20th)

SENIOR MEN
Gary Jones (17th),
Paul Waterston (28th),
Tom Brookes (36th),
John Woods (80th),
Rob Hancox (140th)

DAVISON SHIELD
UNDER 13 GIRLS
Harriet Grace (27th),
Lois Scott (28th)

SENIOR WOMEN
Marie Drosdowicz (34th)

Morpeth Harriers had two competitors facing the Starter
in the non scoring Under11's event at Temple Park.
Mark Booth finished ninth, and Ellie Ferman finished 28th.

Click here for complete results from the Sherman Cup

Click here for complete results from the Davison Shield

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Start Fitness North East Harrier League ( 1 )

The first in the series of Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League meetings
took place at East Cramlington Country Park on Saturday 8th October.

Athletes from Morpeth Harriers were very swift to get their names on the honours board,
with a superb team triumph being achieved by their very promising Under 13 Boys squad,
plus an individual triumph being very much enjoyed by Under 15 Boys athlete Ryan Green.

Until a few weeks ago young Kieran Hedley was a virtually unknown,
when he made his competitive debut in the Northern Relays at Warrington.
However running from the Slow Pack, he very nearly won the Under 13 Boys event outright,
only losing out by 15 seconds to South Shields Harrier Matthew Wakefield.

Kieran was joined in a nine point marginal team victory over Northumberland rivals Alnwick Harriers
by Euan Jones and Samuel Williams, who finished third and twelfth respectively from the Slow Pack.

At the end of the day Hedley and Jones were credited with the overall sixth and eighth fastest times,
and Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Boys Road Champion for 2011 Jacob Hopkins emerged as third fastest,
when finishing a creditable fifteenth from the Fast Pack.
Other Morpeth Harriers finishers in this event were young Mark Booth,
who competing against Boys much than himself, finished a very creditable 35th from the Slow Pack,
Philip Kirby (38th) (Fast Pack), and Lewis James (47th) (Slow Pack).

Ryan Green certainly used his Slow Pack start to good advantage,
when winning the Under 15 Boys event with eleven seconds to spare over his closest rival,
and emerged as sixth fastest on the day.
He also led Morpeth Harriers to sixth team place,
with further support coming from Elliot Kelly,
who came through to finish in 19th place from the Fast Pack,
and as a very creditable third fastest overall,
and Joe Elder (32nd) (Fast Pack), (16th Fastest).

Morpeth Harriers Senior Men finished in third team place on the day,
and were second in Division 1 on the day.

They were led home by the ever improving Mike Hegarty,
who is certainly finding the recent work he is doing
with Coach Chris Waugh proving to be a valuable asset.
Hegarty finished fifth overall from the Slow Pack.

Next home was John Butters, who having returned to the sport,
is enjoying the experience immensely.
Butters was a good youngster with the club in the late eighties,
and his placing of 24th from the Slow Pack, also owes a great deal
to the work he has been doing with Waugh on a Monday evening.

Next home was Michael Dawson, who was second fastest on the course,
when placing 29th from the Fast Pack.
Fourth Morpeth Harriers finisher was Waugh himself,
who finished 45th from the Slow Pack.
Waugh is also in the middle of his second spell with the club,
having been a successful Junior in the late seventies and early eighties
before work commitments took him South.

Morpeth Harriers scoring count was completed by John Woods (49th) (Slow Pack),
and Stephen Bradley (65th) (Slow Pack).
With these results at the first meeting, and further input expected from the rest of the squad,
a good seasons result is very much in prospect.

Another good Morpeth performer on the day was Paul Waterston,
who although not amongst the clubs scoring six,
managed to finish as second fastest in the League's Veterans Grand Prix standings,
when finishing 117th from the Fast Pack.

Morpeth Harriers Under 17 Men finished as fifth team,
being led home by an excellent performer in Philip Caldwell,
who when finishing eleventh from the Fast Pack, was second fastest on the course.
He was further supported in the team effort by Henrick Paulsen (18th) (Slow Pack),
and Sam Hancox (25th) (Fast Pack).

In the Under 15 Girls race Sarah Wilkes finished in 14th place from the Slow Pack,
just one place ahead of her Morpeth clubmate Alison Brown,
who produced an aggressive performance from the Fast Pack,
to finish as fifth fastest overall.

Unfortunately Morpeth Harriers failed to field a third member for team count.
The club also failed to turn out a third runner in the Under 13 Girls event,
where Olivia Priest (22nd) (Slow Pack), and Georgia Priest (28th) (Slow Pack),
were their sole competitors.

Even more disappointingly, the cub failed to turn out a single athlete
in the combined Under 17/Junior and Senior Womens event.
Hopefully that problem will prove to be rectified as the season progresses.

Click here for complete Male Results

Click here for complete Female Results

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Sunderland Harriers Open XC Races !

Several athletes from Morpeth Harriers successfully kick-started their Cross Country season
on Saturday 10th September, at Sunderland Harriers Open XC Races held at Farringdon School.

Philip Winkler and Jonnie Nisbet celebrated by recording excellent individual placings,
and good runs by Ailsa Jones, Jacob Hopkins and Maxine Czarneka saw them achieve minor medals.

There were also a handful of excellent improved performances,
particularly from Philip Caldwell, Alison Brown, Elliot Kelly,
Harriet Priest, and Lauren Robson.

Despite feeling unwell before and after the event, Philip Winkler took his place
on the startline in the Under 15 Boys race, and was boosted to win with nine seconds
to spare over his tough Chester Le Street rival Thomas Gouldings.
Not far behind Philip came clubmate Elliot Kelly, who is really starting to show his potential,
and he showed this with a highly commendable placing of fifth,
and was very close to battling for a minor medal.

Ryan Green came through steadily to finish ninth,
and other Morpeth Harriers to finish in this event were
Jarod Lewis (12th), and Joe Elder (17th).

Jonnie Nisbet made a comfortable job of winning the Under 17 Mens event
with twelve seconds to spare over his closest rival, however the shining light
for Morpeth Harriers in this race was definitely Philip Caldwell,
who battled well throughout, and was not far away from the minor placings when he finished fifth.
Other Morpeth Harriers Under 17 Mens finishers were
Sam Hancox (15th), and Jack Hepple (16th).

Ailsa Jones won herself a Silver medal in the Under 11 Girls event,
which also saw excellent performances being set by Harriet Priest (6th), and Lauren Robson (7th).

Jacob Hopkins ran excellently to take a Bronze medal in the Under 13 Boys event,
and there were also good Morpeth finishers in Euan Jones (10th), and Hamish Thomson (25th).

Maxine Czarneka finished third behind a rampant Rosie Smith of Durham City
in the Senior and Veteran Women event,
and Gemma Floyd can feel well pleased with her placing of eighth.

Despite having one of her best runs, Alison Brown can count herself very unfortunate
to be just run out of the medals in the Under 15 Girls event when she finished fourth.

Morpeth Harriers had an excellent turnout in the Under 13 Girls event,
managing to field no less than six runners.
Other Morpeth positions were as follows
Lizzie Rank (9th), Abbie Elliot 12th)
Olivia Priest (15th), Harriet Grace 16th)
Georgia Priest (18th), and Florence Thomson (22nd).

In the Under 11 Boys event Robbie Elder finished thirteenth.

Click here to see photos from Sunderland Harriers Open XC Races

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2005 Senior Mens National XC Start

Jonathan Young at 2005 National XC Champs 19th February 2005

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LATEST NEWS.......
Updated 12th March 2011

The Bob Graham Round !

Allon Welsh on Saturday 26th June
Morpeths Allon Welsh successfully completed the
Bob Graham Round on Saturday 26th June 2010.

The 'BGR' is the classic fellrunning endurance challenge
consisting of a round of 42 peaks to be completed inside 24 hours.

Allon started at Keswick Moothall at 7am on the Saturday morning
and completed the 72 miles and 27,000' of climbing in 23hrs20mins.

All his hard work training and sussing out the route paid off
and he was blessed with superb weather to complete a 'textbook' BGR!

Several Morpeth Harriers including his wife Sally supported him
both on the fells and at the road crossings.
He also got a lot of help from members of Northumberland Fell Runners
in keeping with the best traditions of the BGR!

Allon becomes the seventh Morpeth Harrier to complete the BGR
after Bob Sewell & Shaun Scott (1998), Gordon Dixon (1999)
Kevin Bray (2000) George McDougal & Mike Jeffrey (2005).

Well done Allon - a brilliant effort!

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Windy Gyle Fell Race !

Start of Windy Gyle Fell Race
Two of our athletes took part in the Windy Gyle Fell Race
on Saturday 20th June, 2010.
The race over a distance of 9 miles saw Alistair MacDonald
finish 8th in 1h06m28s and Alistair was 4th O/40 Vet to finish.
Clubmate Chris Waugh finished 12th in 1h08m40s
and was 2nd O/50 vet to finish

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Alwinton Fell Race !

The Alwinton Fell Race which was held on 5th June attracted 27 finishers, who were led home by Bingley's Matt Whitfield.

Morpeth Harriers had three finishers, with Gordon Dixon (4th) Chris Waugh (11th), and Libby Paxton (24th)

Gordon was second Over 40 Male,
Chris was first Over 50 Male,
and Libby was second Over 50 Female.

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Links To Other Fell Racing Sites.......

North Yorkshire Moors A.C.
Northumberland Fell Runners
Barrys Home Page
Northern Runner
The Fell Runners Association
Scottish Hill Racing
Cumberland Fell Runners
Wooler Running Club
TracknTerrain
Trail Guides

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