Gibson's a crown prince

Gateshead Harrier John Gibson comfortably won the Junior Great North Run at Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside, writes Les Venmore.

Gateshead Harrier John Gibson comfortably won the Junior Great North Run at Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside, writes Les Venmore.

In warm and sunny conditions, Gibson, 16, dictated the early pace in the 1,600-strong field along with clubmate and fellow Royal Grammar School pupil, Tom Perrins.

Gibson dropped his rival approaching the 3km stage with Shildon's Khalil Thompson moving through in the closing stages to take second place ahead of Perrins.

Morpeth's Laura Weightman, 15, repeated her 2005 victory in the girls' race, finishing in 23rd position overall.

Clubmate Zoe Armstrong took second place ahead of Leicester athlete Charlotte Wilkinson Burnett.

The separate race for the Under-13 age group attracted another 1,600 runners and was won easily by New Marske's Mark Shaw, 12.

The North Eastern Counties' Cross Country champion and Inter Counties' silver medallist led all the way, coming home nearly 200m clear of Linlithgow athlete Jake Wightman, the son of race commentator and former marathon international Geoff.

Laura Roberts, 11, from Bridgend made the long journey worthwhile by easily winning the girls' race.

Finishing in eighth place overall, she came home 300m clear of the Templeman twins, Elizabeth and Katy, from New Marske.

Mark Wilson from Darlington won the Mini Run for Under-9s race. Jarrow's Stephanie Addison won the girls' event, again in a sprint finish from 2005 winner, Martha Wightman, sister of Jake.

Mark Brown of Morpeth was an easy winner of the second Whalton Sumer Classic 5M Road Race. Brown led from gun to tape, opening up a 25-second lead within a mile.

With the hillier section of the course to come, Brown continued to pull away and despite tiring in the final two miles, the winning margin was still well over a minute.

David Swinburne took second place ahead of the leading veteran and 2005 winner, Les Atkinson, making it a clean sweep for host club Morpeth. Brown's time also bettered the course record by 79secs.

North Shields Poly newcomer, Jane Goble gained an easy victory in the women's' race. Sue Laws of Derwentside led the veterans home in second place, ahead of Sunderland junior, Natalie Miller.

* THE above report should have appeared in Monday's Journal but did not because of technical difficulties. We apologise for any inconvenience.

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