Record turnout for opening Start Fitness run at Shibdon Pond

There was a record turnout of competitors at Saturday’s first Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League fixture at Shibdon Pond, Blaydon

There was a record turnout of competitors at Saturday’s first Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League fixture at Shibdon Pond, Blaydon.

This bettered last year’s figures by more than 300. The two main events for senior men and senior women also achieved record fields of 575 and 308 respectively.

New Morpeth recruit Adrian Whitwam, based at Catterick Garrison, soon headed the field over the three-lap course, pulling away to a 45secs victory over Gateshead’s Daniel Johnson, with another Gateshead Harrier, Jackson Creegan, taking third place.

World Cross representative Jon Taylor of Morpeth clocked the fastest time, moving through to 45th position from the fast pack. Tyne Bridge Harriers, newly promoted from Division Two, won the Division One team contest from Durham City and Morpeth.

Former Crawley athlete Isobelle Murray, now running in the Gateshead colours, comfortably won the senior women’s race from the leading veteran Louise Rodgers, now competing for Tyne Bridge. Jennifer Hitchcott from Jesmond Joggers finished third.

Durham’s Rosie Smith clocked the fastest time, finishing in 36th position overall. Gateshead won the Division One contest from North Shields Poly and Tyne Bridge.

Rosie Murton of Alnwick won the junior women’s event with Chloe Price of Durham clocking the fastest time. Nathan Cox of Morpeth won the under-17 men’s race and also clocked the fastest time.

Will Robinson of North Shields and Grace Varley of Gateshead achieved a similar double in the under-13 boys’ and girls’ races respectively. Max Pearson of Tynedale easily won the under-15 boys’ race. Lizzie Cramb from Shildon was successful in the under-15 girls’ race.

Nigel Rackham from London won yesterday’s 5th Newcastle Town Moor Marathon, and also took the incorporated British Masters Championship. Rackham, who runs in the over-50 category, soon headed the field closely shadowed by 2010 winner, Conrad Franks of Gateshead.

Melanie Horan from the North East Marathon club won the women’s race. Horan, who was lying in second place for most of the race, passed Claire Thompson of Glasgow on the last of the five laps. Last year’s winner Ann Hood moved through to second place.

In yesterday’s Frankfurt Marathon, Morpeth Harrier Nick Swinburn clocked a personal best time of 2hrs 28mmins 18secs, finishing in 55th position. Sunderland’s Mark Hood finished 110th in 2hrs 35mins 22secs.

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