Harding sets the pace to win annual Druridge 10k race

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A sold-out field of 428 runners assembled at Druridge Bay on Sunday for the 11th annual 10k run, this year held in aid of HospiceCare North Northumberland.

In a poignant moment at the start line, runners paid their respects to the victims of the Manchester bombing with a minute’s silence and local councillor Scott Dickinson took time out from his election campaigning to start the run.

In warm, but breezy conditions, Amble’s own running legend Ian Harding was quick to build an early and unassailable lead.

Wearing the famous blue and white vest of Morpeth Harriers, Harding came home well clear in a time of 34.15. Ian cemented his place in Northumberland folklore by dancing well clear of the field despite allegedly arriving at the start straight off a full nightshift.

In second place was the effervescent Heaton Harrier veteran Magnus McGillivray (36.23) whilst the podium was completed by Broomhill’s own promising youngster, the pugnacious Dominic Harris (37.23) in the proud colours of Alnwick Harriers.

The women’s race was a tribute to the race planning skills of the Heaton Harriers’ coaching team who had long targeted this fruitful hop up the A189 to grab some coveted silverware.

All three podium spots were grabbed by the famous green and white Heaton colours with Nina Cameron (45.58) leading home her clubmates Lisa Harpin (47.27) and Jessie Hetherington (48.04).

The route circles both of the lakes in the Country Park and takes a beautiful circuitous path that includes about a mile on the open beach.

The event is now firmly entrenched within the North East running calendar and was supported by a large team of volunteers, many provided by local running clubs and the HospiceCare.

The lovely weather had brought a large crowd to spectate and race committee member Andrew Grieves commented that it had been particularly satisfying to see many runners progress up to their first 10k run having started attending the free weekly 5k parkrun on a Saturday morning.

HospiceCare’s Community Fundraiser, Emma Arthur was quick to draw praise for the efforts of the volunteers and organising committee who have built this race up over the past decade and contribute so much to the community.

More athletics news appears on page 67.