Late twist in Northumberland Coastal Run as winning Harrier is disqualified

Carl Avery is given the bad bews by race officials
Carl Avery is given the bad bews by race officials

Controversy surrounded this year’s Northumberland Coastal Run with a dramatic twist at the finish-line.

Morpeth Harrier Carl Avery, from Seahouses, thought he had won Sunday’s unmeasured half-marathon, only to be disqualified for racing with someone else’s number.

Northumberland Coastal Run

Northumberland Coastal Run

It meant that Sunderland Harrier Kevin Jeffress was promoted to race winner after he completed the course, from Beadnell to Alnmouth, in 1:18:57.

A spokesman for race organisers, Alnwick Harriers, admitted it was a difficult decision to make, but added that they had no choice.

He said: “Bad luck to our second-claim runner and Morpeth Harrier Carl Avery.

“He had a superb run and actually crossed the line first, though due to not dotting the Is and crossing the Ts on a name transfer before the deadline, we had no alternative but to disqualify Carl.

On the Coastal Run.

On the Coastal Run.

“It was a tough decision to make, but we really had no choice. We hope that Carl will be back and will have his name on the winner’s trophy soon.”

Jeffress completed the event, contested in scorching conditions, in a time of 1:18:57, topping a field of more than 850 competitors.

He finished ahead of previous winner Darren Purvis, of Birtley AC, and North Shields Poly’s Iain Twaddle.

Regular Coastal Run participant Alasdair Tatham, of North York Moors AC, won the male 40 category by finishing fifth overall, while North Shields Poly’s Greg Penn was first male 50 in 18th.

Alnwick Harrier Geoff Campbell.

Alnwick Harrier Geoff Campbell.

Low Fell’s Bob Najafi won the male 60 age group and Blackhill Bounder Mike Gill was first in the male 70 category.

North Shields Poly won the male team prize.

For the women, first to finish was 2009 winner Debbie Appleton, of Havering AC, in 1:31:21.

Debbie was just 13 seconds ahead of North Shields Poly’s Claire McManus, followed by Rhona Anderson, of Dunbar Running Club.

Alnwick Harrier Sarah Cross.

Alnwick Harrier Sarah Cross.

Heaton Harrier Sarah Lemon won the female 35 prize and Karen Bridge, of Eden Runners, was the female 40 victor.

Marie Drozdowicz, of Elswick Harriers, was a popular winner of the female 50 category, while Southwell RC’s Penny Durance was the first female 60 runner.

Tyne Bridge Harriers won the female team prize.

Winners of the four coveted Alnwick Harriers prizes were Phil Hemsley (male veteran), Steve Patterson (male senior), Lisa Baston (female senior) and Sarah Cross (female veteran).

The run was once again sponsored by Eclipse Translations.

Other businesses and groups which helped make the day a success included Rapid Reaction, Motorcare Alnwick, Rothbury Motors, Start Fitness, Northumbria Water, Beadnell Boat Club, Alnmouth Football Club, Red Lion (Alnmouth), Hipsburn Primary School and Alnmouth Village Golf Club.

Coastal Run' Second placed Kevin Jeffress was awarded the race.

Coastal Run' Second placed Kevin Jeffress was awarded the race.

Thanks were given to the committee for organising such a great event, particularly to Jim Lillico, Tracey Sample and Sue Bolam.

Also well done to the numerous marshals who helped out over the course of the weekend and received positive comments from competitors.

Top 10 finishers: 1 Kevin Jeffress (Sunderland Harriers) 1:18:57; 2 Darren Purvis (Birtley AC) 1:20:15; 3 Iain Twaddle (North Shields Poly) 1:20:48; 4 James Buis (Border Harriers) 1:20:57; 5 Alasdair Tatham (North York Moors AC) 1:21:25; 6 Ross Anderson (Jarrow & Hebburn AC) 1:22:23; 7 Richard Pattinson (Pudsey Pacers RC) 1:22:45; 8 Phil Walker (Morpeth Harriers) 1:24:09; 9 Jason Allison (Crook & District AC) 1:24:58; 10 Dom Munnelly (Tyne Bridge Harriers) 1:25:08.

Alnwick Harrier results: 26 Phil Hemsley 1:29:28; 66 Geoff Campbell 1:36:38; 75 Adam Spiller 1:38:04; 110 Stuart Morris 1:41:25; 132 Steve Patterson 1:43:52; 156 Rob Enser 1:46:01; 174 Dave Henderson 1:48:06; 242 Clive Kennedy-Burn 1:52:34; 266 Micky Aiston 1:54:15; 362 Lisa Baston 2:00:54; 380 Sarah Cross 2:01:58; 456 Colin McLean 2:06:56; 541 Dave Hindmarsh 2:12:22; 50 Richard Eastoe 2:13:07; 551 Gay Eastoe 2:13:08; 573 Shelley Coates 2:14:30; 647 Christopher Watson 2:20:45; 649 Laura McLean 2:20:51; 656 Emily Watson 2:22:05; 713 John Ross 2:27:44; 725 Phil Lee 2:29:04; 728 Melanie Buchanan 2:29:16; 757 Helen Burn 2:33:27; 758 Mary Plumley 2:33:27; 847 Tim Shepherd 3:12:02.

For full results, visit www.alnwickharriers.co.uk