Morpeth Harriers tackle Alnwick Trails and represent Northumberland at English Schools Cross Country Championship

More than 500 runners took part in Sunday morning’s Alnwick Trail Races, with both half marathon and 10k races on offer over what the organisers described as ‘testing trail runs’.
Anna Wright, left, and Jane Kirby both achieved good times at the Alnwick Trail Races.Anna Wright, left, and Jane Kirby both achieved good times at the Alnwick Trail Races.
Anna Wright, left, and Jane Kirby both achieved good times at the Alnwick Trail Races.

Morpeth Harrier Rob Balmbra recorded a remarkable four minute winning margin in the half marathon, clocking 1:22:34 ahead of second-placed Hedley Fletcher (1:16:41).

Club colleagues Anna Wright and Jane Kirby also had excellent runs. Wright was third overall and second Over-40 in 1:44:16 behind local race winner Alnwick Harrier Elizabeth Joyce (1:37:37) and Kirby was 62nd and second O/50 in 1:54:18.

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In the 10k race Morpeth’s Ian Armstrong was third overall and also first O/50 in 39:44. Club colleague Dave Stabler was one place behind in fourth but first O/45 in 41:44.

The annual Brough Law Fell Race took place on the same morning over a five mile route in the Ingram Valley that takes in a number of the area’s hillforts.

Morpeth’s John Butters was sixth overall and second O/40 in a time of 42:35.

Colleagues Mike Winter were 26th in 48:55 and Steve Haswell 28th in 49:31.

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Morpeth’s Robyn Bennett was the fifth female finisher in 53:54.

Five athletes from Morpeth Harriers represented Northumberland at the annual English Schools Cross Country Championships held at a windy Pontefract Racecourse on Saturday.

The overall result over the six events was disappointing from Northumberland’s point of view, with best performances being achieved by their Junior Boys and Senior Girls, who both finished 18th in their respective events.

Three Morpeth Harriers took part in the Senior Boys event, where Northumberland finished 25th, led home by Bertie Marr in 73rd.

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The other two Morpeth Harriers in the event were Elliot Kelso and Joseph Close, 81st and 149th respectively.

Northumberland’s Intermediate Boys finished 26th, with Morpeth’s Ollie Tomlinson 202nd.

Having her first ever English Schools Cross Country outing, Morpeth’s youngest competitor, Faye Heatley, finished as fourth counter for Northumberland in the Junior Girls event in 254th.

Perhaps the most remarkable performance of the weekend, however, was at the high profile 10 Meeting in San Juan Capistrano, California, on Saturday where, in a very competitive field, Morpeth’s Rory Leonard ran a time of 28m 4.83s when finishing 10th overall in his heat of the 10,000m, a time that takes 17 seconds off his previous best for the distance.