A chilly morning with a stiff northerly breeze made for some unseasonably difficult conditions however, especially so since changes to the course meant this year, for the first time, a beach start and two sections on the sand into the wind, plus an additional loop round the lake.
Making short work of these was Alistair Douglas, first home and stepping up in distance from the 800m he had won at the NECAA Championships a fortnight ago to finish in a time of 36 minutes and 14 seconds.
He was followed home by club colleague and local Amble lad Jordan Scott, a regular fixture over the years and a past winner going right back to 2008, who was just under a minute behind in 37m 4s.
It was also a successful day for organising club Alnwick Harriers, with 3rd place going to Steve Carragher (38:22) and the first three female finishers all wearing the club’s colours.
Caroline Paige was 1st Senior Female in 46:46, with Rosie Davison 2nd (47:52) and Lisa Baston 3rd (48:28).
Morpeth’s Under 16 Harry Armstrong was 2nd U/16 in 47:34.
In County Durham the same morning Morpeth stalwart Ian Harding, now an Over 40 veteran, made an impressive return to competition when finishing 2nd in the Raby Castle 10k.
Clocking a time of 34 minutes and 45 seconds, Harding only lost out to Liviu Ionita of Darlington Harriers, who won in a time of 34:34.
The previous night saw three Morpeth athletes compete in the high profile BMC Grand Prix Meeting, held at Sports City which attracted forty talented athletes for the Men’s 5000m, which had to be held over three hotly contested heats.
Alex Brown and Finn Brodie both lined up in the fastest race, eventually finishing tenth and eleventh respectively and posting new personal best times of 14m15.73s and 14m24.35s.
Sam Hancox was placed in the second fastest heat, finishing thirteenth in a season’s best time of 14m52.24s.
In contrast, despite the determined efforts of the respective Team Managers David Swinburne (Male) and Julie Roche/Judith Nutt (Female) plus of course all the athletes who did turn out, Morpeth Harriers Young Athletes could only once again finish a lowly fifth of six competing teams in their second round NEYDL Division 1 match, held at Middlesbrough Sports Village, on Sunday 22nd May.
A stronger turnout compared to the first match had been expected, but extremely late withdrawals, especially in the Female squad, left the squad very weakened for the on the day challenge. If the club are to survive in Division 1 - where they have been resident since the league formation around seven or eight years ago - a stronger team must be mustered for the two remaining fixtures.
Morpeth’s sole event winners were Joseph Close in the Under 17 Men’s 800m, and Under 17 Woman Victoria Hodgson, who had an excellent win in the 300m.