Resounding win for Sam in Bridges of Tyne event

With the longer summer evenings, the race calendar at this time of year includes a good number of midweek fixtures, and runners from Morpeth Harriers were involved in two of the most popular last week.

By Keith Hamblin
Tuesday, 12th July 2022, 10:27 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th July 2022, 1:00 pm
Sam Hancox on his way to winning the Bridges of the Tyne race last week.
Sam Hancox on his way to winning the Bridges of the Tyne race last week.

On Wednesday, Sam Hancox was a resounding winner of the Bridges of the Tyne 5-miler, becoming in the process North East Counties Athletics Association champion for the distance.

Always oversubscribed, the out and back course along the north bank of the Tyne in Newcastle saw this year some 337 finishers with Hancox winning in a time of 24 minutes 46.4 seconds, nearly a minute ahead of his nearest rival, Gateshead Harrier Conrad Franks (25: 30.1) with Sunderland Harrier Stephen Jackson in 3rd (25:31.8).

Mark Snowball was 18th in 28:40.9, Over 55 Rob Hancox, Sam’s Dad, 46th in 30:37.8 and Mark Best 63rd in 31:54.6.

NSP Harrier Stephanie Maclean-Dann was the first female finisher in 29: 54.8 with Elswick’s Imogen Bungay managing to stay ahead of Tyne Bridge Harrier Kathryn Stevenson in third.

The following night, action moved further along the Tyne with the Tynedale 10k taking place over its traditional route from Ovingham via Wylam to a finish in the Riverside Park at Low Prudhoe.

This time a visitor from outside the area was the winner, with Daniel O’Boyle of St. Edmund Pacers winning in a time of 32 minutes 49 seconds with Birtley’s Lewis McConnell a close second only seven seconds behind and Blaydon’s Matthew Armstrong in third (33:04).

For Morpeth, Richard Johnson was unlucky to miss out on a top three finish having led the race for the first four miles. He placed fourth in 33:09.

Local runner Claire Davies of Stocksfield Striders was first female finisher in 38:48.

Also finishing for Morpeth were Anthony Liddle, 27th in 37:41, Jamie Johnson, 55th in 40:24, Mike Winter, 84th in 42:33 and Norman Clark. Clark was first Over 70 in a time of 53:37 and 221st overall. Some 338 finished.

Three athletes from Morpeth Harriers represented Northumberland Schools at the annual English Schools Track and Field Championships, held in Manchester at the weekend.

The most successful was Edward Gardiner, who competed in the Intermediate Boys Discus on Saturday, where he produced a personal best of 41.95m to finish sixth.

On Friday, Senior Girl Charlotte Earl finished 12th in the Triple Jump, with her best performance of 11.01m.

In the Junior Boys 1500m, Ollie Calvert went out in his heat, one of two hotly contested race, where he finished eighth in a time of 4m19.33s.

Two members of Morpeth Harriers recently ventured abroad to compete in challenging races.

John Butters travelled to the Dolomites in Northern Italy to take part in the Lavaredo Ultra. Butters had a fine run to finish 122nd out of the 900 finishers in a time of 12:04:46.

Meanwhile Loansdean resident and leading national O65 Gavin Bayne travelled to Tampere in Finland to compete in the World Masters Half Marathon Championships where he was 4th O65 in a time of 1: 27:40.