Amble athlete Karl Taylor powered home to clinch his first Les Allcorn 10k title on Tuesday night and declared afterwards: “I’m over the moon.”
The Morpeth Harrier took the 2015 crown in fine fashion, crossing the line in 33 minutes exactly.
He won the race by a margin of 100 metres, ahead of second-placed Tom Durcan, from Derwent AC, who finished 21 seconds behind.
In what was a good night for local runners, Ella Brown from host club Alnwick Harriers won the women’s race, retaining her 2014 title in the process.
She finished in 39 minutes and was placed 17th overall. Her efforts, along with club-mate Suzie Barwise-Munroe (39:51) and Sarah Cross (48:41), inspired Alnwick to the ladies’ trophy.
Meanwhile, in the junior 3k race, staged before the senior event, 12-year-old Alnwick Harrier Callie Henderson was the first girl home, winning in 11:25 and finishing fifth overall.
The annual Les Allcorn 10k was launched in the town in 1996 to remember the athlete who died during Alnwick Harriers’ coastal run between Beadnell and Alnmouth the previous year.
Tuesday’s event, staged in Alnwick’s picturesque Hulne Park, attracted a decent number of runners, both in the senior and junior race.
But the event belonged to an inspired Taylor, who put in a commanding performance to add his name to the trophy for the first time.
It was the fourth time in five years that a Morpeth Harrier has won the race, after Carl Avery, from Seahouses, took the title last year and Amble’s Ian Harding won in 2011 and 2012.
Taylor’s heroics, along with the performance of his team-mates Sam Hancox (third place, 33:29) and Mark Snowball (fifth, 35:57), was enough to win the men’s trophy for Morpeth Harriers.
Afterwards, 24-year-old Taylor said: “There are a lot of good names on that trophy so to add my name to it is great, I am over the moon.
“It was a fantastic race. It is a great place for a 10k and it was very well organised. I would like to thank Alnwick Harriers and the people helping and supporting.”
While the lads from Morpeth dominated the top places, there were some strong performances from Alnwick Harriers. First home for Alnwick was 18-year-old Daniel Leng, who was 14th overall in 38:14, followed home by Joseph Mallen, 19, in 38:23.
In helping Alnwick win the ladies title, Cross was the Female-35 winner.
Another local athlete to fare well was Claire Bagness, of Wooler Running Club, who finished 40th overall in 43 minutes to win the F45 section.
Elswick’s Marie Louise Drozdowicz was the F55 winner, crossing the line in 48 minutes.
In the men’s age-group categories, Andrew Hussey, representing Cheltenham Harriers, took the Vet 40 prize, finishing in 36:58 and eighth overall.
Heaton Harriers’ Ian Norman (39:19) was the Vet 50 winner, while Richard Sill, of Morpeth Harriers, secured the Vet 60 title in 45:04.
Morpeth Harriers’ Les Allcorn success did not finish in the senior race, as 14-year-old Taylor Glover landed the junior trophy, finishing first in 9:48.
But Alnwick’s Harriers’ Ben Kelly, 14, raced to a fantastic second-placed finish in 10.05.
In the age-group categories, unattached runner Finlay Wallace was the U9 boys’ winner in 13:33, while Alnwick Harrier Katy Knight was the first U9 girl in 15:54.
Alnwick Harrier Lauren Brown crossed the line in 11:50 to win the girls’ U11 section and Morpeth Harrier Callum Rowell (12:37) was top U11 boy. Morpeth Harrier Ross Charlton (10:28) was first U13 boy, while girls’ winner Henderson was the first U13 girl.
Eve Buddle, of Alnwick Harriers, was first U15 girl, crossing the line in 12:24, and junior race-winner Glover also secured the U15 boys’ title.
Alnwick Harriers secured a clean sweep in the U17 section, with the prizes going to Daniel Mallen (11:35) and Rebecca Reed (11:42).
Thanks have been given to the Alnwick Harriers’ committee for organising the Les Allcorn 10k and junior 3k, as well as the volunteers who turned out to help.
Special thanks to Mary Plumley and Sue Bolam for organising the lion’s share of the event.
Finally, thanks to Northumberland Estates for allowing the use of Hulne Park and to Rapid Reaction for its first-aid skills.
For full results, visit the Alnwick Harriers website.