A record field of enthusiastic runners turned out for the annual Morpeth 11k (approx) Road Race on New Year’s Day, sponsored by Morpeth Harriers long serving Press Officer George Patterson, who was celebrating his 65th Birthday, with additional help coming from Start Fitness.
Another two people with very good reason for celebrating in style were Elswick Harrier’s husband and wife pairing of Tadele Geremew and Justina Heslop, who lifted the respective Men’s and Women’s titles.
Geremew was very much forced to work extra hard for his title, being hotly pursued throughout by Morpeth Harrier Carl Avery. In fact it was Avery who made the first decisive break, just after the 3k point on the steady climb out of Mitford heading up to Mitford Steads, and only Geremew managed to cover the Morpeth man’s move. The pair reached the Whalton Road for the return journey to Morpeth very much together, with a chasing group of seven or eight runners now some 200 metres adrift. As Avery and Geremew made the Golf Course turn very much together, neither appeared to be wilting or wanting to give way, and their lead over the rest had now strengthened to around a minute.
It was only in the very final run in to the finish line on the Stanners that Geremew managed to gain a very slight lead, but Avery still maintained his determined pace as he just lost out for victory by the slender margin of three seconds.
The prevailing head-wind laced with intermittent showers had obviously put paid to any ambitions of fast times, and Geremew was more than pleased to achieve a winning time of 34m58s, some fifty or so seconds adrift of Morpeth Harrier Lewis Timmins’s 2014 winning time.
GB Elite Duathlete and World Age Group Champion 2014, 2015 and 2017