Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Athletics: Morris Moves into Top Gear; Bill McGuirk with All the Weekend's Athletics News

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Athletics: Morris Moves into Top Gear; Bill McGuirk with All the Weekend's Athletics News

Article excerpt

MICHAEL Morris was back in the winning enclosure after a remarkable display in the Brampton to Carlisle 10-mile road race.

The Morpeth runner was a minute down on runaway leader Ricky Lightfoot (Ellenborough) at the half-way point which was reached in 25min 49sec.

But Morris, having his first outing at the distance, sensed that Lightfoot's time running alone was beginning to tell and gradually reeled the leader in to catch him with a mile to go.

"It was at around six and a half miles that I decided to try and pull the leader back because I could see that the gap at that point was shortening all the while," said 33-year-old Morris.

"I managed to catch the lad just before nine miles, but in doing so had pulled the Border runner - former winner Mike Scott - through as well.

"I eased to the front expecting the long-time leader to fall away, but he just slipped in behind me and I thought that, after all that effort, I'm still not sure to win.

"With 600 metres to go I put my head down and just went for it, and thankfully it paid off.

"I'm absolutely delighted to win. I've trained pretty hard for this race since the Great North Run and it showed."

Lightfoot hung on for second place, six seconds behind Morris, with Scott a further three seconds back in third.

Lightfoot had opened up a 20-metre lead at the completion of the first mile which was reached in 4min 43sec.

He extended his advantage significantly through to five miles, with the second mile, which includes a steep incline, the slowest of the five in 5:17.

However, miles six, seven, eight and nine showed how much the brave, front-running effort had taken out of him.

Times of 5:23, 5:28, 5:29 and 5:43 gave Morris the incentive to move through and take a superb victory.

Scotland's Hayley Haining was the talk of the event afterwards after finishing in eighth place among the 600+ finishers.

Haining, who won the event in 2005, finished just a minute and a half behind Morris to move to third in this year's British women's 10-mile rankings. …

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