Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Salt Race Has a Ton to Celebrate

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Salt Race Has a Ton to Celebrate

Article excerpt


SALTWELL Harriers' annual road race celebrates its centenary on Saturday - and one of the many great endurance athletes who have graced the event over the years will be on hand to present the awards.

Olympic silver medallist Mike McLeod was not nicknamed King of the Roads for nothing, as he won the prestigious race 16 consecutive times from 1974 until 1990, a truly remarkable feat.

As well as McLeod, the Saltwell club would like to see as many past winners as possible to the race headquarters in Saltwell Park this weekend.

To celebrate the occasion, Saltwell club stalwart Walter Fraser has put together the history of the race with every entrant receiving a copy in their commemorative goody bag.

It is now known as the Ronnie Walker Saltwell Road Race in appreciation of the club's long-serving president.

Fraser highlights not only the history of the race but lists every winner from 1911, which was won by W G Wilson of Newcastle Harriers, right up to the present day - with Morpeth's Jonny Taylor recording victory 12 months ago.

As well as McLeod's record of 16 Saltwell successes, many other notable performances are listed including an eight-year unbeaten run by the club's own John Anderson and the successes of the Elswick Boak brothers Bill and George in the 1950s while the formidable Ron Hill took on the locals and tasted victory in 1966.

The list makes interesting reading. Olympians Alec Burns, twice, and Jack Potts, three times, all etched their name on the winner's trophy as have Ernie Slaughter, Ernie Pomfret, John Caine, Maurice Benn, Bill Robinson, Charlie Spedding, Mark and Ian Hudspith. Even McLeod's son Ryan had the honour in 2007 and 2008.

However, anyone wanting a copy of Fraser's archives, which list many more talented names, will have to complete the course on Saturday. …

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