Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hudspith's in Fine Shape for Blaydon

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hudspith's in Fine Shape for Blaydon

Article excerpt

Byline: INSIDE TRACK Athletics news with Bill McGuirk

IAN HUDSPITH warmed up for Tuesday night's Speedflex Blaydon Race with an impressive second place in last weekend's high-calibre 5k contest on Teesside.

The Morpeth Harrier was pipped by just two strides by Teesside-based Paralympian silver medallist Wondiye Indelbu.

However, while Indelbu is not among the starters for the Blaydon, Hudspith will have to overcome Kenya's Jonah Chesum and a strong regional field if he has any hopes of repeating his victory of 2009.

Now aged 44, Hudspith has a superb record of never finishing outside the top six on nine occasions and the organisers have honoured that by giving him race number one.

"It is no secret the Blaydon has always been one of my favourite races and it is a race I always seem to do well in,'' said Hudspith, minutes after his latest outing in Middlesbrough.

"It is always a well-organised event which reflects greatly on the Blaydon club's huge volunteer structure and that is one of the reasons numbers sell out quickly.

"Naturally, I hope to do well again but I am getting no younger and the field is stacked high, not only with the best runners in the region but again there will be African athletes to contend with.

"I will have to be at my best to be in the mix at the finish.'' Meanwhile, as Hudspith was finishing in second place inside the Riverside Stadium, 260 miles away Chesum was storming home to win the Bristol 10k in an impressive 29min 18secs.

The Kenyan athlete competed in the T46 section in London 2012 and made the final of both the 800m and 1,500m but it is his performances on the roads since Olympic year which make him firm favourite to lift the first prize on the ninth o' June.

However, Hudspith and a host of other athletes will seize the chance if there is any slip-up by the African runner. …

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