Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Morpeth Fail to Build on Weightman's Record Run

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Morpeth Fail to Build on Weightman's Record Run

Article excerpt

IT WAS certainly a good Friday for Morpeth Olympian Laura Weightman, Gateshead's Chris Parr and the Tyneside club's relay quartet as all three set course records in Elswick Harriers' promotion at Newburn. Weightman set the stall out on a record-breaking day as she covered the first leg of the 3x2.2-mile relay in 11min 08secs, which knocked 13 seconds off the old figures set in 2013 by Alyson Dixon (Sunderland Strollers).

Weightman's performance set the tone for the rest of the day as Parr also set a new course record in the men's 4x2.2-mile relay of 10:07, which dipped under Phil Hurst's (Elswick) figures by just one second.

Parr's run, the fastest overall time of the day, went some way to helping Gateshead win the event in one of the closest finishes in history after relegating arch-rivals Morpeth into second place, with only three seconds separating the teams at the finish.

It was a confidence-boosting performance by the Gateshead quartet in preparation for this weekend's North of England 12-Stage Road Relay Championships as they erased Morpeth's 2015 figures of 42:03 from the record books with a winning time of 41:37.

Weightman, meanwhile, gave the Northumbrians a resounding 1:12 lead after completing her stint over second-placed Birtley (Chloe Price) with Birtley's second string (Amber Leigh) in third position just one second further adrift.

Things changed dramatically on leg two as Tracy Millmore brought Birtley to the front at the final changeover, with Morpeth slipping back into second as Gateshead moved into third ahead of Birtley's B team.

Sophie Burnett extended Birtley's advantage on the run to the finish as she posted 12:20 for her stint, which was, together with team-mate Price, the second quickest time of the day behind Weightman.

Morpeth eventually finished a comfortable second ahead of Gateshead with Birtley's B team just missing out on a podium place.

While Birtley won the women's contest by more than a minute, the men's relay was a much closer affair.

Gateshead (Dan Johnson) took an early lead ahead of Morpeth's B team (Sam Hancox) at the first changeover, with South Shields (Luke Adams) in third place, while Morpeth's A team (Kevin Calvert) were back in fifth. …

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