Gordon Smith Memorial Relays - 2nd May 2012
A record 110 teams lined up for the annual Gordon Smith Relays on Wednesday around the popular Segadunum course, hosted by Wallsend Harriers.
The 3 x 2 mile (approx) race is run in memory of the club's former Chairman who passed away in the 1990s and had added significance this year after the recent passing of his predecessor and best friend Terry O'Gara.
Gordon Smith was a big enthusiast of Veteran's athletics and so each team had to include at least one veteran runner (V40 for male and F35 for female).
Close family friend and current Wallsend Harriers Club Chairman Steve O'Gara set the runners on their way around the course which was mainly flat but with a short, sharp and testing uphill finish.
It was Gosforth youngster Finn Brodie who led the runners home on the first leg, his time of 9.48 was fastest of the night and 3 seconds ahead of Morpeth's Michael Dawson with Guy Bracken in 3rd for North Shields Poly. Bracken's time of 9.58 ended up being the fastest veteran time of the race. Morpeth's veteran Neil Wilkinson took the Northumbrian's into the lead on leg 2 while North Shields Poly moved into second just 13 seconds behind after a good run from Gary Moore. Brian Hetherington moved the host club into the top 3 and at the final changeover it was still anyone's race.
Morpeth though, had other ideas and with the experienced Ian Harding running the joint 2nd fastest time of the night with 9.51 they were victorious by 28 seconds. Triathlon expert Harry Coates got the better of North Shields youngster Scott Ellis to bring Wallsend home in 2nd ahead of their North Tyneside rivals.
In the ladies race it was the in form Stacey Rogers who led for Wallsend after the first leg ahead of veteran Alison Dargie of Elswick and Angela Hunter of Jarrow. Rogers' time of 11.10 was only bettered by Jarrow's Alex Snook who's 11.03 on the second leg took Jarrow into a lead they were never going to lose. Snook handed over to Claire Simpson who ran the fastest veteran time with 11.19, Jarrow were comfortable winners. Elswick vet Yam Thiru bringing them home 2 minutes behind.
All in all, a good evenings racing in a good spirited, friendly atmosphere. Well done to everyone that took part.
For full results click here.
For pictures from the night visit our Picture Gallery
See below for a short video clip of the action.
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