Fastest times in the two senior races went to Morpeth's Peter Newton and Ashley Gibson as the cross country season gets into full swing.
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The mens race looked to be very competitive as there was a leading group of around 20 runners together after the initial rush of the start. However, it wasn't long before Durham University student Ben Douglas went to the fore and was never headed. With Douglas being from outside the area (he is originally from the Isle of Wight), spectators did not know a great deal about him and were unsure as to whether he would be able to keep up such a relentless pace. As it was, Douglas, who has a 74 minute half marathon to his name, actually got stronger and came home a comfortable winner.
Second place went to Tyne Bridge's Simon Kristiansen. Originally from New Zealand and former coach of the Oceania Junior squad, Kristiansen backed up with 9th place at last week's Heaton 10k with a strong last lap to go from 4th to 2nd.
Although Douglas was well clear of the rest of the field, it looked as though the fastest time of the day would come from one of the fast pack runners once Elswick's Phil Hurst and Morpeth's Peter Newton were seen warming up, as well as last week's Heaton 10k second placer Richard Morrell.
It certainly was chalk and cheese as the fast pack started to catch the rest - the elegant Hurst, with his smooth style and high knee lift against Newton, much more ragged and workmanlike but just as effective. It wasn't long before they became swallowed up in the rest of the field and the tight twists and turns, together with having to weave in and out of the other runners did not suit Hurst, who was also coming back from illness and starting to feel the pace. Newton seized the chance and forged ahead from half way to gain the fastest time of the day.
The team race went to Division One's Durham City Harriers with a score of 115 ahead of Division Two's Tyne Bridge with 166.
Full provisional results can be found by clicking here.
There was another clear winner in the ladies race when Birtley's Tracy Millmore came home 35 seconds ahead of Newcastle University's Kelly Hewitson. It's great to see Millmore getting back to form and it was a confident display of front running, never relenting despite having a comfortable lead throughout.
Fastest time of the day went to Morpeth's Ashley Gibson. Gibson twice went under 4.20 for 1500m this summer and if this kind of form continues and a solid winter is had then she will certainly be turning a few heads next year. Second fastest went to Jarrow & Hebburn's Alex Snook who was 45 seconds behind.
The team race went to Division 1's Tyne Bridge who with 36 points were well ahead of second place Elswick who had the distinction of being top Division 2 team.
For PROVISIONAL ladies results click here.
For more video footage of both the men's and women's races visit our Gallery page by clicking here. There are some great pictures on the way from the Sportypix team so watch this space.
Well done to all that took part in another successful North East Harrier League event. The next race in the series is on 15th December at Jarrow.