Houghton Harriers compete in tough conditions in Cardiff

Sam Gibson, Henry Johnson and Will Bellamy.
Sam Gibson, Henry Johnson and Will Bellamy.
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Three Houghton Harriers made the long journey to Cardiff - despite gale force winds and torrential rain - to contest the first major cross country event of the season on Saturday.

The Cardiff Cross Challenge opened the 2018 /2019 British Athletics Cross Challenge Series and ends at the UK Inter County Cross Country Championships at Loughborough on March 9.

Will Bellamy, Henry Johnson and Sam Gibson, are all first years in the Under-17 Men’s age group and faced stiff competition.

It was Bellamy that was first home for the Wearsiders’ in finishing 17th (18.48) followed by Johnson 28th (19.28) and Gibson took 34th (19.49).

The race was won by Mohamed Ali (Ealing and Southall) in 17.53. Morpeth Harrier David Melling finished 15th (18.43). Melling’s clubmate Rory Leonard was runner-up in the Under-20s (20.34) to Cardiff’s Jake Heyward (19.56).

Shildon’s Kate Avery was second (21.48) in the Senior Women’s race to Denmark’s Anna Muller (21.48), Morpeth’s Mhairi MacLennan was fifth (22.10) and Birtley’s Lydia Turner was 13th (23.04).

Bellamy, Gibson and Izaack Taylor, will be in the Under-17 Houghton team that competes in the Northern Championships Cross Country Relay Championships at Sheffield on Saturday.

Sunderland Harrier Michelle Avery finished third female in the South Shields Winter Trail Run, finishing 11th and recording 23.53 for the 5k course. Over-60 Vince Emmett finished 27th (27.39).

In yesterday’ s York Marathon, Sunderland Strollers Over-50 Gary Dinsmore clocked 3.14.38 in the race won by Wells City athlete Chris Nash in the fast time of 2.15.12.

The women’s winner was Sale Harrier Katherine Wood in 2.41.35.

Birtley’s Tracy Millmore was third (2.50.47).