Michelle Holt’s off to a flyer with victory at Morpeth

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MICHELLE HOLT started off her new year in winning style with victory in yesterday’s Morpeth 11k Road Race.

The 27-year-old Sunderland Harrier won the women’s section of the event in 41 minutes 57 seconds to finish 23rd overall in a field of 120.

She was well clear of second-placed Joanne Lee (Tynedale), who finished in 44.33, with the host club’s Kate Chapman third in 44.49.

This was Holt’s first win since October’s Richmond Castle 10k and it augurs well for the year ahead for her favourite events on the road.

The race was won by Morpeth’s Ian Harding (33.41), with Sale’s Daniel Bradford second (34.38) and former Chester-le-Street athlete Carl Smith (Leeds) in third (34.53).

Sam Forrester (Morpeth) finished fourth (35.39) and Jon Archer (Low Fell) fifth (36.16). First veteran was Paul Waterson (Morpeth) in ninth (38.09).

Sunderland Harrier Michael Hill, the club secretary, finished a pleasing 33rd in 43.55 to emphasise his form before contesting the big two cross-country competitions – the Northerns at Pontefract on January 28 and the Nationals in London on February 25.

H Paul Redman, a 45-year-old veteran, clocked a personal best for the course (17min 57sec) when winning the Sunderland parkrun at Silksworth Sports Complex on Saturday.

His run was also the best age-graded performance with 80.87 per cent. His teenage Sunderland Harriers team-mate Patrick Crombie was second in 18.03.

H Houghton Harrier Keith Lowery won the Durham parkrun in 17.28.