Author: Archie Jenkins
In North East temperatures of 21/22 degrees, 67 competitors took part in the BMAF track 10k at Jarrow, this compares with 35 at Oxford in 2018. Not surprisingly NE Masters members made up the bulk of the fields, taking eleven out of the sixteen titles. With 67 declaring, an additional race had to be slotted into a busy programme. As a result, compared with 5 women in 2018, fifteen contested the first race.
Stephie Maclean Dann (North Shields Poly) in the W40 age group, won overall with the biggest margin of the day, followed by Michelle Thompson (W35) and Rachel Breheny W35. This her first BMAF title after finishing runner up in the BMAF road 10k at Blyth in the spring. Elaine Leslie (W50) and Heather Robinson repeated their victories when the championships were last held at Jarrow in 2017. Other titles went to Steph Scott (W45), Annette Hames (W60) and Janette Kilgour (W65).
In the separate M65+ race, Terry O`Neil (Belgrave) and Mick Casey (Barnsley) shared the lead throughout, with the younger O`Neil (M65) just outkicking Casey (M70), who made it three track 10k titles in a row. In the M80s race with four competitors, multi master`s medallist Fred Gibbs (Bingley) had a 28 second advantage over Doug Milsom (Hillingdon) who posted a time just over three minutes slower than when winning the Vets AC title three days earlier. Mac Stephenson (S Shields) was first M75 home ahead of Ken Chapman, winner in 2017.
In the M50s event Lee Bennett (Morpeth) ran aggressively from the front going through 5k in 17m18, however, Ian Johnston (Vets AC/SVHC) ran his usual strong second half, to take victory, like M70 Casey winning for the third consecutive year. Greg Penn (M55) had a narrow 4 second win from fellow NEMAA member Peter Clough (Crook). Kevin Newman M60 (Doncaster) like Johnston was the only winner to retain his title, ahead of England Masters xc and 10k internationalist Brian Martin.
In the final race of the day, Conrad Franks went from the gun to take his first BMAF title, like Dann earlier, reversing his second place at Blyth in March. Second place went to Stephen Jackson (Elvet) who has been showing great form locally. Steven Medd (Gateshead) just missed out on the medals at Blyth to take his first BMAF title (M40) and Jeff Prest (Trafford), eight days after finishing 5th in the heat at Eraclea in the European Masters Championships took the M45 title, finishing third overall in the race.