Peter Newton exercised the ghosts from last year’s Blaydon Race – the Morpeth Harrier suffered an injured Achilles that would keep him out for months – to secure first place at Thursday’s (9 June) event. One of most iconic runs in the north east, entries for the race sold out within an hour of going live, with 4130 participants competing.
As is customary, runners began the 5.6 mile run with a recital of the 1862 Blaydon Races song, which opens with 'Aa went to Blaydon Races t'was on the Ninth of June'. The ritual singing of the song takes place at the start every year.
There was a familiar look to the leading pack with Newton joined by Ryan McLeod, Ian Hudspith and Tadele Mulugeta for the majority of the race. Yet the Morpeth Harrier pulled away to cross the tape first in 27:09 – some 16 seconds ahead of McLeod, with Newton’s club mate, Ian Hudspith, in third (27:27).
Newton was clearly delighted to put the 2015 race behind him: “I got injured at the Blaydon Race last year and started running again in the autumn. I’ve been running pretty consistently since then and I’m in the form of my life now. I ran a PB at the North East Counties six weeks ago, running under 30 minutes for the first time.”
Some well known faces were at the front of the female field too with Sunderland Strollers’ Aly Dixon securing an impressive victory in 29:44, with Rosie Smith second (30:43) and Justina Heslop third (31:03). Mid-point in the field was Peter Phillipson (47:21), while the last runners came home in 1:24:37.