87th Clive Cookson Race

The first Cookson race in 1921 was run on a route around Linskill School, North Shields and was named after teacher Clive Cookson.  The current 2 lap race route route is around Monkseaton High School through Murton and New York, and this year was run on Wednesday 23rd May.  The race was organised by Whitley Bay based athletics club, North Shields Poly.

The men’s event was won by Ian Hudspith of Morpeth Harriers in a time of 31.29.  Ian was also first in his age group of V45.  2nd in the men’s race was James Dunce of Tyne Bridge Harriers (31.36).  In 3rd place, also from Tyne Bridge was Tom Charlton (31.43).  The first Poly man in was Will Robson in 8th place (33.17).  The women’s event was won by Danielle Smythe of Heaton Harriers (37.24), 2nd was Stephanie Maclean Dann of North Shields Poly (38.45), who was also the winner of the V40 women’s category.  In 3rd place was Sophie Marr of Tyne Bridge Harriers (39.35).

Men’s age category winners were-V40-David Wright (Tyne Bridge 34.55), 2nd Andrew Heppell (Gosforth 35.26), V45-2nd Terry Scott (Tyne Bridge 32.35), V50-Mark Turnbull (Elswick 37.17), 2nd John Whitfield (Poly 38.24), V55-Ian Norman (Heaton 37.03), 2nd Brian Bales (Birtley 41.31), V60-Peter Sloan (Elswick 41.26), 2nd Graham King (Tyne Bridge 43.53), V65-John Brown (Poly 44.09), V70-Mark McNally (Elswick 41.51).

Age category winners in the women’s race were-V35-Ellen Roberts (Heaton 40.50), 2nd Christine Burns (Poly 42.28), V40-2nd Helen Peacock (Gosforth 48.48), V45-Andrea Banner (Elswick 41.14), 2nd Joanne Brown (also Elswick 43.06), V50 Jane Giles (Gateshead 41.27), 2nd Valerie Wilson (Elswick 44.42), V55-Heather Robinson (Jarrow and Hebburn 43.23), 2nd Kim Matthews Elswick 48.34), V60 Maggie Loraine (Gateshead 44.18), 2nd Janice Mitcheson (Poly 1.02), V70 Irene Henderson (Elswick 1.00).

Tyne Bridge Harriers claimed the men’s team prize, and the North Shields Poly team of Stephanie Maclean Dann, Alison Nicholson and Maria Graham won the women’s team prize.

On a positive note for the future, there is now a strong group of young athletes competing in junior events for the Poly, and they recently won a Division 1 track and field fixture for probably the first time.  In addition Poly junior athlete James Wordsworth achieved a grade one standard in an under 17 discus event with a throw of 41.80 metres.  Hopefully this talented group will continue to compete in athletics events with the aim of taking part in national and even international competition.