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Sunday, 24 May 2015

Maria impresses for Harriers on comeback

FOLLOWING a year out f for personal reasons, Maria Armstrong has returned to competition stronger than ever.

Some of the award winners at the Tynedale Harriers presentation evening included (left to right) Kim Bluck, Peter Hearn, Syd Coxon, Maria Armstrong, Hugh Bingham, Jo Marsden, Gilllian Bell and Steph Scott.

Labelled an inspiration by fellow Tynedale Harriers, Maria has smashed her personal best across all distances, both on and off-road, as she hits top form.

Among her list of achievements this year was winning the Kirkley 10K and finishing runner-up in the Bridges of Tyne 5 Mile, while she was 10th woman in her age category over the line in the Great North Run.

For her great comeback, Maria clinched the coveted female club member of the year award at the Harriers’ presentation evening, adding to the prize for most improved athlete from Group Two.

Going home with the trophy for best male club member of the year was Tynedale stalwart Hugh Bingham, a familiar face across the North-East athletics set-up.

He was awarded the accolade for his fantastic service to the club under a number of guises, serving as chair from 2006 to 2009 and as a member of the race committee until recently.

Steph White continues to dominate the awards for female track and field athlete of the year as some fantastic displays helped her to both trophies this year.

With various podium finishes in the V50 category, Peter Hearn was named as the most improved athlete from Group One.

Some great efforts, especially in tough off-road races, saw Jo Marsden named most improved in Group Three, while Gillian Bell showed great drive and determination to win the Group Four accolade.

A busy year for Lea Stephenson saw him enjoy several wins in the local track and field league, and he walked away with the club’s male track athlete prize.

The popular Ian Cowell has impressed throughout by becoming North East vet champion in the high jump and his achievements were marked with the field athlete trophy.

Syd Coxon, meanwhile, was the winner of the cross country runner of the year award after a consistent season.

Running from the fast pack, Kirstie Anderson was named female cross country runner of the year with some gutsy displays, while Bev Redfern was crowned best fell/ ultra runner after completing the 104-mile Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc race.

The results of the club grand prix were also announced at the evening with Ian Brown coming on top in the male section, pipping both Peter Hearn and Hugh Bingham to the glory.

Kim Bluck won the female equivalent despite stiff competition from runner-up Steph Scott and third placed Joanne Lee.