COLOUR AND PACE ON THE MORGAN RUN
The Morgan Run is one Sedbergh’s most popular and characterful events. The 4.6 mile race takes place over a variety of terrain; road, cross country and fell, and is a test for any athlete. For an hour, Frostrow Fell is alive with colour and mud-soaked runners of all ages return to school to share stories of the climbs, descents, the mud, falls and camaraderie of one of Sedbergh’s iconic races.
On the 27th of January, international mountain runners, Ben Mounsey and Ted Mason, took the start line with 310 Sedberghians, Old Sedberghians, staff and parents. Ben Mounsey said, “There was a need for speed at this year’s Morgan Run in Sedbergh. Huge thanks to Jon Richardson and Sedbergh School for the race invitation and gracious hospitality. It was the first time, in a long time, that my heart rate has exceeded 180 bpm!”
The fast, downhill start quickly funneled into narrow, slippery section which all negotiated safely. An early lead was taken by Mounsey, followed by Ben Van Dijk (First Running VIII, Captain). The Old Sedberghians presented a strong side and early in the race they had four in the top ten, including Wilson Run record holder, John Campbell. We were delighted that the OS Ladies entered a team for the first time.
Reports suggest that the lead runner in Milthrop went slightly wrong but this did nothing to diminish a great race at the front. Sam Fisher, fresh from a Ten Trigs Winter Round (70km), showed good form by storming up the rocky track and emerging onto the fell as leader. Ted Mason found his way back through the field on the fellside and the descent to Frostrow Lane. In the women’s race, the competition was between Miss Wood (OS & Staff), Charlie Neate (OS), Alicia Newing, Amy Slattery, Sally Bennett (Girls VIII, captain) and Natasha Cookson.
Sam Fisher showed real class on the final descent from Akay Wood and took off on a sprint finish from Mason and Mounsey. His break for home proved fruitful and he was to take his second Morgan Run title. In the women’s race, Miss Wood pulled away on the river section and no one could reel her back in. It was the first time she has won the title and almost 10 minutes quicker than her time whilst a pupil at School. Amy Slattery managed to hold on for second but the real battle came for third when three girls sprinted to the line. Sally Bennet managed to hold off Neate and Newing. William Coke impressed as first runner home from Sedbergh Prep School.
There were all manner of sprint finishes and stories from the day. It was great to see so many parents, OS, guests, staff and pupils enjoy a day of cross country running. Onwards to a new event – the Headmaster’s Handicap on the 3rd of March. This will be a handicap race run using the times from the Morgan Run and raced over a similar distance. Anyone could win on the day.