Sunderland Harriers finished in third place in the second fixture of the North Eastern Harrier League to keep their title hopes alive after another consistent performance at Druridge Bay. The Wearsiders’ finished in third place behind winners Tyne Bridge and Morpeth Harriers and go into the third fixture at Lambton Park, on the 30th of October, in confident mood.
Sunderland, the defending champions, are on five points, just two points behind leaders Morpeth and one point adrift of Tyne Bridge with Wallsend fourth on eight points.
Sunderland team manager Jimmy Johnson said: “It was a very good performance by the Royal Blues, considering it is always a fixture we tend to struggle on. There was a good turnout with 17-year-old Alex Seed showing his potential in finishing a superb 9th and Liam Taylor running from the fast pack and having a blinder in finishing 14th. We had only two runners promoted to the medium pack in Alex Seed and Michael Rodenby, so that serves us well for the next fixture at Lambton. It is a long tough course and I have a very strong team out for that’’.
First home for Sunderland was Alex Seed who made his league debut and finished ninth (37:32) in the handicap race running from the slow pack. Just behind the teenager was clubmate Liam Taylor, who racing from the fast pack got through to 14th with the fastest time of the day with 33:46. That was just two seconds faster than Tom Charlton of Tyne Bridge, who finished one place behind his rival.
Michael Rodenby crowned his debut by finishing third counter in a time of 40:06. Fast pack man Michael Barker was next over the line in an actual time of 35:43 in 55th. He was followed by Over-45 Dave Lash from the slows who was 57th (40:23). Final counter was England veteran international, Over-60 Paul Merrison, who defied his age to finish 67th in 40:45.
Houghton Harriers are lying in second place in the Third Division two points behind Sedgefield. They had good runs from medium pack runner Chris Coulson in fifth (34:42) and Luke Pickering competing from the fast pack and finished 19th (34:01). Sunderland Strollers who had John Cook in 40th (37:30) from the medium pack are in seventh place and Washington are fourth.
In the women’s competition Washington of the Second Division won the team race to close in on a promotion spot to the First Division. They had Rebecca Cairns in sixth (29.24), Alex Charlton 14th (30:21) Susan Smyth 24th (31:01) and Amy Roddam 61st (32:10), all from the slow pack.
Sunderland Harriers finished third in the team race and were led home by medium pack runner Jessica Fox who finished 13th (27:59), Colleen Compson was 52nd (32:00), medium pack runner Linda Mudford finished 79th from the medium pack (30:20) and Vicki Cotton was 99th (33:10).
Tynedale top the table with six points, Sunderland are also on 6 points, Washington have seven points and Jarrow and Hebburn have eight points..
In the Redcar Running Festival Sunderland Harrier Craig Gunn finished second (16:32) to David Green of North Shields Poly (15:33). Sunderland Stroller Luke McCormack recorded 18:01.
At the Manchester Marathon Sunderland Harriers had three participants. They were Paula Brown with 3:49:43 Nicola Hadden 3:57:32 and Ann Revell 4:00:11.