Former international marathon runner Glenn Forster beat the handicapper to win the Sunderland Harriers Christmas Pudding Run at Silksworth Sports Complex. The race, a sealed handicap, is devised to give every participant an equal chance of winning the race, whatever their ability.

The course was the traditional Sunderland Harriers 5k footpath course with the downhill start. And with tough wintry conditions to contend with and some of the course under water, the athletes took the situation in their stride.

The 65-year-old Forster was given a generous time allowance of 11 minutes and he made full use of that to win in an actual time 22:45. Forster said: “I was running flat out, I have never ran as hard as that for a long time. My competitive instincts took over as I was surrounded by other runners and I was determined to beat them.’’

2021 Pudding Run No Handicap For Glenn Forster .

The club coach was also in a friendly battle with fellow coach Albert James who finished second with his time of 23:59. Albert’s son Oliver, who is on holiday from America, also took part and he finished 20th with his time of 17:51.
In third place with a good run was Laura Helm 22:48 whose husband Aidan was ninth (22:20).

The fastest runner on the course was Stephen Jackson with 16:26 who finished 24th.

Organiser Nathan Reed said: “The race went off really well, despite the weather. Surprisingly there were a number PBs and those athletes deserve our praise in achieving them in such atrocious conditions.’’

Results. (First 25) 1 Glenn Forster V65 actual time 22:45, 2 Albert James V60 23:59, 3 Laura Helm 22:48, 4 Jude Graham 22:57, 5 Phillippa Carr (Victoria Park Harriers) 24:25, 6 Sam Thompson U13 23:40, 7 Joe Willis U15 19:37, 8 Simon Bonner (Victoria Park Harriers) V45 21:17, 9 Aidan Hackett 22:20, 10 Lucas Barker U13 25:29, 11 Ben Anderson U13 21:07, 12 Aly West W50 22:47, 13 Cameron Lawton U20 19:16, 14 Brandon Revell U17 23:44, 15 Sam Thurlbeck V40 17:09, 16 Dean Phillips V50 21:25, 17 Alan Chapman V55 26:27, 18 Chris Bell 18:28, 19 Alex Seed U20 17:00, 20 Joe Pomfret 16:49, 21 Oliver James 17:51, 22 Gary Fox V50 27:23,William Young U13 23:37, 24 Steven Jackson 16:26, 25 Jimmy Johnson V40 22:44.

Sunderland Harrier Michael Wilson made his 10k debut in the classic Ribble Valley 10k. While his time was fast enough to win many races, he found himself down in 48th position in recording 32:03. This was a big step up for Wilson who is a 1:48.27 800m man and his 1500m time stands at 3:43.19. Now he is looking forward to the start of the indoor season at the end of February where he will be more at home on the boards.

The classy 10k saw impressive performances from North East athletes Kieran Walker who finished 15th (30:34) and Morpeth Harrier Sam Hancox who clocked (31:21) in 35th.

Laura Weightman, who was just six seconds outside her best (31:39) was surprisingly beaten by Stockport’s Jessica Piasecki (31:38).
The Stuart Pailor Memorial Old Monks Trail Race takes place on Sunday at 10:30am. The 5-mile multi terrain race starts and finishes at Hart Village, Hartlepool. All finishers receive a race memento.