The miserable persistent rain certainly didn't dampen the spirits of our athletes as they came away with a hat-trick of individual wins at a wet and muddy Washington Trail 10K race.

Sam Thurlbeck, competing in his second race of the week, produced a dominant performance to blow his rivals away to clinch a well-deserved overall victory, as well as first V40 in a time of 41:25.
Steve Mackie (RES - South Shields) 42:27 and Jason Cowey (42:57) were second and third respectively.

Not to be outdone, Linda Mudford also dominated here rivals as she cruised to overall victory and the V40 title in a time of 50:37.

Harriers 'rain' Supreme On The Trails.

Dale Wilkinson took top spot on the podium in the V60 category, winning in a time of 52:01. His training partner, Trevor Barrs was 4th V60, coming home in 58:36.

The weather conditions were even worse at the Hartlepool Marina 5 mile race as competitors not only had to deal with driving rain, but a strong headwind as they turned for home at the halfway point.

Liam Taylor (26.47) produced yet another podium finish as he finished third behind second placed Gregory Jayasuria (Middlesbrough & Cleveland AC) 26:10 and race winner Joseph Wilson (NE Project) 25:40.

RunThrough hosted the first 5k road race of the spring at the Quayside 5K on Wednesday night, near-perfect conditions were had as many as three Harriers produced PB performances.

In the Elite Race, Scott Armstrong warmed up for the track season by producing an astonishing 17 second PB of 14:57 to come home in 5th position. Steve Rankin (16:02) returning from a slight injury finished 27th, the second PB (1 second) of the night came from Sam Thurlbeck, who was rewarded after months of hard graft in training finished 54th in a time of 16:49.

Steven Gordon (19:07) and Mike Cherrington (19:34) finished 143rd and 156th respectively.

The race was won by Linton Taylor (Leeds City AC) who broke away at halfway to win in a time of 14:19. Morpeth Harriers duo, Lawrence McCourt (14:24) and Carl Avery (14:31) completed the podium spots.

In the women's race, ex-GB international Stacey Smith (North Shields Poly) broke the course record as she cruised to victory in 16:06. Jessica Eaton (Tyne Bridge Harriers) 17:40 claimed second place as she outkicked Anna Pigford (Houghton Harriers) who finished third in 17:49.

In the B race, Hayley Dobinson kicked off her racing season in style as she broke her 5k road PB by 1 second to finish 4th female in a time of 20:19.

The Quayside event also held a 3k race for junior athletes. The Harriers had three representatives in the race. A battle royale ensued between Seth Hughes (11:15) and Jude Graham (11:18), but it was the former who prevailed as they crossed the line in 23rd and 24th place respectively. Hannah Hughes (13:38) finished as 3rd under 17 female.

The track and field season kicked off in style as the much heralded North East Grand Prix opened its doors at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow. The event was sold out in record time, which left a lot of our athletes disappointed as they missed out on the opportunity to showcase their talents.

The eight athletes that did compete, certainly produced the goods as there were PBs galore and season's bests.

In the 1500m, Joe Willis won race D as he chopped 6 seconds off his PB to win in 4:21.80. And the PB's continued to fall as in race E, William Young finished second in 4:37.70 - lopping a chunky 7 seconds off his PB. If you thought 'wow that was impressive', in the same race Ben Anderson (4:38.82) whipped out the chainsaw and bludgeoned 12 seconds off his PB. Also in race E, Ed Moon produced a season's best of 4:53.57 finishing 10th.

In race G of the 1500m, Lexie Brown, after a fantastic winter on the cross-country circuit, opened her track season with a PB performance knocking off 1 second to finish 12th in a time of 5:25.67.

Two athletes competed in the sprinting event of 300m, a distance which is normally a race for younger athletes.

In race B, current under 15 National 100m Champion, Celine Obinna-Alo had to jump up in distance. Celine made light work of the extra step up in distance as she scorched her way round claiming fourth place in the graded race but first under 15 overall on the night, posting a time of 40.30 - a time which is the second fastest ran in the UK this year.

In race E, Elizabeth Hughes produced a season's best of 48.65 as she finished 6th.

In the long jump, Jacob Waterston leapt to 5.30m to finish 3rd in the B final but first under 17 overall.

Finally, finishing with another track result - England international Michael Wilson travelled to Milan in Italy to compete in the ESET WMD event, contesting the 1000m.

Michael produced an impressive performance as he finished 8th in a time of 2:22.74. The race was won by Catalin Tecuceanu (Italy) 2:16.73. Frenchmen Paul Anselmini (2:17.03) and Flavien Szot (2:18.21) were second and third.

A much-heralded Frenchman, Jimmy Gressier finished in fourth place. Gressier is the current European 5K record holder (13:12).

Staying with the event, the meeting was held at the Arena Civica Gianni Brera. The 10,000 capacity multi-purpose arena was built by architect Luigi Canonica at the request of Napoleon Bonaparte, who had recently been crowned King of Italy. It first opened its doors in 1807. Gianni Brera was one of Italy's most influential sports journalists of the 20th century.

In 1824, the first female parachutist, Jeanne Genevieve Labrosse 'dropped' into the arena. Also held at the arena was Buffalo Bill's Wild West Shows, and the finale of the first Giro d'Italia cycling race in 1909.

This coming Wednesday sees the return of the North East Masters Road Relay Championships, Sunderland Harriers will have three teams in the event.

The M35-44 team of Liam Taylor, Stephen Jackson, and Sam Thurlbeck will be looking to retain the title.

Paul Merrison, Tim Field, and Mike Cherrington will be looking to grab a podium spot in the M55-64 category. And in the M45-54 category, Mark Head and Steven Gordon will be accompanied by either Ed Sweeney or Jimmy Johnson as they go on the hunt for medals.