Grand Prix events are very popular and offers athletes another competition within the race.
Two cross country events give local athletes an opportunity to be involved in this competition.
The UK Athletics Cross Challenge and the Start Fitness North East Harrier League are playing their part in making their events more attractive to the athlete.
And young Houghton Harriers Henry Johnson and Will Bellamy are making the most of the opportunity in the chase for Grand Prix prizes at the end of the season.
Johnson and Bellamy, two talented Under-15 athletes, further emphasised their growing reputation in the UK Athletics Cross Challenge at Liverpool on Saturday.
In a mud bath of a course, Johnson finished sixth and Bellamy was just five seconds behind his clubmate in seventh.
Both runners are in contention for the British Athletics Cross Challenge series. The competition finishes at the Inter Counties Championships at Loughborough on Saturday, March 10.
The pair also head the Under-15 Grand Prix table in the North Eastern Harrier League. Johnson has a three points lead over his clubmate.
Houghton have a number of runners involved in the competition. Matthew Phillips is second Under-17, Eva Hardie is in fourth position in the Under-17 female category, Lee Dover lies in fifth place in the senior men’s table and Nicole Phillips is sixth Under-15.
Sunderland Harrier Josh Davis is fifth Under-15 Boy, Sarah Knight is fifth Under-17 Woman and Vikki Cotton is seventh Over-35 Veteran.
The next Harrier League meeting is hosted by Sunderland Strollers at Herrington Country Park on Saturday, January 6.
Sunderland Harriers have raised money for charity through their popular open events during the year.
Nearly 1,000 athletes from clubs around the North East and beyond took part in the annual Penshaw Hill Race, Sunderland 5km and the Farringdon Cross Country.