With the Prime award going to local lad Liam Taylor.
What ensured was a battle royal between the pair but it was the Springwell man that showed the speed needed to capture the prime title.
But as soon as the award was won, Taylor, who runs unattached, slowed and Heron seized his opportunity to hit the front.
From then on, around the two gruelling laps, Heron was fully in control and after negotiating the final exhausting climb to the finish, his winning margin had extended to 19 seconds on Wednesday evening.
Heron said: “I’m delighted to have won on my debut.
“It was tough but that is what I expected. It is a great race and I will be back next year.”
Taylor, the 2011 champion, was one second faster than he recorded then, stopping the clock on 16.51.
In third place was 18-year-old Jack Brown of Jarrow and Hebburn, who passed Sunderland Over-40 veteran Ian Dixon on the final lap and fifth was his clubmate Michael Laws....