Sunderland Harriers women make their First Division debut in the Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League at Wrekenton on Saturday.
They gained promotion last season by finishing second to Heaton Harriers in the Second Division.
Team manager Eddie Maddison said: “That was a great result for us and now we have to consolidate our place in the top division. It will not be easy as it is very competitive with the best of North East clubs involved”.
“With it being a handicap race with fast, medium and slow packs - with runners able to gain promotion during the season - you have to have a big squad to compete with the best.”
“Fortunately, we have a few new names to add to the club register and we are looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
Among the athletes that Maddison will be depending on is the slow pack runners. They include Amy Callaghan, Lauren Flaxen, Michelle O’Neil and Jacqueline Etherington, who has just been called up for Scotland for the Masters Cross Country International at Swansea on Saturday, November 17...