Sunderland Harrier Craig Gunn crowned his cross country debut by winning the bronze medal in the North Eastern Harrier League’s senior men’s race at Aykley Heads, Durham, on Saturday.
He was running from the slow pack in the six-mile handicap race and his performance helped to steer his club to third place and to consolidate their fourth place in the First Division.
Wearing brand new spikes, he finished with bloodied feet, but the pain was subdued as he celebrated his performance.
He was out of the medals on the first lap of three on the gruelling Aykley Heads course, with mountainous hills to contend with, as the field of 580 snaked their way around the course.
Then on the final lap, in the finishing straight, there was a slight hiccup, as he took a wrong turning, but was immediately steered back on course by the race stewards and his medal was now assured.
Despite running from the slow pack, he was the second fastest Sunderland Harrier on the course (38.23) behind fast pack man Ian Dixon, who recorded 36.01 for 22nd place for the quickest Over-40 on show.
Through his performance, Gunn is now promoted to the medium pack.
Second counter for Sunderland was comeback man Steve Rankin in 10th (40.27), who is also promoted to the mediums, then came Steve McMahon (53rd) 39.33, Rhodesian Keith Mwashita 62nd (42.27) and Paul Redman 77th (42.58)....