Sunderland Harriers moved up one place to third in the First Division of the Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League at Thornley Hall Farm on Saturday.

This was a venue for the real “Toughs of the Track” with a farmland course consisting of rough pastures, a ploughed field and a mountain of a hill to negotiate.

But the Wearsiders ploughed on to place their six counters inside the first 71 finishers to score 150 points to take third place behind winners Morpeth (74) and Elvet Striders (130).

Sunderland Harriers Tough It Out To Move On Up.

It was the inform Michael Barker, in sixth place, who led the club home, running from the medium pack of the six-mile handicap race.

His time of 35.36 put him among the fastest times of the day in 12th position to consolidate his improved form of late.

Next across the line was debut boy Sam Thurlbeck, running from the slow pack and finishing in 38th (41.18), then came medium man Graeme Pullan in 50th (39.19), followed by slow packers Darren Stoker in 54th (41.52), Paul Redman 56th (41.54) and Steve Rankin from the mediums in 71st (29.34).

Sunderland Strollers finished fifth team in Division Two with Raymond Christie, running from the slow pack, their leading man in 19th (40.28).

Houghton Harriers took sixth place in Division Three and they had fast pack man Lee Dover in 26th (35.47) and mediums Rory Graham in 33rd (38.41).

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