Sunderland Harriers are one of seven North East Clubs contesting the Northern Athletics 12-stage Road Relay Championships at Birkenhead on Sunday.
They join Blackhill Bounders, Darlington, Gateshead, Heaton, Morpeth and Tyne Bridge for the trip to Merseyside.
Team manager Albert James said: “Unfortunately, we have lost six of our top men due to other engagements.
“On a positive note, Andy Powell, Nathan Reed and Steve Rankin are in better shape. But we will not be as strong as last year.”
They were one of four North East clubs to finish in the first 20 in 17th following Morpeth, in ninth, and Tyne Bridge, 14th. Gateshead Harriers finished 19th.
Last year’s team with their times were Andy Powell (long leg) 24.09, Robert Walker 12.25, Kevin Jeffress (long leg) 24.53, Michael Laws 12.58, Steve McMahon (long leg) 25.36, Sean Mackie (12.44), Steven Duffy (long leg) 27.11, Joe Pomfret (13.09), Nathan Reed (12.53), Craig Gunn (12.55), Jake Jansen (13.16) and Jimmy Johnson (15.02).
The host club Wallasey AC have come up with a course that is a flat circuit around the traffic-free park roads and paths.
Athletes compete over four long legs of approximately 8.5km and eight short legs of approximately 4.3km....