Sunderland Harriers dominated the North East Masters Road Relay Championships at Hebburn by placing two teams in the first three, writes Kevin Carr.
The Sunderland Over-35-44 team and the Over-45-54 team finished first and third respectively out of 63 competing teams.
Both teams came from behind, in an exciting finish on the last leg, to clinch gold in their category.
The Over-35s were led off by Ian Dixon and he clocked 9.55 to finish fourth behind Gateshead’s Conrad Franks, who won the leg with the fastest time of the day (9.43). Gosforth were second (Alastair Johnson -9.47) and Blackhill Bounders third (Gary Wallace - 9.49).
Next off for Sunderland was Michael Barker and he lifted the team into second with his stint of 9.59 to finish behind Gateshead’s Steven Asquith (10.00).
It was now left to anchorman Steve McMahon to attempt to claw back the 11 seconds lead that Gateshead held, and he did so with relish, recording 9.56 to bring the Wearsiders home first in 29.50. Gateshead slipped back and finished in 30.05 with Steven Medd (10.22).
Meanwhile, behind the first two, Sunderland Over-45s were busy splitting the Over-35 teams with their surprising push for a place in the frame....