The Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League has been given the green light to host one of their six fixtures at the iconic venue of Lambton Country Park.

With the permission of the estates trustees, they can plan for the fixture scheduled for Saturday, the 26th of October.

A tour of the 1,200 acre estate by league officials and the estates head gamekeeper led them to identify a suitable course for the 10 events on the programme.

News Of The Start Fitness North East Harrier League.

The course is on the opposite side of the estate to that used for the Lambton Run.

Now the league are looking for clubs to host the event and Low Fell, Washington and Birtley, have all been suggested.

A 400 house building programme is now taking place and this will help fund the £28.5 million restoration of the dilapidated castle.

The former private Lambton Lion Park will eventually be opened to the public with a network of paths through blue bell woods and along the banks of the River Wear.

Just under 2000 athletes will converge on Lambton for the league run and car parking arrangements have also been made for the 1000 plus cars that head to the venues.

After just three promotions, Herrington Country Park parkrun, hosted by Washington Running Club, is now outstripping the Silksworth parkrun in the number of participants it attracts.

There were 446 athletes, joggers and keep fit enthusiasts involved in the Herrington Country Park promotion, won by Eritrean Merhawi Goytom, in 16.49. While down the road at Silksworth, won by unattached runner David Gill, who recorded 17.46, on the much tougher Sports Complex course, numbers were well down at just 164.

Clearly the faster course at Herrington Country Park is attracting runners chasing PB’s. The Herrington venue also just beat the very popular fast course at the Riverside, Chester-le-Street, which saw a field of 444 turning out.

Sunderland Harriers senior men maintained their unbeaten record in the Gosforth Harriers’ multi terrain three-stage relay held at The Great Park, Newcastle.

The relay was a battle royal throughout the event between Tyne Bridge Harriers and the Wearsiders.

Super veteran Ian Dixon opened for the royal blue vests to record 9.44 to finish second behind Tyne Bridge Harrier Sparrow Morley, whose time of 9.49 was the fastest of the day.

Club captain Nathan Reed (9.43) cut the gap on his rival to just one second at the final changeover before Steve Rankin took over. He had to pull out all stops to get the better of Michael Hedley (9.44), but his famous sprint finish prevailed to take the title by just two seconds.

Rankin , who the previous day had competed in the demanding Powburn Fell Race, was rewarded for his superb performance by claiming the second fastest time overall (9.41). Reed was the third fastest and Dixon was the fastest Over-40 and joint fourth quickest.

The Sunderland B team also performed well in finishing 11th of the 52 teams with Michael Edwards on 10.34, Rowan James 11.28 and Jimmy Johnson 12.49.

Sunderland Harrier Liam Taylor finished runner-up (33.29) in the Billingham Ray Harrison Memorial 10k to Yohannes Eyob (32.53).

Houghton Harrier Lee Dover, the defending champion, this time had to settle for third place (61.31) in the South Shields 10m trail race on the Leas. The clear race winner was Ali Bailey, a recent Gateshead Harrier recruit, who clocked 57.26. Clubmate Conrad Franks was second (60.11).

Washington’s Craig Smith finished 12th (68.04) and Sunderland Stroller John Halligan was 14th (68.64). The women’s winner was Heaton’s Danielle Smythe in 11th (67.33).