Sunderland Harriers dominated the men’s relays to claim two gold medals in the Durham City Harriers Summer Cross Country Relays at the Racecourse, Durham.

The Wearsiders’ triumphed in the senior men’s three-stage event and the Over-35 veterans’ relay, while the club’s veteran women finished third in their relay.

 The Sunderland senior men’s team led from the start in the race over much of the lush grassland surrounding the boundary of the university cricket ground.

Durham City Harriers Summer Cross Country Relays.

And despite a superb last leg from Birtley’s Adrian Bailes, they held onto their lead to win (29.25) by 11 seconds.

Michael Wilson was the lead-off man for Sunderland and he set the royal blue vests on their way to victory, when holding off Tyne Bridge Harrier Tom Charlton by two seconds, to record 9.26 for the 3000m course.

Next off was Liam Taylor, making his senior relay debut, who extended Sunderland’s lead in recording 9.50.

 Anchor man Craig Gunn, competing with weary legs after his race in the Fleetwood Half Marathon three days previously, still put in a respectable performance (10.09) to capture the win.

Behind Bailes fastest lap of the day (9.17), came Michael Wilson with second fastest time and Liam Taylor on the sixth quickest performance.
The Sunderland B team finished seventh through Merhawi Gorton (10.07), Kris Cantle (11.06) and Steve Rankin (10.21).

The Sunderland veterans’ emphatic win came by the way of Over-50 Michael Thompson, and Over-40 veterans Kevin Jeffress and Ian Dixon.
Thompson opened with fifth place (10.41) before Jeffress pegged back the teams in front of him in clocking (10.08). Dixon went even faster with his stint of 10.05 for a total time of 30.54 to win by over one minute from Sunderland Strollers
Sunderland Strollers team was Andrew Forbes (10.57), Chris Dwyer (10.50) and Mark Anderson (10.10).

The Sunderland Harriers B team finished sixth with Over-50 Tim Field (11.00), Steve Gordon (11.31) and Sam Thurlbeck (10.59).
Elvet Strider Stephen Jackson was the fastest on the course (9.58) followed by Ian Dixon and Kevin Jeffress.

Sunderland Strollers were second and Sunderland Harriers third behind Birtley in the veterans women’s relay. The Strollers team was Ashley Benney (13.14), Rachel Ball (13.53) and Wendy Chapman (12.00), for the second fastest time overall. The Harriers  team was Judith Thirlwell (14.13), Claire Cook (13.40) and Bev Martin (13.32).