Claire leads the way as Sunderland Strollers secure Old Monks women’s team title

Sunderland Strollers' Kay Snowball was 12th woman home in Hartlepool
Sunderland Strollers' Kay Snowball was 12th woman home in Hartlepool
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Flooding and fallen trees on the course forced Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers to change their route three times before the off in the Old Monks race at Hart Village yesterday.

The distance was also reduced to just under five miles for the multi-terrain race, which attracted a field of just over 300.

Wearside clubs were well represented, with Sunderland Strollers using the race as part of their club championship.

The Strollers won the women’s team race by placing first over-40 Clare Baharie as fourth woman (38min 18sec) Gillian Ritchie was sixth (39.30) and Rachel Ball eighth (39.56) as the team counters.

Lyne Valentine was first over-60 in 40.13 and Kay Snowball (40.41) completed the first dozen female runners to finish.

Sunderland Harrier Nicola Woodward was a prize winner in finishing third woman (37.07) in 60th overall, behind Sue Phillips (Darlington), who won in 35.54, and Saltwell’s runner-up, Gemma Bradley (36.04).

Last year’s winner, Tristan Learoyd (New Marske), retained his title (29.25) ahead of James Oldfield of Sedgefield (29.39), with Mike Jefferies (Richmond) third (29.52).

The hosts had former Sunderland marathon winner Paul Wilson in fourth (30.21).

Houghton Harriers’ had Wearside’s first runner home in Lee Dover, who finished ninth (31.50). Clubmate Rory Graham was 24th (33.33), Shaun McGrath took 59th (37.02) and David Gribben ended 62nd (37.16).

Sunderland Harriers had Michael Edwards in 12th (32.03) and over-45 veteran Alan Hodgson finished 31st (34.39).

The Strollers were led by Jamie Collin in 15th (32.41), then came Andy Duke 26th (34.15), Christopher Dwyer 27th (34.18), Michael Henderson 33rd (34.44), Michael Dixon 45th (36.06) Steve Tinwell 46th (36.07), Mark Ralph 50th (36.17) and Paul Dunlop 55th (36.29). Denis Hargrave was the first over-70 in 52.21.

Gary Bailey of Run Peterlee finished 34th (34.37).