Glenn Forster puts in place a training group for all

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SUNDERLAND’S fastest marathon runner Glenn Forster is using his wealth of experience over the classic distance to help runners prepare for the Marathon of the North and the Sunderland City 10k.

Both events take place from the Stadium of Light on Sunday, May 6, and the vast majority of the field will be novice runners or first-timers.

Forster, 55, is an England Athletics qualified Run Leader and has established a training group, along with clubmate Eddie Maddison, called Happy Feet Striders that meet at Silksworth Sports Complex on Thursday evenings at 6.45pm.

“This group has been formed to help runners in their training for the marathon and 10k. It is open to anyone, whatever their ability,’’ said Forster, who clocked his fastest marathon time of 2.15.08 when finishing 12th in the 1984 London Marathon.

“These are free training sessions, all you have to do is turn-up and come along and enjoy the training, which is devised to get you in peak condition for the big day in an enjoyable way.’’

Forster was a Great Britain international over the marathon and in the 1985 World Cup finished 42nd in Japan, recording 2.16.14. He also won marathons in Utrecht (2.17.59), Glasgow (2.17.42) and Nuremburg (2.19.01). He ran under the 2hr 20min barrier seven times.

There are three Run England training groups that have been set up around Sunderland.

These are at Seaburn, Silksworth Sports Complex and Castletown’s Billy Hardy Sports Centre. Each free training session takes place on Thursday evenings.

The contact details are:

l Silksworth Ski Slope Sports Complex, Tel: Eddie Maddison on 07939 289517 or mail happyfeetstriders@yahoo.co.uk

l Castle View running fitness group – Outside of Billy Hardy Sports Ground, Castletown. Tel: Michael Hill on 07786 858602 or mail@sunderlandharriers.org.uk

l The SeafRUNt Smilers!! – Seaburn Leisure Centre, Seaburn, Sunderland. Tel: Dave Savage on 01915 670382 or mail dj.savage@virginmedia.com

To book your place for the Marathon of the North or Sunderland City 10k, go to www.marathonofthenorth.co.uk or www.sunderlandcity10k.com.

Meanwhile, Brian Carroll (1.35.02) led Sunderland Strollers veterans home in the Brass Monkey Half Marathon in York. Chris Duke (1.39.08) and Harry Harrison (1.39.13) also beat 1.40.

H Former Sunderland Harrier John Collins, who finished runner-up twice as an over-50 and twice as over-55 in the London Marathon, returned to action after a ten-year absence last Saturday.

Now aged 70, the Grindon man turned out in the Sunderland 5k parkrun at Silksworth Sports Complex. He finished 51st in 25.48 in an age-graded performance of 68.35 per cent.

H In the National Clubs for Young People Cross Country Championships held at Upminister, Essex, the following Sunderland Harriers were placed in the following age groups: Under-13 Boys – 2 Jack Smith, 4 Luke Phillips, 5 Sam Quinn. Under-15 Boys – 2 Ben Craig, 3 James McAnaney. Under-13 Girls – 1 Abbie Little, Under-15 girls – 2 Alex Pearson.