Great result for Jeffress

Kevin Jeffress.

Kevin Jeffress.

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SUNDERLAND Harrier Kevin Jeffress shattered his personal best to finish first runner home from the city in the Great North Run.

The 35-year-old took 70 seconds off his previous fastest to finish 36th (71min 51sec) in the race that had nearly 42,000 finishers.

Just five places ahead of him was Durham City Harrier Dan Jenkin, who clocked 70.19 to take the honour of being first Wearside finisher.

The first North East finisher was 43-year-old veteran Ian Hudspith (Morpeth), who recorded 66.32 in 18th.

Fellow veteran James Bulman (New Marske) was second from the region in 28th (69.56).

Sunderland Stroller Alyson Dixon, recovering from injury, gave up her spot on the elite women’s start to take her place among the masses. She jogged the course, taking in the atmosphere, in 1.44.33 to finish 217th woman. Ashleigh Ewen (1.35.55) and Jenna Maynard (1.42.33), chopping over 14 minutes from her previous fastest, found themselves ahead of their international clubmate. Rebecca Calvert was not far behind with 1.47.33.

The Strollers had a superb turnout of 75 runners and it was Andy Powell who took the limelight beating the 80 minute barrier for the first time. He finished 120th (78.28) to be the first Stroller to finish.

The best of the Strollers times after Powell were Steve McMahon 193rd (81.31), Craig Harriman (87.21), Ritchie Gerry (87.45), Gavin Sword (88.00), Aidan Crowe (93.16), James Johnson (95.59), Gareth Wills (96.27), Chris Duke (96.45) Michael Dixon (96.55) and Mark Ralph (99.45).

Sunderland Harrier Eddie Maddison, an ever present GNR runner, completed his 34th race in a time faster than last year.

The 66-year-old finished in 1.48.46 to finish 13th in his age group. Clubmate Len Christopher, 68, was 14th (1.50.11).

The top Harriers times after Jeffress were Dave Robertson (79.50), Michael Heskett (86.04), John Hunt (87.10), Alan Knebel (90.17), Shaun Bagley (93.58) and Mustafa Gunn (99.58) and Andrew Thompson (99.22). The first woman was Anna Robinson (1.54.10).