THE Blaydon Race, the second biggest road race in the North East behind the Great North Run, saw 3674 runners finish the annual trek along the Scotswood Road from Newcastle to Blaydon on the ninth of June.
Maybe the days have gone, at least for the moment, when Sunderland could get among the winners, when Brian Rushworth 1985, 95 and 96 and Paul Campbell in 1991 triumphed to much local joy.
But two Sunderland Harriers did make the first ten in Mark Hood in eighth (28.50) and Kevin Calvert tenth (29.18). Jarrow and Hebburn’s Andy Burn splitting the pair in ninth (29.08).
Both athletes will be pleased with their performances as Hood continues his efforts to get back to his best and Calvert is enjoying a good patch of form of late. Hood’s previous best performance was fifth in 2007, while Calvert improved eleven places on his 2012 run.
Other Sunderland Harriers to make the top 200 were Paul Redman, second over-50 in 65th (32.34), Jon Dobson 116th (33.38), and Ian Dixon 137th (34.57).
There was a sprinkling of other fine performances among the Harriers’ ranks, in the different categories. But Peter Richardson, although being given second place in his over-60 category, has raised concerns to the organisers over the unknown winner. His athletics profile suggests he should not be among the front runners. Richardson clocked 35.52. David White was tenth (46.52) and Billy Bittlestone finished sixth over-65 (43.08). Michelle Avery was 36th woman in 38.39.
Sunderland Strollers leading man was Steve Rankin who finished 20th (30.17), Steve McMahon was 48th (31.59) and Steven Mowbray was 198th (35.47).
Stroller Lyne Valentine finished 54th woman to win the over-55 prize, recording 38.56. Tracy Suddick was 72nd female to finish in (40.30) and Gillian Ritchie was 90th (41.09).
As usual the Kenyans stole the show with Peter Emase (26.34) and Boniface Kiprop (26.48) filling the first two places.
The rest of the first ten were: 3 Nick Swinburn (Morpeth) 27.11, 4 Ryan McLeod (Tipton) 27.16, 5 Peter Newton (Morpeth) 27.18, 6 Ian Hudspith V40 (Morpeth) 27.21, 7 Yared Hagos (Wallsend) 27.43.
The women’s race was won by Kenyan Joanne Chelmo in 29.42 and the first home from the North East was Danielle Hodgkinson in fourth (31.43).
H Houghton Harriers finished fifth in their Northern Athletics League Division 3 North match at Whitley Bay.
They had Karl Horner (39.93) and Josh Peel (32.29) winning the javelin A and B events. Ben Mitchell took the long jump (5.21), while Rachel Scott and Laura Fenwick took full points again in the 100m and 400m hurdles.
Houghton women’s veterans are lying in second place in the North East Masters track and field league.
The positions are Women: 1 Heaton 135pts, 2 Houghton 85, 3 North Shields Poly 82, 4 Blyth 76, 5 South Shields 50, 6 Tyne Bridge 63, 7 Sunderland Harriers 57, 8 Jarrow & Hebburn 30.
Men: 1North Shields Poly 251pts, 2 Heaton 190, 3 South Shields 155, 4 Sunderland Harriers 120, 5 Tyne Bridge 90, 6 Gateshead 74, 7 Low Fell 55, 8 Jarrow & Hebburn 31, 9 Wallsend 35.
The next league meeting as at Monkton on Monday (7.00pm).
H The Durham Schools’ track and field championships take place at Monkton on Saturday. Athletes will be vying for a place on the Durham team to contest the English Schools’ Championships at Birmingham on July11/12.
St Aidan’s student Michael Wilson starts his quest for a medal winning performance at Birmingham when he contests the senior boys’ 800m on Saturday. The North East junior champion won a silver medal over the two laps at the same venue in 2010 as an under-15.
H On Sunday Aycliffe Running club host their popular 10k road race. The race starts in Burnhill Way at 10.00 am. Now in its 17th year, this is a fast and flat 3-lap course on the outskirts of Newton Aycliffe. Changing and parking is at Greenfield Community College, Newton Aycliffe DL5 7LF.