PAUL REDMAN is heading for a hat-trick of wins in the Sunderland Harriers’ cross country grand prix.
The 50-year-old veteran gave himself the perfect Christmas present by moving to the top of the league at the halfway stage of the season.
He is three points ahead of his nearest rivals and, with big points up for grabs in the National Cross Country Championships in London and the Northern Cross Country Championships at Pontefract, he is heading in the right direction for his third win in a row.
The Fulwell man has overcome Achilles tendon problems to maintain his push for further glory and his determination to succeed is being rewarded with more points on the scoreboard.
The competition continues at the Durham Cathedral Cross Country Relays on Sunday, January 11. It finishes at the North East Harrier League at Wrekenton on Saturday, March 14.
The leading contenders with their points scored so far are: Paul Redman 28 points, Lucie Forster 25, Dean Phillips 25, Alan McManus 25, Donna Corrigan 24, Judith Thirwell 23, Nicola Woodward 23, Tony Allinson 22, Gary Fox 21, Paul Merrison 20, Craig Isherwood 20, Steven Potts 20, Michael Lavender 19, Caroline Fleetwood 18, Simon Park 18, Fred Judson 18.
* Sunderland’s Jack Martin made an impressive debut on gaining his first England vest competing in the Belgium Lotto Cross Cup.
He finished 15th (34.22) and second England counter, just 11 seconds behind Morpeth Harrier Johnny Taylor, the newly crowned North East Cross Country champion, who finished 11th.
* Sunderland Strollers were well represented among the 454 runners at the 31st annual Loftus Poultry Run in North Yorkshire.
Twelve runners from the club competed in the race won by Andy Wiles of Morpeth Harriers (42:11). Johanna Atkinson (Middlesbrough & Cleveland) was first female (51:52).
The fastest Stroller was Michael Henderson in 135th place (60:00), while Lyne Valentine was third fastest V55 woman (61:17).
Other Strollers finishing in the top 200 were: Rob Morris (139th), Michael Armstrong (159th), Tony Deighton (173rd) and Michael Dixon (174th).
* Graeme Clazey’s Sunderland Strollers Doorstep Marathon event raised over £1250 for the chemotherapy unit at Sunderland General Hospital.
* The Strollers Pier-to-Pier race will be held on Sunday, May 17.
* Sunderland Harriers have confirmed their dates for their three annual events for 2015. The Penshaw Hill race is on Wednesday, June 3, the Sunderland 5k on Wednesday, July 15 and the Farringdon Cross Country on Saturday, September 5.