PAUL REDMAN is the leading Wearside entrant in the Sunderland Marathon of the North tomorrow.
The 49-year-old Sunderland Harrier has a best for the classic distance of 2.46.56 from the 2010 London Marathon.
Last year, he finished sixth in the Marathon of the North in 2.54.40, in the race won by Hartlepool Burn Road Harrier Paul Wilson, who clocked 2.43.31.
Wilson defends his title tomorrow in the race that has attracted over 1,200 runners.
Redman, a doughty competitor, who can always be relied upon to give of his best, will be targeting another performance of well under three hours.
He said: “It is not an easy course, as there are plenty of twists and turns. When you hit the sea front you can also be blasted by the wind.
“I’ll be well pleased if I can match my time and position of last year. It is a tough race and you have to deal with everything the race throws at you.’’
Clubmate Billy Bittleston, 65, makes his marathon debut after having a training run around the course last year and found that the time he recorded was faster than that of the over-60 winner. William Howes of the 100 Marathon Club recorded 3.36.44 to win the over-60 category.
Durham City club Elvet Striders have the most club runners entered with 32.
Sunderland Harriers will be going for a golden double in the half marathon when Mark Hood with a best of 66.33 minutes for the distance and Michelle Avery, who has a time of 80.51 to her name, line up among the favourites to lift the titles.
Hood’s clubmate Craig Isherwood (74.59), New Marske’s James Bulman (70.12) and Jarrow and Hebburn’s Andy Burn (75.07), will also be among the front runners.
In the 10k, Sunderland Harrier Weynay Ghebresilasie and Stroller Alyson Dixon could crown a good day for Sunderland athletes.
The half marathon and marathon start from the Stadium of Light at 9.30am with the 10k at 10.00am.
The 10k is due to finish at about 10.30 with the half marathon ten minutes later.
Spectators should be entertained throughout the morning with the marathon finishing from about 12 noon.