DURHAM City Harriers clinched surprising bronze medals in the Northern Athletics Women’s Cross Country Relay Championships at Sheffield on Saturday, writes Kevin Carr.
The cathedral club had their star runner Rosie Smith to thank for guiding them into third place in the three-stage race at Graves Park.
The 26-year-old clocked the fastest time of the day by far after completing the opening leg in a blistering 11.13 – 40 seconds faster than World Championship marathon runner Susan Partridge, who anchored Leeds to the gold medals.
Katherine O’Mahoney (14.15) dropped to fifth for Durham on the second leg before Kim Simpson’s 12.53 anchor circuit brought Durham back into the frame.
Smith, who has been beset by injury problems since representing Britain in the World Cross-Country Championships in Brussels seven years ago, hopes her setbacks are now history.
“I have my fingers crossed that my injury problems are now all behind me,” she said.
“My target is to stay injury-free and have a good cross-country season.
“It would be fantastic to get through a full winter without problems so that I can really see how I go against the best in the country.
Result: 1 Leeds 36.01, 2 Holmfirth 37.56, 3 Durham 38.21.
H Sunderland Harrier Brian Bewick made his debut in the Sunderland Parkrun at Silksworth Sports Complex – and duly won.
The 45-year-old veteran recorded 17.08. Second was Werrington Jogger Chris Dunn (17.14) and third was Sunderland Stroller Niall McCardle (17.33). The women’s winner was Stroller Alyson West (22.01).
Royal Sutton Coldfield’s Robert Stainforth won the Durham Parkrun in 17.25 from Durham City Harrier Jonathan Wilkinson (17.56). Durham’s Aiveen Fox (19.12) was the women’s winner.
H Sunderland Harriers’ veteran Alan Hodgson chopped 36 seconds off his previous best when finishing 30th in yesterday’s Inverness 10k road race in 36.57. Durham City teenager Michael Crawley finished 17th (32.18) in the Edinburgh 10k.
H Heaton Harrier James Buis won the Great Cumbrian half-marathon in 71.16.
Wallsend’s Vicky Hindson was the women’s winner (85.12). Durham’s over-45 Ian Crampton finished fourth (75.25) and Sunderland Harrier veteran Paul Besford was eighth (77.13).