SUNDERLAND HARRIERS have thrown their hat into the ring in bidding for a substantial cash prize in the Sunderland 10k on Sunday.
The Wearsiders are aiming for top spot in the redspottedhanky.com sponsored race in the Athletic Club Challenge, with £500 going to the winning team.
The second place club will win £200 and the third £100, to assist with training and development costs.
Sunderland Harriers club secretary Michael Hill said: “With the race being on home turf, we are determined to be in with a shout of winning this award. It is a great incentive for us and the £500 first prize certainly appeals to our runners.
“The team is focused on this and I’m sure the crowd will give them every encouragement when they see the Sunderland Harriers’ royal blue vests among the field.
“Whether our team finishes high up among the prizes or not, it should be a really enjoyable run, for it is a relatively flat course and good times are expected.’’
Each club must have at least five members taking part, including one woman and one under-15 in the event’s junior run. The team’s position will be decided on cumulative times.
Olympic silver medallist and World 1500m champion Steve Cram, one of the race organisers, said: “The Athletic Club Challenge is a great way for local runners and their clubs to enjoy an exciting team event and race for a substantial cash prize.
“I am delighted that Sunderland Harriers are having a shot at the title and I wish them and everyone else taking part on the day the very best of luck.”
While the Wearsiders will not be at their strongest, they still have a reasonable team in the chase for a team prize.
It is hoped that three-times North East cross country champion Mark Hood will lead the squad as the injury-prone athlete has again been on the treatment table following his last race at Blaydon.
While he is back in training, he will make a final decision on his fitness later in the week.
Hood, with the absence of the unavailable Martin brothers Patrick and Jack, is the fastest runner in the Sunderland team with a 30.20 performance to his name. The other entered athletes with their recent fastest times are: Steven Duffy (34.13), Damien Weston (34.19), Kevin Calvert (35.21), Graham Lancaster (36.10), veteran Paul Redman (35.38) and Michelle Holt (36.27).
The club’s leading under-15 in the junior race is Luca Irvine.
Cram added: “We have had team entries from a number of other clubs and we hope as many as possible will get involved and enjoy a brilliant 10k.”
The route will take in landmarks, including the Stadium of Light, Mowbray Park, the National Glass Centre, marina and seafront. The course is gentle, with no steep climbs.
Places in the redspottedhanky.com Sunderland City 10k are still available and entries will not close until the day of the race. To register go to www.sunderlandcity10k.com, call 0191 525 5747 or go to twitter.com/sunderland10k.
H Houghton Harriers look certain for promotion to division one of the Northern Young Athletics League after winning their third match in a row at Hexham on Sunday.
Their top performers were Rachel Scott with a 1.49 high jump first place with a grade four clearance in the under-17 high jump and Alex Brown with his 5.13 under 13 boys’ 1500m triumph also with a grade four standard.
H Tonight the North East Athletics League takes place at Monkton (7.00) and the Newburn River Run is held.
H Sunderland Harriers’ 80-year-old champion field event throws exponent Denis Field and his son, middle distance runner, Tim, head to the British Masters’ Championships at Birmingham on Saturday and Sunday.