SUNDERLAND Harriers are in the money after scooping the star prize in the redspottedhanky.com Sunderland City 10k Road Race yesterday.
The Wearsiders took top spot in the 10k athletic club challenge, based on the cumulative times of three men and one woman, plus one youngster from the Sunderland Echo junior race for under-16s.
They pocketed £500 after dominating the 10k by placing ten athletes in the first 25 and having Michelle Holt third woman to finish.
But, if the club team event belonged to Sunderland, the race belonged to the UK’s top veteran Ian Hudspith and Sale Harrier Sonia Samuels. who took a superb third place overall.
Hudspith, a 40-year-old Morpeth Harrier, defied sizzling temperatures, a challenging course and a stiff wind to win the race by 78 seconds.
The conditions were challenging for all runners as can be seen by Hudspith recording 31.15 compared to his 29.42 clocking recorded in the Manchester 10k in May.
Hudspith led all the way and breezed into the finish outside the Stadium of light with not a runner in sight. Next over the line was Scotsman Stuart Gibson from Cambuslang Harriers, a 14.53 5k runner, who stopped the clock on 32.33.
But the race’s star was surely Samuels, who found only two men better than her on the day.
The former Wallsend Harrier, who has represented Great Britain in the World Cross Country Championships and recorded 32.57.23 for 10,000m in the States in May and clocked 72.56 in the Berlin Marathon in April. She broke the tape in 34.32.
To signify the significance of Samuels performance, behind her was Penshaw Hill race winner Liam Taylor, who finished fourth in 34.57.
The Sunderland Stroller, however, had the satisfaction of being the first Sunderland runner home.
His clubmate Tim Allsop finished 20th and third over-40 in 39.04.
After Taylor there was a rush of Sunderland Harriers trying to get into a counting position for their club.
It was the improving Kevin Calvert that had the honour of the leading the royal blue vests home in sixth (36.01), then came Steven Duffy in seventh (36.22) followed by Paul Redman first over-45 in eighth (36.25), to close the scoring.
Paul Collins claimed the over-50 first prize following his Blaydon Run success in finishing 11th (37.24), Rob Sloan was 14th (38.11), Graham Lancaster finished 16th (38.44), Steven Gordon 17th (38.48), Tom Campion, was second over-50 in 22nd (39.39), Alan Hodgson was 24th (39.41) and Michelle Holt finished 25th (39.47).
Ahead of Holt to take the second woman’s award was Durham City Harrier Rosie Smith who filled ninth overall in 36.43.