Sunderland Harriers prove they are up to the challenge

Rachael Moore.
Rachael Moore.
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SUNDERLAND Harriers have won the City of Sunderland Team Challenge in the Sunderland Festival of Running.

The unofficial results gave the Wearsiders their fourth win since the competitions inception in 2011.

Last year they finished second to Sunderland Strollers, but this time they were emphatic winners.

To qualify, a club must have a minimum of three competitors in each event and at least one of those three must be female.

The team with the lowest cumulative time from their best three performances in the 10K and Half Marathon are crowned Sunderland City Club Challenge winners.

The prize money awarded is £500 for first club, £200 for second and £100 for third.

The Harriers’ winning time was 5hr 59min, well ahead of second club Tyne Bridge Harriers (6.09.24) with the Strollers third this time on 6.12.22.

The Sunderland Harriers team was 10k: Craig Isherwood (6th: 34.36), Steve Rankin (8th: 35.06) and Michelle Avery (4th woman: 42.19).

Half marathon: Kevin Jeffress (3rd: 72.01), Andy Powell (4th: 74.09) and Rachael Moore (1hr 40.49).

Despite the dreadful weather, Andy Powell and Rachael Moore set massive personal bests.

Powell’s previous fastest was 78.28 and Moore’s (1.45.21). That performance from Moore sealed the Harriers’ win. Jeffress was just 10 seconds off his quickest time.

The Strollers were led by a superb 10k performance from Alyson Dixon (1st: 34.50), then came Aidan Crowe (20th: 37.15) and Tim Allsop (32nd: 39.12).

Declan Munnelly was first Stroller in the Half Marathon in 30th: 84.16, Jamie Collin was 51st: 87.19 and Ashleigh Ewen was second woman (89.30).

Munnelly was miles quicker than his fastest before the day (91.34), while Ewen shattered her PB by over six minutes for her outstanding performance.

H Sunderland Harrier Michael Wilson improved his personal best for 1500m for the second time this year at Bedford.

The North East junior 800m champion recorded 3.54.86 to finish ninth in the British Students Championships.

His next race will be over 800m before the North East Championships at Gateshead on May 23/24.

H Houghton Harriers had nine winners in the North East Grand Prix at Monkton, with a record entry, the meeting did not finish until 10pm. The 1500m men’s A race ended in darkness after the floodlights went off.

Houghton’s winners were: Senior men’s javelin – Josh Peel 41.56, junior men’s javelin – Ben Mitchell 35.36, junior women’s shot – Georgia Oliver 7.83, under-15 long jump – Savannah Lloyd 4.42, javelin – Caitlin Llewellyn 18.88, 100m – Thomas Borden 13.2, under-13 high jump – Ellie Patterson 1.15, Shot Philippa Ellis – 6.89, 100m Matthew Lumb – 15.00.

Sunderland Harriers’ winners were: Senior long jump Anna Harris – 4.39, under-17 high jump – Reece Carrol 1.50, under-15 100m – Molly Gardiner 13.6.

H The North East Masters Road Relay Championships take place tonight at Bedewell Park from 6.30pm.

Race headquarters is at the Jarrow and Hebburn club house at Monkton Stadium.

There are two races: Women 35 and over and over 65 Men are off at 6.30pm. Men aged over 35 start at 7.15. Both races are for teams of three, each runner completing two laps of 1.5k.