Sunderland Harriers taking a trip to the seaside

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Sunderland Harriers senior men take a trip to the seaside on Saturday for the third fixture of the North Eastern Harrier League.

This will mark the halfway stage of the season and the first time Druridge Bay has been used as a venue.

At the end of the six-mile handicap cross country race, the Wearsders hope to see their advantage at the top of the league grow.

They head Morpeth Harriers and Tyne Bridge on countback and all three clubs have five points each and have a distance over the other seven clubs in the league.

One thing is for certain, top North East club Morpeth Harriers will be out in force with the venue so close to home.

Last Saturday at Aykley Heads, six of their top runners missed the start, running from the fast pack, instead of giving the slow pack five minutes start they gave them six minutes.

Carl Avery still stormed through to 10th and with Sam Hancox 47th and Tom Straughan 60th, they all counted for their team, who finished second to Durham.

This shows the quality of the athletes that Sunderland are up against and they will need to have a stronger team than the one that competed last Saturday to make an impression.

Nathan Reed, Andy Powell, Tim Field, Mark Smith, Chris Bell, Micky Thompson and Alan Hodgson, are all from the slow pack and, if just three or four of them compete, they would give the Wearsiders a flying start.

With the North East Cross Country Championships just over two weeks away at Sedgefield, this will be the final cross country test for many.

Next year’s championship is scheduled for the tough Aykley Heads course.

The Harrier league is seeing record fields turning out with a total of 1480 athletes competing in the 10 events at Tanfield last Saturday.

The Sunderland Strollers Doorstep Marathon will take place on Sunday, December 6, starting at 9am for the marathon and 11am for the half marathon.

The event is open to non-Strollers. Afterwards we will convene in The Marriott for bacon sandwiches.

The 27 T-shirt challenge is making a return. This is always a great Stroller day and once again all proceeds will be going to the Phoenix Cancer Unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The Club will be covering all costs so every penny of the entry fee will be going to the Unit.

They have nearly 40 entries and £740 has been raised already.

Ten marshals are needed to run to run the event. Head marshal will be Tricia O’Neill, so if you can volunteer then contact her. She also needs two sets of bike marshals to accompany the lead runners of each event.