Sunderland Harriers put in their best ever performance but still just missed out on medals in the National Masters’ Road Relay Championships at Sutton Coldfield on Saturday.
The Over-35 men’s team came fourth in their six-stage relay and the Over-35 women’s team finished fifth in their four-stage race at Sutton Park.
It was Over-45 Micky Thompson, the oldest member of the men’s team, who opened for the club, but despite giving it his all still finished down the field with his 16.30 clocking for 21st.
Next came Michael Barker and he lifted the team into 16th with his run of 16.29 before Ian Ritchie got the royal blue vests in the picture. He stormed into eighth position with his stint of 15.59 for the approximate three mile leg.
The forward march was consolidated over the remaining two legs with first Kevin Jeffress, with club’s fastest time of 15.43, gaining three spots and then Ian Dixon retaining fifth position on the penultimate leg with his effort of 15.54.
Anchorman Steve McMahon overhauled Birmingham with his stage of 15.58, but he was too far off the pace to make an impression on the first three.
Results: 1 Kent AC 1.34.38, 2 Tipton Harriers 1.34.52, 3 Salford 1.35.39, 4 Sunderland Harriers 1.36.35, 5 Birmingham R and T 1.36.41, 6 Rotherham 1.38.50, 7 Tyne Bridge Harriers 1.39.36, 8 Oxford City 1.40.04.
The fastest leg was set by Martin Williams of Tipton with 15.11.
The Sunderland Over-35 women’s team got off to a good start with Jacqueline Etherington finishing fifth with the days ninth fastest time of the day (19.00). Coleen Compson then dropped to eighth with her run of 20.53 before Nicola Woodward (19.31) claimed fifth spot again and then Vicky Younger (19.39) just failed to catch Barnsley for fourth place.
Results: 1 South London 1.15.25, 2 Salford 1.15.56, 3 Telford 1.18.21, 4 Barnsley 1.19.01, 5 Sunderland Harriers 1.19.03, 6 Wolverhampton and Bilston 1.21.14.
The fastest leg was established by Claire Martin of Telford with 17.16.
Tyne Bridge Harriers lifted the bronze medals in the Over-45 relay with Terry Scott the fastest overall with 15.24, Keith Smith clocked (16.45), Ken McPherson 16.58 and Steve Cairns (16.28).
Results 1 Thames Hare and Hounds 1.05.14, 2 Preston 1.05.28, 3 Tyne Bridge 1.05.35