SUNDERLAND Strollers have won the Athletics Weekly/Ron Hill Running Club of the Year award.
The winners were chosen after clubs were featured in the magazine each month throughout the year.
The Ashbrooke club was formed in 1983 with 20 members and now there is more than 200. They won £250 of Ron Hill kit and a trophy.
The citation said: “At events like the Sunderland Marathon of the North, the Strollers are everywhere to be seen, competing and volunteering, and they have a big presence at races like the Virgin London Marathon too.’’
When they won the club award of the year in May, club member Alison Pattison said: “We are like a family. There is always someone friendly to go out for a run with. Joining Sunderland Strollers was the best thing I ever did in my life.’’
The club host The Pier to Pier race from South Shields to Roker, which is one of the most popular runs in the North East with around 1000 entries.
The race starts on the beach at South Shields Pier and follows the beach and coastal footpaths to finish about 7 miles later at the Pier on Roker beach. The race takes place on a Sunday in the middle of May.
H Former Sunderland Harrier Patrick Martin, representing England, was the first finisher from the UK in the 33rd Cross International de Venta de Banos – a European Athletics Cross Country Permit meeting – in Spain on Sunday.
Now based in the North West and running for Stockport Harriers, Martin had one the best performances of his career in a race headed by Africans.
Kenya’s 2012 World Cross Country Championship bronze medallist Vincent Chepkok clinched victory in the 10.6k event.
Chepkok and runner-up Kipkemoi both went under 27 minutes for the 10,000m for the first time at the Samsung Diamond League final in Brussels on September 7.
Result: 1. Vincent Chepkok (Ken) 35:20, 2. Kenneth Kipkemoi (Ken) 35:33, 3. Antonio Jimenez (ESP) 35:48, 4. Daniel Santacruz (ESP) 36:02, 5. Patrick Martin (Eng) 36:06, 6. Adam Hickey (Eng) 36:12, 7. Luke Cragg (Eng) 36:27, 8. Philip Kiptoo (Eng) 36:30, 9. Chema Martínez (ESP) 36:35, 10. Francisco España (ESP) 36:35.
Patrick’s brother Jack, also competing for Stockport, is also in fine form. He won (30.31) the Manchester League cross country race earlier this month from Altrincham’s from Dave Norman (30.58).
H Paul Redman is the leader at the half -way stage of the season in the Sunderland Harriers’ cross country grand prix.
The next race in the series is the Durham Cathedral Relays at Maiden Castle on Sunday, January 20.
The front runners are: Paul Redman 30pts, Aimee Adey 26, Len Christopher 25, Dean Phillips 25, Nathan Reed 25, Steve Graham 23,
Michael Hill 22, Helen Higgins 22, Steve Gordon 20, Paul Merrison 19, Peter Richardson 18, Alan Hodgson 18. Susan Clughen16 and Craig Isherwood 14.
H The Saltwell Harriers’ Ronnie Walker 10K Road Race on Saturday has reached its entry limit of 400 runners and they have closed their online entries.
There will be no entries for the 10K taken on the day. Entries for all young athletes’ races will be accepted. The races in Saltwell Park commence at 11.30 am. The 10k is off at 12.30pm.