Sunderland to host top events

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SUNDERLAND will stage two big national cross-country events at Herrington Country Park next year.

It has been confirmed that the English National Championships and the British Masters’ Championships will be held in the shadow of Penshaw monument.

This will be the second time that the English Championship has been held at the 350 acre site in the country park after it was first staged there in 2007.

It will be held on Saturday, February 23 and around 4,000 competitors are expected.

John Temperton, the chairman of the English Cross Country Association, said: “The support provided by Sunderland City Council, backed by the volunteers from Sunderland Harriers and Sunderland Strollers and other local clubs, assisted the delivery of an excellent championship in 2007 and we look forward to working with the same teams in 2013.’’

The British Masters’ Championships will be staged on Saturday, March 16 and covers every age category from over 35-years.

This will be the third time that the British Masters’ Championships will have been held in Sunderland. In 1989 and 1997 it was held at Silksworth Sports Complex.

Arthur Potter, the North East Veterans’ road and cross country secretary said: “We are delighted to be asked by the British Masters’ Association to stage the championships. We intend to look at the course and get a smaller lap than that used for the National. We hope local clubs will get involved to ensure the championships go off smoothly.’’

Sunderland Harriers, who have ended their North East Harrier League fixtures at Farringdon, due to the tightness of the course, host the first cross country fixture of the season at Farringdon, when they stage their Open meeting on Saturday, September 8. Details available from the Harriers website www.sunderlandharriers.org.uk.

H The British and Irish Masters’ Cross-Country International is being held on Saturday, November 10 in Northern Ireland at Stormont Castle.

 Any athletes interested in being considered for the England team should contact North East selector and England team manager Harry Matthews for an application form.

Teams will be selected in all the following age categories: W35, W40, W45, W50, W55, W60, W65+ and M35, M40, M45, M50, M55, M60, M65, M70+.

Matthews can be contacted by phone 01207 230677 or email: Harryrun@talktalk.net by September 29.

H The penultimate North East Athletics League will be staged at Monkton tonight. Newcastle City Council host their Newcastle Exhibition Park 5k for the Elswick Cup (7pm).

H On Sunday, the Phoenix 10k is held at Saltburn (10.30) and next Tuesday, Morpeth Harriers hold their 10k, which hosts the North East Championship.