SUNDERLAND Stroller Steve Rankin triumphed in the half-marathon race in the Trail Outlaws’ inaugural running of the Pieces of 8 @ Penshaw Trail Race on Sunday.
Rankin won in 1hr 33min 28sec, ahead of Rob Brookes (Saltwell Harriers) and Sunderland Harrier Steve Gordon.
“It was the most brutal race route I’ve ever done, but really enjoyed it,” said Rankin.
The event saw around 140 entrants take part in half-marathon or 10k events.
The races took place on a hugely challenging and hilly trail around Penshaw Monument, James Steel Park and along the banks of the Wear, before climbing back up to the finish on the monument itself.
There were some stunning performances with new course records set.
The 10k race saw Luke Adams clinch victory in a time of 41mins 46sec, ahead of Ben Forster (Gosforth Harriers) and Barry Maskel.
Adams said: “The course was absolutely brutal on the legs, but a great event and well organised.”
The Trail Outlaws are now hoping to announce a second event in the series in the near future which will include a marathon, half-marathon and 10k race.
They are also looking into holding a night-time marathon at Kielder Water next year.
Results – Men’s 10k: Winner Luke Adams (Unattached) 41:46, 2nd Ben Forster (Gosforth Harriers) 43:50, 3rd Barry Maskel (Unattached) 45:50.
Women’s 10k: Winner Mairi Standaloft (South Shields Harriers & AC) 52:13, 2nd Clare Baharie (Sunderland Strollers) 58:27, 3rd Rachel Case (Unattached) 59:35.
M40 winner: Alistair Brown (Unattached). F40 winner: Claire Baharie (Sunderland Strollers). M50 winner: Andrew Short (Elvet Striders). F50 winner: Gill Bainbridge (Sunderland Strollers). M60 winner: Nick Box (Unattached). F60 winner: Hilary O’Shea (Trail Running Association).
Half-marathon – Men: Steve Rankin (Sunderland Strollers) 1:33:28. 2nd Rob Brookes (Saltwell Harriers) 1:39:43. 3rd Steve Gordon (Sunderland Harriers & AC) 1:40:03 (also won M40).
Women: Penny Browell (Unattached) 1:52:02 (also won F40). 2nd Sarah Burrell (Heaton Harriers & AC) 1:52:19. 3rd Nicola Woodward (Aurora Harriers) 2:00:33.
M50 Gary Owens (Fell Runner) 1:44:24. F50 Lyne Valentine (Sunderland Strollers) 2:01:29. M60 Peter Myerscough (Sunderland Strollers) 2:18:27.
* Pictures from Penshaw in today’s Sunderland Echo