Abraham Tewelde completes quickfire city double with Pier-to-Pier race success
Eritrean Abraham Tewelde scored a Sunderland double within the space of eight days at Roker yesterday.
The late-entry Saltwell Harrier won the 20th Sunderland Strollers’ Pier-to-Pier race to add to his victory in the Sunderland Half Marathon last Sunday.
He also retained his title in the race from South Shields to Roker, facing a headwind that slowed all runners.
The race of approximately seven miles, where athletes have to keep off the highway and make their own way to the finish, saw Tewelde and 2012 champion Luke Adams running together for the first four-miles.
The gap that Tewelde opened he maintained to the finish and the only thing left to bother him now was a stone-covered beach, which was hard to negotiate for the runners as they approached the final run-in.
After breasting the tape for another comfortable win, Tewelde said: “I felt better this time. I had to follow the leader before. Now I know the course. I’m happy with win.’’
South Shields Harrier Adams was exhausted at the finish, but he was long way ahead of the third man Mark Anderson.
The Sunderland Stroller improved massively on his only other appearance in the race, in 2016, when he finished 21st.
Wearside triathlete Over-40 Paul Robson took fourth place and Sunderland Harrier Michael Laws was 10th.
Elswick Harriers Over- 40 Judith Nutt claimed her first win in the women’s race after a number of tries. She was in a battle with last year’s winner, Wendy Chapman, until breaking away at halfway.
Chapman, an Over-45 Sunderland Stroller veteran, said: “I knew she was the better athlete, but I had to give it a go. I’m pleased with my race, I couldn’t have done any more.’’
North Shields runner Rachel McIntyre filled third place.
The race attracted 1,350 entries and it was sold out in March. It is expected to beat last year’s record of 1,177 finishers.