Houghton Harrier Dover faces tough competition in defence of his Lambton Run title
Houghton Harrier Lee Dover has a fight on his hands when he defends his Foundation of Light Lambton Run title on Sunday.
Last year he knocked up his first win of his short athletics career with victory in the tough multi-terrain 10km around the Earl of Durham’s vast Lambton Estate at Burnmoor.
The 29-year-old showed real aggression as he led throughout to defeat Liam Taylor by nine seconds, winning in 35.52.
Dover said at the time: “I decided to go from the start and see what I could do.
“It wasn’t until I was challenged at the top of the final hill that I came under threat at around the 8km distance.
“I found a bit of speed in my legs and managed to pull away.”
But this time he goes into the race having finished behind the Springwell-based Taylor in the Penshaw Hill race and the Dalton Park 10k.
Dover said: “It is going to be hard to retain my title as Liam has been running really well.
“He has beaten me a few times lately and is in good form. I will give it my best shot and I expect a really tough race.”
It was Taylor, runner-up in the Penshaw Hill race just over three weeks ago, that will be the favourite from the entries received so far. A field of around 400 is expected to turn out.
Sunderland Harrier Alice Smith finished seventh to win the women’s title last year, but there are doubts on whether she will defend her title.
She did not show for the Aycliffe 10km on Sunday due to illness. Sunderland Stroller Wendy Chapman, 49, should retain her veterans’ title.
The 10km route has seen a number of changes since its launch, with the current course including passing the magnificent Lambton Castle.
It is a rural undulating challenge which has proved popular with club and recreational runners alike.
The race’s final stretch includes a 1km double hill which participants have dubbed the ‘Killer K’ due to its energy sapping 120ft elevation.
The less demanding 3km Family Fun Run is suitable for families and runners of all ages and abilities.
The 10km starts at 10am with the 3km off at 10.15am. Late entries will be available. Registration is from 9am.
Sunderland Stroller John Cook won his first ever race with victory in the Trail Outlaws Penshaw Half Marathon on Sunday.
The race started at the foot of Penshaw Hill and took in trails along the North and South side of the River Wear before the finish at Penshaw Monument.
Cook improved on his fifth position of last year and recorded 1.29.49 to finish ahead of Derwent Valley Running Club’s Paul Brunger (1.32.15) and Morpeth’s Andrew Hebden in third (1.33.49). Washington Running Club’s Tim Jones was fourth (1.34.16).
The Strollers also had Chris Dwyer in eighth (1.37.10), Ed Sweeney 31st (1.50.30). Washington also saw Nick Butchart in 37th (1.52.10) and Peter Setterfield 39th (1.52.45). Sunderland Harrier David Bruce finished 42nd (1.53.55).
The women’s winner was Elvet Strider Emma Thompson who finished 20th overall in 1.46.37. Jackie Murdie (South Shields) was second (1.54.18) and Kathryn Common (Washington) was third in 1.55.08.
South Shields Harrier Luke Adams won the Run Nation Cumbria Half Marathon in 1.12.55. Sunderland Harrier Richard Borrowdale was eighth (1.27.36).
Under-17s Houghton Harriers’ Henry Johnson and Will Bellamy had outstanding performances in the British Milers’ Club Grand Prix at Chester-le-Street.
Johnson finished second in the A race in a personal best of 1.54.8. The winner was fellow Under-17 Daniel Joyce (Tynedale) in 1.54.3.
Bellamy won the B race in a PB of 1.55.95 and clubmateUnder-17 Lydia James claimed a PB in her event with 2.19.31. Sunderland Harrier Under-15 Dillon Revell won his race in 2.13.1.
The Inter County Schools Track and Field match at Gateshead on Saturday saw Durham, Cleveland, Northumbria and Cumbria involved, as athletes chased qualifying marks for the English Schools’ Championships at Birmingham on July 13 and 14.
Five Durham athletes achieved standards during the competition and they were Liam Eastaugh in the Junior Boys’ 300m (37.63), Jack Halpin in the Junior Boys shot (15.03), Michael Graham in the Inter Boys’ javelin (52.09), Rachel Bennett inter Girls’ 100m (12.44) and Senior Girl Georgia Kyle in the discus (40.82).