Senior moment costs Sunderland Harriers the North Shields Polytechnic Clive Cookson Cup title

A forgetful moment cost Sunderland Harriers senior men the team title in the North Shields Polytechnic Clive Cookson Cup 10k road race at Monkseaton.

Wednesday, 25th May 2016, 10:04 am
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2016, 8:23 am

The team was on the start line when Ian Ritchie realised that he had forgot to attach his chip to his ankle. The chip automatically records your position and time when you cross the finish line.

Ritchie finished in 13th place, but his name did not appear on the result sheet. The race referee had no option but to discount Ritchie’s unofficial position.

The Wearsiders had packed their four team counters inside the first 19 finishers with club captain Andy Powell in sixth (33.09), Steve McMahon in a personal best of 33.33 in ninth, Ian Ritchie an unofficial 13th and Jake Jensen 19th (35.16).

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With Ritchie out of the team count, Michael Edwards became the club’s final counter in 20th (35.21). This gave the Wearsiders second team place, just three points behind Tyne Bridge Harriers. There were 423 finishers.

Ritchie is not the first one to find himself in this position, an athlete was disqualified just a couple of years ago for the same reason after finishing first in a national championship.

Ritchie was back in action on Sunday in the Sunderland Strollers Pier-to-Pier race and this time his chip was included in his number, so there were no problems this time!

He was a member of the Sunderland team that won the team race, he finished second counter in eighth.

Steve Rankin was seventh and Jake Jenson tenth to complete the scoring to win the Norton Men’s Cup. Each runner will receive a glass memento.

To complete a golden double, Sunderland Harriers women’s team of Michelle Avery, Judith Thirlwell and Rachael Moore won their team contest to win the Norton Women’s Cup.

Just two weeks after clocking a personal best in the Chester Half Marathon (72.18), Sunderland Harrier Matt Jones returns to competition for the Edinburgh Half Marathon on Sunday.

Also in the line-up will be clubmate Andy Powell, who bids to beat his personal best of 71.26.

Two young Sunderland Harriers have been making waves in Sunderland Harriers’ middle distances all-time ranking lists.

Oliver James and Michael Wilson’s performances, over 800m and 1,500m, have seen them enter the club all-time top ten for these distances.

James, based in the States at McNeese State University, has recorded 1.51.95 for 800m and 3.46.81 for 1,500m.

Wilson, whose best for 800m stands at 1.52.01 from 2014, clocked 3.50.39 for 1,500m at Manchester in the British Milers’ Club Grand Prix at Sport City.

The club 1,500m list now reads: 1 Gavin Massingham 3.42.36 – 2009, 2 Graham Smith 3.46.5 – 1985, 3 Oliver James 3.46.81 – 2016, 4 Brooks Mileson 3.47.0 – 1969, 5 Kelvin Newton 3.49.7 – 1981, 6 Brian Rushworth 3.49.8 – 1985, 7 Michael Wilson 3.50.39 – 2016, 8 Paul Harker 3.50.4 – 1986, 9 Alan Carr 3.53.2 – 1978, 10 Patrick Martin 3.53.48 – 2009.

800m: 1 Gavin Massingham 1.48.63 – 2003, 2 Dave Elderkin 1.49.8 – 1969, 3 Malcolm Hassan 1.50.7 – 2000, 4 Kelvin Newton 151.3 –1982, 5 Oliver James 1.51.95 – 2015, 6 Michael Wilson 1.52.01 – 2014, 7 Brooks Mileson 1.52.7 – 1969, 8 Colin Abbott 1.53.9 – 1987, 9 Simon Taylor 1.54.6 – 1983, 10 Stephen Bird 1.55.1 – 1982.

Congratulations to Houghton Harrier Amy Leonard in winning the British Open Fell Runners Association Under-12 Sedburgh Gala Fell Race on Saturday.

The North East Masters’ Athletics League opening fixture at Monkton saw record entries.

There were 75 runners competing in the 3,000m, 54 in the 100m and 50 in the shot among the six events on the programme to put officials under strain.

Entries close for the Penshaw Hill race on Saturday. The race takes place a week tonight, starting at 7.15pm. Enter online at