Sunderland Harriers’ Jacqueline Etherington is in fine form ahead of championships

Sunderland Harrier veteran Jacqueline Etherington’s busy period of championship indoor racing leads her to the British Championships on March 9/10 for her next engagement.

Wednesday, 27th February 2019, 11:01 am
Sunderland Harrier Jacqueline Etherington has a busy period racing on the boards ahead of her.

Following this, she then travels to Torun, in Poland, for the World Indoor Championships, where she will be competing between March 24-30 in the Over-40 800m, 1,500m and 3,000m.

The middle distance runner is heading to the championships in good form after a successful sortie in the Scottish Championships in Glasgow.

Jacqueline said: “I competed at the turn of the year in the Scottish Masters Over-40s 3km championships and returned with a silver medal and a 12 second PB. It was totally unexpected.

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“I then went back up to Glasgow again for the championships last weekend and I came home with gold from the 800m. I also broke the championship record which had stood since 2000 (2.27.50). I clocked 2.25.46.

“Less than 90 minutes later, I did the 1,500m, coming second in 5.06.

“That was pretty tough, the lactic burn and the sore throat from the dry air! Both were pleasing and surprising performances.”

Etherington will miss this Saturday’s final North Eastern Harrier League at Alnwick, where the Sunderland women’s team are in a relegation battle in the First Division.

Etherington added: “I’m not much of an outdoor winter runner, a combination of my love/hate relationship with the mud and cold as well as the uneven surface that could aggravate my hip and Achilles, it is just too risky.”

The Simon Taylor coached athlete’s future plans, after she comes off the boards, includes the Blyth 10km which includes the British Masters’ Championships.

“I think myself, Vicky Haswell and Nikki Woodward, have a chance of winning a team medal.

“I like to stay focussed, If I don’t have these aims then I easily become distracted and the running goes to the way side.”

Michael Wilson is another Sunderland Harrier who has been having success on the boards, competing for New Mexico State University in the USA.

At Albuquerque, in the Mountain West Championship, he recorded a PB with his time of 1.48.27, setting a University record.

He was second in his regional championships which qualified him for the NCAA championships, taking place on March 8-10.

At Alnwick, Sunderland Harriers’ team manager Eddie Maddison has been busy knocking on doors to ensure he gets his strongest team out for the Pastures.

So far, Alice Smith, who has already won the women’s Grand Prix, Vikki Cotton, Judith Shotton, Nicole Hufton and Michelle O’Neil, have answered his call.

It looks like it is between three clubs, Tyne Bridge on 36 points, Sunderland on 30pts and South Shields also on 30pts, on who joins hosts Alnwick, who are already relegated with 50 points.

In the third Division, Washington Running Club are favourites to join Wallsend in promotion to the Second Division.

Sunderland Harriers’ men bid to maintain their third place in the First Division, with Morpeth looking the likely winners, with Tyne Bridge second.

In the individual Grand Prix, Sunderland Harrier Ian Dixon is still in contention in the Over-40 Masters category, headed by Carl Chapman, of Crook.

The Under-17/20 Women sees Houghton Harriers having Eva Hardie in second, Anna Pigford third and Lydia James fifth in chasing prizes. Morpeth’s Holly Peck cannot be caught.

The Under-17 Men has Houghton’s Will Bellamy in fourth and Amy Leonard is third in the Under-15 Girls, while Brandon Pye is second Under-13. Tom Slane of Blackhill is already the winner.

Directions: North on A1. Take turn off to Alnwick onto A1068. At roundabout take B6341 (second exit) and follow signs to Alnwick Gardens.

Good traditional cross country course with a variety of terrain and some steep inclines/descents.

There are limited facilities at the start/finish area. Good for spectators. Postcode: Alnwick Pastures, NE66 1YU.

Parking: Ample parking at Alnwick Gardens car park (have to pay). It is a reasonable, but an easy walk to the start.