Houghton Harrier Lee Dover knocked up the first win of his short athletics career with victory in yesterday’s Lambton Run.
After just two years in the sport, the 28-year-old showed positive intent from the off on his journey around the Earl of Durham’s vast estate.
He showed real aggression as he led throughout the tough multi-terrain race of approximately 10k.
At the finish, in which he reached in 35min 52sec, he was a comfortable nine seconds ahead of runner-up Liam Taylor.
Dover, who finished third last year, said: “I decided to go from the start and see what I could do. Last year, I started too cautiously.
“It wasn’t until I was challenged at the top of the final hill that I came under threat at around the 8k distance.
“I found a bit of speed in my legs and managed to pull away. I’m delighted to have won.’’
It was Taylor, runner-up in the Penshaw Hill race just over three weeks ago, that provided the late challenge. The former Sunderland Stroller said: “I just didn’t have the strength and speed at the top of the hill.’’
Dover has been making gradual progress this summer by posting personal bests for 10,000m (33.49.5) and 5000m (15.57.44) and this win is just the sort of result he needs as he looks for further improvement.
Sunderland Harrier Michael Heskett had a good run to finish sixth in 39.40, just in front of club-mate Alice Smith, who was first woman home in seventh (40.05).
She had racing doubts before the start as she was nursing twinges in her calf, on which she had been receiving treatment.
The 34-year-old said: “I have come early so I can do a long warm-up. It feels fine and hopefully I will be okay. I don’t want a hard run as I intend to race the Tynedale 10k on Tuesday.’’
The prolific racer just finished a few seconds outside her winning time of last year and was happy with her run to claim her third road race victory this month.
The second woman to finish in 17th overall was 45-year-old Sunderland Stroller Wendy Chapman, who was also first veteran (42.23).
In the British Masters Athletics Championships at Birmingham yesterday, Sunderland Harrier Jacqueline Etherington won gold in the 2000m steeplechase in 8.06.
This latest championship title follows her North East and Northern Championship successes. She clocked her personal best at Sport City in Manchester, with 7.56.72. Club-mate Vicky Younger was fourth in the 800m (2.35.3).
Sunderland Harrier Steven Duffy won the 5k Sunshine Run at Newcastle, despite an altercation with a dog and its minder. He won comfortably, although slowed to a 17.07 time.
Lambton results: 1 Lee Dover (Houghton) 35.52, 2 Liam Taylor (Unatt) 36.01, 3 Andrew Kilding V40 (Unatt) 36.53, 4 Neil Byrne V40 (Unatt) 37.05, 5 Johnny Evans (Jarr & Heb) 38.27, 6 Michael Heskett (Sun Harr) 39.40, 7 Alice Smith F (Sun Harr) 40.05, 8 Gary Rowell V40 (Unatt) 40.22, 9 Paul Jones (Elswick) 40.29, 10 Darren Stoker V40 (Sun Harr) 40.40, 11 Marc Ellis V40 (Unatt) 40.55, 12 Chris Glass V40 (Unatt) 41.01, 13 Ben Hall (Elswick) 41.29, 14 Darren Dodd V40 ( Sun Harr) 41.37, 15 Gareth Foreman (Hartlepool BR) 41.40, 16 Nick Newby V40 (Birtley) 41.51, 17 Wendy Chapman F45 (Sun Stroll) 42.23, 18 Chris Cantle (Sun Harr) 42.47, 19 Danny Wade V40 (Low Fell) 42.29, 20 Richard Conder (Low Fell) 42.54, 21 Michael Pearson V40 (Unatt) 43.07, 22 Peter Cantwell (Unatt) 43.36, 23 Helen Kilding F35 (Unatt) 43.37, 24 Roy Hammonds V40 (Unatt) 43.39, 25 Craig Smith (Washington) 43.57.
Women: 1 Alice Smith (Sun Harr) 40.05, 2 Wendy Chapman W45 (Sun Stroll) 42.23, 3 Helen Kilding W35 (Unatt) 43.37, 4 Janine Alexander W35 (Unatt) 45.13, 5 Lisa Darby W35 (Unatt) 45.20, 6 Tamsin Imber W35 (Unatt) 45.36