TWO stalwart Sunderland Harriers have been honoured by the North East Veterans’ Association at a presentation at Monkton Stadium.
Brian Rushworth and Denis Field were presented with their trophies at the veterans’ track and field meeting to recognize their exceptional achievements.
Rushworth’s recognition was to mark his eight successive victories in the North East Veterans Cross Country Championships between 2003 and 2010.
Field, in September, 2010, having just reached his 80th birthday, broke the British age-related discus record with a throw of 25.92 metres and further improved on it three days later with 27.05.
He then broke the M80 UK javelin record, which had stood since 1986, with a throw of 24.06.
Rushworth has been on the injured list since helping his club win the team competition in the British Masters’ Cross Country championships at Birmingham in March.
He struggled throughout the race and gamely kept going, despite problems with his Achilles’ tendon, battling to the over-45 individual bronze medal. But, the following week, his superb run of North East victories came to an end at North Shields for the 48-year-old. He was unable to compete through his injury and has not raced since.
Rushworth won the first of his ten record-breaking North East senior men’s cross country titles in 1986 with his last success coming in 2000.
In between those dates he added the Northern championship in 1989 and the Inter Counties title in 1990. He competed for Britain in the World Cross Country Championships in France in 1990.
Then, when he entered the over-40 ranks, he won four individual gold medals in the British Veterans’ Cross Country Championships.
On top of that, he has been the club’s mainstay throughout that time, leading the Harriers’ teams to many successes on the national, northern and North East scene over road and cross country.
Although he is still on the sidelines, he is determined to get back to where he left off, chasing medals.
Field has been a prolific performer in the national veterans’ ranks, breaking British records in the triple jump, javelin and discus, since entering the over-50 category.
His record-breaking performances continued throughout the older age groups and are too numerous to detail. They take up over a page in the Harriers’ handbook!
The East Herrington athlete has scored most of triumphs in the heavy events and throws, but it was as a triple jumper that he gained his most noteworthy acclaim.
Then, competing for Midland club Birchfield, he represented England in the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff in 1958, finishing 14th. He later moved to Sunderland where he took up an appointment as a sports lecturer at Sunderland Polytechnic.
Field, along with his training mate Bob Laidler, another leading UK veteran during his glory days, and also over 80 years, still regular train at the Silksworth track. They have regular competitions between themselves on a Sunday morning.
H The Low Fell Angel View Run is held tomorrow night at 7pm.