Floods take their toll on festive athletics

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Athletics suffered from the Christmas weather, as floods forced the cancellation of two road running events, while another had to change course through deep water on part of the route at Chester-le-Street.

The Ribble Valley 10k, which was also hosting the Northern 10k road race championship, was cancelled after deep water covered most of the course.

At Ripon, the Jolly Hog 10k multi-terrain race, which attracts a lot of local runners, was another casualty.

They postponed the race as the bridge that runners pass over was impassable.

The Riverside parkrun at Chester-le Street had to change their route as the Wear had burst its banks on part of the course and was under two foot of water. Organisers quickly rerouted the race and 152 runners took part. The organisers said: “There will be no PBs today as it is not a measured 5k distance.’’

Durham City Harriers’ international runner, Rosie Smith, won in 16min 43sec.

The Sunderland parkrun at Silksworth went off without any problems. Elvet Strider Stephen Jackson won in 17.17, ahead of Craig Gunn (17.53).

Sunderland over-50 Tim Field was third (17.57).

The first woman home was Durham’s new recruit, Joasia Zakrzewski, fourth in 18.36.