Good Friday Road Relay format altered

Paul Redman.
Paul Redman.
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THE Elswick Harriers’ Good Friday Road Relays will go ahead in a reduced format following the loss of use of the race headquarters at Newburn Riverside Park, Lemington, Newcastle, on Good Friday.

All young athlete races have been dropped from the programme and only two relays will now take place for seniors and veteran men and women.

The race HQ has been moved to Newburn Leisure Centre and the distance from the course is more than two miles.

Runners and supporters have been asked to park their cars at the leisure centre and not at Lemington.

All team declarations will be done at the leisure centre and athletes should be in attendance at least 90 minutes before the start of their race. Then they will need to jog to the course and this could take about 30 minutes.

Despite the disruption, a massive entry of 106 teams in the senior men and veteran men’s relay, and 87 in the senior women’s and veteran women’s relay, have been received.

Sunderland Harriers will be back in relay mode following their disqualification in the Northern 12-stage Road Relay Championship last Saturday after they were led off-course by the host club, Liverpool Harriers, at Sefton Park.

The Wearsiders have five senior men’s teams entered, plus three veteran men’s and two women’s teams entered.

The senior A team is likely to be: Andy Powell, Steve Rankin, Craig Isherwood and Nathan Reed.

With the minimum age 15, a number of the club’s youngsters will be turning out.

Under consideration for the B team are Mick Laws, Steve McMahon, Ian Dixon, Johnny Howe, Mark Smith and Michael Heskett.

Tim Field and Micky Thompson should lead the veterans’ A team and Michelle Avery and Jessica Fox will be included in the three-stage women’s team.

The women’s race starts at 10.30am and the men’s at 11.30am.

Oliver James, who missed out on Saturday’s relay in Liverpool, as he is on an athletics scholarship in the States, finished second in his latest 1500m in Austin, Texas, clocking 3.54.34.

On Easter Sunday, the North Tyneside 10k with 2,200 runners takes place, taking in the route from North Shields to the finish at St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay.

The course record is 30m 26sec. There are no late entries.

There was a dramatic finish to Sunderland Harriers’ cross country grand prix at the final Harrier League fixture at Wrekenton.

Defending champion Paul Redman was pipped at the post by Craig Isherwood on countback after both athletes tied on points. Redman, suffering from an ankle injury, limped round the course at Wrekenton to ensure he gained grand prix points. He eventually finished 501st in a field of 502.

Isherwood gained an extra point by being a team counter in 19th position to win first prize.

The first five prizewinners were: 1st Craig Isherwood 58pts, 2nd Paul Redman 58, 3rd Judith Thirwell 54, 4th Alan McManus 54, 5th Tony Allinson 53.