BRIAN RUSHWORTH led Sunderland Harriers to a successful defence of their North East Veterans’ over-45 road relay title at Hebburn last night.
The 50-year-old clocked the fasted time of the day when lifting the team from second to first, ahead of Tyne Bridge Harriers, on the second leg of the three-stage race.
Twenty-three teams toed the line at Bedewell Park for the three-stage race over two laps of approximately 1.5k, with the combined race catering for over-35, over-45 and over-55 teams.
Sunderland led off with the youngest member of the team, 48-year-old Tim Field, and he stuck to his guns to finish second (9.13) to Tyne Bridge Harriers’ Kenny McPherson (9.08), who recorded the second best time of the evening. Field was the third fastest over-45 on the course.
Rushworth was caught up in a battle with John Archer, competing in the over-35s relay, and it was the younger legs of the Low Fell athlete that prevailed. He stopped the watch on 8.56, the fastest time of the relay, but Rushworth stuck to his task and was rewarded with a 9.04 clocking, the second quickest overall time, but the best by an over-45 runner.
Anchorman Paul Merrison, the golden older at the age of 54, failed by just five seconds to catch the young Low Fell squad, but recorded 9.40 to keep the closing Tyne Bridge outfit at bay by 36 seconds