Lambton’s paradise race is wide open

Competitors in the Pieces of Eight Trail Races that took place on Sunday.
Competitors in the Pieces of Eight Trail Races that took place on Sunday.
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There will be a new winner of the fifth Lambton Run on the Lambton Estate, Burnmoor, on Sunday (10am).

Sunderland Harrier Mark Hood is back on the injured list and will not be competing.

Last year he had a clear win (34.14), beating Steve Rankin into second place by nearly one minute on the tough course.

Rankin will be back again, as he was part of the Sunderland Strollers team that have been invited back after winning the team race last year.

The other team counters were Michael Laws, in fourth, and Andy Powell, sixth. They have now all changed clubs and now compete for Sunderland Harriers.

Michelle Avery astonished everyone by winning the women’s race last year while five months pregnant.

She is not on the entry list yet, but is expected to compete. Club-mate Jess Fox, 17, is the leading female down to run so far.

A record field of near 600 runners contested the multi-terrain event last year and the organizers, the Sunderland AFC Foundation of Light, are looking for another big field.

A spokesperson said: “The course is undulating, taking in scenes from the BBC drama The Paradise, including the magnificent Lambton Castle. The race is aimed at club and fun runners.

“To celebrate the fifth anniversary, we will be giving out some fantastic spot prizes on the day. Prizes include Sunderland AFC match tickets, signed memorabilia and much more.”

“There are prizes for the first three senior men and women to finish and leading veteran prizes. There are also prizes for the fastest team and the one that raises the most for the event charity (Foundation of Light).”

Entry fees are £14 and £16 (unattached). Details on their website: To book, or make a payment, call 0191 551 5191. Late entries will be taken on the day.

There is also a Lambton 3k Junior Black Cats Fun Run for all the family at 10.05am.

Further results from the Blaydon Race saw Sunderland Harrier Jess Fox win the under-18 female category, recording 38.16.

She also broke Alyson Dixon’s long-standing junior 3,000m club record from 1988 (11.48) with her winning run in the Durham County Schools Championship (11.05.6) on Saturday.

Club-mate Paul Redman signaled his return to fitness at Blaydon, after injury, to finish second in the over-55 category (34.04). Sunderland Stroller Lyne Valentine was first over-60 (38.54).

Trail Outlaws, based in Washington, hosted their first race in their Urban Trail series on Sunday in heavy rain.

Pieces of Eight at Penshaw started at the bottom of Penshaw Hill. Runners worked their way around the hill to the top of the monument, before heading back down to the trails to James Steel Park. The race distances were marathon, half marathon and 10k.

The marathon was won by Saltwell Harriers’ Rob Brooks in 3.40.44, Sunderland Harrier Steve Rankin won the half marathon (1.28.08) and club-mate Steve Gordon was seventh (1.38.45).

Houghton Harrier Steve Johnson finished 13th (1.43.51). First woman was South Shields’ Linda Bone in 1.50.56. Billingham’s Liam Swan won the 10k (47.18) from Alan Foster, of Washington Running club (48.01).

Houghton’s Rory Graham was seventh (53.49). Tara Scott (Low Fell) was first woman (55.59).

A group of Strollers headed to the Lakes and undertook the Billy Bland Challenge Relay.

The tough event consists of climbing 42 peaks and a distance of 66 miles, starting and finishing at the Moot Hall in Keswick.

The team of 10, ably supported by many others, successfully completed the challenge, in windy conditions, in just over 21 hours.

Sunderland Harrier Noel Hitchhcock placed sixth in the Bamborough 10k on Sunday in 35.26, Graham Lancaster was fourth over-40 in 23rd (39.01) and David White was first 65-year-old in 45.37.

Sunderland Harriers leading Grand Prix standings for track and field performances are:

Under11/13: 1 Lucy Gardener 28pts, 2 Lydia Stoker 20, 3 John Harris 18, 4 Freya Doran 14, 5 Joe Tisseman 12, 6 Evie Compson 4.

Under 15/17: 1 Molly Gardener 60, 2 Declan Murray 56, 3 Reece Carroll 50, 4 Sean Mackie 40, 5 Jack Smith 36, 6 Eve Quinn 34.

Under-20/seniors: 1 Jess Fox 40, 2 Mark Smith 36, 3 Michael Wilson 30, 4 Jack Tallentire 28, 5 Nathan Reed 24, 6 Sparrow Morley 18.

Michael Wilson, who just failed to take the Northern Athletics under-20 800m title, being caught just before the line by Vale Royal’s Jacob Brown (1:55.07) to Wilson’s 1:55.19, heads to Bedford this weekend for the England Athletics under-20 championships.

Molly Gardener achieved the English Schools entry standard in the Durham County Schools’ Championship junior 100m heats (12.8). She finished second in the final with 12.9.

The third North East Grand Prix takes place at Gateshead tonight (7pm).

The graded races are one mile, 100m and 200m. The winner of the one mile receives the Stan Long trophy for one year.

Elswick Harriers host their Newburn River Run Tonight (7.30pm). There are limited late entries from 5.30pm at Newburn Leisure Centre.