PAUL REDMAN is Sunderland Harriers’ captain marvel after motivating his club-mates to deliver their first team race win of the season in the North East Harrier League, at Wrekenton on Saturday, writes Kevin Carr.
The Wearsiders placed their first five runners in the top 20 and fittingly Redman charged through in the six-mile handicap race to be the club’s final counter in 49th.
This performance lifted Sunderland from sixth to fifth in the premier league and they have now cut the lead on joint league leaders Heaton and Morpeth to six points.
In the previous league meeting at the Town Moor, Newcastle, Redman was confined to his sick bed suffering from flu and in his absence, the city club suffered their worst ever performance in finishing nine out of 10 clubs.
Now fully fit again, the veteran spent last week delivering his tactics to his club-mates so that they could turn the tables on their rivals.
They duly obliged by beating Morpeth, who had five runners in the first 28, by 16 points.
First home for the royal blue vests was veteran international and long time leader Paul Besford who eventually finished fourth (37 minutes 27 seconds).
Then came Graham Lancaster in tenth (38.21), Paul Collins 11th (38.27), London Marathon-bound Steven Gordon 16th (38.53) and medium pack man Steve Duffy 20th (36.36).
Redman clocked (37.40) while the fastest Sunderland runner on the course was over-45 Brian Bewick, who finished 74th from the fast pack in (35.55).
The winner was Durham’s medium pack runner Dan Jenkin (34.09) and the Morpeth fast pack runners Matt Nicholson (31.53) and Peter Newton (32.03) charged through to second and third.
Sunderland Strollers increased their lead at the top of the second division with another team win. Medium pack runner Liam Taylor was their first runner home in seventh (35.32). He was followed by Steven Graham in 12th (38.33), Tim Allsop 15th (38.49), Paul Roper 38th (39.55), Michael Rennison 45th (40.03) and Kevin O’Neill 99th (41.44).
The Strollers women finished sixth in their competition and are now eighth in the league. They had Ashleigh Thorpe 18th, Rachal Ball 27th and Alyson West 50th.
Morpeth’s Jane Mooney was the fastest with 25.16 for third in the race won by Claire McManus (NSP) in 27.30. Elvet Striders won the team race with Fiona Shenton in fifth (29.51) and Durham, who had Katherine O’Mahoney sixth (30.06), were second.
H MICHAEL Wilson (pictured) bounced back from injury to clock the fastest time in the under-15 Boys’ race at Wrekenton.
The double North East middle distance champion shot through to third (11.22) in the race won by his Sunderland Harriers’ club mate Dominic Hill (12.29).
With Luca Irvine fourth (13.05) the Wearsiders won the team race from Gosforth.
Houghton Harrier Alex Brown was fourth in the under-13s Boys event and with Sunderland’s Kieran Watson 26th.
Houghton Harriers also produced the winner of the under-13 girls’ in Eleanor Daglish. Her clubmate Lynsay Page was sixth in the under 17/20 race.