STRONG winds denied Rosie Smith a record-breaking run in Sunderland Strollers’ popular Pier-to-Pier race from South Shields to Roker.
The Durham City Harrier missed out on former Houghton Harrier Sheila Allen’s 2001 record by 27 seconds.
She clocked 42.41 to finish eighth in a field of 776 in the 13th running of the race sponsored by Brooks and Northern Runner.
International Smith, making her debut in the race, said: “It was a tough course with the mixed terrain and the wind in our faces all the way. It was especially hard on the sand but I’m delighted with my run.’’
In second place, four minutes 45 seconds behind was Sunderland Harriers’ four times winner Michelle Holt, the recent winner of the Lambton Run. Third was Alexandra Snook of Shildon, a further eight seconds behind.
Sunderland Stroller Lynn Valentine clocked 54.33 to win the over-55 event.
It was 13th time lucky for Claremont’s Brendan McMillan, who has competed in all the Pier-to-Pier races and at last won (41.37) by nine seconds from Gateshead’s Conrad Franks.
First Sunderland runner to finish was Harrier Kevin Calvert in fifth (42.22) with Stroller Liam Taylor seventh (42.38).
Sunderland Harrier Jon Dobson sneaked into the top ten in tenth place (42.59) to take second veterans’ award and clubmate Paul Redman won third prize in 13th (43.43). Steven Duffy split his clubmates in 11th (43.28).
Duffy, only a few days previously, had accompanied Andy McMenemy in his nationwide challenge66 soldiers’ charity run over the whole distance of 50k at Silksworth Sports Complex. McMenemy went on to set a Guinness world record, 66 50ks completed in 66 consecutive days, ending at York three days later.
H Chester-le-Street’s Angela Hibbs knocked three minutes off her previous best to finish third (2.51.50) in the Edinburgh Marathon. Sunderland Strollers had Mick Armstrong with 3.24.31 and Tony Allen 3.56.49 both clocking personal bests. Other Stroller times were: Colin Armour 3.26.18, Phil Watson 3.31, Vicki Booth 3.39.02, John Tinn 3.50.15, Marc Richardson 4.01.47, Vanessa Hogan 4.12, Tracey Burlinson 4.24.13, Nicola Todd 4.48.53. Sunderland Harrier Roy Baker recorded 3.23.56.
H Sunderland Harrier junior man Oliver James finished second in the British Milers’ Club B 800m in a personal best of 1.59.71 and under-17 Michael Wilson was fifth in 2.01.47 at Hexham.
H Houghton Harriers won their Young Athletes Northern Division two match at Chester-le-Street. Result: 1 Houghton 654pts, 2 South Shields 501, 3 Tynedale 462, 4 Gateshead 212, 5 North Shields 175.
H The second North East Athletics League takes place at Monkton tonight (7.00). On Sunday the Raby Castle 10k is held.