Runners return to league duties

Helen Higgins.
Helen Higgins.
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THE Start Fitness North East Harrier League resumes on Saturday at Wrekenton after a break of nine weeks.

The Saltwell Harriers promotion is the fourth of six fixtures and Alnwick on Saturday, March 1 and Prudhoe on Saturday, March 22, complete the season.

Another big turnout is expected at Wrekenton for the senior men’s and women’s races, where the record number of finishers could be approached. They stand at 575 for men and 309 for women. Both set in the first fixture at Blaydon in October.

Sunderland Harriers are lying seventh in division one of the men’s league with the Strollers at the bottom in tenth place.

The Strollers have a relegation fight on their hands and are stranded at the bottom on 28pts, three adrift of the next two clubs, South Shields and Tynedale. Sunderland Harriers, who have won the Harrier League title 24 times since 1980, are hovering around the middle of the table and only two points off fifth place.

Durham City Harriers are in second place, one point behind table toppers Morpeth.

League table: 1 Morpeth 6pts, 2 Durham 7, 3Tyne Bridge 9, 4 Wallsend 12, 5 Gateshead 16, 6 Low Fell 18, 7 Sunderland Harriers19, 8 Tynedale 25 and South Shields 25, 10 Sunderland Strollers 28.

Houghton Harriers are stranded at the bottom of division two and look too far off the pace to secure safety and prevent the drop to division three.

The Strollers women’s team are fourth in the first division on 13pts, with first place being shared by North Shields and Gateshead on seven points.

League table: 1 North Shields and Gateshead 7pts, 3 Tynedale 12, 4 Sunderland Strollers and Tyne Bridge 13, 6 Blackhill 17, 7 Heaton 18, 8 Elvet 21, 9 South Shields 27, 10 Low Fell 32.

Houghton Harriers’ youngsters are performing well, with under-13s Lily Hardie and her twin Eva, under-15 Alex Brown and under-17 Eleanor Daglish, all involved at he top of the individual league grand prix tables.

With only four cross country fixtures to go, including the National Championships at Nottingham on Saturday, February 22, the Sunderland Harries grand prix is approaching its conclusion. Paul Redman is on course to retain his title and the £175 first prize, heading the table by one point. With five prizes up for grabs, competition could not be keener with only five points covering the top five, including a woman for the first time in Helen Higgins, who is in third place.

The front runners are:1Paul Redman 38pts, 2 Dean Phillips 37,3 Helen Higgins 36, 4 David Savage 34, 5 Matthew Fearn 33, 6 Aimee Richardson 32,7 Susan Clughen 31, 8 Peter Richardson 30, 9 Nathan Reed 29,10 Steven Gordon 27,11 Gary Fox 23,12 Alan Knebel 23,13 Katherine Watt 21,14 Tony Allinson 20.

There are no races for under-11s at Wrekenton. Time of races are approximate. Events take place behind Cardinal Hume School. Timetable: 12.25 under-13 Boys, 12.35 under -13 Girls, 12.45 under-15 Boys, 12.55 Under-15 Girls, 13.05 – 13.10 under-17 & under -20 Women, 13.10 – 13.15 Senior & Veteran Women, 13.50 – 14.00 under-17 Men, 14.15 – 14.25 Senior & Veteran Men.