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Sunderland Harrier Vikki Cotton secures second victory in eight-day purple patch

Kurt Herron (centre) enjoys his Sand Dancer 10k race victory with runner-up Andy Burn (left) and third-placed Liam Taylor. Picture by Tim Richardson.
Kurt Herron (centre) enjoys his Sand Dancer 10k race victory with runner-up Andy Burn (left) and third-placed Liam Taylor. Picture by Tim Richardson.

Sunderland Harrier Vikki Cotton has hit a purple patch in her athletics career at the age of 38.

The Whitburn athlete enjoyed her second victory in eight days with her win in the South Shields Harriers’ Sand Dancer multi terrain race yesterday.

Vikki Cotton (centre) celebrates her Sand Dancer 10k race success with runner-up Ruth Dadswell (left)  and third-placed Elaine Leslie. Picture by Tim Richardson

Vikki Cotton (centre) celebrates her Sand Dancer 10k race success with runner-up Ruth Dadswell (left) and third-placed Elaine Leslie. Picture by Tim Richardson

Last Sunday, she won the Trail Outlaws Washington 10k multi terrain race to notch up her first win in the sport.

After winning at South Shields, she said: “It was real surprise as I went into the race with dead legs from last week’s race and I also had a migraine before the start.

“I’ve knocked over two minutes from my time of last year and to say I’m overjoyed is an understatement.

“I put my improvement down to constructed training sessions led by England Athletics Run leader Alan (McManus). His Monday night’s sessions at Penshaw are particular gruelling. But they have certainly paid off.’’

Cotton, who took the lead on the Leas with two miles to go to the finish, finished 41st overall in 41min 54sec.

Birtley athlete Ruth Dadswell was second (42.21) and Jarrow and Hebburn’s Over-45 Elaine Lesley finished third (42.37). Sunderland Stroller Gillian Ritchie recorded 44.03.

The race winner was Ashington’s Kurt Herron, who entered the track for the finish along with Jarrow and Hebburn’s Andy Burn. But Herron who had the quicker turn of speed, winning in 33.08, to Burn’s 33.10.

In third place was unattached Sunderland runner Liam Taylor in 33.35 to continue his set of useful results, following his third place in the Dalton Park 10k and sixth in the Hartlepool Marina five-miler.

Jarrow’s Johnny Evans was fourth (34.15), Sparrow Morley (Tyne Bridge) finished fifth and Jarrow’s Jack Brown was sixth (34.50).

Sunderland Harrier Michael Heskett was pleased with ninth place (38.03), Alan McManus had a good run for 37th (41.43) and Over-45 Dean Phillips continued the morning’s good work with 56th (43.16).

Washington AC’s John Kells took 29th (41.10) and Sunderland Stroller Chris Tynemouth was 67th (43.30)

Sunderland Harriers were the only North East club who made the long journey to Sutton Coldfield for the British Masters’ Road Relay Championships at Sutton Park on Saturday.

The Over-35 women’s team ran to form to finish sixth in the four-stage event (1.22.12) behind winners Rotherham (1.15.59).

Jacqueline Etherington led off for the Wearsiders and finished third (19.38).

She handed over to Coleen Compson, who came back in seventh (22.15). Vicky Haswell maintained that spot (20.23) before Nicola Woodward pulled back one place to finish sixth (19.56).