Sunderland Harriers are doing it on an international stage

Start of the veterans relay in the Durham Cathedral Relays at Maiden Castle. Ian Dixon (173) led the field home and set Sunderland Harriers on the way to victory.
Start of the veterans relay in the Durham Cathedral Relays at Maiden Castle. Ian Dixon (173) led the field home and set Sunderland Harriers on the way to victory.

Sunderland Harriers have recently been knocking up some fine results in some far flung places around the world.

Following Gavin Massingham’s fourth place (33.07) in the Tolo Harbour 10km in Hong Kong on Christmas Day, Oliver James and Jenna Wilkinson have also been in action in foreign lands.

James, who is on an American sports scholarship at the McNees State University in Louisiana, competed indoors in Lake Charles.

He won the 3,000m in a personal best of 8.21.26, having just returned to the States after the Christmas holiday spent at home in Tunstall.

Wilkinson, teaching maths in Dubai, competed in the Kuwait Spark Green Island Run 10km multi-terrain race and finished fourth (42.01).

A bit nearer home, Sunderland’s Sophie Burnett, who competes for Birtley, was in Northern Ireland representing the North in the Antrim Cross Challenge on Saturday and finished an impressive second in the Under-20 race.

In the Brass Monkey half marathon in York, Sunderland Harrier Ian Ritchie finished 38th (1.16.19) and Judith Thirlwell clocked 1.38.42. The women’s race was won by Birtley’s Tracy Millmore (1.17.19).

Sunderland Strollers were well represented and their leading results were: Jamie Collin (1.19.00), John Cook (1.19.26), Christopher Dwyer (1.22.30), Andy Duke (1.24.26), Luke McCormack (1.24.41), Chris Duke (1.33.10) and Rachael Ball (1.40.58).

The Strollers have presented their annual awards for 2016 with club chairman Phil Tweddle presenting the trophies at the Barnes Hotel.

Jamie Collin was the endurance champion and Andy Duke took second place, with Michael Henderson third.

Gillian Ritchie took the women’s award, with Pip McDonald second, and Bev Baird third.

This year saw the introduction of a trail championship which saw Terry Topping take the title with Chris Dwyer and Dale Wilkinson second and third respectively.

Division titles were taken by Jamie Collin (1), Anthony Wilton (2), Terry Topping (3), Ron Avery (4) and Pip McDonald (5).

Second places in the divisions went to Andy Duke, Dale Wilkinson, Rob Criag, Helen Rich and Bev Baird.

Third in each division were Michael Henderson, Mark Ralph, John Corcoran, Michelle Donnelly and Sheila Hudson.

The age group winners were Andrew Bell, Ritchie Gerry, Richard Wilson, Denis Hargraves, Joanne Anderson, Sue Tate and Lyne Valentine.

Bev Baird was awarded the trophy for the most improved runner.

Houghton Harrier Philippa Ellis scored a winning double at the Scottish National Indoor Open at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow.

Her superb performances saw her win the Under-15 Girls’ 60m hurdles (9.40) and shot (9.04). The hurdles time is the equal sixth fastest in the UK and earns the youngster a grade one standard.

Houghton Harriers have a number of athletes selected for the City of Sunderland Sportshall teams.

Congratulations goes to Matthew Lumb, Maddie Turner, Sophie Luke and Philippa Ellis upon their selection, with Neve Hall, Ellie Johnson, Maisie Fuller and Courtney Clark all listed as reserves.

Under-11s Bethany Tippens and Elise Blanckley have also been selected, with Lucy Hayes and Katie Welch down as reserves.

They will represent the City in the Sportshall Athletics County Final at Temple Park, South Shields on Saturday, January 28.

The Durham County Schools’ Cross-Country Championships is held on Saturday at Barnard Castle School, Newgate, Barnard Castle, County Durham DL12 8UN.

Time table: 10:25am Year 7 Girls, 10:40am Year 7 Boys, 10:55am Senior Girls, 11:15am Senior Boys, 11:40am Junior Girls, 11:55am Junior Boys, 12:15pm Intermediate Girls, 12:40pm Intermediate Boys.