Sunderland Harriers came away with double gold in the sixth running of the Lambton Run at Burnmoor yesterday.
Steve Rankin enjoyed his first win since the Newcastle Valentines Run 10k in February and novice runner Alice Smith won her first race.
Enthusiastic racer Rankin, having his second competitive outing in two days after competing in the open mile at the North East Veterans meeting at Monkton on Saturday, claimed the title with a comfortable victory.
Clubmate Michael Barker provided the 31-year-old with his main challenge over the tough multi-terrain course of approximately 10k.
Barker was the favourite after finishing second in the Pieces Of Eight 10k at Penshaw on June 12, when finishing 62 seconds ahead of Rankin, who had finished fourth. But this time the positions would be reversed as Rankin has hit a rich vein of form
“I felt good from the start, but waited until about two miles to go before I made my move. There was only the two of us running together,’’ said Rankin, who finished ninth in last year’s Lambton Run.
“I just seemed to move away from Micky without any real effort and the last steep hill I just took in my stride. I’m delighted to win this race as I really enjoy it.’’
Rankin clocked 35min 21sec to win by 30 seconds from Barker, while Houghton Harrier Lee Dover filled third spot in 37.17.
Alice Smith finished 14th overall (40.01), in a field of 455, to win the women’s title by more than four and half minutes.
It was a superb performance from the newcomer whose competitions have mostly centred on parkruns, where she posted her best of 18.48 at the end of May.
She has been an ever-present on the Silksworth track on a Tuesday evening at Sunderland Harriers and her strength-sapping interval sessions are starting to reap her the rewards she deserves.
She said: “I have not done a 10k before, so I had nothing to measure my performance against. But it was a very hard course and I’m sure, on a flatter course, I can go much faster. I enjoyed the race and to win it was a bonus.’’
Sunderland Harrier Michael Wilson finished seventh in his 1500m heat (3.48.04) in the British Athletics Championships at Birmingham on Saturday.
Lambton result: 1 Steve Rankin (Sun Harr) 35.21, 2 Michael Barker (Sun Harr) 35.51, 3 Lee Dover (Hough) 37.17, 4 Peter Farnie V40 (Birtley) 38.13, 5 Justin Cox V40 (Sedgefield) 38.49, 6 Danny Dickson (Unatt) 38.55, 7 Marc Ellis V40 (Quakers) 38.55, 8 Jon Strong V40 (Unatt) 38.57, 9 Mark Wade (Aycliffe) 39.07, 10 Anthony Hunt V40 (Durham) 39.16, 11 Steve Gordon V40 (Sun Harr) 39.26, 12 Sam Burt (Unatt) 39,49, 13 Alice Smith (Sun Harr) 40.01, 14 David Harris (Unatt) 40.06, 15 Brian Martin V55 (Quakers) 40.09, 16 Sean Smith (Sun Harr) 40.13, 17 William Crossley (Sth Shields) 40.42, 18 Luke Bryant (Tyne Bridge) 41.03, 19 David Myers V40 (Sth Shields) 41.04, 20 Paul Robinson (Claremont) 41.10.
Women: 1 Alice Smith (Sun Harr) 40.01, 2 Wendy Chapman W35 (Unatt) 44.39, 3 Kim Simpson (Durham) 45.03, 4 Ell Corney (Unatt) 45.48, 4 Heather Steel (Claremont) 45.52, 5 Lisa Darby W35 (Sedgefield) 46.10, 6 Jackie Murdy W50 (Sth Shields) 46.34. 7 Kelly Bentley (Durham) W50 46.59, 8 Cheryl Hall (NSP) 47.02, 9 Rachel Bentley (Durham) 47.30, 10 Felicity Smith W35 (Elswick Harr) 47.38