Sunderland Harriers senior men’s team sit on top of the North Eastern Harrier League First Division going into the fourth fixture of six at the weekend.
The event still remains scheduled for Newcastle’s Town Moor on Sunday, but there are problems surrounding the event that may require the organisers to change both the date and venue to Saturday at Wrekenton.
A site meeting at The Moor is taking place today and an announcement will be made as soon as possible.
With two wins and a fourth placing, Sunderland have a total of six points, one point ahead of Morpeth and two ahead of Tyne Bridge Harriers who have eight points.
The three clubs are well in front of the other seven league clubs, headed by North Shields on 14pts.
The six-mile handicap race of the Town Moor course with three demanding laps of the Moor, which takes in the big dipper, the two giant hills on each lap, would be a stern test of the cross country runner.
With almost 500 volunteering occasions between them they have helped to provide the event for many othersEvent Director Jane Niven
Team manager Albert James has named a team which he believes will again be good enough to challenge for team honours and to maintain their push for first division glory.
He is relying on his own son Oliver to lead the slow pack charge before he returns to McNeese University in the States after his Christmas break.
While cross country running is not his best forte, his five minutes start running from the slow pack should ensure that he is involved at the front of the field to head the Sunderland charge.
Joining James in the slow pack are Matt Devlin and Tim Field, who were both involved in winning parkruns at the weekend.
Devlin won at Newcastle’s Town Moor and Field at Silksworth.
They used the events as a warm-up for Sunday, with Field also targeting the North East Veterans Cross Country Championships next month, where he goes for the over-50 title.
Also in the slow pack is over-45 veteran Alan Hodgson. They will be backed by Nathan Reed who finished third in the last fixture at Druridge Bay in November to earn promotion to the medium pack.
Paul Blakey also goes from the medium pack, while Steve Potts and Ian Dixon are from the fast pack.
Congratulations to Sunderland Stroller Tony Allen, who ran a marathon a day (31) throughout December to raise over £7,000 for St Benedict’s Hospice, who gave palliative care to his late mother.
The over-50 veteran made a quick return to competition on Sunday in the Old Monks Race at Hart Village, finishing 117th.
Four runners celebrated their 250th park run at Silksworth last Saturday.
The free, timed 5k run which originated in London in 2004 before arriving in Sunderland in 2009 is now World-wide with some 130,000 runners taking part in almost 800 events in nine different countries each Saturday morning.
The event at Silksworth has been run just over 300 times and the milestone achieved by the four runners saw them presented with a special T-shirt.
They were Dave Whitmore, 77, from South Shields Harriers, George Hurst, 67, from South Hetton, Alyson Hogarth-Laydon, 58, from SeafRUNt Smilers and Harry Harrison, 48, from Sunderland Strollers.
Event Director Jane Niven said: “They have worked really hard to co-ordinate their achievement of this milestone and we’re really pleased for them.
“They’ve not just run though, with almost 500 volunteering occasions between them they have helped to provide the event for many others.”
Over 3,500 participants have completed more than 34,000 parkruns at Silksworth. All abilities are catered for.
It is a running, jogging and walking event. While many test themselves against their own times for others it is a run for fun.