Two Sunderland runners won bronze medals in the Events of the North Durham City 5k and 10k Runs last night.
The two events were packed out, with the full house signs being up for weeks, with 1,000 competitors in the 5k and 2,100 in the 10k.
And the organisation had to be slick with just seven minutes separating the two races in what were challenging courses for the competitors, with cobbled streets to negotiate and a mountain of a climb to the finish at the Cathedral.
In what is possibly the toughest event on the North East road race fixture list, Wearsiders Liam Taylor and Alice Smith both finished third in their respective 5k and 10k races.
Taylor, an unattached runner who lives in Springwell, entered the far more competitive 5k race, facing Cheltenham international Graham Rush, who won the race in an impressive 15min 27sec.
In second place was leading Tyne Bridge Harrier Carl Smith, who clocked 15.59, which showed the quality of Rush’s performance. Taylor, who has been prominent on the local scene this year, recorded 16.19.
Fourth place went to Durham City Harrier Roy Woods (17.30), followed by Houghton Harrier Lee Dover in fifth (17.44).
The women’s winner saw the 2016 champion, Under-15 Emily Chong from Chester-le-Street, triumph again in a good time of 19.45.
Birtley Under-13 Kate Francis also had a remarkable race to finish second (20.06) and Teesdale’s Shona Haston finished third (21.19)
Elvet Strider Stephen Jackson ran away with the 10k race, winning in 33.36 from Joe Johnston of Rossendale (34.42). Will Hogg was third (35.52).
Birtley’s Tracy Millmore, the clear favourite, lived up to expectations to finish 18th overall to win the women’s race (38.33).
Border raider Lyndsey Fraser (Edinburgh) went back home with a prize for finishing second (41.20) and Sunderland Harrier Alice Smith was third (41.30).