Sunderland Stroller sets marathon target

Steve McMahon
Steve McMahon
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SUNDERLAND Stroller Steve McMahon will compete in the Newcastle Town Moor Marathon on Sunday in a bid to dip below the three-hour barrier.

After taking on the London Marathon early this year, where he clocked a personal best of 3hours 6 minutes 45 seconds, McMahon now feels ready to take a shot at breaking that elusive mark.

“Training has been going well in preparation, apart from being struck down with a cold over the last week,” he said.

“I have been taking part in large group tempo runs every Thursday evening which has really helped and Alyson Dixon has been helping me with my training schedules.”

“2.55 is the target, so I would be delighted to hit that goal. I am looking forward to taking part and getting it done.”

His other PBs are half marathon 81.14, 10m 60.29 and 10k 35.36.

The five-lap course is run over traffic-free footpaths and roads around the Town Moor.

The event will host the British Masters Athletics Federation championships as well as the North East Veterans Championship. The race starts at 9.30am.

On Sunday, the Strollers have their first run of their Urban Trail 35 mile race. The race has attracted a field of 38 for the 9.00am start from Ashbrooke.

Organisers of the North Eastern Harrier League are being forced to have separate races for boys’ and girls’ in the under-11s event, starting at the next fixture at Aykley Heads on Saturday, November 22.

Numbers are approaching 200 and the difficulty of organising a safe event over a short course of around three minutes of racing is the reason for the change.

The boys’ race will start at 12.15 and the girls’ at 12.20.

Numbers are also on the up in the senior men and women’s events in the Sherman Cup. At South Shields on Saturday, 453 men and 314 women finished their respective races, a record for the competition.

The Sunderland Harriers’ cross country grand prix completed the first three races of the competition at the Sherman Cup.

The early leaders are: Judith Thirwell 11pts, Nicola Woodward 11, Paul Redman 11, Dean Phillips 9, Jason Leonard 9, Alan McManus 9, Albert James 9, Lucie Forster 9, Susan Clughen 9, Donna Corrigan 9, Liam Roarty 8, Caroline Fleetwood 7, Craig Isherwood 7, Michael Barker 7, Michael Lavender 7, Steven Potts 7, Kevin Jeffress 7, Vikki Cotton 7 and Paul Merrison 7.

The competition is designed so that all runners in the club, whatever their ability, have an equal chance of winning a prize.

This is highlighted by Albert James who is up there with the leaders, although his role in the club is the men’s team manager.

The Tunstall man said: “All being well I intend doing all the races including the National in London and Northern in Pontefract. I’m at all the events so I thought I may as well run rather than watching.”

James finished 367th on Saturday at the Sherman Cup to earn three points. The former English Schools 800m champion and junior international added: “The last time I ran the Sherman Cup, I finished sixth!”