Race promoters Run Nation achieved new ground yesterday to become the first North East promoter to start their 10k race in a shopping centre.
The Dalton Park arcade saw 200 athletes make their way through the mall before the centre opened to the public.
And it was Sunderland unattached runner Liam Taylor who led the charge into the open to take on the testing 10k course.
With a strong wind blowing and a climb to negotiate before completing two laps of a closed road, the conditions were proving difficult.
The Springwell athlete led from start to finish to defeat Durham City athlete Matt Hornsby by14 seconds.
Tyne Bridge Harrier Mark Toward was third in 37.19.
Taylor, who recorded 35.08, said: “It was tough out there with no shelter from the wind. I have been suffering from a bug and I found it hard work. It caught up with me at the Gateshead 5k on Wednesday where I had bad run. I was pleased with my win today.”
There was a surprise in the women’s race where Seaham athlete Louise Rodgers beat Sunderland Harrier Alice Smith.
“I passed Alice just after 5k,” said the Tyne Bridge Harrier, who recorded 41.41.
“I had been injured for a long time so this was a good win for me. I’m over the moon and delighted with my run.”
Smith, who finished in 42.56, said: “I struggled as I have not been able to get the training in lately.”
In third place was Claire Harlow of North Shields Poly in 47.29.
Run Nation managing director Richard Hunter said: “This is the third time this year we have used Dalton Park for our events. It is proving a popular venue and one of their shops, New Balance, supplied the vouchers for our prizes.”
Results: 1 Liam Taylor (Unatt) 35.08, 2 Mark Hornsby (Durham), 3 Mark Toward (Tyne Bridge Harriers), 37.19, 4 Chris Callan (Elvet Striders) 37.40, 5 Lee Dickens (Sth Shields) 38.17, 6 George Hebdon (Elvet Striders) 38,21, 7 Edna Killgowan (Blaydon) 38.32, 8 Joseph Mulroy (Nth Shields) 38.53, 9 Leigh Towers V45 (Unatt) 39.37, 10 Liam Finnegan (Unatt) 39.50.
5k: Andrew Alderson (Blaydon) 17.37, 2 Will Collinson (Blaydon) 18.30, 3 Darren Clements (Nth Yorks Moors) 20.29.