The North East has 10 athletes selected for the British and Irish Masters’ Cross Country International in Dublin on Saturday.
Team managers Harry and Kim Matthews of Elswick Harriers are delighted that the North East will be well represented.
Harry speaking at the Heaton Harriers Road Races on Sunday said: “We have again a good representation from the North East.
“Sunderland Harriers have Kevin Jeffress and Paul Merrison included and Steve McMahon came very close to joining them after displaying good form.
“Jeffress is again in the M35 team after finishing 11th last year in Nottingham and with Morpeth’s Ady Whitwam and Chris Smith, making their debuts, the North East provide half the England team.”
Merrison finished ninth in Nottingham last year and is included in the over-50 team for the trip to Dublin.
The other North East male selections are Terry Scott (Wallsend) in the over-40s, North Shields Poly’s Iain Twaddle competes in the over-45s and Elswick’s Mark McNally is in the over-65 age group.
Three female runners have been selected. New Marske’s Kath Aspin and Blackhill Bounder Dianne Henaghan make their debut in the over-40 and over-45 teams respectively. Alnwick’s Jo Gascoigne-Owens is a late addition to the over-35 team.
“We had a smashing time in Dublin five years ago and I hope we can replicate our results achieved then on Saturday,” added Harry.
The second running of the Sunderland Strollers 35-mile urban trail ultramarathon was held at the weekend.
Twenty-nine runners tackled the full distance, while another twelve ran as relay pairs, doing half the course each.
The race, which starts and finishes at Stroller HQ at Ashbrooke Sports Club, began in atrocious weather which served to further waterlog an already muddy course.
The route runs west along the riverside to Penshaw then through Herrington country park, Newbottle, Houghton-le-Spring, Burdon, Hawthorn and returns to Ashbrooke via the cliff tops at Seaham and Ryhope and a tortuous climb over Tunstall Hill.
The individual race was won by Craig Harriman in a time of 5 hours 22 minutes, and the first female was Stroller Rachel Ball (4th overall), in 6:05.
The team relay winners were Chris Grassam and Brian Carroll in a combined time of 5:57.
The Stroller of the Month for October is Michael Armstrong, gaining his award for his leadership of the successful Penshaw Run and recently the Friday Night Barnes Run. He has also run every day since December.
Tonight will be the second running of the Strollers 2015/16 Winter Handicap.
Now that the illuminations have finished they will be reverting to last year’s route.
Start and finish remain in exactly the same place (by Sue’s Cafe at Roker). First runners will be off at 7:30pm.
Houghton Harriers’ shone with two third places in the Heaton Harriers’ Memorial Young Athletes Road Races at Newcastle’s Town Moor on Sunday.
Nicole Philips was third in the under-13 girls’ race and Eva Hardie filled the same position in the under-15 event. Will Bellamy was fourth under-13 boy.
Sunderland Harrier Eve Quinn showed much improvement with second place in the under-15s girls’ race, as did Sarah Knight with fourth. Tri-athlete Connor Prior finished sixth under-13.
The 64th Brampton to Carlisle Road Race is on Sunday, starting at 11.30am.
The start, changing and registration is at William Howard School, Brampton and the finish is at the Sands Centre, Carlisle.
First prize is £200 to first male & female and £100 for winners if time is sub 49 minutes for men and sub 55 minutes for women.
Buses to the start: Buses leave Sands Centre 9.30am – 10.15am (£4 payable on day).
The race is the oldest 10-mile road race in the UK.
There are less than 100 places available for the Ronnie Walker Saltwell 10K on Saturday, December 19 at 11.30am.
They expect to have to close entries before the closing date as in previous years.
See Saltwell Harriers website for online entries at www.saltwellharriers.org.uk.