Sunderland Harriers’ over-35 veteran men’s team came from behind to win the Durham City Harriers’ Summer Cross Country Relay.
And with three teams inside the first nine, veterans’ captain Dean Phillips had much to smile about at the Racecourse.
He was cock-a-hoop, after facing difficult selection issues, then seeing his A team come home 33 seconds ahead of Tyne Bridge Harriers, with North Shields in third.
He said: “I decided to stay with the team that won the winter version of the race. It was a difficult decision after others had put their form on the line.’’
Ian Dixon, on the first leg of the 3x3000m relay, brought the Wearsiders into fourth with his clocking of 9min 57sec. Kevin Jeffress took the royal blue vests to the front with his circuit of 9.32 for the second fastest time of the day, behind North Shields 54-year-old Guy Bracken’s amazing run of 9.28.
Sunderland’s anchorman Steve McMahon ran his socks off to bring the team home first after recording a fast 9.40 for the fourth best time overall.
The Sunderland B team, in fourth, was Tim Field (10.16), Michael Thompson (10.11) and Paul Blakey, with an impressive (9.59). The C team, in ninth, was Alan Hodgson (10.50), Steve Gordon (10.42) and Alan Knebel (11.30).
Sunderland Strollers finished 18th, thanks to Jamie Collin (11.12), Mike Hobson (11.44) and Declan Munnelly (11.05).
Sunderland Harriers’ senior team finished fifth in their event, won by Morpeth, with Tyne Bridge second. The team was Steve Rankin (9.29), Andy Powell (9.46) and Craig Isherwood (10.11). The B team were ninth, with Mark Smith (9.51), Johnny Howe (10.22) and Matty Devlin (10.08).
Durham City were third, with Dan Jenkin running the fastest time of the day on the opening leg (9.00).
Gateshead won the women’s race, with Mary Ferrier the quickest on the course with 10.56. Birtley finished second, with Tracy Millmore (11.32), Philippa Chambers (11.26) and Sophie Burnett, the second best time overall (10.57).
In the Run Stamfordham 10k, Sunderland Harrier Matty Knowles ended ninth (37.41) and clubmate David White was second over-65 (45.56).
Sunderland Stroller Stephen Allen was 52nd (44.01) in the race won by Tipton Harrier Sean Byme (33.21). South Shields Harrier Georgia Campbell won the women’s race in 39.55.
Sunderland Harrier Andy Powell joined the sub 16-minute club with his win in the Albert Park parkrun at Middlesbrough on Saturday. He clocked 15.57.