Emma Holt was a gold medallist and Sam Hancox a silver
at the annual Sunderland 5k road race
which this year also incorporated both the North East
and Northern Athletics Championships.
Held over its traditional course at the Silksworth sports complex
and hosted by Sunderland Harriers on Wednesday 13th July 2016,
Morpeth Harriers men were also winners of the Senior Men’s team prize.
The earlier Senior Women and Male Vets race saw Holt maintain her commanding form of this year
in winning by a margin of over 18 seconds from Alex Sneddon of Jarrow and Hebburn,
with Tracy Millmore of Birtley AC in third.
Meanwhile Vicky Gibbs continued her comeback
from longstanding injury problems when finishing in 28th place
and third Over 35 woman in a time of 20minutes 2s.
In the Over 50 and above Male Veterans race ran at the same time and won
by Keith Smith of Tyne Bridge in an impressive time of 17 minutes 9 seconds,
Rob Hancox had a strong run to finish in overall third in a time of 17m 33s.
Despite some twinges in the last kilometre which threatened to cause him to drop out,
Morpeth’s Dave Nicholson was 9th overall but first Over 60 in a time of 19m 1s.
Behind Hancox and Nicholson, Peter Scaife was 13th and 4th Over 55 in 19m 45s,
Paul Bellingham 17th and 6th O/55 in 20m 2s and Paul Bentley 33rd and 3rd Over 65 in 22m 52s.
The Senior Men’s race held over the same course some thirty minutes later
saw a small pack of leading runners establish itself quickly,
the group including Chris Parr and Jed Marshall of Gateshead Harriers,
Greg Jayasurriya of Middlesborough AC and Sam Hancox, Ross Floyd and Tom Straughan of Morpeth.
By the start of the second lap Parr was starting to push the pace till only Hancox was able to stay with him,
but by 4k he had established a lead of several seconds with Hancox now a clear second.
In the final kilometre Parr stayed clear to win in a time of 14m 55s.
Behind him, Hancox had to dig deep to fight off a quick finishing Marshall,
beating him in the end by a margin of a single second (15m 8s).
Morpeth’s Ross Floyd was a few seconds behind in 4th (15m 12s) and Tom Straughan 7th (15m 22s).
With Gateshead’s 3rd place runner only able to finish in 17th Hancox, Floyd, Hancox and Straughan picked up a team gold.
Another runner now returning to his best was Jonnie Nisbet, 13th in 15m 38s.
Behind Nisbet, Rob Balmbra was 24th in 15m 56s and Mark Snowball 36th in 16m 20s.
Report by Peter Scaife