Andy Burn, from Jarrow and Hebburn AC, heads an entry list approaching 400 for South Shields Harriers Sand Dancer Mixed Terrain 10km race on Sunday.
With Coleman’s Seafood Temple supporting the popular event, joining the established sponsors the Gym, Stagecoach and the Charles Young Centre, an extensive prize list is on offer and, along with the title, Burn has the £100 award for first position in his grasp.
Jonny Evans, also from the Jarrow club, finished an impressive winner of the race in 2016 but had no answer to the relentless pace set by Burn last year and had to settle for second place.
Sunderland’s Kevin Jeffress and Albert James should be in contention while some other leading runners could enter on the day, but I expect Burn to retain his title from Evans over the two laps around the Leas.
In the women’s field Elaine Leslie, from Jarrow and Hebburn AC, despite being a veteran in the over 50 category, will still be challenging for the individual title.
With the North Eastern Masters AA Championships incorporated, Mick Jones, from South Shields Harrier, goes for the over 55 award, while Sid Astbury, in the over 65, section should also be involved with the individual title.
Carl Mowatt, over 55 and Malcolm Stephenson, over 75, have sound prospects of winning their respective categories.
A chip timing system will be used for the first time with the race starting behind the Sand Dancer pub at 11am.
Two junior races precede the senior race from 10.30am.
All finishers receive a Stagecoach Running Bull, water and Mars Bars.
The under 11 age group race over 2km with the 11 to 14 years olds covering 3km.
All races finish on the track in Gypsies Green Stadium. where numbers should be collected.
Stephanie Pattinson, from Jarrow and Hebburn AC, finished just outside the medals with a prominent fourth in the Wallsend 5km Road Race.
Elswick’s Robyn Bennett was first in 18:07 with Pattinson recording 19:08.
Reni Stephenson, from South Shields Harriers, finished 37th in 29:05, with Victoria Borrell 39th in 29:36.
Maurice Woodward, from the Jarrow club, was 54th in the men’s race in 19:46 and first over 60. Sam Hancox, of Morpeth, was first in 15:29 from Ellis Hetherington.
of Blyth with 16:09.
Jarrow’s Barry Pascoe finished third over 70 in 26:19 with Malcolm Stephenson from the Shields club first over 75 in 29:05.