FEMALE athletes dominated the 52nd Blyth Sands Handicap race, which covered a return trip along the beach from Blyth to Seaton Sluice.
The popular event, hosted by Blyth Running Club, was put back an hour due to the high tide which meant competitors ran most of the five-mile route on soft sand making it tougher than ever.
In the bitterly cold and gusty conditions, Sunderland Harriers veteran Ingrid Hope defied the North Sea storms and emerged an easy winner running off a mark of 12mins for the Over 50 category.
She tackled the conditions, and the row of groynes, with gusto to take an early lead which she never relinquished.
At the other end of the age scale, sixth-form students Chloe Price, of Durham City Harriers, and Rebecca Pease, of Gateshead Harriers, took the minor awards from a handicap of 9mins for the Under 18 age-group.
Morpeth Harriers veteran Marie Drozdowicz – also off 12mins – finished fourth ahead of the first male athlete, David Kirkland of Alnwick Harriers.
Kirkland also clocked the fastest time, as he worked his way through the 100-plus field to finish in fifth place to record the day’s fastest time.
Hosts Blyth won the four-to-score team race followed by Heaton and North Shields Poly. As well as winning the team prize, Blyth had seven winners of the various age categories.
To see a full list of winners go to www.blythrunningclub.co.uk
Prizes awarded in all age categories were:
Winner – Ingrid Hope, (Sunderland Harriers);
Second – Chloe Price (Durham City Harriers);
Third – Rebecca Pease (Gateshead Harriers);
U18 Male – Jake Jansen (Blyth);
Under 18 Girl – Rebecca Oram (Gateshead Harriers);
Senior Male – David Kirkland (Alnwick Harriers);
Senior Female – Leanne Herron (Blyth);
Over40 Male – Gary Robson (North Shields Poly);
O35 Female – Hayley Masterman (Blyth);
O45 Male – David McAllister (Heaton Harriers);
O40 Female – Heather Christopher (Blyth);
O50 Male – Laurence Johnson (Low Fell);
O45 Female – Janet Raper (Sedgefield Harriers);
O55 Male – Charles Hall (Unattached);
O50 Female – Marie Drozdowicz (Morpeth Harriers);
O60 Male – Terry McCabe (Blyth);
O55 Female – Cath Young (Blyth);
O65 Male – David Cox (Blyth);
O60 Female – Janette Kilgour (Heaton Harriers);
O70 Male – Reg Checkley (Heaton Harriers).
• On the following Wednesday, just over 50 Blyth runners braved the cold temperature and strong winds in the second Winter Series race of the season.
First away was Margaret Povey, and in only her second ever winter series race easily kept the rest of the field behind her to win by almost a minute.
Rounding out an all female first three were Louise Douglas and Davina Lonsdale in second and third respectively.
Robbie Barkley was the fastest finisher with 14:15, Leanne Herron was fastest lady with 15:35.
For more information about Blyth Running Club email@example.com