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New course for cross country events
NORTH-EAST cross country enthusiasts get a testing new course to try out today when the annual Sherman Cup and Davison Shields competitions switch to farmland near Stanley.
With the usual venue at Temple Park, South Shields, unavailable, Morpeth Harriers' Great Britain fell running international Nick Swinburn stepped into the breach by offering the use of his family farm at Tanfield for the popular meeting.
North-East cross country officials met with Swinburn's father to design two circuits over two miles and one mile, including a testing hill for the senior runners, over farmland which has been used in the past to stage equestrian events.
The two competitions, for men and women, are judged on the aggregate three-to-count points from the five age groups from under-13s to veterans, and are regarded as a test of a club's strength-in-depth. Last year Morpeth Harrier carried away both trophies, winning the women's Davison Shield for a ninth year in succession.
Hedley West Farm (NE16 5EQ) is off the A6075 near Stanley and parking in available opposite at Tanfield Railway. The meeting starts at 12.15pm with the under-11s race, while the senior and veteran men's event gets underway at 2.10pm.
Redcar and Cleveland Council stages the 31st annual Redcar Half Marathon tomorrow, starting from Redcar Leisure Centre at 10am.