NEWLY-CROWNED North of England cross country champion Dan Garbutt returned to road racing yesterday to be pipped at the post for victory as he defended his title in the big Dewsbury 10K.

The 25-year-old Durham City Harrier clocked a new personal-best time of 30 mins 25 secs - two seconds quicker than his winning time last year - in a tight finish with three other athletes, just losing out by half a stride to Jordanian Mohammed Abu-Rezeq, running for Altrincham, who was credited with a clock time of 30 mins 24 secs. Garbutt, who is also the North-East cross country champion, shared his clock time with Holmfirth's Mark Buckingham, taking third place, and Sheffield's Ethiopian athlete, Tesfaye Debele, who was fourth.

Morpeth's Nick Swinburn was fifth in 30 mins 43 secs and Gateshead Harrier Chris Parr took eighth place in 31 mins 49 secs.

Loading article content

Shildon's Great Britain international, Kate Avery, now studying in the United States, set a new Iona College women's record when she clocked 4 mins 38.24 secs finishing runner-up on her indoor mile debut at the Columbia Lions Invitational indoor meeting at the New York Armory.

Darlington 10K record holder Yared Hagos (Wallsend) retained his title in yesterday's Watford Half Marathon in a time of 66 mins 29 secs, just over half a minute faster than his winning time last year.