Morpeth can top the North-East tree

MORPETH Harriers will be aiming to finish top of the North-East's six teams in this afternoon's re-arranged Nike ERRA National Six Stage Road Relay Championships at Clumber Park, Nottingham.

Despite being seriously depleted following club runners' commitments in the Great North Run last month the Northumbrians were still the region's top finishers in the North of England Road Relay Championships at Leigh.

But it seemed that the annual national championships, normally held at Sutton Coldfield, would have to be called off following an e-coli outbreak in Sutton Park, which forced the cancellation of the Midland Championships.

The ERRA, however, managed to find a new venue at the 3,800-acre Clumber Park, where Morpeth will head the North-East challenge, along with debutants Tyne Bridge and Durham City, plus New Marske and the Gateshead A and B teams which finished in the top 25 at Leigh.

Morpeth have consistently been the region's top performers at the National Six-Stage Championships, having finished runners-up in 2002 and 2005.

*Road and multi-terrain enthusiasts will be spoiled for choice this weekend, with four events tomorrow - the Run Northumberland Matfen 10K and 5K, the Richmond Castle 10K and the Derwentside Hellhole 10K, while the North Yorkshire and South Durham Harrier League season gets underway at the Acorn Leisure Centre, Acklam Grange School, Middlesbrough.

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