Just one second separated the three top finishers in yesterday's Tees Pride 10K, with Tadele Mulugeta outsprinting fellow Ethiopians Yared Hagos and Wondiye Fikre Indelbu to claim first place. The Middlesbrough race drew in an impressive field of almost 2,500 runners in what was its 9th staging.
Elswick Harrier Mulugeta, fresh from his victory at the Tynedale ten miler last weekend, placed one hundredth of a second ahead of Yared Hagos, with both runners posting official times of 30:31. Wondiye Fikre Indelbu (30:32), top at the Darlington 10k and York 10k, had to settle for third position in what was his first defeat over the distance this year.
In the women's field, Durham City Harrier Rosie Smith, last year's runner-up, achieved her third Tees Pride 10k victory in 33:51, more than a minute-and-a-half ahead of Middlesbrough Mandale Harrier Josephine Stone, who was third in 2012. Nicola Kent of Loftus & Whitby took third position in 39:21. The mid-point runner was Hannah Muirhead in 57:22, with the last competitor home in 2:19:22.
Yesterday's race was the last organised by race director Jimmy Wattis, who said he was delighted with the manner in which the event has progressed over the past eight years: "I'm proud of to have played my part in building the Tees Pride 10K into the town's principal sporting event. When we first started in 2005 we didn't know what to expect but we hoped 500 might take part, so it's fantastic that it has developed to what it is today - and yet I still think there's scope to grow it much further yet."
Full results of the Tees Pride 10K are available via northernrunningguide.com.