There is nothing like a ‘Dame’ for North Shields Poly runners

North Shields Poly athletes, from left, Suzanne Thew (37.22), Claire McManus (33.57), Stephanie McClean Dann and Louise Hayes (37.01).
North Shields Poly athletes, from left, Suzanne Thew (37.22), Claire McManus (33.57), Stephanie McClean Dann and Louise Hayes (37.01).
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Four women athletes from North Shields Poly triumphed in the recent Blaydon Race road event.

Stephanie McClean Dann, Claire McManus, Louise Hayes and Suzanne Thew were first overall women’s team home, though as they are all over 40, were awarded the Dames Shield (George Skidmore Memorial Trophy for women in the age category 40 plus).

They all manage to maintain a high level of fitness, sometimes training early in the morning before work, despite having ten children and two dogs between them.

McClean Dann, who also takes part in triathlon events, was the first to cross the finish line in 32.58, and was seventh woman overall in the race.

She said: “It was a great atmosphere. It’s an unmissable race on the local calendar, but it also has an international feel.”

Fellow North Shields Poly athlete Alison Cummings won the first over 55 Dame prize in a time of 39.41.