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Gerrard sixth in Gateshead

The Gateshead International Cross Country Races held on Saturday provided Keith Gerrard with the opportunity to show his recent good form.

The Manx runner finished sixth in a field which contained many top British endurance athletes and overseas guests.

The race was won by Dutchman Michael Butter, who made light work of the steep hills, in 28:18 with Jean Ndayisenga finishing second in 28:27.

An exciting contest remained for third place, which resulted in five seconds separating the next five athletes.

The sprint for the line was won by English 5000 metre champion Andy Vernon in a time of 28:31 followed by Steve Vernon, Frank Tickner and Gerrard, who crossed the line two seconds ahead of defending champion Mike Skinner

The Manx Sports Aid Foundation recipient, who finished ahead of a number of international athletes, was pleased with his sixth place and to be the fourth Briton home but was disappointed to have missed out on a podium position by only seconds.

There were also good runs from Natwest Island Games gold medallist Lee Merrien, who finished in eighth place in 28:53 and Isle of Man Easter Festival winners James Walsh and Jon Mellor, who were placed eleventh and twenty-third respectively.

Picture: Keith Gerrard (white vest) in action at the Gateshead International Cross Country Races.

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