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Liverpool winners (l to r) Cameron Field, Jonny Mellor, Dejene Gezimu, James McNally, Daniel Cliffe and Matthew Jackson

IT WASN’T exactly the right analogy, but the sentiment summed up the success of the new senior men’s champions.

“We always seem to have been the bridesmaid, never the bride,” said Liverpool Harriers spokesman Arwel Williams after the Merseysiders clinched a long-overdue success.

In the senior women’s race, former ‘brides’ Leeds City waltzed up the aisle again in the four-stage championships.

Cameron Field (far right) leads the field at the start of the men’s race

But in Liverpool’s case, the Wavertree-based club had almost given up hope of coming out on top.

They came just 41 seconds off taking the title last year but were denied by Derby AC.

There was another silver medal at Leigh in 2012, a second place at Hartlepool in 2008, a silver at Birchwood 12 months earlier and a bronze at Hartlepool in 2006.

This time there was no stopping Liverpool as past near-misses were forgotten.

“It’s all about getting the athletes out,” added Williams. “We hoped we could medal because we knew we had a strong team out and we have been knocking at the door for some time. But there are no guarantees.”

Only two members of last year’s silver medal-winning squad remained, Daniel Cliffe and Matthew Jackson.

And it was Cliffe and anchor man Jackson who brought the team home in front on the final two legs. Jonny Mellor had given Liverpool a great chance with his run on leg two.

Jonny Mellor: fastest leg of the day

The GB international’s time of 15:59 was the fastest of the race and lifted the Harriers from seventh to first. Cameron Field, Dejene Gezimu and James McNally completed the winning team.

Liverpool covered the 6x6.4km course in 1:40:04, 30 seconds clear of the defending champions, Derby’s sextet of Hedley Hardcastle, Alex Pilcher, Hugo Milner, Luke Gunn, Matthew White and Richard Weir.

Morpeth, winners in 2004, 2005 and 2006, collected bronze for a second successive year, 48 seconds adrift of the winners through Sam Hancox, Ian Harding, Nick Swinburn, Carl Avery, Peter Newton and Thomas Straughan.

Andrew Heyes, who gave Hallamshire Harriers the lead, clocked the second fastest time behind Mellor with 16:10 while Peter Newton was third in 16:12.

Claire Duck, Harriet Buswell, Georgia Malir and Lucy Crookes (l to r) take the win
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About AW - The best coverage of the No.1 Olympic sport

SPOTLIGHT 14 LAURA MUIR From beating the world’s best over 1500m to her stint at a dogs trust 16 WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Former AAA 5000m champion and now successful coach Mike Baxter 18 PEOPLE’S MARATHON A nostalgic look back to a race which proved to be a real pioneer ACTION 20 BERLIN MARATHON Kenenisa Bekele just misses the world record in the German capital 22 SOUTHERN ROAD RELAY Aldershot, Farnham & District take senior titles in Bedford 26 NORTHERN ROAD RELAY Liverpool Harriers and Leeds take victory at Sport City 30 MIDLAND ROAD RELAY Charnwood retain women’s title as Bristol & West’s men are top PERFORMANCE 36 Sports science news 38 Athlete Insight – Sarah McDonald 40 Nutrition – boost your immunity 42 Products – base layers NEWS 6 No more buts for Bradshaw 8 English takes stock of tough 2016 10 Youth club break the mould 12 How Russia’s absence affected the Paralympics medals table PREVIEWS 56 Previews of the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run and Cardiff Half-marathon, plus TV guide RESULTS & FIXTURES 44 Results round-up 57 What’s On – events coming up REGULARS 34 Young Athlete 61 Quiz – test your athletics knowledge 62 Dip Finish

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