A world record-breaking Wearside runner could be collecting a cash prize this Christmas after entering the oldest road race in the country.

The Saltwell Harriers’ annual 10k road race, renamed the Ronnie Walker Saltwell Road Race in 2010, in memory of the long-serving president of the club, is to see Olympian Aly Dixon compete among others for a share of the £1,000 prize money, helped in part by sponsorship from Co-Navigate, a North East based financial planning firm.

Aly, a veteran of the race, is a member of the Sunderland Strollers, and is not the only person to take part more than once. First run in 1911, the Ronnie Walker Saltwell Road Race, which is held in Saltwell Park, is the country’s oldest, and with cash prizes for the first five placings, as well as team prizes on offer, it welcomes repeat runners year after year.

Undulating through parkland and the urban landscape of Gateshead, the last five years of the race have seen places sell out well ahead of the closing date to enter, and this year is no different.

Lyndsey Stephenson, director at Co-Navigate, which advises on all aspects of financial planning, ethical investments and mortgages, said: “We know that every journey, whether regarding your financial health or your physical health, starts with a single step, and as a local firm in one of the country’s oldest professions, it seems fitting to support a local event with such a wonderful heritage. We’re incredibly proud to be involved.”

Keith Wood, from Saltwell Harriers, which organises the race added: “This adult-only event goes from strength to strength, thanks in no small part to the generous support of sponsors like Co-Navigate.

“The three-lap, traffic–free marshalled route is popular with competitive runners, with the current course record set in our centenary year by Ryan McLeod, son of Elswick Harrier Mike McLeod, who won the first ever Great North Run in 1981, and went on to win silver at the men’s 10,000 metres at the LA Olympics three years later. Mike boasts a total of 16 consecutive wins of the Saltwell 10k, a world record for a single race, equalled only by two other athletes in the world.

“We’re proud to have built up such enviable credentials, helping us attract runners of such calibre, and we look forward to welcoming competitors and spectators alike to make our 108th year the best one yet.”

The Ronnie Walker Saltwell Road Race takes place on Saturday, December 21st. To find out more, visit the runbritain website. And to find out more about Co-Navigate, or to arrange a no obligation consultation, call the team on 0191 228 6130, email enquiries@co-navigate.co.uk or visit co-navigate.co.uk.