Great move, James

The North East air has worked wonders for James Buis' athletics.

The North East air has worked wonders for James Buis' athletics.

Since moving to the region from Hampshire to take up a teaching post in Bedlington, Buis' athletics career has really taken off, and last weekend he picked up his biggest prize to date when leading home around 1,400 competitors in the North Tyneside 10km Road Race.

Buis linked up with Heaton Harriers in the summer and, though he had been tinkering with athletics in Southampton for three years or so before the move North, he's now taking it more seriously since joining the club scene in the region.

"I love it here in the North East," said 29-year-old Buis, after his victory at Whitley Bay on Easter Sunday.

"Heaton is such a friendly club and they have made me very welcome since I joined up with them.

"I didn't do much competitive running before I moved up here, but since last summer I've been running lots of races, including cross-country, which I hadn't done before."

Buis' latest offering didn't come as a complete surprise as seven days prior to the North Tyneside race he finished in sixth place in the Edinburgh Half-Marathon, in which the first three places were filled by British-based African athletes.

That race, and the North Tyneside 10km, were part of Buis' build-up to the London Marathon in 10 days' time, in which he will be running for the second time.

"I wasn't running seriously when I ran London last year so I should do better this time round," he said.

"I finished in 300th position 12 months ago in a time of 2:43.28, so a realistic target should be to dip below 2:40.

"That's the aim anyway, but lots of things can go wrong in a marathon so we'll wait and see how things go."

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