Stew is piping hot on cold day.
With a cold wind hampering the athletes' efforts, it was not the ideal preparation for a trip to warmer climes, but Bell shrugged off the persistent challenge of Heaton's James Buis to win by eight seconds.
In his usual fashion, Bell swept to the front and, after the completion of the opening kilometre, had opened up a cushion of 20 metres, with Buis his only challenger.
The gap between the leading pair hardly increased during the rest of the race, with the Chester-le-Street athlete coming home eight seconds clear of his rival.
In third place, over a minute behind the runnerup, was James Jarvis of Herne Hill Harriers.
Sarah Lister, of the Blackhill Bounders club, won the women's race, with Heaton's Fiona Turner in second place.
RESULT: 1 S Bell (V40, C-le-St) 34:39; 2 J Buis (Heat) 34:47; 3 J Jarvis (Hrn Hill) 35:58; 4 S Armstrong (Unatt) 36:12; 5 C Franks (Gates) 36:51; 6 G Ritchie (J&H) 37:12; 7 G Hetherington (V45, Sedge) 37:18; 8 P Duffy (Unatt) 37:26; 9 J Donneky (Derw) 38:55; 10 W Horsley (Elvet) 39:19.
Women: 1 S Lister (BBndrs) 43:29; 2 F Turley (Heat) 44:18; 3 S Birch (Unatt) 44:54; 4 M Herworth (W35, Clare) 46:19; 5 C Bruce (W35, Morp) 47:05.
DAVID KIRKLAND continued his good of form by winning the Great Cumbrian Half Marathon.
The Alnwick athlete was always in the leading group and pushed on at the eightmile point, with only Belgrave's Kassa Tadesse staying in contact.
With two miles to go Kirkland got away from his shadow to win by 10 seconds in a time of just over 70 minutes.
PAUL LOWE (North York Moors) won the Richmond Castle 10k in 34min 42secs.
Durham City's Rob Hand, who was first vet home, finished third in 35:05.
Kendall's Sarah Tunstall won the women's race in 37:15, with Gateshead's Kim Simpson three minutes behind in second.