Archived Race Reports

Run Northumberland Big 10

Author: Lyn Brown

Having received a better offer of a weekend in Edinburgh the weekend of the Brampton to Carlisle 10 mile race I looked around for something else and found the Run Northumberland Big 10. 

Ian also decided to run it and Ross, our son, announced he was coming to Stocksfield that weekend so he said he would run as well despite not being a runner, but is generally fit through other sporting activities.
We arrived at Kirkley Hall to find the registration a bit disorganised but everything else was fine with marshals at all points where they were needed and water stations every three miles. 
The course was undulating but no big hills and it passed through some very pretty countryside so all in all made for quite a pleasant 10 miles.
I completed the race in 85 minutes and was first lady over 55 so won a prize! Ian and Ross ran together and completed in 73 minutes.  All finishers received a More Mile technical t-shirt in a distinctive green colour!
This was the first running of the Big 10 and hopefully it will be a regular feature in the race calendar although it is apparently in the thick of the cross country season.

David Leat’s Autumn Runs
Since the start of September I have done 4 races:

1st September: The Fosters Law Kent Coastal Marathon:
I entered this race because my brother lives fairly close and I was due to visit him and I have been wondering whether I could do better than in the Manchester Marathon last year when I hit the wall at 22 miles and meandered, strolled and shuffled the last 4 miles with help from the crowd. 
The course was flattish, starting and finishing to the east of Margate, and was never more than a half mile from the sea and nearly half was on the promenade.  It was not too hot as there was a fresh, verging on stiff NW breeze.

My two resolutions to avoid the wall were – firstly run my own race, forget about times and just do a pace that seemed comfortable for the distance, and secondly drink lots and use gels. So I ate a Mars Bar on the start line, consumed 5 gels, 7 ‘power shots’ and various jelly babies offered by kind onlookers,  and took water on at all but one water
station.  I did the first half in just under 1.39. and then just plodded on and although I was fairly sore from 20
miles I never hit the wall and passed about 10 people in the last 6 miles, some walking.  I was very glad to see the
finish and thought I was seeing things when the clock showed 3.29. so the second half took 1.50.  I think I was the
third 60+.

15th September: Great North Run
I cannot say that this is my favourite race, the big field and dual carriageway course make it a test of endurance, but I appreciate the big cheering crowds, being able to run at all, the kind people who sponsor me (my MyDonate page is still open) and the finish.  This year I beat our charity photographer to the finish (and he was on the Metro!) so there was no photo of me at the end.  I was just over 1.35.  In 4 out of the last 5 years my time has been between 1.34.45 and 1.35.50.  Consistent or one-paced?

29th September: Macclesfield Half Marathon
My eldest daughter lives in Cheshire and this was a good chance to see our granddaughter and tune up for the following weekend.  The course was mainly rural, fairly affluent (footballer territory) and decidedly hilly – there was a very long hill at
about 10.5 miles that went on and on, which does slow you down.  I just failed to catch a real old bloke on the run-in, Jim from Shetland who was 65+. I found out later that I had a faster chip time at 1.37!  There was no medal and I had the first signs of a cold by the evening, so I was not thrilled by this race.

6th October: Chester Marathon
The cold did not shift and on Saturday morning I accepted defeat and told my wife that I was not fit to run.  On Saturday afternoon a friend took me to see my team, Crystal Palace, play at Liverpool. 2 goals down after 16 minutes and 3-0 at half time, but strangely just the sight of them had a purging effect and I felt much better by the final whistle.  They even scored and 3-1 felt like a victory and by the evening I thought I could run.  The race starts at the race course and goes out mainly to the west into Wales.  I felt very good and as with the Kent Coastal Marathon I took gels and water whenever possible, and although I started with the 4 hour pace runner I did a lot of overtaking.  Just over 3000 started. At 10K I was 1015th, at 20K up to 980th, at 30K 789th (plenty walking by now), at 40K a giddy 606th and 604th at the finish in a chip time of 3.33.29.  I struggled the last 4 miles but managed to keep running.  Wife Sally, youngest daughter, Naomi and training partner dog (Maddy) were at the finish and it felt like Christmas.   Naomi told me that on the run-in the PA announced ‘Here comes David Leat from Stocksfield Striders’ – that would have been a proud moment, but somehow I missed it!  Chester Marathon gets a big tick from me – well organised, excellent route, good timing information, medal and long sleeve running top.

I will do the Jedburgh Half Marathon and perhaps one more to complete my autumn series of races.  My logic has been, once you get race fit, it is a pity to waste it – unless you get an injury!

Sunderland and Sheffield Half Marathons

Author: David Leat

I am trying to do 8 half marathons and 2 marathons this year– we will see.  Sunderland (Half Marathon
of the North) on the 28th April and Sheffield on the 11thMay were the second and third of the year. 
Sunderland was cold and windy as we lined up and I could not bear to throw away my old jumper – I ended up with it tied round my waist so that I could put it back on at the finish.  I enjoyed the race and did not fade in the last 3 miles as I often do, as I had got the training right this time.  It was a real lift to see Ruth in the crowd and hearing her supportive shout.  My running app gave me a time of roughly 1.35.30. but I was very disheartened to find that my official chip time was

1.36.41 – which was the same as my race time. This means in effect I had started right at the front, but in fact I had
started right at the back to take advantage of the shelter of all the bodies from the wind.  Does it matter – 70
seconds or so – well of course it does! Happily they corrected it later. 
I was very pleased to get a letter about a week later with £50 of vouchers for Start Fitness, as I was the first over 60 to finish.  It pays to hang around.
 Of course as you will probably have seen in the press there was a significant embarrassment for the organisers as only one person ran the full half and full marathon distance and the times don’t officially count.  I am counting mine as in my
distorted logic it makes up for the Moray half marathon which was 13.24 miles by my app.

The attraction of Sheffield was that my youngest daughter lives there and she and her husband both signed up to run – it was Doug’s first half marathon and Naomi’s second.  It was another windy and fairly cool race and I did not feel as comfortable, but I did really push myself over the last 4 miles and gained a net 20 places including a
genuine sprint finish (or so it seemed to me, my wife tells another story).  This time I was under 1.35. at
1.34.31. (574th place out of 6000+) which is very exciting, the benchmark of a really good race time for me.  Naomi
and Doug did PBs (easy in Doug’s case) – see picture of our smiling trio. As you run up to Hunters Bar you see the
leading runners coming down and I had two thoughts – firstly how do those really fast guys keep up the pace, are they human (?) and secondly where there are any old guys ahead of me?  I saw about 4, but happily only one of them was the genuine article and I was second in the over 60s.  This time I got a £25 voucher – to be spent in a Sheffield running shop by August!  Naomi is going to get another visit from her dad fairly soon.
I always wear my Striders top with pride and it was a real buzz at about 10 miles when a lady
shouted out ‘Come on Stocksfield Striders’ – I waved enthusiastically.

My other planned half marathons are Isle of Wight (August -
holiday), Great North Run and Macclesfield (September), Jedburgh (October) and
Clowne in Derbyshire (November), but only if I stay fit.  The marathons are Kent Coastal (September)
and Kielder (October) – fingers crossed.

'Pain Barrier 10K Frickley, Saturday 13th April

Author: David Leat

I signed up to this as it is near where my daughter lives - and it
boasted to be the toughest 10K around. Lots of mud, water, hills and water, but
after a very dry month I thought it would be fairly toothless. As a consequence
I carried my iPhone for the running app and my car keys - big mistake. 
There were two big clues that I lacked wisdom - the frequent announcements
suggesting that car keys be left on the table and the fact there 20 men dressed
as Spartan soldiers on a stag do.  Nice setting though.

The first mile was fine  - about 8 minutes and only a bit uneven and the odd puddle.  Then we passed into the open cast mining site
and it began to get tougher, 10 zigzags up and down a steep slope with ruts and gullies.  After the last down slope there was a cheering crowd on the far side of a very muddy 'pond'.  Stretched across the pond was a rope and people in front of me were using it to haul themselves across - chest deep.  As one hand held my phone I only had one hand for the rope.
There followed one rope haul up a slippery bank, another 25 water obstacles from knee to waist deep full of sticky sucking mud, 70 metres through a tunnel with a stream under a railway embankment and some vicious brambles.  I saw 3 people go full length in the water after losing their footing. One resorted to breast stroke which showed imagination and is probably within the rules. The worst thing was running in slippery shoes full of stones and grit from the puddles Anyway my half marathon training paid off and I finished quite strongly managing a sort of sprint to the line, trying to keep the grit abrasion on my toes within tolerable limits.  I slithered up to the people taking off the chip timers - but alas mine was gone, lost somewhere in the oceans of mud.  I collared the next chap in and noted his number and asked if they could enter me manually, but so far no sign of me in the results.  So if you believe me my time was 1hr 10 mins and I was 43rd out of 341, but of course I could be making it all up.  Further proof of my efforts are my shredded socks which will have to be retired. I still have my Phone - although I am still fishing bits of grit
out of the charger port.  With luck there are 3 photos on it.  I also hung on grimly to my car key.  There is no changing on the site so I put my fleece on the car seat to drive away.  I stopped off at a friend's house on the way home for a bucket of warm water to get the worst off before visiting the shower. 
Sort of day that lives in the memory - I thoroughly recommend it. Sure beats going to the Metro Centre'

North Tyneside 10k Sunday 31st March 2013

Author: Catherine Hall

I have never run the North Tyneside 10K before, but lots of people had recommended it to me as a “must do” race – and in particular, people
had commented that there was an excellent goody bag at the end. So, never one to turn down the prospect of free stuff, Jonny, Ruth and I found ourselves on the start line on a very cold (but at least not rainy (or snowy!)) Easter Sunday. 
The race was good fun, with a nice downhill near the start, and only one significant hill (up to Tynemouth Priory), which was then followed by a very scenic run along the coast towards Whitley Bay Lighthouse, and the finish. I imagine it would have been much tougher if it was windy! 
All three of us smashed previous PBs  (notably Jonny running in 42.55!), and this definitely justified the scoffing of Easter eggs later.
PS. The goody bag did live up to expectations – t-shirt, socks and water bottle

Northumberland Half Marathon Sunday 10th March 2013

Author: Ruth Whiteside, Frightened of Stocksfield Striders
Well, what can I say? It started snowing when I left the house, and by the time I arrived at the coach pick-up point, it was a white-out! Lines of shivering runners waited in the blizzard for the bus. I hesitated. Should I just go home? After all, who in their right mind would contemplate a half marathon in these conditions?
 So I stayed and joined the bus queue. If nothing else, it gave us all something to talk about other than the usual running banter. And whaddya know, by the time we arrived at Kirkley Hall, the sun was out, the snow was melting and we were off!
 Words to describe the course: cold, windy, just a tad boring. Every time I tried to take a peek over the hedges, the bitter wind took half an ear off. So I was resigned to keeping my head down and staring at the tarmac as my legs ate up the miles at a relatively splendid pace. 
 By the time I hit mile 10, I was beginning to feel it. A fellow runner handed me a bag of jelly babies as she flew past me, clearly recognising someone in need. Just the ticket, and I managed to pick up the pace and turn into the home straight…..yup, straight into a head wind and horizontal hail. I ran for a while with a young lad who was manfully struggling on in spite of wearing heavy trackies, a hoodie and a pair of Converse on his feet. As a dedicated rower for the university boat crew, he didn’t think he’d need to do any training for a half marathon. He practically wept as he told me this. I kept a straight face and told him to man up J No, not really. I was very sympathetic, and then left him to it, and picked up my tired feet for the last half mile or so.
 Things I learnt during that race: I much prefer running with a buddy or two; thirteen miles of constant road running is hard on the feet; Lucozade carbo gels are disgusting but effective.
 Personal records I achieved during that race: fastest mile, fastest 5k, fastest 10k, fastest half marathon J I aimed for ten minute miles, and got them (mostly!)
 Just the North Tyneside 10k now before the London Marathon…….I think the word I’m looking for here is ‘AAARRRGGGHHH!!’

Jedburgh Half Marathon - 28th October 2012 - David Leat
Gibside Fruit Bowl - 21st October 2012 - Ruth Whiteside
Hellhole 10k - 14th October 2012 - Ruth Whiteside
Great North Run - 16th September 2012 - Ruth Whiteside
Moray Half Marathon - 2nd September 2012 - David Leat
Isle of Coll Half Marathon - 18th August 2012 - Ruth Whiteside
Prudhoe Miners Race - 15th July 2012 - Philip Hindmarsh
Weetslade Relay - 27th June 2012 - Phil Sturgess
Blaydon Race - 9th June 2012 - Philip Hindmarsh
Gibside 5 Fun Run - 22nd April 2012 - Katharine Russell
Cragside 10k - 14th April 2012 - Philip Hindmarsh
Carnethy 5 Fell Race - 11th February 2012 - Kim Taylor
Brass Monkey Half Marathon - 22nd January 2012 - David Leat
Brampton to Carlisle 10 Mile Road Race  16th November 2011 - Lyn Brown
Kielder 10k - 8th October 2011 - Jo Mitchell
Kielder Marathon 9th October 2011 - Philip Hindmarsh
Great Cumbrian Hellhole! - 2nd/9th October 2011 - David Reed
Great North Run 18th September 2011 - Julie Stoves Robson
Tynedale Jelly Tea 10 Mile Road Race - 4th September 2011 - Julian Bates
Northumberland Coastal Run - 17th July 2011 - Deane Graham
Tynedale 10k - 6th July 2011 - David Reed
Newburn River Run - 23rd June 2011 - Philip Hindmarsh
Blaydon Race - 9th June 2011 - Linda Holmes
Raby Castle 10k - 29th May 2011 - Paul Watson
George Ogle 10k - 23rd May 2011 - Claire Adamson
Pier to Pier - 22nd May 2011 - Philip Hindmarsh
Edinburgh Half Marathon - 22nd May 2011 - Lyn Brown
North Tyneside 10k - 24th April 2011 - Julian Bates
Blyth Valley 10k - 3rd April 2011 - Linda Holmes
Paris Half Marathon - 6th March 2011 - Andrew Moore
Brass Monkey Half Marathon - 23rd January 2011 - David Reed
Great Winter Run - 8th January 2011 - Katharine Russell
Resolution Run - 1st January 2011 - Lyn Brown
Gibside Fruit Bowl 6 Mile Race 7th November 2010 - David Reed
Kielder Marathon - 17th October 2010 - Claire Collinson
Hellhole 10k - 10th October 2010 - Elissa Spoors
Great North Run - 19th September 2010 - Julian Bates and Lesley Richardson
Wallington 10k - 12th September 2010 - David Reed
Tynedale Jelly Tea 10 Mile Road Race - 5th September 2010 - Claire Collinson
Morpeth 10k  - 3rd August 2010 - Lyn Brown
Great North 10k - 18th July 2010 - Sally Hails
Northumberland Coastal Run 18th July 2010 - David Reed
Tynedale 10k - 7th July 2010 - Deane Graham
Wylam Fair "Fun" Run - 26th June 2010 - Richard Jolly
Newburn River Run - 23rd June 2010 - Claire Collinson
Blaydon Race  - 9th June 2010 - Julian Bates
Raby Castle 10k - 30th May 2010 - David Reed
Pier to Pier - 17th May 2010 - David Reed
London Marathon - 25th April 2010 - Claire Collinson
Paris Marathon - 11th April 2010 - Lesley Richardson
Sand Dancer 10k - 11th April 2010 - Jill Robertson
North Tyneside 10k - 4th April 2010 - Julian Bates
Arkendale 10k - 29th March 2010 - Lesley Reed
Paris Half Marathon - 7th March 2010 - David Reed
Brass Monkey Half Marathon - 24th January 2010 - Claire Collinson
First Newcastle parkrun - 16th January 2010 - Lesley Reed
Town Moor Memorial 10k - 8th November 2009 - David Reed
Gibside Fruit Bowl 7 - 1st November 2009 - Kim Taylor