Pier to Pier Race, South Shields to Roker, Sunday, May 16, 2010


Shaun Roberts

We had another massive turnout at the Pier-to-Pier – no less than thirty-three Striders again this time. There was a chance of rain in the forecast, but we were lucky, and missed the few showers that were around, and also had wind that was more behind us than in our faces – and the sun was out. A low tide this year, so plenty of space on the beach at the start, and the finish was on hardish stuff, unlike the squishy end to the race we had last time. Pretty ideal conditions, really.

And they're off ... followed closely by Mike Bennett ... doh!

The hard bit first, which is to say the run on the beach, this year on quite firm ‘undulations’ of sand [ What would you call them? Answers on a postcard … Oh, just in from Nigel: ‘Bedform ripples’.] Nice to get up onto the cliff after this and get into your stride. Gibbo went past me just before this point, and I looked round to see how far in front he’d got when we got to the grass – nowhere in sight, so I could tell he was in for a good one. Warming up quite a bit at this point, so I was actually quite glad of a drink, even though we were only a couple of miles into the race – took my vest off yet again, and I was fine. Around three miles is where Mike Bennett usually goes past me, and I was expecting much the same this time, but I hadn’t seen him at the start – he’d arrived very late, started after everyone else, and had to work his way through the field, so he didn’t pass me this time. He got to see every other Strider in the race, mind …

Round Souter Lighthouse, then down past Whitburn Firing Range, and then like last year, the whole field in front of me avoided descending early to the beach, and cut back up to the grass at the top, joining the top end of the prom. Round the sea front in balmy conditions, then the run-in on good firm sand to the finish.

David had finished with a fantastic time of just over 45 minutes – showing how his marathon training had paid off, as well as demonstrating (again) how unnecessary marathon recovery seems to be! I was pleased to do a bit faster than last year, followed by Mike with, hot on his heels, Graham who had a great run on not a great deal of training. Sandra Graham was then first Strider lady home, also collecting third FV45 prize – well done Sandra! Andy Jordan was next home, a lot quicker than last time, as was Nina, a full four minutes faster than before. Nigel, Andrew, Stef and Barrie were next, followed by Debs who was – well – really quite chuffed to be in front of Dougie. Lots of good runs further down the field, far too many for me to waffle on about here, but it was good to see lots of familiar faces out racing again, and indeed familiar old faces if that’s not being rude.

Congratulations also to Jan Young for taking the third FV55 prize! This wasn’t one of those races where there were only three FV55 runners, either – remind her 33 other 55+ women started this one when she starts being modest. I don’t think she realised she was in the frame for this, as no sooner had she collected her top-quality picnic rug than she turned around and started running back to the start – Swaledale training!

Excellent race once again.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Alasdair Tatham North York Moors AC M 1 38:16
30 Claire Simpson Chester le Street F 1 43:23
46 David Gibson M40 45:05
94 Shaun Roberts M50 48:31
123 Michael Bennett M50 50:25
128 Graham Daglish M50 50:37
188 Sandra Graham F45 3 52:55
192 Andrew Jordan M 53:00
208 Nina Mason F35 53:34
277 Nigel Heppell M50 55:21
296 Andrew Thompson M 55:57
310 Stephanie Barlow * F35 56:18
341 Barrie John Evans M60 57:00
353 Debs Goddard * F35 57:21
379 Dougie Nisbet M40 58:00
403 Alister Robson M 58:51
409 Peter Brooks M40 59:02
420 Elizabeth Lamb F45 59:19
464 Jane Ives F35 60:20
465 George Nicholson M60 60:21
482 Denise Mason F 60:49
492 Alan Smith M60 61:07
495 Karen Chalkley F45 61:11
502 Jan Young F55 3 61:24
509 Mike Elliott M60 61:38
530 Zoe Evans F 62:35
590 Jim Nicholson M60 65:33
605 Greta Jones F35 66:05
721 Cheralyn Stott F35 71:21
722 Emma Detchon F 71:22
778 Alan Purvis M70 75:04
797 Margaret Thompson F60 75:57
805 Lynne Bargewell F35 76:47
806 Katherine Haigh F 76:49
813 Jackie Smith F60 77:24

865 finishers.

* Subject to dental records check.

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