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.
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.
|1||Alasdair Tatham||North York Moors AC||M||1||38:16|
|30||Claire Simpson||Chester le Street||F||1||43:23|
|310||Stephanie Barlow *||F35||56:18|
|341||Barrie John Evans||M60||57:00|
|353||Debs Goddard *||F35||57:21|
* Subject to dental records check.