All sorts of weather was forecast for this one, so it was actually a bit of a surprise that we got pretty much the same as last time: quite a firm southerly headwind, which when you got out of it now and again, left you feeling pretty warm. The tides were described as “OK”, and the tables showed that it should have been about halfway out – so we were a tad surprised to find that there wasn’t much beach to stand on at Beadnell! No heading straight across the bay this time. Quite a good number of Striders here, and we mulled over what actual wind direction(s) we’d get, as it was all over the place before the start.
Off right on 10:30 – we had to be as there were obviously no start mats for the chip timing – and round the bay we went. After a while some brave souls hung a half-left through some thigh-deep water to save a bit of time (perhaps), but I kept on the drier stuff to quickly come to a deep stream anyway. Wet feet to start with once again. Then I got into a good rhythm to get over to Dunstanburgh Castle. Usually in this race, this is about the time I expect Mike Bennett to go past me, but this year it was Dave “Gibbo” Gibson who came alongside, and we exchanged the time of day. He offered me a beverage, and then I thought he’d be off into the wild blue yonder – but strangely, I pulled away … think my first gel of the day must have just kicked in …
Got to Craster in a good time, and was thinking a fast one might be in the offing, but the running seemed to be getting harder and harder – the headwind wasn’t getting any easier, and I tried to tuck in behind other runners as much as I could. Some people don’t take kindly to this at all, I found – a couple of runners veered sharply off track to shake me off, which I thought was a bit unnecessary – I’m ok with people tucking in behind me for a while … Anyway, round the cliffs, down and up the dip, then eventually out onto the road at Boulmer. Found it very hard going along this bit. I like having the GPS along, but having it tell me I’m doing two minutes a mile slower here than I was at the start was a bit of a bummer. I actually preferred it when we got back on the beach again and could just get your head down for the last stretch. Eventually the finish hove into view, before a thankfully-shortish section of soft sand to the line.
Well-chuffed to get a PB, considering the wind. Dave Gibson was along within a minute of me, and Mike Bennett wasn’t far behind him, with a good strong run, especially as he hasn’t been doing much long stuff recently. Nina was next, continuing her recent run of very strong, err, runs and scooping the second F35 prize! Gary Davies was next, well under two hours, as was John Hutch, with another good one, as he too hasn’t been doing too many long runs. Everyone else got in ok – but we were all glad to get to the finish line. It was quite a hard one this year.
|1||James Buis||Heaton Harriers||M||1:19:32|
|50||Vicky Hindson||Wallsend Harriers||F||1||1:37:02|