Daily Archives: 15th May 2011

Druridge Bay Marathon, Sunday, May 15, 2011

Angela Proctor

Angela finishing her first marathon. I was picked up early Sunday morning by a very keen Dave Robson and a smiling Anna Seeley. The weather was overcast but that didn’t dampen our spirits. I was very nervous in the car as this was my first marathon and didn’t know how I would cope with the distance. I knew I trained really hard but still it depended on how I managed on the day. This course consisted of 3 times around the full course and additional final lap of the two lakes.

We arrived at Druridge Bay Country Park with plenty of time for stretching and many toilet breaks. After having a friendly chat with Jim Manford the race organiser we proceeded to the start.

We all gathered at the start line with a friendly bunch of chatty runners all keen to hear the whistle to go. Then we were off. We began down the designated path towards the beach, we then turned right down a ramp opposite Hadston Scaurs Boat club onto the beach. The weather was a little overcast with wind. Dave and I stayed as close to the dunes to shelter. It was very pleasant to run on compact sand for 2 miles toward Chevington Burn turning right onto a path towards the nature reserve. By this time Dave and I was into our stride. We carried on North on a cycle track passing a small pond. We ran up a small hill heading towards the main road. There was a very supportive marshal stationed near the main road to direct us right to Hadston Links. This was the beginning of the first lake we were to run around. By this time we managed approx 4 miles. We ran along the path for a few miles and soon came to the drinks station with a selection of orange squash and water and much welcomed jelly babies. The marshals were very encouraging and spurring us all on.

We then turned left onto a narrow footpath through a wooded area leading to the main car park. This was nice as people were having picnics and cheering us on. Unfortunately we could see the finish sign in front knowing we had another 20 miles to go. Not to worry my legs were totally warmed up and I felt comfortable. We ran passed the visitors centre towards the second smaller lake. After approx another mile we ran passed a beautiful statue seat of a swan which was very pretty. We ran along the lake on the footpaths running parell to the lake. We had our first and possibly our only down hill towards the Chinese footbridge where we recognised a marshal from Striders, Steve, he happily cheered us on. We ran another mile or so and turned left into a nice wooded area. We ran on toward the drinks station then began lap 2.

The second lap was the same as the first I was very comfortable and glad of the company and pacing of Dave. Lap 3 came around swiftly. I was pleased that I was still running well and my legs were not too tired. For the fourth lap we did not run onto the beach we continued around the 2 lakes. We got to approx 21 miles and Dave wasn’t feeling too well he encouraged me to run on. I wasn’t too happy at this as Dave stayed with me all the way and was my pace maker. However I did go on with tired legs heading towards the welcomed drinks station. Knowing I only had the last lake to run around I gave my all. I ran towards the finish and was cheered on by Anna Seeley and Steve with a big smile on my face knowing little me had achieved a marathon. We were rewarded with a very nice trophy and water. A few minutes behind me and Dave finished with a big smile too.

This was a very enjoyable experience and definitely recommend it fellow runners.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Keith Lowery U/A M45 1 3.12.4
5 Melanie Horan NEMC F 1 3.32.41
16 Anna Seeley F 3.54.30
39 Angela Proctor F35 4.42.50
40 Dave Robson M55 4.46.39

50 finishers.

Great Manchester Run, Sunday, May 15, 2011

Peter Bell

As I settled down on the eve of the 14th of May having just turned 38 years old I realised that staying up for the Eurovision results was not as important as an early night before the UK’s largest 10k race. Dragging myself to bed my thoughts turned to the next day, race preparation, race tactics and the possibility of a new personal best.

An alarm call at 6.30 dragged me downstairs to prepare the pre race cocktail. Banana and fruit smoothie mixed with some horrendous caffeine and chemical shot. This was topped off with concentrated beetroot juice, famed for an up to 16% increase in running performance. I would need all the help I could get.

Proudly donning my new Striders vest, this was due to be a very different race to when I ran it last year in 52 minutes 36 seconds. The route is quick with a few gentle rises and falls taking in various landmarks out from the city centre and it was busy!

Starting within sight of the elite runners the adrenaline started to flow. With around 35,000 runners we were all a bit penned in so warm ups and stretches were not really possible.

The race clock ticked by and we started to move forward. Then we were off.

Flying across the start line I was very conscious not to run too fast at the beginning. Apparently no race has ever been won in the first half of the run. I desperately tried to stick to 7 min miles pace as we left the city centre. Looking for a pacemaker I stuck close to people running a similar speed. By 4 km we were passing Old Trafford but without time to shout abuse at Mr Rooney and co, I shot by. I began to realise my initial aches and pains had subsided and I was on course for a good time. We turned the corner at 6k to pass the Imperial War Museum and Salford Quays. My thoughts turned to one of my colleagues who was doing the great north swim opposite. Peter, gutted at being beaten by a banana. However much my lungs felt like they were bursting out of my chest I was still glad not to be in that freezing water.

Now it was getting tough and the times were starting to slip. Between 7 and 8 km I could have packed in and never run again. Then there was a guy in a banana outfit just ahead and I felt somewhat embarrassed that he was going faster than me. So I got my head together and kept going. Just blood and guts got me through to spitting distance of the finish. For the last km I knew I needed to push it a bit so it was head down and legs out. Gasping to keep going I was running a little under 7 minute miles. With a half hearted sprint I managed to pass the finish line in 45:22 a new personal best.

I was still gutted to be beaten by the guy in the banana outfit!