Several Striders had turned up to Whitley Bay for a spot of PB hunting. There was the promise of a flat and fast course which I was relishing. We were all gathered in the school’s computer room, sheltering from the passing rain and winds.
I will still traumatised by what happened at the recent Sunderland 10K. I was stuck behind a crowd of “runners” that decided to walk after 100m. Not going to happen this time! I had a sneaky plan to outflank the people in front and snuck up by the side of the start line. And it worked; for the first minute anyway. I found myself right in front. But I couldn’t spot any purple. Then I turned around and saw Alister Robson, Simon Gardener, Bill Ford, Kevin Williams and Ian Spencer all behind me. Not good! I was way too fast and running with the leaders.
It wasn’t long before I was passed. But the brief spurt meant that I was a couple of minutes ahead of my PB time. Shame there was another 8K to go! If only I could hang on to it. The twisty tarmac road became a rocky trail that inclined ever so gently upwards. This went on for a mile and it slowed me down. I felt that PB slipping away and I started despairing. But at the 3rd mile, the tarmac road returned and it flattened out again and I was able to catch up. It was a 2 lap route, so it very similar for the second lap though slightly harder for me. As I approached the finish, the sure enough, I could hear the other Striders (led by Alister) bellowing at me. When I did cross the finish line, I was chuffed! 48:31 which was a PB by over a minute for me.
It was a good PB haul for the other Striders too including Simon Gardener (first Strider home [38:46! Ed.]), Louise Barrow and Jill Ford. Apologies, for not mentioning everyone. To top it off, a goody bag containing a technical T-shirt, running diary and peanut butter cookie. A very well spent ££12!