Blaydon Race, Sunday, June 9, 2013

Grand Prix Race - click flag for current league tables. Sprint Champion Race - click flag for more information. 5.9 miles

David Brown

Grand Prix Race. Sprint Champion Race. Hailed as one of the greatest symbols of the North East, and considered sacred by the Geordie community, I had always wanted to run the Blaydon Race, yet somehow always missed the deadline. However as a relatively new Strider I was pleased to receive a message asking who wanted in. I did for sure! And so as tradition, the 9th of June was upon us and the Strider lads n lasses made their way to a bustling Newcastle. The Bigg Market and adjacent streets were awash with colourful vests, spectators, and a general good vibe was in the air. Folk stood patiently in queues for the portaloo, until nearing shops opened their door to allow use of the facilities. Merry drinkers mingled amongst us in the newly found summer sun.

And the sun shone, oh did it shine … as we eventually made our way into starting pens, shoulder to shoulder under the blue sky, watching the clock, waiting. And then the bells, my word the never-ending bells, and a hush. Anticipation rose as I sensed something was happening, not that I could see over anyone’s head, assuming it must be the mayor making his grand, albeit late entrance! The race is traditionally started with the actual handbell mentioned in the song and, “… away we went alang Collingwood Street, that’s on the road to Blaydon”.

I wasn’t sure quite what pace to run this, I wasn’t even sure how long it was meant to be, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9? So I just selected a pace and figured I’d just leg it to the end. I mean how hard could it be? Well I was about to find out. By the time I’d got to Scotswood Road the heat was not welcoming, the sun was not friendly. Folk veering away from the course to find any bit of shade, sweat in eyes, weaving in and out of randomly placed spectators. I previously lived in Newcastle and have driven down Scotswood Road many times, yet since I left they’ve obviously extended it!

Much more of an incentive than black pudding or tripe ...

I was starting to think about slowing the pace, and just enjoying the run, until a certain Danny Lim closed in on me, looking very strong. Danny passed me and I suddenly perked up, I upped the pace to keep up and run with him. Danny left me as we crossed the bridge and as I watched him ignore the water station I thought I’d lose him. As I pathetically attempted to drink from a plastic cup, Danny was off. From here I started to enjoy the race. As you double back it was good to Strider spot: I saw Megan Bell and Carolyn Bray passing ahead of me running well in the heat. The tight corner was a scramble, I took it well and closed in on Danny. The next bit was a blur, I recall a few undulations and bottlenecks, then Danny announced 1k to go. I spent the next 0.5k trying to work out how long it would take to run 1k, until the end was in sight. Danny and I were separated at this point and I wasn’t sure where he was. I put my foot down to run the final stretch, vaguely aware of cheers from Striders and a cheeky high 5 from Adam. Very happy with my time considering the heat.

We filtered through to select the correct goody bag (cheese or ham?) then made our way to the table of black pudding, tripe, pickled onions and beetroot. Striders huddled together under the blistering sun to tell their own tales. Then back to the coach where special thanks go to Kate Macpherson for the cake. As a Blaydon Race virgin, it didn’t fail to be the friendly race I was expecting, with great atmosphere and camaraderie throughout.

Results

Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 Boniface Kiprop K Kenya M 19-39 26:22
32 Emmily Biwott Kenya F 19-39 30:46
121 Gareth Pritchard M 19-39 34:36
132 Simon Gardner M 19-39 34:48
264 James Garland M 19-39 36:19
377 Paul Pascoe M 40-44 38:34
402 Graeme Walton M 40-44 39:03
484 Alister Robson M 40-44 39:54
631 Rachel Terry F 40-44 40:31
682 Marco Van Den Bremer-Hornsby M 45-49 41:06
849 Katy Walton F 19-39 42:22
974 Megan Bell F 19-39 43:20
948 Jamie Steel M 40-44 44:02
1354 John Hutchinson M 55-59 44:04
1095 Carolyn Bray F 19-39 44:20
1211 David Brown M 19-39 44:47
1219 Danny Lim M 19-39 44:49
1627 Alan Smith M 65-69 46:10
1719 Lucy Cowton F 19-39 46:41
1710 Bill Ford M 45-49 46:44
1539 Sue Gardham F 19-39 47:09
1799 Greta Jones F 45-49 47:20
1508 Mark Reay M 19-39 47:21
1858 Louise Barrow F 19-39 47:41
1938 Chris Hedley M 55-59 48:22
1962 Katherine Preston F 40-44 48:25
2064 Kathryn Sygrove F 45-49 49:00
1879 Melanie Hudson F 19-39 49:09
1902 Dave Robson M 60-64 49:20
2145 George Nicholson M 60-64 49:40
2152 Victoria Tindale F 19-39 49:45
2176 Sarah Fawcett F 50-54 49:52
2284 Rebecca Fisher F 19-39 50:30
2319 Karen Chalkley F 50-54 50:58
2338 Jim Nicholson M 65-69 51:02
2551 Jill Ford F 45-49 52:59
2569 Kirsty Anderson F 19-39 53:08
2417 Rob Clark M 19-39 53:10
2649 Andy James M 65-69 53:53
2659 Karin Younger F 50-54 54:02
2659 Kate Macpherson F 40-44 54:02
2517 Ann Towers F 55-59 54:12
2707 Angela Proctor F 19-39 54:28
2755 John Greathead M 19-39 54:50
2768 Joanne Porter F 40-44 55:01
2587 Maria Dimova-Cookson F 45-49 55:24
2824 Mike Elliott M 65-69 55:42
2982 Stephen Baxenedale M 45-49 56:29
2726 Peter Bell M 19-39 57:28
3017 Jacquie Robson F 19-39 57:42
3165 Angela Robson F 40-44 59:41
3217 Rebecca Maddison F 19-39 60:27
3215 Margaret Thompson F 60-64 62:37

3489 finishers.
NB: Results sorted into chip time order for GP purposes.

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