I’d heard a bit about this event from quite a few sources, not least the guys and girls from Whitley Bay parkrun who were going to do it en-masse. I thought I might struggle to get through as I don’t finish work until 6pm and it started at 6.45 with numbers having to be collected by 6.15. I must also have been one of the last to enter online as the event sold out, which isn’t really surprising as it was only £8 for EA members. As it happens I got an early exit from work, hopped straight on a train which seemed to be timed perfectly and after a brisk walk across the city (warm up?) got there in loads of time for a coffee and a chat with a few others I recognised from other events and parkruns.
On arrival I was even quite hopeful – looking around there didn’t seem to be many club runners at all and the thought even started to go through my mind that I might be one of the favourites.. That illusion was quickly shattered, but it was a beautiful evening and a great atmosphere. A bit like an even more colourful parkrun, but with Abba booming from the speakers.
The course itself was flat and fast, similar to and taking in bits of both the Newcastle parkrun and the upcoming Elswick Cup. Despite going off far too fast, and it being my 4th race of the week (and 5th in 6 days) I managed a top 25 placing and a reasonable if not spectacular time. It was very well organised and ideal as a first time event for non-runners, even having a water stop at 3k and as soon as you crossed the line.
The highlight however was the goodie bag which as well as containing a sparkling medal and pedometer had a banana as well as several other unusual items. I should also probably point out that the organisers, NFR, Northern Frontrunners are quite different from the NFR vests you might see at fell races, which are Northumberland Fell Runners and who include some of our own members.