Daily Archives: 1st September 2013

Avid Runner Ultra Tyne Tour, Hexham to Tynemouth, Sunday, September 1, 2013

38 miles

Anna Seeley

I did the second of a two day event, day one following either the North Tyne or South Tyne and the second day following the Tyne itself from Hexham to Tynemouth. As with the previous Avid Runner event that I had completed it was a very small field, 6 of us with 5 eventual finishers. There was meant to be more running the second day but a tough first day had led to a lot of DNS’s.

The route initially didn’t follow the river but took us up into the woods above Hexham before dropping us down the riverbanks just west of Corbridge. There were a few potential places for error early on so we stuck together as a group and only really started to split up once we got onto the main riverside path. From here it was along the Tyne to Riding Mill before again being sent through woodland and farmland to eventually rejoin the river at Ovingham. I ran all this section with a NEMC member and was glad of the company as we had abandoned the basic instructions early on and were relying on our map reading skills. Luckily it was very easy but it was good to have a second opinion at a few path junctions.

From Prudhoe onto Wylam, the going got a lot easier underfoot and a lot flatter as was expected for a run out along a river. I had however never seen the river path so busy before with what seemed like hundreds of cyclists, runners and walkers so there was plenty of swerving to avoid collisions. Soon after Newburn I ended up running on my own and this remained the case until the end.

After Newburn, the cycle route NCN72 was followed all the way to the coast which made navigation very easy although the battle through the shoppers at the quayside market was interesting. Was very tempted to have a swift pint in the Tyne bar but the next checkpoint was within sight so onwards I ran to catch up with another runner. He was having a bit of a hard time and planned on walking for the next section but my legs had finally woken up so I tried to keep the pace up. I was now up to second but the lad in first place was long gone so knew that as long as I tried to run the remaining 10ish miles without too much walking then no one should catch me.

It seemed to take forever to reach the next checkpoint at Royal Quays although I surprised the marshal there by reaching her so quickly. She promised me that it was only about 5 miles to go and that I was about 10 mins behind first place. Definitely not enough distance to make up that time but still forced myself to run most of the remaining distance. Whoever put the signs up however were having a laugh, I must have passed about 3-4 which all said Tynemouth 5 miles, I wondered if I had stopped or was going round in circles.

Finally into North Shields then it was the last drag round to Tynemouth with a finish line on the pier. This was a much easier event to navigate than the northern cities and with well stocked checkpoints and friendly marshals definitely beginner friendly for anyone tempted to step up to ultra distances.

Tynedale Jelly Tea, Hexham, Sunday, September 1, 2013

Gareth Pritchard

It’s a few weeks after this 10 mile race so time to write some words on the Tynedale 10 mile jelly race. I entered this as part of the Tynedale Harriers 10k and 10 mile deal to save a bit of cash, always a good thing and nice to see, this would be my first 10 mile so PB time.

The 10k a few months ago was raced in the same area so i was expecting a good, well run event again. The race starts in hexham and ends in ovingham. The race organisation was first class again, i parked up outside ovingham then a short walk to the school and on the first bus for 9 am to the start at hexham sports centre. They run a later bus too, but you are a bit tight for time with this one.

Changing facility’s were first class and baggage transport was outside waiting, clear instructions for the short walk to the start too. After meeting up with a few striders i got the essential last min tips on the course as this would be the first time i had done this one. A big hill around 3 miles in and a cheeky short steep hill in the last mile, always good to have an idea on whats to come.

I had been out from running for 5 weeks due to a broken hand and this was only my second week back. I had just done a respectable 18:34 park run but had no miles in my legs and a massive fear of blowing up mid race due to no running for 5 weeks. Like most runners i was having other problems which we just live and run on. My knees pre hand problems were not 100% after a very hard first marathon experience. So it was a great feeling being on the start line again and completely niggle and injury free for the first time in a while.

The race was supposed to be on 80% closed roads, the officials said they had been let down and could not get the roads closed off. The start was very confusing as everyone just started running and i assumed this was the start, but we all stopped again down the road, all very odd. I was next to fellow strider Simon at the start and being a very good runner, i decided in my head to stick with him for the first few miles.

I have a ongoing habit of the racing start, so plan one was out as i again raced off away from Simon and fully expecting myself to blow up at mile 7 with him passing me later, never mind. Head down and time to get into my race pace, i planned on 6:20 ish mile pace but still unsure how i would last.

The expected hill arrived at mile 3 and was feeling good, i had found myself tagging onto a small group and settled into a nice pace. The course itself is lovely, this is always one of the real joys for me, a chance to see parts of the countryside i would never normally see.

Another hill around mile 5 and half way point, watch saying around 33 mins 🙂 quite please with the pace and easier than i expected. I decided to up my pace and soon found myself picking people off one at a time. Not 100% sure but it felt like allot of down hill sections on this last part, the race officials did well managing the traffic and no real problems with cars getting in the way.

Last 2 miles and surprised how good i still felt, i started to push harder and passed a few more runners. The end is all down hill so felt great when i passed the Finnish line in a new PB 1.03:20 and was still recovering when simon finished strong with an impressive 1:08 good to see after his on going injury problems too.

The free jelly and sandwich after were washed down and very much needed. This was my first 10 mile race and a distance i very much enjoyed, some very fast people here today but can see room for getting quicker. Looking forward to doing the brampton 10 mile now, and dreaming of the sub hour 10 mile. A great race and a fun day all round with lots of striders running well, cant ask for more.