I’ve done a few Coastal Runs over the last five years but up until now I’ve always arrived from the south. This year when I entered I lived in Co Durham but by race day I’d moved to Berwick-upon-Tweed. It turns out that arriving from the north is quite scenic courtesy of the X18 bus. This great bus service runs from Berwick to Newcastle via the coast, including Beadnell! So an hour after leaving my house I was in a very sunny and very warm Beadnell collecting my number.
It wasn’t long before I was bumping into more and more Striders as the sea of purple swelled. The afternoon start of 1:30 was pushed to 1:45 to create more of a start line by letting the tide go out a little bit more. That gave more time to sit in the shade and then take part in a Striders group shot.
I decided to start way down the beach to find a line through the first lot of rocks and to get my feet wet early – there’s not much more fun in running than splashing through the surf! For those who don’t know the race – are there any Striders left who don’t? – the Coastal Run starts on a beach, ends on a beach and is a real multi-terrain race in between. It’s relatively flat but has a few telling little climbs once off the beach. But on Sunday the biggest challenge was the heat! A clear sky and an afternoon start provided the hottest run I’ve done for a long time. With a pretty much total lack of shade there was no escape.
By Craster I was completely shot and started to slow, I certainly felt I was being passed more than I was passing. By the third and final water station I was feeling so bad that I had to stop and stand just to get enough water down. The last couple of years I’d had pretty bad Coastal Runs where I haven’t performed anywhere as well as I thought I should have. At the water station, as I stood at the side of the road watching others run past, I guessed this one was going to be even worse. What the heck, I still had to get to the finish so I plodded off along the road looking forward to at least a bit more soft beach running.
As I jogged those last couple of miles I was passed by so many people I was pretty much expecting to come last. The odd thing was that looking at my watch I couldn’t figure out how it was going to take over 15 minutes to get to that finish flag just over there! For some inexplicable reason as I finally crossed the line I found I had taken 12 minutes off last year’s time and even managed a PB! Heat, what heat?!
|1||Kevin Jeffress||Sunderland Harriers||M||1:18:57|
|34||Debbie Appleton||Havering Mayesbrook AC||FV40||1:31:21|
|634||Barrie Evans ?||MV60||2:18:32|
|758||Karen Anne Chalkley||FV50||2:31:10|