Pier to Pier 2015, South Shields to Sunderland, Sunday, May 17, 2015

6.9 miles

Dougie Nisbet

At the finish.It was hard to find anyone who was feeling good. Runners are notorious for grumbling about their form, but we were all in top grumbling form today. One day I’ll chat to runners before a race and someone will say they’ve never felt better and fully expect to PB. Not today though – I was treating the race as a fact-finding mission after a viral infection that has messed up my running for most of the year. The first fact I found was that it was going to cost me £25 to run the 7 miles or so from South Shields to Roker.

The Goody Bag Queue.I calculated that I’d be running at £3.63 mile pace, which is still slightly cheaper than a Brendan, but that didn’t worry me too much either way. The weather was fine and the race is an old favourite of mine.

In common with the Coastal Run the start is a faintly tribal mass of running shirts stretched across the beach. I was disappointed that the organisers hadn’t drawn a line in the sand with a pointy stick to indicate the Start Line. I do miss that touch.

Greta at the Goody Bag Queue.A few minutes after 10 and away we charged along the beach. This was my first running race in about 6 months and I was curious about how it would go. It was clunky at first and I felt I’d got out of bed 10 minutes earlier rather than the actual 6am start it had been. That extra Espresso had been a bad idea too (I knew it would be, but I never learn), and I had to dive into some bushes to redress that balance. This was a bit awkward as I’d only just passed George and Karen and we’d done the whole ‘Well-Done’ routine – now I was going to have to pass them again and explain myself.

Queuing for the goody bag.

We approached the lane that extends down from Redwell Lane and the usual bottleneck was there as runners queued to get down the steps. There’s big seconds to be gained here by running down the grass, jumping down the wall, across the lane, and up the other side. I’m not sure whether people are just not keen on the wall scramble, or they just don’t realise how much shorter and quicker it is to avoid the steps.

Graham returning to racing.

I had to pull over for a bit of quality retching as we passed Souter Lighthouse but on the whole I wasn’t feeling too bad and for the remainder of the race I steadily picked up my pace and picked off runners all the way to the Finish. The sand was firm underfoot at the finish (has that changed?) which was a relief as I’m sure in previous years it’s been a painful comedy sprint in soft sand for the last few yards to the line.

Just as there are false summits, so there are false beaches.

My time was a few minutes slower than the last time I ran the race 5 years ago so I was pretty happy. It could’ve been a lot worse. Graham Daglish was grinning at the end of the finish tunnel as I coughed in, not doing too badly for someone who hasn’t raced in 3 years.

There were a few first-timers today, including Andy James who made the classic mistake of pushing for the line too early. It’s easy done – the Finish looks tantalisingly close, but on closer inspection morphs into a flight of steps with the real Finish another beach away. In fact, the more you speak to people, the harder it is to find someone who hasn’t made this error.

After a chilly start we had fine conditions for this race today. And thanks to the bus driver’s daughter we had plenty of room on the coach as she’d insisted on coming along … and when the coach is already full, you just have to get a bigger one out the garage.


position name club category group time
1 Craig Isherwood Men 0:38:25.6
25 Alex Sneddon Jarrow & Hebburn AC Women 0:44:26.9
48 Matthew Archer Men 0:45:52.8
184 Graham Daglish Seniors M60 0:51:56.7
227 Lesley Charman Seniors W40 0:53:23.0
251 Andrew Short Seniors M50 0:54:02.7
270 Fiona Jones Women 0:54:25.6
293 David Spence Seniors M60 0:55:07.9
369 Karen Jones Seniors W40 0:57:07.9
373 Nicola Whyte Women 0:57:12.6
418 Jean Bradley Seniors W50 0:58:36.7
469 Steph Walker Women 1:00:00.5
497 Greta Jones Seniors W40 1:00:49.0
556 Dougie Nisbet Seniors M50 1:02:24.7
565 James Potter Men 1:02:44.4
579 Stephen Ellis Seniors M60 1:03:21.5
592 Kate McPherson Seniors W40 1:03:48.8
611 Stacey Brannan Women 1:04:21.5
616 Angela Tribe Seniors W40 1:04:28.9
634 George Nicholson Seniors M60 1:05:20.8
640 Karin Younger Seniors W50 1:05:43.5
647 Helen Thomas Women 1:05:58.8
666 Aileen Scott Seniors W40 1:06:50.6
669 Andy James Seniors M60 1:07:02.2
683 Debbie McFarland Women 1:07:26.9
684 Gareth Cardus Men 1:07:27.7
688 Louise Billcliffe Seniors W50 1:07:42.2
692 Karen Anne Chalkley Seniors W50 1:07:48.4
708 Clare Metcalfe Women 1:08:36.3
747 Helen Hackett Seniors W40 1:10:19.8
766 Joan Keary Women 1:11:10.3
767 Kelly Collier Women 1:11:10.4
771 Angela Robson Seniors W40 1:11:19.3
777 Christine Farnsworth Seniors W60 1:11:40.7
856 Barrie Evans Seniors M60 1:15:47.7
883 Michael Elliott Seniors M60 1:18:10.3
884 Jane Baillie Women 1:18:10.8
910 Margaret Thompson Seniors W60 1:20:59.1
914 Laura Jackson Women 1:22:14.5

930 finishers.

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