What a Wheeze 5km Christmas Cracker, Ropner Park, Stockton, Sunday, December 6, 2015

Melanie Hudson


Dave holds nothing back with his Santa outfit.
Photo courtesy and © Karen Newton

This race is three laps of Ropner Park in Stockton and 5k in length. It is all on tarmac, and besides a tiny hill at the end of each lap, it is a very flat and fast course.

I entered this race for two reasons: the first being that entry included a medal with santa on, and the second being that I would get to dress up in my Mrs Santa outfit.

I had planned on taking it easy, since the only short events I have taken part in have been the parkrun, where I have mainly been volunteering as the 30 minutes pacer for the last few months. However, on the morning I felt like I had quite a bit of energy, and since the course was flat and on a good surface, I wondered if I could do under 25 minutes, I guess there was only one way to find out. So off I went, the first lap felt reasonably comfortable, the second lap I started to wonder if I could maintain my pace, in the third lap I could hear someone was trying to pass me which kept me going. However, he did eventually pass me on the final hill, only for him to then not turn off for the finish and headed off to do another lap. Thankfully he very quickly realised his error and turned back. By this point I was ahead of him, so I slowed and let him pass me at the finish, as I am sure he would have beat me had he not started a new lap. I came in at 24 minutes 18.

Dave also had a really good run, finishing in 26:12. He probably could have gone faster but he was also doing another 5k that afternoon, so needed to keep something in reserve for that. There were at least seven other Striders running.

It was not until the next day, when the results came out, that I discovered I was the 3rd lady to finish, thank you to Jill Young for picking up my prize.

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