Tag Archives: Blaydon Race

Virtual Blaydon Race, Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Wendy Littlewood

Twas on the 9th June 2020

There was no familiar Striders’ Coach, no crowded streets and huddled masses and no clandestine trips into the Cathedral to use their toilets. Only a quick 5-minute jaunt in the car to get to the start line this year. No Can Can dancers and no historic bell to signify the start, just a couple of bemused students and a last-minute panic on how to operate Spotify.

Having parked at the Duke of Wellington myself and Michael did a steady mile and a half warm up to the start line (the only time in recent history we have ran together!). Race nerves were heightened even for a virtual event and we were already getting all our excuses in before the race started. The start line was marked by a road sign at the roundabout at the top of Southfield Way, Michael set off and very quickly peeled away as expected. With Allan’s wise words ringing in my ears I still set off far too fast (typical of Blaydon) and was soon zooming along past Whitesmocks and towards Durham Johnston. A sub 8mm first mile! Will I ever learn?

Of course, it was not the same as racing with hundreds of others through the city centre streets of Newcastle but there were still important sights to see. On my right, there’s St Nicholas Drive, familiar now for its Saturday morning non parkrun event frequented by the Robsons and the Masons. Then the Strava segment between Neville’s Cross and the Duke, the times I have sprinted that section in an effort to beat my time. And then past the bunting opposite the Duke marking the finish of the non-London Marathon event attended by Corrine, Anna, Karen, and Sarah.

Now the slog along from the Duke to the Cock of the North, surely that stretch is about 500 miles long?? After what seemed a lifetime, I headed down South Road. A loving glance towards Low Burnhall Woods carpark, gateway to the Willow Miner. Some (fond???) memories of chasing around the car park at Sniperley park and ride, do I miss the Theatre of Dreams? A footpath noted towards Mount Oswald, as yet unexplored by me, now on the list.  South Road is not wholly downhill, and that first mile began to bite. I slowed slightly but was still far ahead of my expected pace.That wonderful stretch at the bottom of the hill towards Whitechurch I felt I was flying! The times myself and Michael spent in that establishment under its former name The New Inn when we first met. The hours watching him play on the golf game machine with Chris and Matty. He certainly knew how to woo a girl. Gosh we were vastly different people then!

Dashing past the Science site, memories of all those hill reps! And then the little bump up and then the glorious down towards the traffic lights at Maiden Castle. Still get a little lump in my throat as I pass the track.

There were no cheering crowds along the route handing out orange segments and jelly babies. No live music either just my trusty playlist in my headphones and the occasional friendly smile and wave from other passing runners some evidently following the same plan, busting a gut while wearing their Blaydon shirts with pride. At Maiden Castle, I definitely started to wane and wished the race were 5 miles rather than 6. Had Michael measured this correctly? Could I manage a further mile and a half? I safely crossed the road at the Rose Tree and headed up the path towards noisy bridge. Another familiar and well-trodden route. Past the bridge and the old turnaround point and across the skinny bridge. Still some distance to go… Surely Michael would not make me run up a hill to the finish?? And where was he anyway? He had promised to turn back and accompany me to the finish line and there was no sign of him, had he fallen in the river?

And the perfect song comes on my playlist.

O-o-h Child by The Five Stairsteps. A track from the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack so a welcome reminder of times with my two beautiful boys. And these lyrics:
Ooh child
Things are gonna get easier
Ooh child
Things’ll get brighter
Some day, yeah
We’ll put it together and we’ll get it undone
Some day
When your head is much lighter
Some day
We’ll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun
Some day
When the world is much brighter.

God, I hope so…

This gives me the push to finish in style, could almost be described as a sprint….

6 miles. 49:06. 8:10mm average pace. A 5k pb and on track to beat my 10k pb. And where was my husband to share my glory?? Oh, here he comes. Lolloping along the riverbank with a carrier bag in hand. No Blaydon beer in the goody bag, no black pudding, pickled onion, and ham and pease pudding stottie but Michael did provide a bottle of cider and even remembered the bottle opener.

I was astounded by my time given I have done no real speed work in lockdown and covered far more miles through run/walking or just walking so, this came as a real surprise. When we got home, I asked Lewis to guess how I’d done
‘sub 50 minutes, about 8mm pace?’
Turns out he knows me better than I know myself, or perhaps he just believes in me more.

Oh, and as an addendum. Michael did cracking too. 34:10 – superb pb. A good night in June for the Littlewoods

(Visited 142 times, 1 visits today)

Blaydon Race, Saturday, June 9, 2018

5.6 miles

Kimberley Anne

When I woke Saturday morning the first thing I did was to look out of the window, a sigh of relief to see it was overcast and I felt hopeful the weather wouldn’t change!

As always the great British weather is never what you think and before it was 3 pm the sun was beaming down in a very busy Newcastle city centre!

After a few delays, we were finally off at about 3.20pm, 20 minutes later than planned. I had a strategy all planned in my head, realising if I do a steady mile at first then speed up after each mile I should easily beat my time from last year! First mile down and strategy out the window; I recorded a mile almost one minute faster than planned but the pace felt good. I thought to myself I don’t feel like I’m pushing too hard so let’s keep the pace.

Two miles down and the weather was just getting hotter; no water for at least another 2 and a 1/4 mile. My mouth was so dry and it’s all I could think of. A lot of runners had found some shade on Scotswood Road and I followed them for as long as the shade lasted. It definitely helped!

Pace still felt really good and at last the water station was in site. The marshals couldn’t get the water out quick enough, but I managed to get a cup, sip a little then use the rest to cool me down and off again I went.

Pace still feeling good but by this time the sound of sirens are going off; one ambulance passed and then another two. As I approach the end I can see that two runners were receiving medical attention. I grabbed my friend who was running as I started to panic. I thought what if I overheat, I’ve no water and I’m so close to the end. I was also worrying, hoping that these runners were okay; it was unbelievably warm with no breeze!

Once I passed, I then started having the dreaded conversation in my head. I could feel a twinge in my knee, but couldn’t decide if I was just imagining it.

I could see Morrison’s, so I knew the end was in site, this often happens with me as soon as I’m close to finishing, it’s like a little trigger starts and I just want to stop. I pushed on hard. I knew the end was near, all I could think of was a drink of water so I powered on and wound the speed up!

I was focussed to get to this finish line as quickly as I could and that’s what I did!

I crossed the line feeling amazing, but my body didn’t know what to do. The heat and everything got to me but I did it and also got a course PB!

I finished in 51:13, I couldn’t be happier!


(Visited 83 times, 1 visits today)

Blaydon, Thursday, June 9, 2016

5.6 miles

Gareth Pritchard

In my head, Blaydon 2016. A very personal view.

Blaydon Group Running well. Feeling good. Pre race 17 min durham parkrun pb. Reality check at club track mile race on Wednesday. 2nd place strider last year. Wanting to be competitive this year. Please let it be close. Massive doubts. Deep breaths. Catching up with strider friends. Feeling relaxed. Squashed in at the start. Stood like sardines for 20mins. When will we start? So many people, 4000+ runners with 100+ striders. Feeling very northern at the Blaydon start line.

Down hill start, must start fast, must be leading after 5k, please don’t let it be close with 2k to go, I won’t stand a chance. hoping club member achieve their goals, where is Catherine? Can I really push myself that hard at the start. Stick to the plan. Concentrate concentrate and relax………. Was that the start horn?

Go. Zero to race pace in a flash. Find some clear road. This is nuts. Accidentally barge people out the way. How did they get so far up the field? Control ur pace Gareth but push push push. It’s down hill, push. 1k @3:21, fast but need to pick it up. Be brave. Get that gap, get that lead Gareth. I know that runner? Yes, hi mate. Looking good, wrong way man? Yes that’s my Washington 10k bud. So glad he won that day, now show him your true speed. Help I can’t breath. Push push push.

K splits 3:13. 3:16. 3:17. 3:13. Can’t breath. 16:19 5k omg. Keep it together. Relax, maintain stride, don’t look back, you have your lead. Hope it’s enough, I want to stop. I know him? Push past and say hi just. Expect them to try keeping up as you pass, just push harder. I know the hills are coming. Don’t look back. Turn, then dash back up the hill. Time to see who is close. Where is he? Please don’t be just behind, I need a gap. I’m slowing. can’t see them.

Yes yes yes, still can’t breath but I have my gap. Surely he can’t catch me now. Still passing people. Spot More striders running. Try to say something, but I can’t breath. Fly over ahead. Pushing and still passing people. Getting so so hard. Big shock on the coaches face. Into Blaydon, I know this course well. Keep pushing Gareth, you got this.

More surprised strider supporters. So happy to see familiar faces. Hold it together, push. Last hill, know it’s coming. Grass and sprint to the line. I did it.

Check watch, 2 mins off last years time. Definitely First strider home. In disbelief. Taken down Rosie, just. Turn and support. I love this race. That was hard. Now I can breath.


pos bib name category gun time chip time
2 Peter Newton (Morpeth Harriers & Ac) 19-39 27:11 27:09
32 Alyson Dixon (Sunderland Strollers) 35-39 29:48 29:44
1 921 Gareth Pritchard 19-39 31:00 30:40
2 637 Stephen Jackson 19-39 31:24 31:05
3 714 Michael Littlewood (M) 40-44 33:35 33:14
4 1186 Mark Warner 19-39 34:27 33:35
5 606 Andrew Hopkins (M) 40-44 34:47 33:58
6 132 Matthew Archer 19-39 34:46 34:27
7 474 Simon Gardner (M) 45-49 35:23 35:02
8 1118 Paul Swinburne (M) 40-44 39:56 37:15
9 1044 Tim Skelton 19-39 40:02 38:08
10 875 Mike Parker (M) 40-44 40:33 39:21
11 4595 Alex Witty 19-39 41:45 39:42
12 2140 Louise Warner 35-39 40:23 40:23
13 324 John Coulson 19-39 43:31 40:42
14 1477 Sarah Davies (F) 45-49 42:56 40:58
15 1858 Louise Morton 19-34 42:06 41:21
16 592 David Hinton 19-39 47:46 41:25
17 1724 Fiona Jones 35-39 44:18 41:34
18 753 Michael Mason (M) 40-44 43:34 41:54
19 1806 Rachelle Mason 35-39 43:35 41:54
20 1204 Martin Welsh (M) 50-54 43:41 42:00
21 984 Michael Ross (M) 45-49 45:28 42:27
22 368 Colin Dean (M) 55-59 43:48 42:36
23 978 Lindsay Rodgers (M) 45-49 45:22 43:05
24 1722 Karen Jones (F) 45-49 46:02 43:17
25 1415 Lesley Charman (F) 40-44 46:06 43:25
26 1532 Catherine Elliott 35-39 44:21 43:35
27 1378 Victoria Brown 35-39 46:37 43:39
28 4608 David Case 19-39 46:23 43:43
29 1076 Ian Spencer (M) 55-59 45:33 43:46
30 1761 Roz Layton (F) 60-64 45:48 43:49
31 2163 Nicola Whyte 19-34 46:53 44:10
32 431 Stephen Ellis (M) 60-64 46:18 44:16
33 1028 Chris Shearsmith 19-39 46:14 44:43
34 1921 Stephanie Piper 19-34 47:09 45:07
35 4604 Victoria Walton 35-39 47:11 45:12
36 1307 Louise Barrow 19-34 46:49 45:22
37 429 Craig Elliott 19-39 46:18 45:31
38 564 Peter Hart 19-39 49:14 45:35
39 356 Andrew Davies (M) 40-44 48:53 45:36
40 851 Richard Hall (M) 50-54 48:56 45:49
41 1840 Karen Metters (F) 40-44 48:52 45:52
42 546 Jonathan Hamill (M) 40-44 48:16 46:02
43 1983 Jill Rudkin 35-39 50:51 46:33
44 711 Robin Linton 19-39 49:26 46:35
45 1627 Lesley Hamill (F) 40-44 49:46 47:22
46 243 David Browbank 19-39 49:40 47:36
47 2000 Jenny Search (F) 40-44 49:50 47:48
48 2091 Kate Thompson 19-34 50:52 48:01
49 1723 Debbie Jones (F) 45-49 50:58 48:14
50 1790 Kate Macpherson (F) 40-44 51:08 48:25
51 2187 Fiona Wood 35-39 51:41 48:44
52 2025 Catherine Smith (F) 40-44 51:35 48:55
53 2088 Helen Thomas (F) 40-44 50:47 48:57
54 1648 Helen Hedley 19-34 52:07 49:01
55 2136 Faye Ward (F) 40-44 51:47 49:22
56 1534 Janet Ellis (F) 50-54 52:18 49:37
57 1491 Rebecca Devine 19-34 53:00 50:07
58 1058 Alan Smith 65-69 51:37 50:22
59 2198 Jill Young 19-34 53:14 50:24
60 1364 Stacey Brannan 35-39 52:09 50:24
61 1513 Jane Dowsett (F) 45-49 53:14 50:28
62 1623 Lisa Hall 19-34 52:48 50:29
63 1558 Rebecca Fisher 35-39 53:12 50:33
64 270 Gareth Cardus (M) 40-44 53:41 50:45
65 580 Mark Herkes 19-39 54:07 51:10
66 1655 Lucy Herkes 19-34 54:08 51:11
67 913 James Potter 19-39 53:17 51:13
68 849 James Nicholson 65-69 54:19 51:22
69 1556 Katie-Louise Finney 19-34 54:23 51:32
70 1826 Debbie Mcfarland 19-34 54:29 51:39
71 1710 Sue Jennings (F) 50-54 54:34 51:52
72 1331 Louise Billcliffe (F) 50-54 54:40 52:10
73 1674 Karen Hooper (F) 40-44 55:02 52:13
74 2105 Ann Towers (F) 55-59 53:10 52:13
75 1142 Andrew Thurston (M) 55-59 54:59 52:40
76 411 Andrew Dunlop (M) 40-44 54:57 52:43
77 2011 Nicola Simpson 19-34 55:59 53:09
78 1639 Emma Hart 35-39 56:52 53:12
79 1996 Aileen Campbell Scott (F) 45-49 55:24 53:19
80 1488 Sophie Dennis 19-34 58:26 55:43
81 1482 Katie Davison 19-34 58:44 55:48
82 1707 Julie Jarratt (F) 45-49 59:01 55:51
83 1461 Lindsay Craig (F) 45-49 59:01 55:52
84 848 George Nicholson 65-69 58:32 56:12
85 1408 Karen Anne Chalkley (F) 50-54 58:32 56:13
86 1324 Kathleen Bellamy 35-39 59:33 56:22
87 2009 Alison Simms (F) 40-44 1:00:03 57:58
88 1537 Rebecca Embleton 35-39 1:00:04 57:58
89 1533 Pauline Elliott (F) 50-54 1:00:22 58:21
90 1276 Teresa Archer 19-34 1:01:15 58:33
91 1586 Laura Gibson 35-39 1:01:39 58:51
92 2124 Bev Walker (F) 50-54 1:01:20 59:15
93 1548 Amy Farquhar (F) 40-44 1:02:34 59:46
94 1743 Alison Kirkham (F) 40-44 1:04:08 1:01:16
95 1440 Kelly Collier 19-34 1:04:09 1:01:18
96 2075 Kate Talbot 35-39 1:04:42 1:01:34
97 1682 Louise Hughes 35-39 1:04:40 1:01:37
98 1717 Natalie Johnson 35-39 1:04:56 1:02:09
99 1529 Karrie Eilles 35-39 1:04:56 1:02:09
100 1290 Jane Baillie (F) 40-44 1:07:18 1:04:09
101 1411 Laura Chapman 19-34 1:09:52 1:05:18
102 1353 Clare Botone 35-39 1:08:39 1:05:51
103 1844 Elaine Mills (F) 45-49 1:08:51 1:06:01
104 1773 Helen Lintron (F) 55-59 1:09:25 1:06:32
105 1593 Rebecca Gilmore 19-34 1:09:24 1:06:32
106 1576 Claire Galloway 19-34 1:10:57 1:08:05
107 1696 Laura Jackson 35-39 1:11:40 1:08:49
108 2101 Helen Todd 35-39 1:09:51 1:09:51
109 1765 Rachel Leigh-firbank (F) 40-44 1:15:06 1:12:12
110 646 Neil Jennings (M) 50-54 1:15:09 1:12:14
111 1709 Elaine Jennings (F) 50-54 1:15:10 1:12:16
DNF 426 Mike Elliott 65-69 19:36 19:36

4130 finishers.

(Visited 43 times, 1 visits today)

Blaydon Race, Tuesday, June 9, 2015

5.7 miles

Allan Seheult

A view from the back

A sunny late start to Blaydon.The last time I ran the Blaydon race was in 1999 in a disappointing time of 40:30. Sixteen years later I’m on a bus full of Striders as a runner, rather than just supporting and relaxing as I have been doing on several occasions over the last two years. Now I have those pre-race nerves, but enjoying being one of the 80 Striders who have entered the race, and feeling excited to be wearing a race number again.

As we get off the bus at the start in Newcastle, expertly negotiated through a race road-block by Strider bus guru Andy James, nerves and excitement increase. Now to find a toilet and I join a longish queue of mostly Striders at a submarine shop!

I am in the club runners pen while the non-club runners are in two other pens which will start 30 seconds apart and 31 seconds after the club runners. Chat to John Ayres at the back of the club runners’ pen, who is warming up with a friend. As there’s lots of space there I do some warm-up strides up and down the slope. I get myself into a good frame of mind deciding that I just want to get to the finish preferably without stopping to walk, not caring about position or time and before the Strider bus departs for Durham! It’s about completing not competing regardless of the pace.

Then we are off, and I manage to cross the two raised starting mats without tripping over them! Almost immediately I’m being overtaken by swarms of young, fast, non-club runners. It’s very hurly-burly and as I’m being overtaken on the left and on the right, decided just to stay very close to the left hand side blocking any attempts to pass me on the inside. Soon after the start I am dismayed to discover I’m going to have to run up a hill which seems longer and steeper than I remember, and by the time I get to the top it seemed like I had been overtaken by 99.9% of the field. What am I doing here?

I am “running” at about 13 to 15 minute miles, so the first mile marker takes a long time to appear with more than four miles to go to the finish. It’s warm but not uncomfortable and starting to feel confident I will not need to walk during the race. Sweat dripping into my eyes is the only discomfort. Shortly after the first mile marker I notice a group of people attending to a runner who seems to have collapsed. Then I see Ian Spencer walking towards me saying that his injury is preventing him from completing and is returning to the start. Then Simon Gardner, camera at the ready is calling me from the other side of the Scotswood road, so attempt a smile and adjust my running form.

At about two miles, I’m joined by a lady who chooses to run with me because she is trying to recover from the traumatic experience of being one of those attending to the runner, noticed previously, whose heart had stopped and needed expert resuscitation before the medics arrived: fortunately, one of the runners who had stopped to help had that expertise – Lucky man! Shortly afterwards, we pass another runner who said he was 83, so now there was every chance I wouldn’t be last!

After hearing the lady’s life story, including that her husband had left her six months ago and she was trying to help get him through what seemed to her like a midlife crisis. After about four miles, we agreed she would run ahead from the brow of Scotswood bridge.

Was feeling very confident now that I could finish without walking, so pushed the pace a little. Only one more obstacle now, the flyover which I got over without stopping or walking. Finally, to my delight, I saw my daughters Emma and Maria with granddaughter Ruby cheering and then running with me to the finish where a large group of patient Striders gave me a fantastic cheering welcome which I found, to my surprise, to be very emotional, finding it difficult to hold back tears with the sweat in my eyes the only disguise. Then pats on the back and hugs. It was almost like I had won the race! Enjoyed the post-race, sleepy chat and analysis on the bus back to Durham. The results show I finished ahead of five finishers and six DNFs (not including Sophie Dennis who is incorrectly recorded as DNF) in a field of over three thousand in a time of 1:24:06, more than twice as slow as in 1999!

(Visited 29 times, 1 visits today)

Blaydon Race, Monday, June 9, 2014

5.9 miles

Karen Hooper

Blaydon Beer.

As I sit here finally drinking my Blaydon Race Beer (& checking the Striders website to make sure there aren’t already 20 race reports), I thought it was about time to write about my first experience of this famous race.

I had attempted to register for the Blaydon Race all those months ago but being a mere mortal (ie. not yet a Strider) & having to join the masses on Day 2 of registration, I was unsuccessful. To be honest, I’d assumed that was that & carried on with my life! Until, the Friday before when a colleague of my husband emailed around work offering his wife’s race number, I said “Yay” immediately, all sorted, until his wife came home & revealed she had given the number to someone else. Who’d’ve thought I’d be so gutted not be running (certainly not me a few months ago!). A long weekend at work with intermittent chances to check emails meant I was too slow to claim another couple of numbers until finally on Sunday evening, I got one!!!!

So, Monday 9th June after a frantic rush around getting kids/husband sorted, I arrived by the viaduct to get the Striders bus. I could’ve done a couple of laps round the viaduct looking lost but thankfully the bus pulled up so I followed it to the stop to be greeted by a gaggle of purple.

My first time on the Striders bus, very exciting & my first time reading the words to the Blaydon song (????????? I’m from the South so no idea what they’re on about!). The bus was a tad warm by the time we arrived & I have to say I was a bit concerned what the smell would be like for the return trip. We pulled up at the cathedral to be greeted by even more purple & went en masse in search of toilets, joining a queue of Blackhill Bounders into Subway.

So, we joined the crowds eagerly anticipating the race, we stood for a while waving our wrists as high as we could to try & wake up the Garmins & then it just kind of started, I didn’t hear the song or the bell, we just started walking a bit, then a bit faster, then crossed something that could’ve been a starting line & started slowly running & following the masses.

Then all of sudden, I looked down at my wrist to see what the beep was & I’d run a mile in 8.38, then the second in 8.50 – no wonder I was tired! The next few miles were a bit slower but I kept going. It was hot & humid but I just got carried along by the crowds & the roadside music & drums & I still kept going.

Around mile 4 I started to think I might run the whole way without any walks encouraged by my running friend who’s a lot more experienced & better runner than me struggling – I was keeping her going this time!

The incline up the bridge was tough as was the run along to the water station passing runners on the other side of the barrier knowing that we had to run back along there. The water station was a beautiful site – not sure how much of it ended up being drunk versus thrown over me.

Then all of a sudden, I was in Blaydon with the lovely sight of more crowds to cheer us on to the finish. The mileage on my watch didn’t quite match up with the marked mile signs, coupled with not knowing the route & where the finish was meant I probably held back a bit in the last stretch – I thought it was going to end at the bus station but it kept going.

I was so proud to collect my t shirt at the end – I ran the whole race in a respectable time of 53.55 & I’m still grinning now.

So from me, thanks to Lesley Charman & Helen Thomas for the third-hand number– hope I did you proud, thanks to the Striders bus for the introduction to the lyrics, thanks to John Hutch for the offer of black pudding at the end (honestly, the absolute last thing I could’ve eaten but thanks anyway), thanks to the two Lauras for the chat on the walk back to the bus, thanks to Paul for the lift home & thanks to the other 64 Striders for the purple visions.

Same time next year???


1Peter EmaseRun-Fast(M) 19-3926:34
14Joanne ChelimoRun-Fast(F) 19-3929:42
82Rob Everson (M) 19-3933:00
104Gareth Pritchard (M) 19-3933:04
111Adam Walker (M) 16-1833:38
236Simon Gardner (M) 40-4436:14
335Michael Tait (M) 19-3937:33
415Katy Walton (F) 19-3938:35
472Michael Downes (M) 19-3938:56
649Jon Ayres (M) 40-4439:01
590Mathew Crow (M) 40-4439:09
524Graeme Walton (M) 40-4439:36
620Sally Hughes (F) 19-3940:37
727Fiona Jones (F) 19-3941:38
988Sarah Davies (F) 45-4942:20
1081John Hutchinson (M) 55-5942:37
841Lucy Cowton (F) 19-3942:44
1006Jackie Mckenna (F) 45-4943:19
1061Stephanie Walker (F) 19-3943:19
1103Mark Dunseith (M) 19-3943:17
1466Richard Hall (M) 19-3943:55
1167Claire Readey (F) 19-3943:57
1316David Spence (M) 65-6944:21
1218Greta Jones (F) 45-4944:27
1342Nicola Whyte (F) 19-3945:19
1431Paul Beal (M) 50-5446:02
1664Ian Graham (M) 65-6947:17
1743Anita Clementson (F) 45-4947:41
1695Victoria Downes (F) 19-3947:53
1546Lindsay Rodgers (M) 45-4948:01
1571Stephen Ellis (M) 60-6448:15
1710Philip Todd (M) 40-4448:16
1858Robert Clark (M) 19-3948:46
1687Anja Fechtner (F) 19-3949:00
1888Jill Ford (F) 45-4949:05
1982Ian Spencer (M) 50-5449:35
2130Andy James (M) 65-6950:12
2391Rebecca Fisher (F) 19-3950:28
2043Ann Towers (F) 19-3950:29
1942Brian Ford (M) 45-4950:39
2292George Nicholson (M) 65-6951:49
2318Karen Anne Chalkley (F) 50-5451:59
2357Kelly Collier (F) 19-3952:16
2691Helen Hackett (F) 45-4952:42
2463Emma Detchon (F) 19-3953:21
2515Karen Hooper (F) 19-3953:55
2571Denise Benvin (F) 45-4954:07
2492Michael Traynor (M) 50-5454:09
2727Karin Younger (F) 50-5455:27
2735Debbie McFarland (F) 19-3955:43
2778Anita Dunseith (F) 19-3955:45
2794Katie Butler (F) 19-3956:12
2595Victoria Walton (F) 19-3956:17
2896Aileen Scott (F) 19-3957:01
2954Kathleen Bellamy (F) 19-3957:22
3038Mike Elliott (M) 65-6957:52
3152Louise Barrow (F) 19-3959:55
3265Helen Allen (F) 40-4461:20
3249Laura Chapman (F) 19-3961:36
3250Laura Gibson (F) 19-3961:37
3325Kerry Lister (F) 40-4462:37
3330Lindsay Craig (F) 45-4962:35
3331Sophie Dennis (F) 19-3962:38
3326Helen Page (F) 40-4463:15
3494Laura Jackson (F) 19-3968:20

3574 finishers.
NB: Results sorted into chip time order for GP purposes.

(Visited 53 times, 1 visits today)

Blaydon Race, Sunday, June 9, 2013

5.9 miles

David Brown

Grand Prix Race. Sprint Champion Race. Hailed as one of the greatest symbols of the North East, and considered sacred by the Geordie community, I had always wanted to run the Blaydon Race, yet somehow always missed the deadline. However as a relatively new Strider I was pleased to receive a message asking who wanted in. I did for sure! And so as tradition, the 9th of June was upon us and the Strider lads n lasses made their way to a bustling Newcastle. The Bigg Market and adjacent streets were awash with colourful vests, spectators, and a general good vibe was in the air. Folk stood patiently in queues for the portaloo, until nearing shops opened their door to allow use of the facilities. Merry drinkers mingled amongst us in the newly found summer sun.

And the sun shone, oh did it shine … as we eventually made our way into starting pens, shoulder to shoulder under the blue sky, watching the clock, waiting. And then the bells, my word the never-ending bells, and a hush. Anticipation rose as I sensed something was happening, not that I could see over anyone’s head, assuming it must be the mayor making his grand, albeit late entrance! The race is traditionally started with the actual handbell mentioned in the song and, “… away we went alang Collingwood Street, that’s on the road to Blaydon”.

I wasn’t sure quite what pace to run this, I wasn’t even sure how long it was meant to be, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9? So I just selected a pace and figured I’d just leg it to the end. I mean how hard could it be? Well I was about to find out. By the time I’d got to Scotswood Road the heat was not welcoming, the sun was not friendly. Folk veering away from the course to find any bit of shade, sweat in eyes, weaving in and out of randomly placed spectators. I previously lived in Newcastle and have driven down Scotswood Road many times, yet since I left they’ve obviously extended it!

Much more of an incentive than black pudding or tripe ...

I was starting to think about slowing the pace, and just enjoying the run, until a certain Danny Lim closed in on me, looking very strong. Danny passed me and I suddenly perked up, I upped the pace to keep up and run with him. Danny left me as we crossed the bridge and as I watched him ignore the water station I thought I’d lose him. As I pathetically attempted to drink from a plastic cup, Danny was off. From here I started to enjoy the race. As you double back it was good to Strider spot: I saw Megan Bell and Carolyn Bray passing ahead of me running well in the heat. The tight corner was a scramble, I took it well and closed in on Danny. The next bit was a blur, I recall a few undulations and bottlenecks, then Danny announced 1k to go. I spent the next 0.5k trying to work out how long it would take to run 1k, until the end was in sight. Danny and I were separated at this point and I wasn’t sure where he was. I put my foot down to run the final stretch, vaguely aware of cheers from Striders and a cheeky high 5 from Adam. Very happy with my time considering the heat.

We filtered through to select the correct goody bag (cheese or ham?) then made our way to the table of black pudding, tripe, pickled onions and beetroot. Striders huddled together under the blistering sun to tell their own tales. Then back to the coach where special thanks go to Kate Macpherson for the cake. As a Blaydon Race virgin, it didn’t fail to be the friendly race I was expecting, with great atmosphere and camaraderie throughout.


Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 Boniface Kiprop K Kenya M 19-39 26:22
32 Emmily Biwott Kenya F 19-39 30:46
121 Gareth Pritchard M 19-39 34:36
132 Simon Gardner M 19-39 34:48
264 James Garland M 19-39 36:19
377 Paul Pascoe M 40-44 38:34
402 Graeme Walton M 40-44 39:03
484 Alister Robson M 40-44 39:54
631 Rachel Terry F 40-44 40:31
682 Marco Van Den Bremer-Hornsby M 45-49 41:06
849 Katy Walton F 19-39 42:22
974 Megan Bell F 19-39 43:20
948 Jamie Steel M 40-44 44:02
1354 John Hutchinson M 55-59 44:04
1095 Carolyn Bray F 19-39 44:20
1211 David Brown M 19-39 44:47
1219 Danny Lim M 19-39 44:49
1627 Alan Smith M 65-69 46:10
1719 Lucy Cowton F 19-39 46:41
1710 Bill Ford M 45-49 46:44
1539 Sue Gardham F 19-39 47:09
1799 Greta Jones F 45-49 47:20
1508 Mark Reay M 19-39 47:21
1858 Louise Barrow F 19-39 47:41
1938 Chris Hedley M 55-59 48:22
1962 Katherine Preston F 40-44 48:25
2064 Kathryn Sygrove F 45-49 49:00
1879 Melanie Hudson F 19-39 49:09
1902 Dave Robson M 60-64 49:20
2145 George Nicholson M 60-64 49:40
2152 Victoria Tindale F 19-39 49:45
2176 Sarah Fawcett F 50-54 49:52
2284 Rebecca Fisher F 19-39 50:30
2319 Karen Chalkley F 50-54 50:58
2338 Jim Nicholson M 65-69 51:02
2551 Jill Ford F 45-49 52:59
2569 Kirsty Anderson F 19-39 53:08
2417 Rob Clark M 19-39 53:10
2649 Andy James M 65-69 53:53
2659 Karin Younger F 50-54 54:02
2659 Kate Macpherson F 40-44 54:02
2517 Ann Towers F 55-59 54:12
2707 Angela Proctor F 19-39 54:28
2755 John Greathead M 19-39 54:50
2768 Joanne Porter F 40-44 55:01
2587 Maria Dimova-Cookson F 45-49 55:24
2824 Mike Elliott M 65-69 55:42
2982 Stephen Baxenedale M 45-49 56:29
2726 Peter Bell M 19-39 57:28
3017 Jacquie Robson F 19-39 57:42
3165 Angela Robson F 40-44 59:41
3217 Rebecca Maddison F 19-39 60:27
3215 Margaret Thompson F 60-64 62:37

3489 finishers.
NB: Results sorted into chip time order for GP purposes.

(Visited 42 times, 1 visits today)

Blaydon Race, Saturday, June 9, 2012

5.9 miles

Carolyn Bray and Rachael Bullock

Grand Prix Race. Sprint Champion Race.

Carolyn Bray…

Aw went to Blaydon Races, ’twas on the ninth of Joon,
Loads o Striders on a bus on a summer’s efternoon (pha!);
Aw tyuk the ‘bus frae County Hall, an’ she wis heavy laden,
Away we went alang the A1, on the way to Blaydon (well, Newcastle).

  Ah me lads, ye shud only seen us gannin’,
We pass’d the foaks upon the road just as they wor stannin’;
Thor wes lots o’ wet lads an’ lasses there, all wi’ smiling faces,
Gawn alang the Scotswood Road, to see the Blaydon Races.

Patient queuers / barrier jumpers, we chose our race start places,
Lookin’ smart in our purple an’ green, all wi’smiling faces
Waiting for the bell to ring, waiting for the bellman,
Have we started, have we not, we can’t really tell, man!

Finally, the claxon blew an’ the boony race begun,
Thor was bands and crowds alang tha’ road, hoo they danced an’ sung.
But gannin’ down tha’ Scotswood Road, somethin’ else had started;
Tha skies errupted – it chucked it doon, just after we’d departed!

The rivers ran alang th’ road, tha runners all wa drippin’,
Water station, what’s the point, tha’s rainwater for sippin’!
Pick tha way roond, or plough straight through, aw it was a muddle,
but after a mile, wet all the while, the whole route was a puddle.

Noo when we gat to Blaydon thor wes plenty crowds a’cheerin;
“200 metres!” they called to us, as the finish was a nearin’
An’ thar it wor, tha Blaydon finish, ‘n’ loads a soggy runners,
Time to try the tripe ‘n’ black puddin’, whor just fa’ darin’ punters!

We all did well, ‘n’ enjoyed oorsels, but some of us woor flyin’
Alister, Steve an’ Fiona’s sub-forty , noo that’s wha I call tryin!
Wi’ owa thirty Striders there, we did the club real proud,
An’ we’da looked much bonnier – if it wasn’t for tha’ cloud

Squidgy trainers, soggy pants we made tha bus quite steamy,
Passers by would see a sight with Jacquie’s bottom beaming!
But still it poured an’ home we went, still wi’ smiley faces,
That wa’ the day the Elvet Striders went to Blaydon Races!

…and Rachael Bullock

This was my second time doing the Blaydon Race — I last did it with my friend in 2009, (then I was running as a Pocklington Runner). I remembered it as one of the best races I have run in; it is not exactly a beautiful course but I think it is a relatively fast route and with all the other runners there is a good race atmosphere, which always helps to spur you on. So, I headed into the race with a positive mindset, feeling psyched! We arrived on the bus about an hour before the start and the sky was looking pretty ominous. So as we loaded our bags onto the baggage bus I was pretty gutted that I hadn’t thought to bring a bin liner for pre-race protection from the elements as most other Strider’s had done. I felt like such an amateur, or maybe I just looked hardcore?!! Anyway it turned out not to be such an issue as the weather was not too bad (by recent standards) as we waited for the start.

So lesson number one: bring a bin bag. Lesson number two: use the toilet in Ladbrokes — this was a godsend as we could probably have spent a good 45 mins in the queue for the portaloos! The third thing I learnt was to jump the barriers at the start rather than queuing nicely! I’m sure this is very bad etiquette (but I did it with Alister’s permission, which obviously makes it acceptable!!!) and of course if everyone had adopted this strategy it would have been absolute carnage. But because the race is not chip-timed, if you are feeling competitive and after a good time, it has to be done — I believe it took other Strider’s up to a minute after the start of the race before they crossed the line.

So anyway…on to the race itself…All I seem to remember is the rain! Maybe about a mile in it started to absolutely chuck it down and the streets were transformed into rivers and everyone got very, very wet. And then after that I could not see too much of what was going on around me because my glasses were covered with raindrops! So I did not see many other Strider’s along the way; I decided to get my bum into gear when I found myself alongside Carolyn who told me on the startline that she was just going to have a ‘nice easy run’ as she was coming back from injury. Some words of encouragement from Brian Ford were appreciated approximately half way round (he passed me half way round Raby the other week too — I will have to make it my challenge to beat him next time!) as was a shout from Jacquie as we went round the loop by the river.

But with the rain still pouring I think most people just wanted to get to the finish and many of us did so in fine time, everyone seemed to be pretty chuffed with their performances, wet smiles all around 🙂 I was definitely very pleased with my time, 6 minutes faster than 3 years ago, evidence that I am improving all the time since joining Striders back in October. I stayed well away from the tripe and black pudding at the end but I’m loving the t-shirt! It’s a fun race to do and I would recommend that everyone do it at least once!


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Peter Lemuya Kenya M18 27:35
29 Lauren Howart Leigh Harriers F 30:26
291 Stewart McConnell M 36:48
382 Simon Gardner MV40 38:02
483 Alister Robson MV40 39:18
508 Graeme Walton M 39:36
527 Steve Lindsay MV50 39:46
543 Paul Pascoe MV40 39:53
546 Fiona Shenton FV50 2! 39:55
880 Kevin Williams M 42:58
994 Yusuf Kuruner M 43:45
1033 Kathryn Sygrove FV45 44:03
1232 Brian Ford MV40 45:27
1242 Rachael Bullock F 45:33
1280 Camilla L-Maatta FV45 45:47
1291 Melanie Hudson F 45:52
1356 Carolyn Bray F 46:16
1358 John Hutchinson MV55 46:17
1440 Chris Hedley MV50 46:46
1530 Danny Lim M 47:22
1631 Claire Readey F 48:02
1638 Alan Smith MV65 7! 48:03
1677 Jacquie Robson F 48:15
1685 Anna Seeley F 48:20
1803 Greta Jones FV45 49:08
1973 Jo Richardson F 50:12
1976 Peter Brooks MV40 50:14
2034 Victoria Tindale F 50:40
2049 Jim Nicholson MV65 50:44
2075 Karen Chalkley FV50 50:53
2333 Kath Preston FV40 52:36
2361 Jean Gillespie FV55 52:51
2365 Kate Macpherson FV40 54:52
2425 Jill Ford FV45 53:23
2459 Ann Towers FV55 53:33
2593 Robert Clark M 54:34
2623 Mike Elliott MV65 54:47
3053 Angela Coates FV40 58:25
3063 Lindsay Brooks FV40 58:29
3397 Phil Owen MV45 1:04:00

3589 finishers.

(Visited 22 times, 1 visits today)

Blaydon Race, Thursday, June 9, 2011

5.9 miles

Grand Prix Race. Sprint Champion Race. Much better weather this year for the 31st running of the famous Blaydon Race. Quite a few Striders met in the Groat Market on this fine Thursday evening, to see the dancers and queue patiently for the race to start. I really do think it’s time that the organisers considered using chip timing. With over 3,500 runners crammed into the street, it took quite a while for quite a few of us to get over the line. I was only about 30 yards from the start and it took me almost 30 seconds to get over the line. Anyway we were soon enough off, started as usual by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, who this year, and for the first time, was running the event himself.

James trying to get through the crowd.
photo courtesy and © Ally MacD

The beginning was a bit of a scramble. Why slower runners place themselves near the start line I’ll never be able to fathom. It settled down by the time we got onto Scotswood Road with no sign of the screaming hordes expected at the Arena for some rubbish or other. Once the downhill section on the Scotswood Road was finished and you crossed the Scotswood bridge you are directed down to the riverside for a quick loop back and then under and along. I was pleasantly surprised to see I was ahead of most of the other Striders, and then unpleasantly surprised by the steepness of the next climb which robbed me of momentum. Anyway that was soon enough over and I was back up into Blaydon, down into the finish and across the line.

A nice tech t-shirt in mustard yellow and a goody bag with a bottle of Wylam beer in. Well everyone else’s had the beer in. Mine didn’t, I just got orange juice and water. A little chaotic at the end as usual, quite a few people pushed past me in the queues while I was dry retching. More reason I guess to move to chip timing. I passed on the pickled onions and tripe and beetroot that was on offer. I’ll still be up in the early hours next February to get in when entries open again though!

… and Jacquie Robson

Gannin’ alang the Scotswood Road … agyen. Well, for the second time for me. Lots of Striders turned out and, unlike last year, the sun was out, which was nice, and the atmosphere from the crowds was great. The bottlenecks around the city streets at the start and through the gate to get down to the riverside on the far side of the Scotswood Bridge were still a bit frustrating, but the rest of the race was great fun, with lots of supporters and noise. I was very pleased with my run – faster than last year, and I could see plenty of purple and green vests enjoying themselves and running comfortably. And thanks to Alan for the shout out as he went past me at about 4 miles – that’s the nice thing about being part of a friendly team: you always feel like you’re running with friends. The finish arrived in no time, and the specially designed beer bottle at the end was a good treat in the goody bag – especially after the disappointment of being given Fosters last year. The tech-T was pretty decent, and the black pudding was as tasty as ever! Only slight downside is that Alister didn’t get a bottle of beer in his goody bag – so that meant that mine, apparently, had to be surrendered to someone who’d appreciate it more (him). The empty is a nice keepsake, though!! Definitely a favourite of mine, this race. I’ll be doing it again next year.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Edwin Kipkorir Birchfield M 28:25
24 Justina Heslop Clapham F 31:44
163 James Garland M 37:18
265 Ian Thomas M 39:13
384 John Robson MV45 40:43
490 Alister Robson M 41:51
700 Graham Daglish MV55 43:37
836 Andrew Thompson M 44:43
1030 Richard Hall MV45 46:01
1055 Peter Brooks MV40 46:12
1228 John Hutchinson MV55 47:18
1718 George Nicholson MV60 50:17
1741 Karen Chalkley FV45 50:27
1814 Brian Feely M 51:01
1987 Jim Nicholson MV60 52:08
2172 Alan Smith MV60 53:21
2214 Elise Jennings FV35 53:43
2310 Andy James MV60 54:25
2315 Jacquie Robson LV35 54:27
2456 Anita Clementson LV40 55:21
2698 Mike Elliott MV60 57:23
2897 Jennifer Crilley LV40 58:59
2903 Emma Detchon LV35 59:02
3034 Lindsey Brooks LV40 1:00:23
3263 Jean Gillespie LV55 1:03:28
3264 Margaret Thompson LV60 1:03:29
3286 Phil Owen MV45 1:03:57

3584 finishers.

(Visited 71 times, 1 visits today)

Blaydon Race, Wednesday, June 9, 2010

5.9 miles

George Nicholson

Aw went to Blaydon Race, ’twas on the ninth of Joon.

Travelled thru wi five other lads & lasses from Shadforth (Karen & I for Striders) Ben, Clare, Richard & Sandra (unattached) that’s not quite reet ackshilly ‘cos Richard & Sandra are hitched to each ovver.!

Excellent shot of Lindsay that the Chronicle let us have a copy of.
photo courtesy and © Paul Norris of the Evening Chronicle.

Had to bide wor time in the caad & wet at the Bigg Market whilst wearing bonny pink ponchos, and lots of other Striders took the p*** oot o’ wu (and that Geoff Watson wuz sniggering alot too.)

Gathered in chaos for the start ootside Balmbra’s and wuz ahint many others. cud see Dave R & Denise in front, Jacquie & Alister alangside.

Wu sang that song wi the chorus: Oh me lads, ye shud only have seen the striders ganning…….Then Git big chorch bell struck 7.15 and we wuz off, away alang Collingwood street to Blaydon.

Canny conditions for running, bit of the wet stuff, but nee clarts

Karen wus in gud fettle, there was nee stopping the lass, she wuz right belting doon Scotswood Road, t’was ‘ard worrk keeping wi hor, but had te, she ‘ad me car keys!

Divvent knaa wor times yet, but it were git great to see lots of other Striders oot runnin’, as well as the gadgie who married wor Zoe.

Ne broon ale in goody bag mind (ah meen whats wiv this Foster’s lager like?), but a canny tee short, ivrybody appreesheeyated them.

A bridge.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Ezekiel Cherop Kenya M 27:41
14 Justina Heslop Clapham F 31:25
700 Andrew Thompson M 43:34
854 John Hutchinson M50 44:43
1276 Phil Owen M40 47:43
1277 Alan Smith M60 47:44
1370 Peter Brooks M40 48:23
1606 Jennifer Copley L35 49:59
1704 Lindsay Tarn L35 50:45
1939 Karen Chalkley L45 52:17
1942 George Nicholson M60 52:19
2050 Denise Mason L35 53:09
2232 Mike Elliott M60 54:23
2330 Greta Jones L40 55:01
2396 Jacquie Robson L35 55:34
2397 Alister Robson M 55:34
2405 Andy James M60 55:37
2468 Jennifer Crilley L40 56:02
2597 Margaret Thompson L60 57:01
2952 Dave Robson M55 1:00:05
3017 Lindsey Brooks L40 1:00:44
3151 Jackie Smith L70 1:02:30
3200 Zoe Tomlins L35 1:03:23

3541 finishers.

(Visited 56 times, 1 visits today)

Blaydon Race, Tuesday, June 9, 2009

5.9 miles

Colin and Shaun

Eager Boyzone fans waiting for their heroes to take to the stage.

Provisional results below … if you ran and you’re not in the table or if you didn’t run and your name is let me know. Also, if you fancy doing a proper report on this one, feel free …

Meanwhile, from the organisers’ website:

You wouldn’t believe Boyzone would come along and clash with our event, would you? Well, they have and it has given us a headache. They expect 5000 concertgoers to arrive between 6.30 and 7.30 and most of them will come into the city by road. We will have road closures in place for the race which passes very close to the Arena just before the first mile point. So we have 5000 Boyzone fans and up to 4000 Blaydon runners converging on Railway Street at about the same time.”

Did anyone see any of that lot??


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Ian Hudspith Morpeth 27:44
25 Justina Heslop Clapham L 1 31:46
195 Michael Bennett V55 2 37:52
204 Jamie Steel M 38:02
321 Fiona Shenton L50 1 39:42
330 Graham Daglish V55 10 39:47
617 Andrew Jordan M 42:56
707 Phil Owen V40 43:40
798 Alister Robson M 44:25
999 Emma Thompson L 45:56
1000 Alan Smith V60 45:56
1050 Anna Pethybridge L50 46:24
1051 Andrew Thompson M 46:24
1069 John Hutchinson V50 46:29
1092 Dougie Nisbet V45 46:40
1105 Jean Bradley L45 46:44
1292 Julie Mitchelson L40 47:55
1818 Jennifer Copley L35 51:36
2390 Mike Elliott V60 55:43
2402 Greta Jones L40 55:48
2623 Stan White V50 57:28
2805 Jackie Smith L70 59:02
3016 Margaret Thompson L55 1:01:24
3182 Dave Robson V55 1:04:26

3426 finishers

(Visited 30 times, 1 visits today)