Bridges of The Tyne, or BOTT as we fondly refer to it, is a go-to race for many Striders, where the standard of competition is high. Most importantly, Tyne Bridge Harriers put on a consistently excellent event, and are renowned for the enthusiastic, cheerful marshals (thanks all concerned!).
I had an extended day in the office because I thought it was easier than trekking home and back. The closure of the Scotswood Road due to a burst water main provided an additional challenge but thankfully traffic subsided to near normal levels and the drive to the Tyne Bar (Race HQ) was relatively straightforward.
In stark contrast to the perfect racing conditions of the previous year (damp and cool), the weather this time was comparatively tropical. I collected my number, and decided to rest outside the Tyne Bar, resisting the urge to have a cool beer! I’m not good in the heat, so had decided to just have a steady run out – mentioning my plan to running buddies Dave and John who had already run 5km to pick up their numbers! That plan changed a bit on the warm-up run over to the start as I realised the temperature had dropped and the river breeze was welcome!
Last year I’d had a decent run, with a gun time of 38:30 and I thought maybe chipping a few seconds off that would be ok in the heat. Then in the pen, Fiona reminded me that I’d had a decent run at the Hartlepool Marina 5 miler. The fuse was lit and all restraint and notions of a steady run went out the window.
I struck out a little too sharp but managed to settle myself. Anna was off like a rocket and Fiona and Katy were in front of me gaining ground. I saw Dave Coxon ahead of me too and decided to put all ideas of chasing him out of my head! I saw our fast lads approaching, and knew I was close to the turnaround slope. I managed to utter a few yells of support which mentally told me I wasn’t overcooking the goose at that point.
I dropped a few seconds on the slope to the turnaround, and the marshall was yelling “nil-nil” which I think referred to the progress of a soccer tournament, rather than my running progress. On the drop back down to the river, I didn’t relent, mindful that I could recover those lost seconds. On the return, the marshals continued to provide ample encouragement and it was good to see Rob calmly standing his ground hastening folk on. I remember giving Rachel Toth a big yell, and then I go to work, picking folk in front of me one-by-one and it wasn’t too long before I was on the Quayside again. My mind flashed back to the torture of last year’s finish when I got buzzed by Robin on the line and I had a sneaky look behind to check for any advancing purple vests. Then the finish straight – the best bit! I heard some of our fast lads already finished shouting and I increased my pace to cross the line.
Gun time 37:22 and a course PB – I’d indeed managed to shave a few seconds off, job done! I stayed to cheer the others in and then given my lack of interest in watching the soccer, I beat a retreat home. A great race with some gutsy Strider performances all round!
|Pos.||Bibno.||Finish time||Chip time||Participant||Category|
|1||215||26:33:00||26:30:00||Stephen Jackson||(M) Senior|
|2||265||29:24:00||29:22:00||Michael Littlewood||(M) 40-44|
|3||482||29:29:00||29:27:00||Mark Warner||(M) 35-39|
|4||11||31:18:00||31:16:00||Matthew Archer||(M) 35-39|
|5||25||34:49:00||34:42:00||Anna Basu||(F) 40-44|
|6||233||36:26:00||36:20:00||Fiona Jones||(F) 40-44|
|7||172||37:22:00||37:16:00||Jonathan Hamill||(M) 40-44|
|8||478||37:38:00||37:32:00||Katy Walton||(F) 35-39|
|9||104||37:54:00||37:40:00||Sarah Davies||(F) 50-54|
|10||399||38:14:00||38:05:00||Chris Shearsmith||(M) 40-44|
|11||183||38:49:00||38:35:00||Peter Hart||(M) 40-44|
|12||384||39:39:00||39:16:00||Michael Ross||(M) 45-49|
|13||58||39:52:00||39:34:00||Karen Byng||(F) 45-49|
|14||142||39:57:00||39:45:00||Mark Foster||(M) 35-39|
|15||23||40:38:00||40:16:00||Louise Barrow||(F) 35-39|
|16||264||42:27:00||42:12:00||Robin Linton||(M) Senior|
|17||419||43:03:00||42:39:00||Lee Stephenson||(M) 45-49|
|18||346||43:40:00||43:25:00||Joanne Patterson||(F) 35-39|
|19||389||43:54:00||43:30:00||Lisa Sample||(F) 35-39|
|20||266||45:54:00||45:40:00||Wendy Littlewood||(F) 40-44|
|21||501||47:17:00||46:52:00||Kimberley Wilson||(F) Senior|
|22||195||52:56:00||52:29:00||Carol Holgate||(F) 45-49|
|23||472||52:57:00||52:31:00||Sue Walker||(F) 60-64|
|24||457||59:25:00||58:50:00||Rachel Toth||(F) 40-44|
|25||263||01:00:40||01:00:04||Helen Linton||(F) 55-59|