Tag Archives: Clive Cookson 10K

Clive Cookson 10K, Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Joanne Patterson

After taking a bit of a step back from “racing” following some disappointing (to me!) times, I have been choosing my events very carefully – shunning the majority of popular races.  I took part in the Clive Cookson 10k in 2017, gaining a PB over the distance of 56:04. I felt it was time to give this another try, having not completely hated it the first time.

I love this race.  It is so underrated. A two 5k lap course with the first 2km on a very gradual (but noticeable, particularly on the second lap) climb, rewarded with some lovely gradual down, through country lanes and then housing estates…  The support is fantastic for such a small event – very few places on the course where there is nobody cheering you on. I think there were maybe 10 striders in attendance, not that I saw many of them because they were all the speedy ones who would have already left the carpark by the time I had done the first lap.  It always amazes me that more Striders don’t attend this race – this year it was even a GP fixture!!

My aim for this race was a PB, which I guess is usually your aim if you are entering a race. My 10k time stood at 54:09 from Tees Pride in 2017.  Lots of calculations and looking at the last time I ran it to try and establish what pace I should be attempting to run at to get in under 54 minutes.  It seemed crazy that I would need to run 5:22km average pace for 10kms – training runs have been much much slower over shorter distance and I had always convinced myself that couldn’t be good.  Nevertheless, I turned up, managed to pin my number on in the most crooked fashion yet, then got to the start.

I started quite near the back, as I knew we would start the climb straight away and “don’t go off to fast” rings in my ears.  On a chipped course, I like to start quite far back, as the ability to pass people works wonders for my confidence.  I soon realised that I was passing people (even uphill) but nobody was passing me – this instantly gave me my focus – don’t let anyone pass you.  I kept this up for most of the race, losing only 2 places around the 7k mark (both to men, so I wasn’t too bothered), but it wasn’t made easy for me!  A Derwentside AC runner was on my shoulder, pushing hard to pass me around 6k, but I kept my focus and she dropped back – more confidence!! My km times were good – except for the 2kms uphill, they had all been well under target.

The confidence felt amazing – I felt strong, my legs were fine and at no point did I feel I wanted to stop.  My brain was kind to me, and never once uttered “you need to stop Jo, you’re tired and rubbish” which is normally loves to do!  I was even high-fiving kids and there are pictures of me smiling.  Maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough…

Around 9k, I was catching a lady in front of me – she was running well but I knew I only had a km to go so I pushed on and passed her.  Clearly more familiar with the course, she zoomed past me with about 600m to go – this was so frustrating after my “don’t let anyone pass you” mantra.  Luckily the absence of our beloved track sessions hadn’t removed my ability to kick and with shouts of encouragement from Matt, I made up the gap and finished 12s in front of her!  With a new PB of 53:16.
If you’ve never tried this race – put it in your diary for next year.

PositionBibNameClubCategoryCategory PositionNet Time 
1501Gus WithersGateshead Harriers & ACMSEN1/7532:11:00
45314Tracy MillmoreBirtley ACFV351/3037:55:00
3233Stephen JacksonElvet StridersMV351/4433:08:00
26272Michael LittlewoodElvet StridersMV407/4636:34:00
28207Georgie HebdonElvet StridersMSEN13/7536:54:00
72379Allan RenwickElvet StridersMV504/3439:23:00
95448Emma ThompsonElvet StridersFV353/3040:58:00
16078Matthew CarrElvet StridersMV4027/4643:40:00
204197Peter HartElvet StridersMV4038/4645:33:00
217487Corrine WhalingElvet StridersFV3510/3046:16:00
29775Karen ByngElvet StridersFV506/1950:51:00
335347Joanne PattersonElvet StridersFV3520/3053:16:00
(Visited 160 times, 1 visits today)

Clive Cookson 10K, Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Stephen Jackson

Clive Cookson 10K This was a very well organised, two-lap race on a relatively flat course, with great PB potential; what’s not to like. The atmosphere was very friendly, from the GB international at the front to the 90 minute plus 10k runner towards the rear – everyone was given a warm welcome. Add to this a mild, early summer evening with little or no wind and I was in my element – I fancied a new 10km PB.

The race started at 7.15pm prompt and it was tight at the beginning, even though I’d managed to position myself fairly close to the start line. However, it didn’t take long to find a rhythm as the lead pack(s) quickly broke. What I hadn’t quite appreciated is that the beginning of the race is on a slight incline, nothing too severe, but certainly noticeable on the second lap when the legs are slightly less fresh. The upshot of this is after 2km the road gently rolls back downhill and the pace naturally quickens.

I’d planned to run quite sensibly, split halfway at approximately 17:30 and increase the pace, if possible, towards the end – and so it was to be.

I went through 5km in 17:24, I think, and then had to dig in between 5km and 7km, I was passing people even though I was running slightly slower – I had no one at that point to drag me along. I then got in a small group which carried me through towards the finish, gradually feeling stronger; I knew I was going to be somewhere close to my sub 35 minute target.

I finished a second ahead of Jason Auld of Crook AC for the second time in a week, no mean feat as he’s one of the better Vets in the North East.

So, a new PB of 34.44 (chip time), a nice new t-shirt (albeit orange) and home in half an hour whilst the sun was still shining.

What could be better than that?

Stephen on course for a PB

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Clive Cookson 10K, Whitley Bay, Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Aaron Gourley

At 7km my heart rate is hitting 182bpm, I’m pushing hard on this second lap around the course and starting to suffer. I’m getting a stitch so drop the pace slightly. Heart rate 177bpm. My plan had been to run the first lap at a comfortably hard pace, maintaining a HR of around 175bpm but I get drawn into the race from the off as over 400 runners make the charge at the start.

The first lap passes without incident but I know I’m going too fast, I just hope I can maintain it. The girl from Crook AC who’s been my target from the start is beginning to edge away having been on her shoulder for the last 2km. I’m getting worried I’ve over cooked it. Simon Gardner is now well out of sight, that persistent problem he’s been having doesn’t seem to have slowed him down too much.

8km and I recover a little, I can pick up the pace and try keep the girl from Crook in sight but she’s finishing strong. I’m starting to reel a few people in that had passed me shortly before which inspires me to keep pushing. My heart rate rises above 180bpm again as I turn down onto the road for the final stretch to the finish.

Someone appears on my right pushing for my place so I up the pace, I’m being forced to work hard. The guy stays alongside me as we make the final turn into the finishing straight at Monkseaton High School. My competitor starts to make a break so I stick with him, keeping just ahead. Heart rate is 187bpm.

The final 50 meters are battled out as I try to maintain my position before we cross the line shoulder to shoulder. I check my watch, my heart rate hits 190bpm, 3bpm higher than I thought was my maximum.

My time is 42:34mins, about 3 mins faster than my previous 10k at Darlington about 3 years ago. I’m very happy with that as I continue with the deconstruction and rebuilding of my running after some very disappointing performances.

I’d been nervous about this 2 lap race, beginning and ending at Monkseaton High School, as it had been a long time since I’d raced in this manner. Morpeth on NYD had been the most recent. But with a new 10k pb, a new maximum heart rate and a pretty cool tech t-shirt, I’ll take it as a very good way to spend a Wednesday evening. Oh, and I got to listen to Sunderland grab a much needed point to ensure another season in the Premier League as I drove home. Perfect!


position name club cat cat pos gun time chip time
1 RYAN STEPHENSON Morpeth Harriers 1 00:32:17 00:32:17
25 EMMA HOLT Morpeth Harriers 1 00:36:39 00:36:37
113 SIMON GARDNER MV45 10 00:40:37 00:40:26
163 AARON GOURLEY MV35 35 00:42:48 00:42:34
242 FIONA JONES FV35 5 00:46:34 00:46:15
269 RICHARD HALL MV35 44 00:48:21 00:48:01
278 IAN SPENCER MV50 19 00:49:11 00:48:55
308 KATHERINE PRESTON FV45 10 00:51:37 00:51:12
379 REBECCA FISHER FV35 12 00:56:48 00:56:27
388 LOUISE BARROW Female 118 00:58:51 00:58:24
394 VICTORIA WALTON FV35 13 01:00:55 01:00:29

416 finishers.

(Visited 27 times, 1 visits today)

Clive Cookson 10K, Monkseaton, Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Alister Robson

This is a race I’ve done every year since I started running in 2008, usually with decent results. It’s been my PB race and I even frustratingly last year exactly equalled my 10K PB time to the second. It’s flat as a pancake and sufficiently inland that the coastal winds aren’t too much of a problem.

So gutted as I was to miss the inaugural Blackhill Bounders relays and after an appalling race at Raby Castle on Sunday this is where I headed with Jacquie and Peter McGowan in the same car.

We were a bit late in leaving Durham, traffic was heavy upto the Tyne tunnel and beyond and at one stage I wasn’t sure Jacquie, who had to enter on the day was going to make it in time, but we just grabbed the last parking spot at Monkseaton School where it starts and Jacquie and Peter shot off to grab our numbers. Richard Hall jnr and Becky were also already there as was Ian Spencer who it’s always lovely to catch up with.

This year they’d rotated the route so that you no longer had to dodge (parked) cars on the estate on the way out, but that meant that the first couple of Km although pretty straight was now a slight climb. This worked well and spread the field out nicely, although I still had to run through a lot of, shall I say, optimistically placed runners at the start. Don’t they realise that chip timing means it doesn’t matter where you start, so you don’t have to block off faster runners?

I can’t deny the second lap was tough going as my Garmin packed in – laps database full and making an annoying beeping every few seconds to add audible insult to injury, but I looked up and saw first Helene from Crook ahead and then multiple world record holder Sharon Gayter, both who appeared to have gone off slightly too fast and who were slowing. Having caught and passed both of those rivals I could see Mark Doctor of Alnwick ahead – I’ve not managed to beat him yet this year, though we’re usually pretty evenly matched. I knew he’d started well ahead of me, so wondered how far down I was on the chip timing, so I kept my head down and pushed hard. I didn’t catch him though.

Not having a Garmin doesn’t help and I was astonished to find later I’d run 43.36 – not quite a PB or even a seasons best but much better than I expected and an improvement of about 8 minutes over Raby a few days before! Jacquie had a great run considering her Champagne half marathon exertions and consumption, even though she didn’t manage to beat me as the results initially said – looks like she’d been given the wrong chip. Peter had a PB too, beating his recent best at Marske and Richard, Becky and Ian all looked to have had great runs.

The memento was a tech T-shirt, there were water bottles available at half way and at the end and the run was chip timed as I mentioned above, so very good value, let’s just hope there’s no clash next year.

(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)

Clive Cookson 10K, Whitley Bay, Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Danny Lim

Before the off ... are running vests going out of fashion, then?

Several Striders had turned up to Whitley Bay for a spot of PB hunting. There was the promise of a flat and fast course which I was relishing. We were all gathered in the school’s computer room, sheltering from the passing rain and winds.

I will still traumatised by what happened at the recent Sunderland 10K. I was stuck behind a crowd of “runners” that decided to walk after 100m. Not going to happen this time! I had a sneaky plan to outflank the people in front and snuck up by the side of the start line. And it worked; for the first minute anyway. I found myself right in front. But I couldn’t spot any purple. Then I turned around and saw Alister Robson, Simon Gardener, Bill Ford, Kevin Williams and Ian Spencer all behind me. Not good! I was way too fast and running with the leaders.

Danny and Simon soon after the start.
photo © and courtesy Steve Garrett

It wasn’t long before I was passed. But the brief spurt meant that I was a couple of minutes ahead of my PB time. Shame there was another 8K to go! If only I could hang on to it. The twisty tarmac road became a rocky trail that inclined ever so gently upwards. This went on for a mile and it slowed me down. I felt that PB slipping away and I started despairing. But at the 3rd mile, the tarmac road returned and it flattened out again and I was able to catch up. It was a 2 lap route, so it very similar for the second lap though slightly harder for me. As I approached the finish, the sure enough, I could hear the other Striders (led by Alister) bellowing at me. When I did cross the finish line, I was chuffed! 48:31 which was a PB by over a minute for me.

It was a good PB haul for the other Striders too including Simon Gardener (first Strider home [38:46! Ed.]), Louise Barrow and Jill Ford. Apologies, for not mentioning everyone. To top it off, a goody bag containing a technical T-shirt, running diary and peanut butter cookie. A very well spent ££12!

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Clive Cookson 10K

Louise Miller

I used to live in Tynemouth and having ran some of the handicaps with North Shields Poly I had heard of the Clive Cookson 10k, but I’d never got round to doing it. I knew it was well known for being a fast, flat course which was good for pb’s but fresh memories of my somewhat hideous run at the not so flat Sunderland mean’t I had decided to just go along, give it a shot and hope for the best.

I shared a lift with Jacquie and Alister and was surprised to find we were the only Striders taking part, but apparently it clashed with a few other races. After sharing my new super pre race snacks with Jacquie and a trip to the uber-futuristic pod like toilets in Monkseaton school (very strange!) we made our way to the start.

I had a quick chat with my very own running idol, Ian Harding, an old work colleague who runs for Morpeth Harriers (he came 27th in last years GNR and won last years Coastal Run to mention a few of his achievements). I said goodbye to Ian, secretly praying that my improved pace would mean that he wouldn’t lap me as he did a few years ago when I last ran in the same race as him!

Everything appeared to be against me (my nike+ wouldn’t pick up a signal and I’m useless at pacing myself, I didn’t have my running twin with me (Victoria) so I’d be running on my own with no ipod and it was two laps which to me is a psychological nightmare!) All this considered, I still couldn’t get the thought of a sub 54 min out of my head….

A quick brief from the organiser and off we went. Alister was up near the front but due to the heat there was no sign of the yellow hat so he just blended in with the masses and soon disappeared from view. Jacquie was a little bit ahead but I decided to hang back as it was a bit congested at the start as we weaved our way through the streets of the housing estate.

The route takes in a bit of everything from public roads, gravel paths, farmers tracks to back roads so I didn’t actually find doing two laps too boring. There were a few bottlenecks at certain points which was frustrating but before I knew the first lap was done so I grabbed a quick drink from the half way point water station and then set off for my final lap.

Physically I felt good, but mentally I was driving myself insane not knowing my pace! I obsessively attempted to find a signal on my nike+. I eventually gave in at some point in the second lap when I realised that I could still see Jacquie up ahead. I knew she was aiming for 52 mins so decided that as long as I could see her she couldn’t be more than 2 minutes ahead of me, so that was my new tactic – keep Jacquie in my sights and hopefully I might get that sub 54.

I was going quite strong and felt good, despite a slight wobble at just before 7k when I nearly snorted a little fly but I recovered well and pushed on over the final few k. I still had no idea of my time (my clock was wrong on my watch so couldn’t even use that as an indicator!) but I felt like I was on track for a pb so I pushed a bit harder. I was never going to catch Jacquie and when I started to feel a little sick at 9k I started to regret pushing too soon.

In the distance I saw Ian (who’d won in 32.49) who pushed me on to catch the girl in front (one of which I’d been back and forth with all race) then there was Alister waiting on the final corner screaming for me to sprint for the finish (just round the corner – why are these corners always so long!). I managed a sprint finish and heard someone say 52 as I crossed the line… surely not?!

I stumbled over for a chat with Run Geordie Run who had ran this prior to running Edinburgh to Newcastle at the weekend. I then found Alister and Jacquie, Jacquie informed me that her Garmin said 51.37 (a pb for her) so maybe I’d heard right?? Sure did – finished in 52.15 so smashed my 54.20 previous pb! Alister also finished in 43.17, amazing time but sadly missing his pb by 4 secs (that’ll be last time he turns down my super pre-race snacks!)

Overall, there wasn’t the huge sea of purple I’ve seen recently at races so there wasn’t much support round the course but still great company and great times for all. It was well marshalled and although not that scenic a very enjoyable race so I’ll be back next year as beating my new pb on any other course is probably going to be very difficult!


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Ian Harding Morpeth Harriers & AC M 32:49
25 Jane Hodgson Morpeth Harriers & AC F 37:03
114 Alister Robson M40 43:17
243 Jacquie Robson F 51:37
248 Louise Miller F 52:15

317 finishers

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Clive Cookson 10k, Whitley Bay, Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ian Spencer

Everywhere has one of these, or at least should have; a nice, flat, two-lap 10k race which is well organised, marshalled and supported by club runners. Most of the race is on tarmac but a bit of it is on gravelly paths, however not enough to stop it potentially being a p.b. course. Although it’s not completely traffic-free, there weren’t enough cars to worry about. The flies caused more problems as it was a warm, humid evening. Changing and parking facilities are good in the new school. Some showers would have been nice but I don’t suppose you can have everything. The best bit, though, was the stylish technical tee-shirt and a book (a history of the Great North Run) in the goody bag, either one of which was equal to the entry fee. Not only that, I won a spot prize – a pair of socks. Haile Gebrselassie, eat your heart out!


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 DAWSON, Michael Morpeth Harriers & AC M 1 33:25
19 MOONEY, Jane Morpeth Harriers & AC F 1 37:19
150 Ian Spencer 49:04
152 Alistair Robson 49:25

213 finishers.

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Clive Cookson 10K, Whitley Bay, Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jamie Steel

Fellow Strider Alister, MickyC (maybe/hopefully a future Strider) and I, left Durham spot on 5pm. It was quite a stressful long drive, battling our way through rush hour traffic, negotiating our way through the dreaded Tyne Tunnel and nearly been wiped out on the way by a Peugeot in the wrong lane arghhhhhhh, not the best start to our preparations for the race.

We eventually arrived, thankfully in one piece at 6.30, with plenty of time to collect numbers, pee and warm up… Conditions were almost perfect, warm but not too hot and with a light breeze, which in addition to the 2 lap course being pretty flat gave me hope of cracking 40 minutes for the first time this year. The starting gun went off at 7.15 and we were off.

I felt quite lethargic but glancing at my trusty Garmin I was pleased to see I was doing ok making it to 5k in just over 20 minutes. I managed to pick up the pace and at 7k I was on schedule for a sub 40. After 7km it started to go wrong losing time on track which had a slight incline, but despite picking up the pace once back on the concrete footpath, there was no way even though I had a strong finish I could not make up the lost time… never mind must work harder! Alister came in looking strong and fresh at 46.29 and he seemed to be pleased with his time.

It was a very long day by the time we returned to Durham and I was ready for a hot bath, food and my bed!


Pos Name Club Cat Age Grade Time
1 BROWN, Mark Morpeth Harriers & AC M29 0.84 32:05
72 STEEL, Jamie M37 0.67 40:57
94 COXON, Michael Unattached * M37 0.63 43:04
145 ROBSON, Alister M37 0.59 46:29

* Go on Mike, you know you want to join …

228 finishers.

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