I arrived an hour and a half later at the leafy race HQ with a caucus of around 160 other runners, a record crowd. It’s not a race I’ve done before and my fried nut burgers (which I’d ingested an hour earlier) were not the best selection of pre-race scoff. Let me tell you those kidney beans take a while to digest.There were plenty of runners from local clubs. I also spied my old dentist who I snapped at Blaydon and the Druridge 10k in previous days, and whom I passed on Monday night while out on the road. He's got the bug for sure.
The route climbs gently for the first mile or so before levelling off followed by a long easy downhill stretch on tarmac before reverting to gravel track which runs along the floodplain. I started slow and kept the fast front-loaders in view for the first 2km at which point I decided to up the pace a bit, catching the flying dentist at 3km ( say aaaww...) in the process.Jane H, the first lady (but not in the presidential sense) was 40 metres ahead and eventually I came up level at 5km. However, at 6km my resolve withered and the hard money moved to my running mate as she began to pull away. I had no answer to her power politics and my campaign began to sag further at 7km as another runner came past. By the end of the event I was in the red and felt Mondays miles, but it was a nice run and, potentially, could be quite a fast course. My time of 38:47 (13th) was quite slow but I enjoyed the evening and took home a top of the range Les Allcorn mug just to remind me that when I feel like I’ve got no energy left, I really haven’t and to clear off to a quiet corner and snooze. Thanks to Alnwick Harriers.