The 5k race at Silksworth on the edge of Sunderland has a reputation for being a fast course. This is on account of 500metres of downhill at the start. However, tonight the wind was up a little and the crowd of 250 runners had to work hard to achieve any glory. Having spent 7 hours in the car beforehand, I was still feeling, surprisingly, quite chirpy as we collected our numbers and I was aiming for a sub-18 minute run, which should be in the bounds of possibility. We went hell for leather down the hill upon hearing the whistle and with the ‘ski-ramp start’ out of the way, it was head down into the wind for the two laps around the park. The first kilometre was cracked in 3:26 but I steadily slowed to complete the 4th kilometre in 3:47. I thought I was on for a good time. With no more 'go-juice' in the tank, I found myself surrounded in the last 500m by 3 women who were have their own competition for 3rd place. Needless to say they all got passed me as the needles on my eye-dials read ‘empty’. It was 17:57 by my watch on the line and 17:59 on the results sheet which, all in all, I was quite happy with.I’ve entered the Coastal Run between Beadnell and Alnmouth on Sunday; Its only the second time I’ll have done this, so quite looking forward to it. Having just come back from a week in Picardie where I gave the wine a body swerve, I think there’s a little form returning, so might stretch my legs on a Hill run soon. I’ll take the camera on Sunday.