Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Clive Cookson 10k

It was like taking the kids to the seaside. Having decided late on that I would nip doon tha coast  to run the Clive Cookson 10k at Monkseaton, I reached for the kit drawer under the bed and pulled the drawer out. The club top and shorts were at the front and positively jumped out. You could hear them shouting 'me, me, me..'.  I pulled on the vest and caught myself in the mirror. 'Mmmm, carrying pound or two extra. No matter', I thought, 'might do me good to haul the supplementary 'fatage' round this flat two lapper'.  Does that make me a flapper?

There was a good crowd gathering as we signed up inside the new lego school, a great example of a post-modern donut. No doubt it's won a prize.

It was cool and there was a breeze that kicked up as black clouds built and built.  It was soon time for the off.  I moved on and out with 300 others, keeping myself well out of the jostling. Staying out of trouble, I clipped along at a uneventful pace across the gravel track and then down the main road along with two or three others as we came to the end of the first lap. There was still another 5k to go. I tried to maintain focus but struggled a little through the housing estate and watched the little group split and move ahead at the 7k mark. Trying to keep some technique, I slowed and watched 4 come past in the last 2k but held it together across the line.

Not wearing a watch and without my Garmin. I reckoned it was a late 36 minutes which in my book (and mildly bloated state) was a cause for celebration. I duly celebrated with what is described as a 'dry boak'...the stomachs way of saying 'wtf just happened...'.

At least it had stayed mostly dry. Had a quick warm down but didn't wait for the presentation. On the drive home the temperature was around five degrees and the heavens opened. Cracking summer weather, eh? A trip to the seaside? Don't make me laugh.....  

Thursday, 16 May 2013


Sat here watching the Eurovision semi-finals, I am sprawled untidily across the settee with my overly-tight calves raised up on a cushion. Not sure about the Romanian entry, but the Finish and Greek entries could be up there...
Right...where was I.
Tuesday night was a gentle jog around Woodhorn running in the opposite direction to the runners doing the 10k. I should get the photos loaded up; There's just been no time;
I was sent up to the loft yesterday to look for a violin that neither I nor the missus can play. In the process of digging it out, I came across an old box of my photos and cycling programmes from the late 1970's and early 80's. Thought I'd thrown them out. They might be worth something at Flog it, but not likely. They gave me hours of cheap nostalgia though as I flicked through various start sheets from years gone by. I was supposed to be riding tomorrow at the North East England Criterium Champs, my big come back, but have got reeled in to run the Masters Championship Relays at Sutton Park on Saturday. Difficult to do both. 

Any rate, all sport has been on the back burner of late as we clearly are romping out of recession and work is crackers. No bad thing, but its cramping my social life. May is in danger of being a blur.  All I need to do this weekend is keep it together and make sure nothing in the leg department goes all Duane Eddy. Might be time for some new trainers. Ding Dong.

Thursday, 9 May 2013


I have been biding my time in the racing stakes recently trying to keep myself in one piece. I've been putting in plenty of miles on the bike, but my weekly total on the running front has been, well, meagre. Just keeping my hand in. I don't seem to easily reconcile running and cycling. Maybe I just haven't got the time to do both.

Ran the Neptune Relays last week, a trail running relay in Durham held in the grounds of Hardwick Hall. We had 13 athletes running in four teams of four. Some had to run twice. Quite a laugh. It was a glorious, if cool evening and it was good craic. The prizes consisted of a range of fruit. Keep everyone regular, that will.

I had the possibility of a place in the Etape du Tour.  This year it's centred on the picturesque Annecy and takes in the Col des Pres and Mont Revard, two thigh destroying, lung stripping climbs. The finish is a huge uphill as well. However, had to decline for one reason or another, so maybe next year.  The Wooler Sportive on Saturday will provide a milder test. Sixty three miles in the Cheviots. Should try some bikes races as well, although the cycling season is in full swing so best stop navel gazing and get on with it. So much to do, so little time.

On the summer athletics front, I've decided to re-launch myself at June's Alwinton Fell Race, a 14 mile rolling extravaganza near the border. This year the prize list is sponsored, so it should be a pothunters-fest. I'll be doing my bit to drum up numbers (starting with this blog).  I might also shoe horn in warm up races at Yetholm, this year a British Championship race, and maybe a track race before then. I had the track spikes on tonight.  The calves were tightening up toward the end, but good to have a run out. It'll be a tall order trying to match previous track times though. Its been a while.

Now that the sun's made an appearance I'll have to get myself up the hills. As an aside, if you fancy a bit of cross-training, try having a go at a Lleyandii. After a bank holiday afternoon wrestling with one, I was wiped out and can thoroughly recommend this leftfield form of conifer hedge torture.