Rocked up at Lockey Park on the edge of Newcastle for the Weestlade Relays. Limited to around 60 teams consisting of a senior, a vet and a woman runner, this event is set around the refurbished colliery spoil heap at Wideopen. The heap has been landscaped and looked pleasing bathed in a late evening sunburst.
We arrived early and nosed around. I helped myself to a cup of polystyrene coffee. Soon, the throngs arrived and we got our numbers. I was running with fast vet Phil W and my young 'un. Keep it in the family, eh! After a lengthy talk on the line, a compact posse took off across the field, then out along the flat, grey gravel track lined by Hawthorn and Blackthorn. It was the old rail line and wagonway before that. The field began to stretch out and there were plenty ahead of me. After cutting through a buttercup meadow we climbed up the mound and I got passed two runners, but on the way back along the 2.5 mile route, I couldn't reel in the South Shields and Tynebridge runners ahead. I was going well though, and back on the fields where the cheering crowds were, I snatched a further place before crossing the line where I made a series of distorted faces as I tried to gulp in lung-fulls of clean, Tyneside air.
Grabbed my top and did another 4 miles around the course shouting at the other runners from the club as they made their way around the route. Good fun and, as with all relays, with added randomness. We finished 13th which was very respectable. The presentation was prompt and printed results issued super quick time. Good Work Claremont.
With Cronkley Fell Race in County Durham at the Weekend, its going to have been a busy June.