Monday, 28 March 2016

Elswick Relays 2016

The arrangements for the Elswick Good Friday relays have changed in the last year or two from what I remember. In the olden days, you could roll up (as a club member) on the day and decide among yourselves what the teams were. The course was also a generous loop around the Newburn Industrial Park, the site of a former power station, a graphite works and a First World War factory which handled cordite and was known as Canary Island. The race is now all pre-entry, as the numbers have expanded and the course changed to a narrower dog-leg, out and back affair. Its still all off road though and no hills. The teams were pre-selected and I was advised I was second leg in the second team. The forecast was good and its only 2.2 miles in length, so how hard can that be?  Pretty tough as it turned out. Although our lot were all over 50, I was the slowest out of the 4 man team and felt compelled to make sure I didn’t let anyone down.More facially tortured gurning action at the finish guaranteed then for sure.
The women’s race went before the men’s and there was a good crowd present to see Birtley take the honours.

The men’s field was large and it was Rob H who ran first leg. I set off (as he crossed the line) and tried to settle into a pace; the first mile was 5:30 and a little quick, but predictably the pace slowed to something nearer 6min/mile on mile two as I passed a Tyne Bridge Runner and was then overhauled by another Tyne Bridger near the finish. Tim M and Paul W rang strongly to maintain our 8th place in the vets competition and that’s the way it finished.   

I took a trip out to Whitley Bay on Sunday and joined the throngs in the cool spring sunshine as they promenaded up and down the front with a stiff southerly blowing a hoolie. I jogged 4 miles up toward the start of the North Tyneside 10k route into the headwind and realised they would be coming through very shortly so had to high tail it back to the car to grab the camera and take some snaps. The huge tailwind helped many to a PB and some looked to be having trouble keeping up with their legs.

Seven miles in the morning and a jog through the woods for another 6 later in the day. This week will be an easy one with the Tay Ten coming up over next weekends horizon. Looking forward to doing a few different races this year. I think this is a good idea to stop things becoming stale. There was even talk of the Loch Ness Marathon over drinks last night. Seems a long way off. I suppose Inverness is, unless, that is, you live in Inverness. 

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