North Tyneside 10k, 5th April 2015

By Richard Slack

This has to be my favourite 10k – although I do have a tendency to say that after every 10k that I do. As so often with the NT 10k, the day dawned sunny with light winds making it for me a perfect day for running after the Monday night battles with all the elements over the past couple of months. After the grey skies and persistent rain that greeted us at the Good Friday relays, the lovely weather was just reward. As usual I insisted on getting to the Parks Sports Centre for the race start in plenty of time. Thus, Marie and I picked up Mary on the way at 8.30am and were parked up in North Shields by shortly after 9am for a 10am start. Milling around for a short while there was a decent showing of the light blue of other Claremonters.

The race itself is a real crowd pleaser of a route. After the first kilometer along the road from the Sports Centre it then heads down along North Shields fish quay before the steep up into Tynemouth by the Castle. This first section is all traffic free. Thereafter the run sweeps along beside the road from Tynemouth all the way to St Mary’s Island with wonderful views down to Tynemouth Longsands, Cullercoats bay and St Mary’s Island in the distance getting even nearer. Well marshalled throughout with a water station around the 5km mark where the Tynemouth plaza used to be.

After some good Monday night runs being pushed along by Tom I was determined to improve on last year’s time of 48.16. At the start myself, Mungai and John G. all set off together at a good pace around 7.30ish mile. And quote of the day being referred to by some other runners who were moving towards the back of the pack that we were ‘fast lads’ – sadly mistaken. I passed the 2-mile marker at 14.55 but then came the hill up into Tynemouth – just blast up it and think of the endless West Road to spur you on. After that I maintained pace around 7.30 plus and was determined not to let the good start evaporate. Beside me there were plenty of runners maintaining this pace so it was just a case of getting stuck in and keep going. The last couple of miles tested my fitness at this pace. However more positive thought – last Monday it was headfirst into a wind all the way from Highbury back to sports Central so this was a comparative joy – sunshine on our backs and the end in sight. I crossed over the line with my aim achieved and a time of 46.22.

Congratulations to Jeremy Smith for an excellent run of 38.55, 85th overall and ninth out of 136 in V45 category. And well done to all Claremonters – full results in link below. This is certainly a race to recommend but as with many good races it fills up quickly so watch out for entries for Easter Sunday, the traditional day of the race, in 2016.

85       38:55  Jeremy Smith
262     43:23  Simon Lowe
359     46:02  Mungai Wairia
381     46:22  Richard Slack
492     48:02  John Grimshaw
658     50:07  Luke Woodend
978     53:43  Mary Martin
1006   54:56  Bill Milbourne
1093   55:35  Bob Richards
1165   56:42  Leanne Salem
1184   56:33  Marie Slack
1203   57:18  Elaine Henderson
1245   57:57  Janet Palmer
1284   58:30  Julie Mains