North Tyneside 10K, 17th April 2022
The North Tyneside 10K is a very popular event and a core part of many runners Easter weekend plans, being traditionally held on Easter Sunday. There was a decent turnout of Claremont Road Runners on a pleasant day for running, and some very strong performances. Kris Axon finished in an impressive 7th position and Sarah Kerr made the ladies’ top ten.
This was the first time I had entered the race for over 10 years (I think my last one was in 2011) as, since then, we always spent Easter with my mother. Mum went into a care home last April, so I knew that she would be looked after and we could be much more flexible as to our Easter arrangements and when we visited her. Unfortunately my Mum died on the Tuesday, so there was no Easter visit at all. This meant it was a very emotional race for me, and I found myself getting upset at all the kind words of my Claremont friends before the start.
As to the race itself, I started with Sarah and Roberto and the 3 of us were together until the Fish Quay. Once on the riverside, Sarah started to pull away. I momentarily thought about trying to stay with her, but realised that I was probably already going too fast and decided to just try to keep her in sight for as long as I could. Surprisingly Roberto fell a bit behind me. I did manage to keep Sarah in sight for most of the run and had occasional glimpses of Paul Robinson further ahead too.
The route then has the steep climb up to Tynemouth Priory before heading up the coast to finish just before St Mary’s Lighthouse. There was a lot of support from spectators along this section and Luke Woodend gave me shout as he was there taking photographs. Obviously I hadn’t had the best of preparations for the run, and by 8K I was feeling extremely tired. It was sheer will power that kept me running as I passed Gill by the Briar Dene and the thought that I had to keep going or somehow it would let Mum down. I was slowing down so Roberto overtook me not long before the end. I finished emotionally and physically drained, but happy that I had done it.
I had just walked through the finish funnel when I heard a small voice call “Tom”. It was Charlotte, Sarah’s young daughter, who was there with friends. She reached in her bag and gave me a sympathy card and a hug – as if I wasn’t emotional enough! So please forgive me for this very personal race report and let me dedicate it to the life of my Mum, Doreen Margaret Tinsley (1929-2022).
Thanks to Ian Harman Photography for letting us add his photos to our own.