NS Poly Grand Prix, 1st November 2022

It was a mild and dry evening with just a gentle breeze – at least by the standards of Whitley Bay in November! So, conditions were pretty good for the 3rd Grand Prix (and the second on the “real” GP course) of the winter season. The main issue was the lack of street lighting along the promenade on the return section, but we had been warned about this and many runners had head torches. However this was not as dark as the scary section when we are right down under the cliffs at sea level!

Once again there was a good turnout by the 2 Claremont teams, with 13 out of 16 entrants running on the night. I had missed the October race, which probably explains why I had such a tough handicap – I was starting with Paul Robinson, 20 seconds behind Laurie Johnson and a full 40 seconds behind Mark Anderson. They would have had to be seriously off-form for me to make up those gaps, and I can now appreciate how our members must feel at some of my handicapping!

Afterwards, there was the usual comparing of times and chat about the race, before either heading home for food or, for a number of the Claremont crew, going to the pub for fish and chips. Now, that’s real runner’s food! Alf Tupper would approve (Note to younger readers – ask your parents).

Then we were pleasantly surprised when the official times came through, as they were all approximately 20 seconds better than our watches. Apparently the official finish had been a short distance before the funnel, so we had crossed the line earlier than we thought. This may have led to some minor changes in position and slight discrepancies in running times, but not enough to take the enjoyment out of a good night’s running.

This is a team competition, and the two Claremont teams are almost at opposite ends of the table. After 3 events, The Full Claremonty are flying high in 2nd place overall. After a slow start, Rock’s Stars are pulling away from the bottom and are now 27th overall.

Ben Hardy is showing signs of getting back to his best, as is Mark Anderson, and they were the first two sky blues home. There was a good contest for the fastest Claremonter on the night, with Mark pipping Paul by just 1 second.

There is an individually competiition as well as the team one and Claremont have 2 in the top ten. Dave Roberts is reaping the rewards for consistent running and lies 3rd in the table. Maria Duenas is not far behind in 9th.

Race Details(GP 3)
PositionRunnerTeamHandicapRace TimeRun Time
24Ben HardyThe Full Claremonty17:3039:3022:00
34Mark AndersonRock’s Stars18:3039:4421:14
48Maria DuenasRock’s Stars16:3039:5923:29
59Dave RobertsThe Full Claremonty16:5040:0823:18
75Laurie JohnsonThe Full Claremonty18:5040:2221:32
79Paul RobinsonRock’s Stars19:1040:2521:15
89Nicki O’BrienThe Full Claremonty16:3040:3024:00
128Rose HawkswoodRock’s Stars03:3040:5637:26
131Luke WoodendRock’s Stars12:3040:5828:28
139Tom TinsleyThe Full Claremonty19:1041:0621:56
162Nina JensenThe Full Claremonty14:3041:4527:15
167Tara HipwoodThe Full Claremonty12:1041:4829:38
181Lena LouRock’s Stars05:1045:0139:51
Tom Tinsley -