Brampton to Carlisle 10 Mile, 20th November 2022

Border Harriers & Athletic Club hosted the 70th Brampton to Carlisle road race this morning, the oldest of its kind in the UK. This historic event is run mainly on B roads, through the villages and countryside between the two towns, offering pleasantly pastoral views along a mostly flat route.

Despite repeated checks of the forecast suggesting we were in for a wet one, the persistent rain of the previous day/night kindly halted well in advance of the start, leaving us to run the whole way bathed in welcome, watery sunlight.

As ever with these races billed as “mostly flat and downhill”, there were still a few ‘undulations’ to contend with, with perhaps the longest ascent coming around a quarter of the way through. Appearing at the end of a long straight, we were able to steel ourselves for the climb, as the leading runners could be seen snaking up it from some way away.

There were a few more gentle inclines to come, generally a bit closer to the finish than tired legs would’ve wished for, but the majority of the run was as advertised, allowing us to appreciate the scenery while maintaining a good pace. Soggy feet from the start was the only real blight on the experience, but as Dave pointed out, cross-country prepares you well for squelchy running!

Things got a little hairier in the second half, with a stretch spent running along the very much active main road. However, passing motorists were accommodating to the runners funnelling along the edge of their carriageway, and as far as I know there were no hit-and-runs.

From my own perspective, the race went according to plan, hitting both the pace and time I’d set myself beforehand. Running alongside Heather Steel for the first 5k, the stitch that derailed my effort in last weekends 10k was kept at bay, and a surging finish across the bridge over the River Eden was one of triumph instead of apathy.

Carrying on from her cracking 10k performance, Sarah Kerr finished fantastically as 18th lady (from nearly 300), and there were many 10 mile PB’s to be had among the Claremont contingent (Strava-estimated or otherwise). María Dueñas managed to complete the final third of the race on a numbed foot, causes as yet undetermined, and Julie Cross was competing in this event for the third time after a 15 year gap, last running it in 2007!

With a couple of hours to kill before the journey back, a quick change of clothes on the bus was followed by a trip to The Turf pub, conveniently located across the leisure centre car park from the finish line.

Upon entering the heaving hostelry, it was clear many of the hundreds of runners had already trodden the same path, and the majority of our group ended up sitting outside on the chilly, but sunlit terrace. A plus point, it was agreed, was that the fresh air proved preferable to inhaling the aroma of the post-race hordes in a confined, indoor space.

Unfortunately, the understandably overrun bar staff left a few of us disgruntled. Delayed food, food delivered to the wrong table, food orders having to be substituted after those delays, and the final ignominy, hot drinks (paid for) not appearing at all due to an apparent dearth of mugs. Those seeking coffee eventually managed to source one from the nearby leisure centre café, before we all bundled back aboard the bus for the return to Newcastle.

I would highly recommend this race, a good course and lovely surroundings (and a fetching finishers t-shirt) made for a great experience. The race seemed well-organised, and was more than ably marshalled by Border Harriers. Big thanks to Heaton Harriers for allowing us onto their bus, and to Dave Lydall for facilitating our access to said transport, incredibly convenient not having to think about arranging car-shares!

183Sarah Kerr1:06:10
194Catherine Young1:06:35
224Laurie Johnson1:08:16
274Heather Steel1:10:27
290María Dueñas1:11:20
328David Lydall1:13:48
379Arthur Liu1:16:15
385Julie Cross1:17:04
447Lynne Cornell1:20:09
496Margaux Robin1:23:56
513Alan Dunning1:24:04
519Allie Wilson Craw1:24:50
560Jose Gallego Parilla1:27:26
563Tara Hipwood1:27:45
571Mariana Mouzinho1:28:11
Laurie Johnson -