Ronnie Walker Memorial 10k, 17th December 2022
For the second week running, the majority of parkruns in the area were called off due to snow and ice, but Saltwell Harriers weren’t to be deterred from hosting their annual memorial 10k.
Mark Anderson and David Lydall gave their accounts of the race:
Mark: “The last Saturday before Christmas (well sort of) can only mean one thing – a chance to duel with the world-famous Aly Dixon over three and a bit undulating laps of Saltwell Park.
This was my fifth time – I was joined this year by Dave Lydall, Kenny McCormick and Richard Slack (wearing South Shields colours).
Saltwell Harriers had done a fine job of getting the grit down (they had definitely salted well!) and the temperature had risen a little so the weather was set.
I arrived to find I had been allocated number 13. I duly attached it upside down, in accordance with true Tour de France tradition, only to be dressed down by a marshal and forced to wear it the right way up, risking the possibility of bad luck.
In the end, the sun shone and it was a great event with lots of spectators, and a fair few shouts of “Go on, Claremont”. No selfie with Aly for me this year but the traditional whiskey and glass to drink it from rounded off a good year of racing with great performances from all the Sky Blues.”
Dave: “At 7 pm on Friday I decided to try to run England’s oldest road race on Saturday. Fortuitously, I’d been loading carbs all afternoon (restaurant then pub) and felt race ready when a place had become available earlier in the afternoon.
I’d been interested in the race for many years since Saltwell had been my usual parkrun for many years. This was my first attempt at the 10K.
The previous parkruns prepared me well for the route, particularly the hills! The race was very enjoyable. It was great to meet Ken, Mark and Richard at the start. During the run lots of enthusiastic marshals supported us all round the route. The course was ice-free and the weather was kind.
The 11:30 am start was particularly appreciated by me, perhaps because even more carbs than usual had been loaded on Friday. A nice touch at the end was that we didn’t have to bend down to remove our timing chips from our shoes. The organizers had laid on shoe-shine stools and volunteers who removed our chips for us.”