Gibside Half and Northumberland Coastal Challenge, 5th & 8th June 2024

There is no stopping Nina Jensen! Not content with a 10K on Sunday, wor Nina has been racking up the miles ever since! So here are 2 more race reports from her:

“Wednesday was a cheeky little half-marathon organised by Wild Deer Events in Gibside. 3 laps for a half but the option to do fewer laps if you wanted within the 3 hour cut off. As anyone who’s ran at Gibside knows, it’s not flat but the 4.4 mile loop wasn’t the worst I’ve ever ran with 500ft of elevation per lap in the most beautiful surroundings. I think the weather helped too as after a day of showers the sun finally came out and the birds were in full chant. Definitely a mid week mindfulness session!

Saturday was the Northumberland Coastal Challenge, an event organised by Shepherds Walks and offering 3 distances – 15 miles, 26 miles or 37 miles and caters for both runners and hikers. I opted for ultra ( of course). After arriving at 6am at Druridge Bay we were bussed to Budle Bay for the start with some people commenting how far it was by bus! The route mainly followed the England Coast Path. The group seemed to spread out quickly with a couple of runners up ahead. By the time I’d reached about 4 miles I couldn’t see anyone so just followed the finger posts (I took a couple of wrong turns) and was surprised when I reached the first check point and was told I was 2nd. As the route went on I started to catch walkers from the 26 miles which was a good indicator that I was still on the right path. As the miles ticked down I also caught a couple of runners doing the 26 so ran with them for a bit until they said they were walking. I was still 2nd at the last checkpoint with 5 miles to go and could see a big group of runners ahead. I eventually caught them with 3 miles to go and we passed each other several times as I ran the slight inclines but then they were faster on the flat. I eventually past them again with a mile to go and a bit of an incline. Some hikers who I also passed said “Just a mile, don’t let them catch you” – so I didn’t! Eventually I was at the finish, got my card stamped for the last time and, yes, I was still 2nd in the ultra. There’s no prizes in these events. but I’ll still take that! What a great low key event. I’d definitely do it again.”

Well done, Nina. Just amazing!

Tom Tinsley -