Bridges of the Tyne, 2nd July 2024

Another 5 mile outing for Cate Walker:

“Having enjoyed my first timed 5 mile run at Newburn less than two weeks prior, I was looking forward to a chance to repeat the experience and maybe even better my time.

The conditions for this race were very familiar, with the course more or less being the Claremont autumn/winter handicap with a bit more of the Quayside. It also felt very resonant of lining up for the Blaydon Race just a few hundred metres down the Quayside some weeks before (although with fewer people this time). Weather conditions were excellent, probably the perfect running temperature for me and nicely timed between rain showers at other points of the day.

As we warmed up along the river (getting a great view of the replica Spanish Galleon along the way, shame my camera/phone was already in the bag drop!) there was a keen breeze and I thought the outward part would be harder than it was. As it happened after a very mumbling briefing (not sure what was going on with the loudspeaker), we were off and I was completely unaware of the wind. This may have been due to the volume of people all around me though!

I did what probably most people do and started too fast, had been aiming to try and keep to around 7:45/7:50 min miles and looked down to see I was on 7:20. I slowed down a little and then had that wonderful experience that happens occasionally where everything feels good, and you just get into your stride. I was able to keep to my pace for most of the route, slowing on a couple of occasions with the midpoint incline, and getting boxed in by other runners, but I felt great on the last mile so sped up some more and ended up finishing about 45 seconds ahead of my Newburn time.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t motivated to sprint at the end by the knowledge that Howard was just behind me (I stayed ahead, although he did just beat me on chip time – well done, Howard!). Aoífe’s well timed photo is testament to the determination on both of our faces as we sprinted into the finish, cheered on by Laurie (who had finished some minutes prior), Jack and Aoífe. It was great to catch Mungai and Shilpa at the end, Shilpa having very impressively come in under 50 minutes.

Overall, despite the disappointment I’d experienced momentarily when looking more closely at the course earlier on that day and realising that we weren’t actually going to run over any of the namesake bridges, this was a really positive experience. And great training for the autumn/winter handicap – shame the next one is on the Moor!”

107Laurie Johnson32:32
126Jim Crinnion33:33
230Mungai Wairia (3rd MV65+)37:03
259Howard Maclennan38:38
260Cate Walker38:44
406Shilpa Iyanna48:39
Laurie Johnson -