Morning preparations went as usual, up early, breakfast, drive to the event and warm up. The temperature was perfect, nice and cool and fairly still, however it turned out to be quite breezy on the sea front, but as a Whitley bay lad I knew this was as good as perfect as we’d get for a run to the lighthouse.
Last week my every thought was about the time, so when I didn’t get it I was disappointed, today my plan was to have a good race and just see what time came of it.
Everybody knew the race was going to be won by either Serod Batichir or Tadele Geremew , as for the rest of the field it would be quite a tight run for third. The two favorites took off and we all let them go. The group I was with was Kevin Calvert, Nathan Shrubb, Sam Forrester, Garry Jones and Alun Woodward.
The first mile is a fast one, flat at first then a steep decent to the fish quay, we went through in 4.50. Normally in a race that would set the alarm bells ringing, but not on this course. The route follows the Tyne past the singing railings to the first of the two Tynemouth hills. I know from past races here that by the time we got to the top of the second hill we would know who was in good shape and up for the race.
Being a Poly runner, I know this area very well and the Tynemouth Priory hill is where I used to do my hill reps. Myself, Vaughan Hemy and Phil Lancaster used to do a killer session here, we could always guarantee one of us would be on our knees by the end of the session (usually Vaughan I hate hills me! Hemy)
We came off the top of the priory hill and started the decent towards the Tynemouth Long sands, this is a great decent and comes at a great time, it’s a chance to recover from the hills, but it’s not a time to relax as every second counts and it’s also a great opportunity to pull back a few seconds that were lost on the hills.
We went through Cullercoats and headed for the High point hotel, a little climb
then another good decent to Spanish City. I thought I might be able to use the hill to close down on Kevin, but he pulled away, my legs were getting tired and I was starting to lose the fight to hang on, I gave in a little and the gap continued to grow, I was now more concerned about who was catching me. I know a good friend and rival of me Ian Crampton always finishes strong, when I get tired I try to imagine him closing on me (as he’s done more than I’d like), but this time it was the very determined Nathan Shrubb that was closing.
The final mile is a tough one, it’s a long steady climb, on fresh legs you don’t even notice it but at the end of a 10k it saps whatever energy you have left from your legs, but at least the crowds are thickening here and the finish is in sight.
Just as you pass the six mile marker it’s a tight right corner into the home straight. Unless I could find a Usain Bolt finish I wasn’t going to catch Kevin but I still tried to finish as fast as I could to get a good time.
We would like to thank runnerwanderings for letting us use some of the great pictures on Iain's blog. To see more pictures from races throughout the region, visit the website by clicking here.