Whitley Bay Inaugural Parkrun

Posted: 16/06/2012 in Uncategorized

Today was the first Whitley Bay Parkrun, held on my home turf, and along paths I run every week, so I wasn’t going to miss it for a little rain.

When I went to bed, it was raining.

When I got up, it was raining.

As I headed to the door, it was raining.

As I got out of the door, the rain eased up and stopped as I headed to the start at the memorial in front of the Spanish City. There were a good few other runners there, and more arriving all the time, so I wandered about aimlessly, waiting for the general excitement of the build up to the start.

Given the weather, I’d opted for a vest/waterproof/shorts combo, but as it seemed quite warm and humid I ditched the jacket and made my way over to the start. A buzz of excitement, and the Mayor turned out to wish us all well and  we were off!

The route swings around the Links, down by the Skate Park and along the promenade along the top of the beach. All feeling pretty good so far, and mighty warm, so I was glad I’d opted out of my jacket. Everyone was well behaved, and the dog walkers mostly stopped to marvel at the combined athleticism on show (or gawp at the lunacy of it all, my recollection is a little off on this point).

At the end of the promenade, up a wee hill and down over the bridge across the stream – my one bit of advice to anyone doing the run is to position before the bridge – it’s only barely wide enough for two quite close friends to cross, so you don’t want to be at the back of a pack at this point.

Up the hill, swing around and onto the road for a spell, then back onto the promenade and up onto the Links again, running along the top and over the roof of the cafe that sits underneath – it must have sounded a bit funny to the folk inside, I reckon. A bit further and past the finish point, but this is a two lap race, so you don’t want to get too excited just yet.

Back to the start and off you go again – I was feeling pretty good at this point – my calf wasn’t complaining and my achy toe (which materialised last night) was silent. Back onto the promenade and I was trying to keep my pace down, thinking ahead to the Hadrian’s Wall Half Marathon next weekend, where I reckon pacing is going to be the making or breaking of the event for me.

Back over the bridge, back onto the road and dip down and onto the Links again and into the finish. A nice short-ish distance, and it was great to see that the Mayor has stuck it out until the end, congratulating the runners as they came in at the end. Collected my position tag, queued to get my barcode scanned and that was that. Straight off home for the rest of the day’s fun, no time to dawdle (I ran the extra 1/2 mile to get back, it was spotting again now the race was over).

Great stuff, and very well organised. I’m planning to volunteer for next week’s event, as the halfie is the day after, so I won’t want to be running.


  • Distance: 5km
  • Time: 26’53” (new Parkrun PB!)
  • Average pace: 8’49” (far too fast…)
  • Position: 131

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