Blaydon Race 2015

Posted: 28/06/2015 in Uncategorized

The used to advertise McEwan’s Best Scotch as ‘The One You’ve Got To Come Home For’ in the North East. I used to like a bit of McEwan’s Best Scotch, though to be honest I probably liked Exhibition Ale a little better, or Newcastle Amber Ale (as opposed to Brown Ale).

The Blaydon Race is a bit like that, only not at all. It’s the one race I’ve run every year since I started running, it’s one of the only road races I’ll always try to enter. What other race has dancing and singing at the start, bands along the route and then pickled onions and beer at the end (and tripe and black pudding if that’s your bag).

There are many philosophical questions around the Blaydon Race – what colour will the commemorative t-shirt be (fingers crossed not day-glo again like in 2013)? What will serial run-streaker Lord Smythe be wearing (caveman this year – think it was a jockey last year and cupid the year before – no, cupid, I didn’t mis-type that)? Will rain make the sandwiches at the end soggy?

It was proper cracking weather, a bit of sun, but not outrageous. A couple of trips to the loo, then down the Bigg Market and past Balmbras. Into the club runners pen opposite the Cathedral and wait for the start. There was a minor delay – someone further down the course was getting medical attention, so much more important than hitting a clock.

Then we’re off!

The start of the Blaydon Race is amazing – running through the streets of Newcastle with hundreds of other people is something else. You probably need to try it – the nearest I can get to it is if you’ve ever been on a march or parade.

I felt like I was doing pretty good, after a mile there seemed to still be a lot of club runners around me. Two miles and heading along the Scotswood Road and still the same story.

It always surprises me the number of people who come out to watch and support the race – there isn’t much of the course that doesn’t have folk cheering, shouting and high-fiving. 

At the end of Scotswood Road, over the bridge and the new route along the dual carriageway instead of through the industrial estate. Once again, you never know how hilly a bit of road is until you run on it, and this bit was a harder slog thanI’d thought.

Then the run along Chain Bridge Road and into the finish – I looked at the clock and figured it must be wrong – it looked like I was under 45 minutes after last year’s 48 minute speed-fest. I got my t-shirt and picked up a pickled onion and back to the car – my phone already had a results message 42:37 – flippin ‘eck!

I have no idea how I can live up to that next year… 😬

 

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