Not quite the storms of 1862 (not that I was there) but it was a cold wet night, which was not too bad for running once you warmed up, but must have been pretty miserable for spectators.
As usual for the 'Blaydon' it was a fast start as we set of to the ringing of Jackie Browns Bell. I decided to be a little conservative and try to keep it steady. Going through the first mile in 5.55 I estimated that I was probably not in the first 100. Picking it up slightly the 2nd mile was reached in 11.32. It was about here that I noticed Mark Mc Nally of Elswick up ahead (Mark finished 3 places ahead of me in the North Tyneside 10km in April) and Gordon Dixon of Morpeth (not sure if he is in the over 50 age group yet) caught me. As we carried on along Scotswood Road and reached Paradise (bridge) Gordon started to pull away, but I had caught up to Mark.
However, by the time I had crossed Scotswood Bridge (see photo, courtesy of AmcD ) Mark had pulled away again. The next 2 and a bit miles turned into a game of cat and mouse, as Mark and I kept passing each other. However, reaching the top of the flyover just before Blaydon, with about three quarters of a mile to go I finally got a gap on him which I maintained to the finish, which I reached in 35.32.
So basically I ran the 5.9 miles at an average of 6 min a mile. My time was 17 sec down on the last time I ran two years ago, so am reasonably pleased. I am now looking forward to building on this, starting with the Newton Aycliffe 10km a week on Sunday.
The race was won by Cherop of Kenya in 27.41, with last years winner, Ian Hudspeth, 3rd. The ladies race was won by Justina Heslop of Clapham in 31.25. I have not been able to see a copy of full results yet so this is all the details I have at the moment.
I would like to mention all the hard work put in by race organiser Bob Houston and his team for ensuring another successful race. I know Bob has been putting in about 16 hours a day.