12 Tyne Bridge Harriers recorded results in Newcastle parkrun yesterday. Sean Kelly sends this excellent report.
Tyne Bridge Battle Bravely in the Wind!
Exhibition Park has its advantages and disadvantages as a racecourse. It’s very flat but it is very exposed to the elements. On Saturday, the 70th Newcastle Park Run was held in very windy conditions. My biggest effort was struggling to put our club banner up on the fence and the wind turned that into an act of endurance. “There’s no way anyone’s going to get a PB today”, I commented to Rob ‘Shades’ Kirtley before the start. Well, never underestimate Tyne Bridge Harriers…
I jogged off to watch the masses (219!) run past me at the 1/2-mile point. I was trying to remember the names of all of the new members of our club as they ran past – sorry if I forgot you, there are so many new recruits! Sparrow flew past and looked like he was having trouble with his iPod (don’t let Mr Moir know that you wore one in a race!) and then there was a flock of Tyne Bridge Harriers. All of them were battling to achieve their own personal goals. Micky’s was to complete the course in one piece after struggling with a series of niggling injuries. Chris Thompson was competing in his first ever Park Run and looked strong as he past the 1/2 mile point.
I ran over to the point exactly one mile from the finish line. Whether it helped when I shouted, “You’ve got a mile to go!” I’m not really sure. Anyway, at that point, the wind had taken its toll on most of the competitors. No one had pulled out (as I have done at this point in the race, unfortunately) so they all had staying power. Sparrow must have had some residual tiredness in his legs after running a superb 10k three days before but he still put in a top-ten performance.
Tyne Bridge have become a key feature of the parkrun, due in no little part to the efforts of David Daniels who was an official pace-maker for runners aiming for 20 minutes and Rob Kirtley who was also pace-making for 30 minutes.
As the runners came through the finish line, they all looked relieved to have battled and beaten the wind. Whilst I had thought that it was not a day for PBs, Sam Collier and Mark Black proved me wrong. They both beat their previous best times with 26/24 and 19/48 respectively! CONGRATULATIONS to them and to all of the other Tyne Bridge Harriers who ran so bravely. I loved Sam’s quote after the race,
“Sunglasses and a Tyne Bridge vest make you run faster. Fact!”
Full results can be found here