The Durham Cathedral Relays
Izzy Knox, ran her very first race as a VET on Sunday, and sends in this very fine report
My race or should I saw my dramas started 2 days before, Stevie Cairns was entering me for a 10 mile race and said to me that I was a vet 35, well that was it, he was in the bad books for the rest of the night!! Then Paul Hilton text me and said I was in the ladies vets team for the Durham Relays! Ok I was not happy but I had to start dealing with this age thing!
The race was early morning so we came down the day before and stayed at chateau Sinead, and she really is an amazing host. Arriving at the race we had been warned about the parking but with time ticking it was worse than expected trying to find a parking space, I am a typical runner who runs for miles but wants to park right on the start line.
As soon as I stepped out of the car, my excitement grew from fever pitch to whatever is above that. This race was different from usual as Stevie was racing first and that was going to upset my routine, so I controlled my own nerves and set about getting him ready, “behind every good man is a good woman” and all that. We watched Kenny Mac set off on the first leg and he looked like he had a good run to bring TBH home in about 7th, which was amazing despite his best efforts to injure himself in the week before. Then Dave Moir has a good run to bring the team up to 3rd. Then it was Stevies turn and he told me to relax and concentrate on myself while he raced but that was never going to happen, I as always was a nervous wreck, but he looked like he was running well and closing the gap. I normally sprint about shouting the whole time, but I had to control myself to staying in 1 place as I still had my race to come.
As the leader passed I started counting elephants and told Stevie how many he was behind it was 27 elephants but I told him it was 30. I had faith in him and on the second lap it was down to 10 elephants. Darryl Davison was beside me and said he’s going to win, but my eyesight is not that good and I could not see him so as he came into sight I started jumping up and down and shouting at him, and even grabbed the arm of a total stranger beside me, who turned and looked at me as if I was mad? I went to the finish line but I could not watch as he finished. I met Paul there and he told me he had held on and brought the men Vets team home first by 1 second.
Next was my race, Stevie was still recovering so I left him sprawled out on the floor while I had my own dramas finding somewhere to put my shorts on. Then I decided I was hungry and Sinead came to the rescue with some Jaffa Cakes from her very own special Race Aid Kit, it’s like a first aid kit but Irish.
First off was Louise Rodgers, who looked good when she set off, but I had to concentrate on my own warm up. She looked like she had a good run and was happy when she came in, then Kym Eden was out on the course and I finished my strides and headed to the pen. In no time she was flying towards me and I was off. Once you start running nothing else matters, push hard, but controlled, up the hill passing runners all the time, around the top and back into the field. The support from the TBH crew is amazing and drives you on. I don’t know how many I passed but only 2 passed me and one of them was Aly Dixon (Sunderland Strollers).
I gave it everything and pushed to the finish, to bring the girls home as 2nd vets. WOW amazing, we were so happy. We then supported the men’s teams before Stevie stopped me from running back to Newcastle with the TBH group. They looked like they had so much fun, and next time I am going to play with them.
I may be an Ultra runner at heart but 2 miles was so much fun.
Footnote: some provisional results can be found here