In a busy week of race reports Stuart Dickson submits his account from Wednesday evening’s MT race.
George Ogle Memorial Race: Wednesday 28th May 2014
“You need a new nipple”.
Although I wasn’t fully focused – distracted by the heavy rain outside – the words of the plumber sounded a bit too familiar for a local tradesperson.
“You need a new nipple valve”, “for your radiator”, he repeated, as he seemed to notice my surprised face! Ah I see, now everything was making sense. Internal plumbing never been my strong point.
The friendly plumber had called ten minutes before I was due to leave for the George Ogle Memorial Race. Running late getting home from work with the heavy rain causing all sorts of traffic chaos, was not an ideal preparation for the race. Although the race is only about 5 mins away from my house I realised I was going to be pushing to get there in time to collect race number and do a bit of warm up before the race start at 7:15pm. A deep intake of breath that all local tradesmen seemed to have perfected after explaining my time predicament the plumber responded ‘nee bother I’l have it fixed in a jiffy’. Whаtеvеr lіnе оf wоrk уоu’rе in, if уоu’vе gоt a соmmеrсіаl ѕрасе, thеn it nееdѕ to hаvе a dесеnt plumbing ѕуѕtеm. Evеn іf that mеаnѕ a ѕіmрlе sink аnd tоіlеt іn a ѕmаll bаthrооm at the rеаr of уоur ѕtоrе, соnѕіdеr us your commercial plumbing contractor in kansas city area.
So with said radiator fixed I found myself down at the start of the race with enough time to spare collecting my number from race HQ, Swalwell Cricket Club. The race, just shy of 6 miles, goes along the Derwent Walk Country Park, a mixture of tarmac path, off road paths and fields with a couple of steep hills/steps and gates thrown in for good measure. And although this is the second time I had entered the event, this year was going to be decidedly different to the early summer balmy evening I encountered in 2013.
The race, organised by PB fitness Running club based in Rowlands Gill, is in memory of George Ogle, one of the North East’s leading athletics administrators who sadly passed away in 2010 following a long battle with cancer. George had a colourful career as an athlete before taking up admin duties and was involved in athletics for over 50 years.
Bumping into fellow TBH’ers Nick Pearson & Sandy Anderson in the club house the congregation of runners was testament to leaving the pre race warm up to the last minute! Eventually Nick and I decided to brave the weather for a short run up the finish straight, although the rain had abated slightly it turned out to be only a slight reprieve. So to the start line and seeing the only other TBH’er in the race Simon Pryde, wishing each other luck and an ‘oggie oggie’ from the race starter we were off.
The race is flat for the first couple of miles on tarmac path with only a slight incline up to the Nine Arches Viaduct, then after the viaduct the path veers right up a narrow path.
Although I had felt ok up to this point I was aware of what was coming, and within a couple of meters I was looking up the steep bank that had to be tackled. I could see a line of runners mostly walking hands on knees slogging their way up the wet muddy path. The hill is also deceiving as when you think you’re at the top there’s a small dip and steps that need to be treated with care. Enough of this ‘dawdling’ though, the hill has been topped and the first of two kissing gates. A few brave and more experienced runners decided to jump the fence next to the gate but I opted for the safe option. Continuing past the 3 mile point and water station with some pumping music blasting out from the marshals cars, the steep hill down to the meadows was a nice reprieve with being mostly gravel which was easier under foot. Although the meadows are mostly flat with only a few steps to master, the last of the kissing gates and steep steps up to the other side of the Viaduct were looming and by this time my feet were soaking as trying to dodge any puddles had become fruitless, with parts of the meadows being more akin to small ponds, up the steps to the viaduct again reducing you to walking pace at the top.
At last the hardest part of the race is over and now the nearly 2 mile fast finish across the Viaduct and down the old railway line to the finish line. Although I had been overtaken on the undulating part of the race by a good number of runners I could see three in front so decide to try and stick with them until near the end then try and take a few places within the last few hundred meters. With the rain persisting and my legs covered in mud, the feeling was not much unlike a winter cross country race. Entering the finishing straight Nick and Simon were there to cheer me over the finish line.
After catching my breathe and chatting to Simon and Nick – both of whom had strong races – we found out the official times (take note EMF organisors – DD) 36:38 for Simon in 23rd place, 40:13 for Nick in 51st , with me finishing in 43:16 86th place and Sandy coming 132nd in a time of 51:26.
Collecting our goodies bags including a nice T-Shirt, I can highly recommend this race to fellow TBH members who fancy something different to the normal road races. Its very well organised by PB fitness, with plenty of encouragement from the marshals who must be congratulated on standing all throughout the course on a very wet night (do you think I’ve mentioned the wet weather enough).
Back home and trying to remove half the Derwent walk from my legs in the shower that stinging sensation, made me think back to earlier in the evening, and the words of the friendly plumber “you need a new nipple” felt quite apt with friction that often happens when a wet running vest rubs against the upper torso and not so much of the plumbing variety but the Joggers variety….
First Male finisher was Daniel Jenkin of Durham City in a time of 30:45.
First Female finisher was Ashleigh Thorpe of Sunderland Strollers in a time of 39:56
Full Race results :- http://www.raceentry.co.uk/results/georgeogle14.html