Continuing the seaside theme, this time we’re popping back to 2012 and re-visiting Kev Jeffress‘s take on the North Tyneside 10K.
This was Kev’s first competitive run for TBH, and boy what a debut.
North Tyneside 10K Road Race
Sunday 8th April 2020
Report by Kev Jeffress
I’d been looking forward to this 10k since boxing day, when Captain Hilton showed me round the course while we were passing time waiting for Xmas pudding run in December. I couldn’t remember most of the course, two things which did stick in me mind though, hills! A steep downhill, which 99.9% of the time means a steep uphill climb and in this case there certainly was.
Anyway that was 4 month ago, on the morning of race, I woke up a bit late, literally rolled out of bed got me kit ready and headed straight out to get me lift. Today, for me, was a big test, as I’m sure it was for everyone else, for different reasons, whether it be a pb, a first 10k, or even just a first race. For me it was my first 10k since that fateful day at Heaton 10k, when Paul spotted me, seen I was unattached, found me on facebook and the rest is history.
I felt I had something to prove, not to the club as I always see this as a club who doesn’t pressure on you to perform, ya just run your best, enjoy it and whether it be your best or worse run, you are praised as you did your best, and that’s all what matters. No, I felt I had some thing to prove to myself. My last 10k pb was at Darlo back in 2010, so id been in a bit of a rut. I was nervous, yet deep down I was feeling a bit confident of getting good time due to TBH training and support, maybe not a pb, but maybe sub 36:00
My last 10k at Heaton when I was unattached, I arrived and was wandering about like a lost puppy, no one with me, and this just adds to nerves. At NT10K, this certainly wasn’t the case. As soon as I got there, TBH vests were all over, saw Kenny Mac & Sean Kelly straight away, then by the minute, TBH vests were growing in force, which helped me feel at ease. Everyone chatting, no one seemed nervous, just really excited to run one of the biggest 10ks in the country.
The weather was a bit nippy whilst standing about, but really was almost perfect for running, hardly any wind an just a light drizzle. So we headed over to start. I was a few rows from front with Paul, where he pointed out some of the big guns in front. After a few good lucks and well wishes we were off. A good start, everyone battling for a spot and finding their pace, within about half a mile we hit the first hill, fair be it it was downhill, but it slowed me a bit. After that Me and Paul were pretty much running side by side, Kenny and Keith already speeding away from the pack.
I was running quite comfortably at this point, anticipating and fearing and even trying to conserve a bit energy for what was round the corner – THAT HILL!, first of all a little incline just to break you in, and if its your first NT10K, you may think “that hill everyone’s on about isn’t so bad”. then just as ya got your breath back, up popped that little hills dad, which was bigger and steeper. I knew after this it wasn’t too bad so I hit the hill, give my best and then felt a relief, also a lot of support from TBH spectators on the hill really helped get up it.
Now that was out the road I could concentrate on my pace. The route became flat, and really scenic, great views out to sea and again some fantastic support along the way. Some little ups and downs along the way, but nothing major, in fact it made it more interesting. At 4 or 5 mile I knew the end was in sight, checked my average pace on watch and knew I was on for a pb.
I felt like slowing as was running out of steam, but saw 2 people ahead from other clubs and made them my pacemakers, I thought if I just catch these ill be happy, as I caught up I found myself able to hold the pace and even pass them, now heading into the final stretch I tried to pick the pace up, to keep ahead of the guy I had overtaken. Never one to look back, I didn’t know how far behind he was, so kept on going, then crossed the line at 35:35, a pb by 22 secs. Kenny and Keith already there as our first 2 counters, Paul our 4th not far behind me, and Sean not long after Paul.
Every minute or so, another TBH vest come flying in, everyone happy about their race, loads with pbs, a lot for their first 10k, some for first race in tbh vest and some for first race they’d ever done.
Overall everyone ran fantastic, we may not have been the fastest team, but as always in my eyes, we were the best team.
Well done everyone.
(footnote: since then, Kev has lowered his 10K PB down to 32.06, represented his country at international level and remains a top bloke).