A long time ago…Blaydon

For our next old race report, we go back to the 2012 Blaydon races.

The event was memorable for a number of reasons, most notably the club debut of Steve Cairns.

 

Blaydon Races

Saturday June 9th 2012

Report by Steve Cairns

 

View from the front: Well just behind it actually:

Kenny had been championing the cause of TYNE BRIDGE for about a year to me, but I finally got the clearance from UK athletics, too late for the vets relays but in time for Blaydon, so that was to be my debut for the club, and I have to admit travelling down I did feel nervous. I felt that was a good sign though as it meant I was up for it and wanted to run well. I knew from my training and other recent races that I was in good shape, and I had looked at the history of the race and now wanted to add my name to that history.

I will apologise to anyone if I appeared unfriendly before the start, but that’s my way of dealing with the pressure of racing, I have a set routine, which I go through so that when the gun or bell in this case goes I know I, am ready.

So off I went with Kenny for a light warm up jog where he showed me his special toilet!!! I then left Kenny to be on my own for some strides, some light stretching where I use this quiet time to plan my race through positive thinking. I then did one last stride and I headed to the start.

While waiting in the start pen, I could sense everyone getting nervous with the delay, so I just thought to myself it’s the same for everyone, so no one is getting an advantage over me. I recognised a few other runners around me which brought back memories of past battles and focused my mind.

I try not to think about anyone else at the start as there is nothing I can do about how they run, so as we moved forward I started to plan my own race, I wanted top 20 and I knew I needed to get into that position by the first ½ – 1 mile.

The bell finally went and I was off into my running looking for the gaps and the path of least resistance.  As I wound my way through the streets, I was moving through the field, finding my rhythm, I felt good, so I kept overtaking people, I did not look for any other runners to sit on, but instead kept moving through to a pace where I felt comfortable.  As we reached the open road I looked ahead and saw the front group, it was not too far away so I was pleased with how I was feeling, I was now in a group of about 7 and I felt we where moving well, with a lad from Morpeth in his famous blue and white vest, setting the pace, by now the rain was torrential but again I thought it’s the same for everyone and put it out of my mind to concentrate on my own pace.

The group kept surging as we dropped 2 runners and I still felt comfortable but I knew I had reached my race pace. By the 3-mile mark we had dropped another 2 runners and it was now just me, with the Morpeth and white and green vested Heaton runner.

I wanted to take my turn at the front and I tried but every time I moved up along side they surged again, this was the same on the hills when they would get about a 10 meter gap on me, but I would always pull it back on the straight. (Note to self must do more hill sessions).

It was when we came off the road onto the cycle path that I heard my first ‘come on TYNE BRIDGE’ cheer, I raised my hand in acknowledgement and appreciated the cheer.  Because I never look behind me in a race, I don’t like turns as it makes you think about the runners behind you, I believe that if they are behind you then you have already beaten them and you should always focus on the race in front. Again I turned this into a positive, as I reminded myself I am always strong in the second ½ and there was no way anyone was going to catch me now.

A few more rolling hills and we turned off the main road, I knew there was less than a mile to go, so it’s all about giving it everything and not giving an inch in trying to get one more place.

I crossed the line and actually remembered to stop my watch which read 29:46, I never look at my watch during a race, as I would rather let my body decide how fast I can run. I wanted a top 20 finish and I think I achieved that, so it was a job well done.

I waited at the finish for the rest of my new team and enjoyed hearing that most of them had had good races too.  Now getting cold we headed to the bus, I started to feel hungry and remembered the goody bag had a ham sandwich: One bite into it, I wondered what the strange taste was ‘’PEASE PUDDING’’ came the reply from my now laughing team mates on lack of Geordie culture!!

The talk is we might have got the team or the vet’s team prize, which I hope is true as running is normally such an individual sport so to be a part of a team is a nice feeling.

After a quick shower at Paul’s we headed to the pub. I believe the sign of a good club, is if they can socialise? Well TYNE BRIDGE certainly are and can!!!  Thank you to everyone who came up and chatted to me and made me feel welcome.

An easy 12 miles in the morning with a few of the boys ended a good weekend and not a bad start to my new club:

See you all at the next race, and again I will apologise if I don’t remember all your names, it was a lot to take in in one weekend and I did have a lot to drink for me:

Steve

(nb. the senior men finished 2nd and the veteran men finished 3rd – DD)

 

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