(Updated 14th August)
Well done to the members who participated in the 25th running of the Darlington 10k Road Race.
Conditions were ideal for racing, warm temperatures and a slight breeze, and the runners showed their appreciation of Olympic Champion, Mo Farah, with a rousing round of applause prior to the race.
Club member, James Robson, writes this report.
Darlington 10K Race Report
Despite joining TBH nearly a year ago I can count the numbers of races I have entered on one hand. One of the few I had entered was the 2012 London Marathon, but this ended in disaster with a stress fracture just weeks before the race. While I was out injured I realised how much I missed running regularly and decided to make more of an effort to enter races when I returned.
In the last two months back in training I gradually began to feel stronger so decided a 10K should be on the cards. The prospect of a fast and flat race in Darlington looked like the perfect initiation. (Especially since it’s easier to get a PB when you haven’t run the distance before!)
The course was two laps of relatively flat roads around Darlington town centre with a short leg into the finishing straight. We arrived with enough time for Sean Kelly to show us around this final section, something I was very appreciative of in the final stages of the race. I decided to aim for sub 40 mins based on my performances at other distances and the rallying call of Kenny for more of the club to hit this target. I knew I was capable of this time but I would have to run near my best.
At the start line a large group of Tyne Bridge runners managed to position ourselves close to the start line, which despite the race using chip timing, made life significantly easier than the start at Blaydon were I got caught napping and ended up running what felt like a marathon in the first mile. I focused on trying not to go off too fast, knowing that I would achieve my goal by maintaining a steady 6:27 min/mile pace, which I followed maybe a little bit too obsessively.
I thought it would give me a boost to run with some of the other guys also aiming for sub 40 mins but most of them pushed on faster than I had planned for. I felt good for the first few miles but decided to hang back rather than adjusting my own pacing plans. I spent most of the 2.75 mile lap staring at my Garmin trying desperately not to speed up too much. (Luckily it wasn’t the most scenic race and I didn’t miss too much).
I found the second lap much harder to maintain a steady pace, with the slight uphill section taking it out of my legs. Luckily for me I had grown increasingly fed up at an apparent “local celebrity”, Brian, getting all the attention from the spectators. He had run just behind me for the whole of the first lap and I decided it was time to ditch Brian for some peace and quiet and increased my pace on a downhill section to stay on target. I soon passed Shaun Brown, who had gone off faster than me at the start, but I was struggling to hit the target pace. About half a mile later he came storming back, and with some words of encouragement I moved through with him to the end of the second lap.
We both kicked on for the final section round the town centre where I saw Sean at the side of the final bend before the finishing straight. He belted out “30 seconds left for sub 40.” I sprinted as fast as I could down the final straight and stopped my watch as I crossed the line, just ahead of Shaun. I had no idea if that sprint had been under the 30 seconds I needed since it seemed to take forever, and for once I had managed to take my eyes off my Garmin and just run! I had managed 39.45.
As I stumbled on to get my chip removed I saw Kenny hunched on the floor. Given that I knew he would have finished quite a while before me and was still in a heap I realised I hadn’t given anywhere near as much as he had. I think I could have pushed myself harder, but I was still happy to have completed my first 10K and met my pre-race target. I now have a bench mark which I am confident I can improve on, and I plan to enter a lot more races in the future, while hopefully becoming less reliant on my Garmin.
Thanks to all the support from TBH, both in training and at the race. It was great to see so many members out enjoying the day and supporting each other. Particular thanks go Sean for giving me a lift, some useful tips on the race and the much needed kick up my backside as I was finishing and Shaun for helping push the pace near the end when I was slacking off. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the day and thought the race was really well organised from start to finish. Maybe next year a PB might be a bit tougher to achieve!
Yard Hagos (Wallsend) sucessfully won the race for the second year running in a time of 30:24, whilst Rosie Smith (Durham) celebrated a hat-trick of consecutive wins with a time of 34:54.
Keith Smith was first finisher for the club, with his time of 34:29 helping him win the 45-49 age category.
Strong performances by Tony Carter (34:32) and Kenny Mac (34:49) meant Tyne Bridge were awarded 2nd Team Prize.
Below are results from all runners registered as Tyne Bridge Harriers (although several members are listed as ‘unattached’ in the full results).
Full results can be found here