MoN Race Report – 28 April 2013

Marathon-of-The-North-Logo-e1345149884181It was another memorable day for Tyne Bridge Harriers as PB’s were smashed left, right and centre at this year’s Marathon of the North running festival.


With members taking part in all three events; 10k, half-marathon and full marathon, there was plenty of action to keep the large contingent of supporters occupied, and as the runners came storming through the finishing line(s), it soon became apparent that the majority of the members had pulled off superb performances.


An euphoric Dave Moir writes this race report.

After last years “near miss” with a time of 3:00:36 this year I was determined to get under that 3 hour barrier that fate seemed to have put in front of me for several years.

I’ve been running better now than I ever have, setting a few PBs so far this year, so was a little disappointed to see the long range forecast predicting strong winds on marathon day in Sunderland. That did change several times over the space of 2 weeks but ended up returning to about the 15mph that was originally forecast. This I felt could have been a bit of a problem.

Anyhow, undeterred I was picked up by DD just before 8:00 and on arriving in Sunderland, the promised wind seemed to be in place and was coming from the South West. This meant that the first half would not be too bad as there was only one long section against the wind, but the second half had 3 problem areas, 2 “out and back” sections and then the last 2 miles (just where you need a tough section in a marathon).

With the words of advice from many people “don’t go off too fast” still ringing in my ears, I had decided to run 6:40 pace and stick to that until mile 20 and then see what happened. There were a few TBH vests around me for the first bit of the race as the half marathon was run in conjunction with the full this year, and I soon settled into the required pace and started chatting to a couple of Sunderland Harriers. These guys had done London last week in under 3 hours and were just out for a bit of a run, as it was on home turf. They kept me entertained, provided me with water, and best of all, in the windy sections were more than happy to do the work and let me shelter behind them. It was with some regret that I had to wave goodbye to Sean Smith and his mate Steve just before the 13 mile mark, as they’d done me a big favour getting me that far with minimal effort, and I was now on my own.

The only other marathon I’ve done where a half is set off at the same time was Nottingham several years ago, so I knew that at the split off point, there would be a good chance that I’d lose any group I’d been running with and end up on my own. This is exactly what happened, but I was prepared for this and put a bit of an increase in speed to catch the 2 runners ahead. 2 became 3, then 4 and finally we had a group of 5 all working together which is exactly what I was after. In that group we had Andrew Huddleston who runs in my lunchtime group now and again (but still remains unattached despite various people nagging him), Andrew Henderson from the Quakers, Mark Jackson from Easingwold, and Oliver Truby, an unattached runner from Hull who told us he’d just ran a PB for the half and this was his first marathon.

“Hello Dave” came a little voice from somewhere, “hello Dave”, and there it was again, and there were Mark Hall’s girls Lilly and Niamh sitting on a bench waving at the runners going past. Another real boost followed by a berating from their father because I was at the front of the group doing all the work (well I would be, the wind was on our backs and it was a downhill section – I do like to do my bit you know!!). The Hall’s remained in the area as it was a good place to see the runners several times as the course looped around it, but I do suspect that bit of spectating probably cost ‘Horlicks’ his own body weight in 2p coins as he’d made the school boy error of locating himself within earshot of the arcades!

Getting to the furthest point on the course, from studying the course profile, I knew that the worst hill was just about to come on the “out and back” section we were nearing. Andrew Huddleston is a very strong runner and negotiated the hill as though it wasn’t even there. It was quite a climb and it was straight into a head wind, we posted a 7:09 mile by the time we had reached the top (I think that was still respectable considering the conditions), but I knew this was probably one of the worst bit’s over with. We then hit the next “out and back” bit just before Roker Park. Again this was straight into a head wind and was uphill (not as bad as the first out and back), and I struggled to keep in contact with the group. They dropped me by about 10 or so meters and this gap kept on widening. Once at the top, despite having lost my windbreak, I was feeling OK and I saw Stephen Graham from Sunderland Harriers (who I regularly race at the XC) and he gave me a bit of encouragement pushing me towards the downhill section. I lost a little focus after this and it wasn’t until I caught my foot on one of the metal barriers that I re-joined reality and started focussing again (no damage done – to either my foot or the barrier before Sunderland council try to put a claim in).

Nice downhill section, wave to the Hall’s again then into Roker Park. This is probably the only criticism I have of the whole race as it was very quiet and not really well marshalled. A Dad pushing a child on one of the swings waved us on in the right direction as we were looking a bit confused. I had just been caught be a relay runner who went past me, and he went around a corner, panicked a bit because he couldn’t see anyone ahead so turned back so that when I came around the corner he was running towards me. Not sure who was more confused, but I wasn’t in the mood for messing about at that stage, put my “sympathetic” face on :-( (which scared him into turning around and going back again) and carried on in the direction I was going which turned out to be right.

Final section to go and it was at this point the Roker Roar could at last be heard. It had been a mouse like squeak in the very sheltered park up until that point, but coming out the park, the full force of the wind hit me. Only a couple of miles to go, so what else could I do but push on. I’d slowed to 7:30 pace and I was giving it all I had left. I hit the 25 mile marker in about 2:46 and it was at that point I realised, even if I walked the rest, I’d still get under 3 hours. George Bainbridge from South Shields decided to wake me up again as he sailed past me, I tried to hang on just to get some shelter but failed miserably. Onto the side streets and the wind dropped considerably, I was starting to think “I wonder how much under 3 hours I can get” at that point. Suddenly my TBH family erupted around me and what a lift that was. The final run in section mustn’t have had room for any other club’s supporters such was the number of TBH spectators. I neared the finish line and I looked up at the clock which was heading rapidly to 2:56 so put a final bit of a spurt on just to stay under that. Final time was 2:55:55 (2:55:52 chip time).

After picking up our medals and a volunteer suggesting I should have a Large T-shirt (how rude) we had a bit of a struggle re-locating our bags, but when we did I was delighted to find a place selling hot drinks, so 2 cups of tea in hand and back off to home with my designated driver DD.

Further congratulations received on getting home and a present of some relaxing shower gel which was to be accompanied by some “relaxing” music that my children, Hope and Jake, had written themselves and were ready to perform during the showering process. Who needs candles, Tea-tree oil and Enya, when you can make your own mood music with saucepan lids and wooden spoons!! Think I’ll put them in for the Voice next year.

Thanks to everyone for all the support and messages – I’ve been working towards this for quite some time, and it felt like everyone knew it and willed me on. Great to see so many people on the day and not just TBH, the Heaton lads were all over the place (no change there then), obviously the Sunderland Harriers and Strollers were around in force encouraging us. The race had a great North East running community feel to it and I feel the NE clubs have really bought into this one. I’m sure it will go from strength to strength.

Dave Moir


Club results.

MON 10k.

nametime (chip)
john (sparrow) morley35:32
keith smith35:50
shaun brown36:02
jon moss40:49
james knox43:04
keith rooney43:40
jasmine black48:39
stephen hall50:48


MON Half-Marathon

nametime (chip)
mark jackson1:22:19pb
andy harrison1:22:42
joseph turner1:23:18
stephen barker1:25:28pb
david daniels1:25:31
alex lockwood1:30:04 (tbc)
peter kennedy1:30:31
christopher murther1:32:37
emma wright1:39:50pb
stuart dickson1:41:01
bryan ankers1:42:16
claire miller-grossett1:43:11pb
sophie wardrobe1:43:37pb
chris parkin1:46:26pb
ruth lee1:51:22pb
natalie ohlson1:53:19
vicky forster1:53:58 (tbc)pb
claire rowley2:01:37
stephanie mcfarlane2:05:49pb
gwen burin2:17:50


MON Marathon

nametime (chip)
kevin jeffress2:47:34pb
david moir2:55:52pb
euan clubbs3:29:33pb
nicholas pearson3:34:45
david young3:46:07
ryan hogben3:48:32pb
simon pryde3:49:09
neil capstick3:51:40
tim hawkins3:57:21
steven compton4:14:00pb


Full results can be found here


Kev Jeffress finishing the Marathon.

Kev Jeffress finishing the Marathon.

Dave Moir finishing the Marathon.

Dave Moir finishing the Marathon.

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  1. please let me know if your name is missing from the results or the time is incorrect.

    And many congratulations to everyone who ran a PB today. It’s good to know there’s at least one north east club who wear black and white that performs with passion and committment.

      • Apples on 28th April 2013 at 17:34
      • Reply

      Andy Harrison is missing from the 1/2 just after Stacey Rogers, think he’s in the results as Tynebridge Harriers

    • David Hindmarsh on 28th April 2013 at 17:27
    • Reply

    Well done all, but sensational effort from Dave Moir breaking the magical three hour barrier after a few years of real effort.

    • Claire Miller-Grossett on 28th April 2013 at 19:24
    • Reply

    Truely inspirational stuff from the whole club today. Thanks to Nick Pearson for the pep talk when I was struggling at 9 miles. I was very proud to be part of our club today.
    Ps my time was also a PB

      • Nick on 28th April 2013 at 21:36
      • Reply

      My pleasure Claire, you must have smashed the last 5k, great work!

    • on 28th April 2013 at 20:30
    • Reply

    Brilliant running everybody. Well done Kev & Dave Moir !! excellent times .. congratulations to everyone

      • Kev jeffress on 30th April 2013 at 22:26
      • Reply

      Thanks rob mate

    • Big Ron on 29th April 2013 at 12:04
    • Reply

    Great to see so many TBH vests having the passports approved to venture into the land of the Prince Bishops! Some great running and some beaming smiles at the end although these soon dossappeared when i mentioned moving up in the training groups.

    Double D missed one PB, mine! I actually had all half marathon baggage picked up by 14:30, nearly 1 hour quicker than last year! So an early finish for a change.

    Well done everybody, long may it continue.

  2. to follow Ron’s comments, it was great to see so many members out and about around the course on Sunday, many of whom were helping as marshals. Many thanks for all they support.

    • Jacko on 29th April 2013 at 18:08
    • Reply

    Well done Dave – great running and great report.

    • Andy H on 29th April 2013 at 19:50
    • Reply

    Great report as always Dave. Last paragraph summed it up perfectly, the support was immense from TBH at the side and on the road and really made the race.

    • Stu Dickson on 29th April 2013 at 19:52
    • Reply

    Well done Dave, Great report and it must be a fantastic feeling to realise a long-term goal getting under the 3hrs and you did with minutes to spare. Congratulations

    • Badger on 30th April 2013 at 00:25
    • Reply

    Great stuff Dave. You’ve trained hard to get under the elusive 3 hour mark and must be really pleased that it all finally fell into place on the day.

    • richard jones on 30th April 2013 at 13:22
    • Reply

    Well done Dave! Fantastic effort getting under 3 hours, and well done to everyone else for finishing, PB’s on local turf is a definite bonus!

    • Kev jeffress on 30th April 2013 at 22:24
    • Reply

    Excellent report dave!! And fantastic run!

    • Jacko on 10th May 2013 at 20:32
    • Reply – with this coming to light do you think we have any case for demanding a full refund for some sort of breach of contract (the admission is surely implied that their marshaling was at fault) on the part of the organisers given I presume the times we got will be struck from Power of Ten presumably?

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