2015 Gibside Marathon: Race Report

Rob Wishart ran the inaugural Gibside Marathon (Saturday, 6th June 2015) and writes this report.


Gibside is a National Trust estate at Rowland’s Gill, which is where outer Gateshead stops and County Durham starts.

There is a walled garden, manor house, chapel, old ruins and statues hidden amongst the woods…

Gibside grounds

Gibside grounds

…it’s also a run-tastic place:

the forest trails host Gibside parkrun http://www.parkrun.org.uk/gibside/course/ on Saturday mornings,

Great Run Local on Sunday mornings http://www.greatrunlocal.org/runs

and, once a year the Gibside Fruit Bowl race!
None of which I have ever done :-). But the North East Marathon Club put on a 5 lap marathon and I made the two-bus trip.

This wasn’t a fast-time attempt (hilly) but it would be good training for an ultra so I packed a rucsack to simulate the experience. Chatting at the start, out of about 60 entrants there were some from local clubs, a Scottish guy and a Cleethorpes guy both that I knew from other maras and one from the 100 Marathon Club – he’d actually done 300 of ’em!

We had to finish by 10pm (so that marshals weren’t in the dark scary forest all night) but could choose to start at 5.00pm, 5:30 or 6.00pm. Despite being hampered by the rucsack, I and one other picked 6.00pm, taking the sub 4hr-or-bust challenge!

*this is called “underestimating the course”*

So at 6, we (the other Scot and me) ran off on our first lap of the trails. Some of it went sharply downhill, which is fun – but of course soon we had to get back up a hill! It was always good enough underfoot although plenty of twists and …undulations to keep you challenged.

when you go into the woods today..

when you go into the woods today..

Of course I went off too fast! Rucsack, schmucksack! Mara, schmarra!

Sometimes you wouldn’t see any runners or marshals for a while but I was happy just being there, spotting Liberty Column or a yurt amongst the trees.

Liberty Column

Liberty Column

Towards the end of each lap was Neil Capstick (formerly and rejoining TBH) cheering us on as we staggered up a hill!

The first 3 laps had this in common: after some to-and-fro I also got to the checkpoint before Scots Les!
*this is called “being used as a pacemaker”! (Les got 2nd place)*

At the end of the 3rd lap(two left) I ditched the rucsack – it wasn’t helping! I couldn’t (a) keep making a race of it; or (b) stay fast enough to beat the cut-off time; so it was dumped at the checkpoint!

Lap 4 should have been easy with no weight on my back, but soon I got cramp in both quads :-(

It must’ve been the sudden change in gait. Thought it was all over, I’d have to walk….kept trying to jog though and after a while it eased off!

Unfortunately all my energy had fizzled out and this lap took ages to get around….checking the time I realised that I wouldn’t be able to finish by 10pm so – didn’t start the last lap!

No medal but that was ok. I’d only wanted a good training run. 4x 5.3 mile laps = 21ish hilly miles so I’d got what I wanted!

Here’s the results: http://www.northeastmarathonclub.co.uk/results.php


Permanent link to this article: https://www.tynebridgeharriers.com/2015/06/11/20460/


    • Danny F on 11th June 2015 at 12:32
    • Reply

    Great going Rob, its hard enough walking those hills at a leisurely pace, nevermind running them.

    • Ian Jackman on 12th June 2015 at 08:56
    • Reply

    Well done Rob. Great report.

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