Paul Waller looks back on a memorable day at the final T&F fixture of the season [Saturday, 8th August 2015].
Track & Field Meet #4: Hot and Heavy in Hexham.
A perfect morning in Newcastle led to a select band of men and women to make the short trip out to Hexham for an afternoon of running, jumping and throwing. On the drive up, white smoke emanated into the sky. Could it be to signify a new member being inducted into the Banterbus? Was it to mourn Track stalwart Alasdair ‘the technique’ Blain being missing for the last meet maybe? After hearing about the last meetings’ gale force conditions, I hoped it wasn’t an omen of what was to come.
Thankfully on arrival, it was still blazing sunshine and our luxury surroundings had parasols and covers for those of us with fair skin. We quickly found a rather pensive looking Lindsay Walsh, trying to finalise team details. With help from Edwin, Mal and Sara, the team figured out what needed covered and within an hour or so, were joined by many more ready to compete and cheer in equal measures.
The events flowed thick and fast, with club records tumbling and some stellar performances from Kurt Heron, Chris Huitson and Lindsay, who competed in no less than 6 events.
Eventually, the distance events started, with the 3000M Steeplechase, 3000M ladies, 1500M and 5000M track races all taking place. By this point the wind had whipped up hard along the home straight. I lined up alongside young Leodhais MacPherson and we were both feeling nervous and dry-mouthed waiting for the starter’s pistol to go off. My game plan was simply to hit out hard and hang onto the tails of ‘wee mac’ but I was left in his trails as the boy starts like a steam train! Each lap caused more pain with every stride, but spurred on by the many cheers of team-mates we both dug deep to post sub-5 minute times and nigh-on collapse by the finish.
As the relays finished and buffet gradually disappeared, the overall results came in. Even with only 5 ladies and probably the smallest team to cover all the events, the club came a respectable 5th place, with new club records in the V45 400M, 3000M steeplechase, long Jump and Triple Jump. I would like to thank everyone who has made these meetings work so well and invite everyone to try them out in the hope we have more people take part and make a team to rival our XC participants. If nothing else, it’s a laugh and an ideal place to perfect the ‘race face’.
Well done all and happy training.
Results to follow soon.