Sand Dancer Multi-terrain 10kish

My running goal for maternity leave was to do the Manchester Marathon. In hindsight that was a stupid idea because I am not a professional athlete or Instagram runfluencer, so a trip to South Shields would have to do.

Some brief thought was given to footwear selection: would trail shoes be overkill? Would carbons be destroyed by the mud? I opted for the choice that would give me no technical advantage and be the most inconvenient to get soaked through – my normal road trainers.

Sarah Hamblin drove us to Shields and parked in Outer Gateshead to make sure that we were guaranteed a good warm up and cool down.  After collecting numbers and convict-style ankle tags, a few of us stood at the start and tried to remember why we hadn’t done this race for 5+ years. Something to do with the weather, perhaps.

The race route starts along the sand swept promenade and then climbs up to the Leas. The bits on trail are firm under foot and enjoyably undulating with wonderfully distracting views. For about 4 or 5 minutes I was able to see Heather and Sarah ahead of me but after the first clifftop bend they were off. At 3k we turned back on ourselves and I remembered why I haven’t done this race since 2019: a mile long stretch of muddy grass, into some traditional North East galeforce wind. We did that lap again but between the conditions and the terrain I was totally sapped and was passed by an awful lot of people. South Shields Harriers had a really impressive turnout on the day considering they were also providing the marshals and organisers.

Finally at 9k we were back on the road with a lovely sweeping bend back down towards the beach. We headed into Gypsy’s Green stadium and had to do the longest 400m in the world to the finish. I managed to hold off the lady from Crook AC who had been breathing down my neck the whole way and received a nice medal and a chocolate orange Kit Kat for my troubles.

Some people overcame their pre-race excuses to do very well, particularly Tom who was 2nd, Paul 4th with a course PB, and Elaine who also ran quicker over the Leas than she ever has before.

This was the first race in the President’s Shield competition and the results after 1 race are below. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time to sign up for the next race, the Angel View Race.

Position PointsBonus PointsTotal
Paul O’Mara19221
Tom Charlton2020
Heather Dorman2020
Sarah Hamblin1919
Angelo Gabriele1818
Claire Norman1818
James Prescott1717
Marie Bell1717
Dan Buckley1616
Arshdeep Kaur1616
Elaine O’Mara14216
Alexander Anderson1515
Rachel McCracken1515
Jessica Anderson1313

Permanent link to this article:

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.