It was a game of two halves at Gateshead today … well and half and a 10k to be accurate. For a local run I expected a bigger turn out but only 7 JJ’s made it on the day, likely in anticipation of next week’s Sunderland races perhaps.  Some met on the Metro for the journey in while other opted to go straight to the race.  Diggs left it all to the last minute and attempted to put his race number on the floor of the metro, much to the bemusement of those watching.  At least he kept his roller stashed in his bag this time. After some effort we were prepped and race ready.

Details of the course were sketchy, and it was soon apparent that none of us had the foggiest about what to expect. Ah well we would soon find out. After successfully negotiating dog s**t alley at the Gateshead Stadium metro, the biggest hurdle was the long snaking queue for the toilets that extended round the stadium, leaving all but the most desperate to bail and opt to hold it in, a decision I regretted later on.

Those doing the 10k set off first with a 15minute head start on those brave enough to attempt the half. It was an undulating course, dropping down to the river, a quick u-turn over the swing bridge and then along towards the Staithes to the half way point. The was some doubt on the accuracy of the kilometre markers at this point, with Ben commenting that ‘this is the longest kilometre I have ever run’. The course had a number of 180 degree switches and we came back the way we had come, giving the JJ’s the chance to cheer each other on while passing each other.  The climb back to Stadium something I know we will all cherish for some time to come.  I was extremely grateful to not have to do it all again as those doing the half had to.  The finishing 200m was on the track which encouraged quite a few sprint finishers, also buoyed on by the carnival atmosphere. There was a plethora of goodies to choose from at the end, with Emily opting for everything going, and Ben looking for a bag for life to hold all of her swag. A nice morning all in all and a chance to run on a Diamond League track!

Half Marathon results

16th Diggory Slee 01:18:31 (SEN Cat 7th)

198th Simon Baker 01:41:38 (V45 Cat 21st)

285th Matty Down 01:46:33 (V55 Cat 6th)

802nd Martyn Collins 02:29:31 (V50 Cat 55th)


10k results

18th Tom Dowling 38:39 (V45 Cat 3rd)

27th Ben McCain 40:23 (SEN Cat 11th)

83th Emily Pass 48:54 (SEN Cat 6th)