After 2 years of COVID delays the popular Northumberland Coastal Run finally took centre stage on Sunday. The tough undulating 23k route takes runners from the beaches of Beadnell via cliff top paths roads and fields to the finish at Alnmouth. Efficiently organised by Alnwick Harriers this year’s event saw 780 runners complete the challenging course.A group of 12 JJ’s arrived at Hispburn to park up and take the bus transfer to the start at Beadnell beach. As ever there were last minute kit choices to make, Tom Dowling struggling with the choice of road or trail shoes. Assembling on the broad strand of Beadnell beach the starting gun came as a surprise to the unwary as the the first runners headed north before turning southwards along the coast. A stiff headwind soon thinned out the pack as it headed through the dunes. The threatened rain held off and the sun shone as the temperature climbed to a balmy 24 degrees. Runners were rewarded with perhaps one of the most scenic races of the summer past the beautiful Dunstanburgh Castle, the fishing village of Craster and across to Boulmer. Sharp eyed runners spotted dolphins offshore. Once again Poseidon waved his trident to encourage the runners onwards and we were greatly encouraged by cheers from other JJ’s in support roles including Angus Miller, a late DNS sadly due to a broken wrist. After navigating the cliffs runners were rewarded after the 2 miles to go sign with what felt to many like an endless sprint to the line on Alnmouth beach. The finish line flags finally emerged amid crowds of beach goers. As runners caps were blown backwards by the strong winds JJ’s headed to the line. Trudging slowly over wet sand towards the beach finish. Tom Dowling continued his good form finishing in a time of 1.59.39 (25th MV45) the first JJ across the line. Followed by Cliff Veitch in a time of 2.00.13 (10th MV55) and Niran Patel at 2.02.33 (28th Snr). Alex Dyter crossed the line next at 2:13:14 swiftly followed by club chairman Simon Wells finished in a time of 2.19.23 (46th VM50) having emptied the tank on the long course. First Lady JJ’s were Kate Black and Sophie Reynolds finishing strongly together at 2:23:49 (11th VW50 / 19th Snr). Next across the line were new member Cec making her JJ’s race debut (2:24:45 – 21st Snr), Rosie England (2:29:16 – 10th WV55) David Newman (2:35:17 – 26th MV60),Catherine (2:37:10 – 34th Snr) and Kate Robson (2:51:36 – 40th Snr). Martyn Collins closed the book for JJ’s in a time of 3.09. Post race, runners were rewarded with a great Race T shirt and a paddle in a bracing North Sea. JJ’s then moved to the ever popular Lonsdale to shed much sand on the new seating and for a serious post race discussion and analysis.