May be an image of 10 people, people standing and outdoors(JJ runners: Georgia Beaty, Laura Chapman, Tom Dowling, Catherine Johnson, Angus Miller, Cecily Nichols & Kate Robson).
Approximately 400 runners took to North Tyneside to complete the 12km trail run. After some disagreement the JJ’s all met up at Churchill Playing fields at 9:45 and on time (miraculous considering Catherine was also running). First was race number collection and then a quick toilet break at the clubhouse.
A breezy start meant the first decision of the day, coat or no coat. Coats were selected as the prospect of shivering down the seafront was not appealing. Starting at the War Memorial in Whitley Bay at 10:30 we were given the choice to run along the cliff tops or along the beach towards the lighthouse. Those runners that chose the cliff tops path soon realised their mistake, as they looked down to see the North Shields Poly runners making speedy progress along the sand. The route then followed the muddy trails along Holywell Dene, and again runners were given a choice to take the upper path and get the hill over and done with, or the lower path and save the hill for later. The first hill option proved to be difficult with a steady incline of slippery mud all the way the Waggonway, where the two route options joined up again. The lower path was not an easy option either, Laura reporting it as being undulating and slippery. The final straight along the wagonway seemed relentless and finally emerged at Churchill Fields, where we had to complete half a reverse lap of the track to finish. Laura finished 3rd lady, with the two ladies ahead coming over the line together and tying 1st place. Egged on by the JJ’s Catherine managed an amazing sprint finish down the final 200m stretch of the track easily overtaking the runner in front; those little legs sure can shift!
We were all rewarded with a biodegradable wildflower seeds medal.
There were drinks and cakes at the clubhouse, but we opted for a brunch at the Fox & Finch at Whitley Bay afterwards. Another lovely day out for the JJ’s! As it was a run not a race there are no official times or positions
Tom Dowling