Sunday 23rd April is Shakespeare’s birthday and a busy day in the road race calendar. Away from the spotlight on the TCS London Marathon, hundreds of local runners turned out in the strong spring sunshine after Saturdays tempest for a local challenge of speed and fitness.
The Terry O’Gara Memorial 5k is a well respected race organised by Wallsend Harriers. It has a reputation for being a super fast course. This was certainly the case this year as the men’s course record was broken. Measure for measure it did not disappoint.Sandwiched between the Manchester and London marathons a smaller number of JJ’s than usual were up for the challenge. Jake Archer was the fastest JJ away at the start. His recce of the course the previous day paid off in a very strong official time of 17.16, smashing his sub 18 target and a new PB. Emilio Vazquez delivered another strong performance only 2 weeks after his Paris marathon success and was rewarded with another great PB time of 18.20. Next up Cliff Veitch making much ado about nothing just made a sub 20 time of 19.55. Evergreen Geoff Blair was next across the line with an impressive time of 21.44. All’s well that ends well as Amy Barlow finished confidently in a time of 23.53. Amy was the sole female JJ to run and was making only her second appearance in a JJ’s running vest. All the JJ’s delivered strong performances with no comedy of errors. Jake Thomas Archer (PB) 17.16 Emilio Vazquez (PB) 18.20 Cliff Veitch 19.55 Geoff Blair 21.44 Amy Barlow 23.53 (PB)