One week after a huge turnout of JJ’s at the Great North Run a much smaller group of five JJ’s took on the challenge of the iconic Northumberland Coastal Run. Spanning the coast from its start on the beach at Beadnell the slightly more than half marathon course winds southwards across sandy beaches and cliff top paths to its finish at Alnmouth. Cliff Veitch, Tom Dowling and Martyn Collins were keen to show their post GNR legs still worked and Martyn was also starting his London Marathon training journey.  Angus Miller was looking forward to a post race sea dip and Rosie England was taking on the challenge as the sole female JJ alongside her daughter.The start was a line in the sand on Beadnell beach made famous by the galloping black horses of the Lloyds Bank TV advert.The line of runners quickly become strung out on the beach as the leaders sprinted away. Crossing the wide strand towards Low Newton the route then traces the coast beneath the walls of Dunstanburgh Castle. There were some tricky sections on a narrow twisting path through bogs before the easier coastal meadows leading to Craster.  Scattering the grazing sheep Tom Dowling set off at a strong pace until digestive discomfort caused by last night’s surfeit of spicy nachos slowed his efforts  near the halfway point approaching Craster.After a water station south of Craster, the final section of the race saw the route rejoin the beach north of Alnmouth. By this point runners were beginning to tire while the finish arch remained frustratingly out of sight until the final kilometre.  In great running conditions and without the heat and headwinds of last year the race was fast paced with most finishers achieving improved times.  Cliff Veitch outpaced Tom Dowling to the finish.  Angus Miller was next across the line followed by Rosie England and Martyn Collins.Cliff Veitch 1.43.54 61stTom Dowling 1.49.46 97thAngus Miller 1.58.50 189thRosie England 2.17.53 326thMartyn Collins 2.26.48 386th479 finished.

Cliff Veitch