Despite living in Darlington most of my life this was to be my first time running the Darlington 10k. Being a former local brought with it added pressure when bumping into several old friends doing the race. The early talk upon arrival was whether the growing strong winds would scupper any chance of PB's.
NYMAC runners started to appear and was pleased to see Dave Robinson, Dean Law, Eddie, David Ainsley, Jack and Martin before start time.
The start line is located behind the Dolphin centre and is a narrow start area (even worse when an overnight Parker forgot to move their car!) so a good place further forward in the starting group is essential.
The race started with loud cheers from a large crowd of spectators who had gathered all up to the first turn onto Stanhope road, from here the race spread out and the only NYMAC vest I could see was Dean who I tried to stay with without success. Around the 1k marker I passed Martin before turning onto woodlands road where we faced the strong headwinds. Running along Carmel road, the furthest point away from the start, we had spectators on both sides of the road which was nice to see. After turning onto Coniscliffe road the race headed back towards the town and back to Stanhope road which was now full of all the spectators from the start area which created a great atmosphere and a needed boost for the second lap.
Around 6k I was starting to feel the heat and was in need of a drink, I was passed by Dave before reaching the water station. I felt better after the drink and pushed on for the finish in search of my PB.
Reaching the town centre and large crowds gives you a big boost and I managed a sprint finish along high row passing 4 or 5 runners before crossing the line.
My chip time was 45:27 knocking 40 seconds off my PB. There were other NYMAC PB's for Jack, Dean and Stef, also best times for a while from Barry and Dave Robinson. Dave Watkins was first home for NYMAC closely followed by Jack.
A very enjoyable race and one I will certainly attend again and I'm sure the other members of the club would agree.