This is the first time I’ve done this race, or any 5 mile race for that matter, so I was looking forward to it. It was a great day for running, slight cross breeze but nothing too strong, temperature was spot on and it was nice and clear. Parking was nice and easy and the numbers were collected from HMS Wingfield Castle, all very efficient so far.
So all ready now I joined the crowd and found a few other NYMAC members to chat to as we assembled for the start. All lined up and chatting, it was mentioned that the race was usually started by the cannon on the ship and bang on (get it?) 10:30 it fired and we were away.
The race starts just by the ship at Hartlepool Marina and heads off towards the sea, a right hand turn, past a few flats and then up on to the promenade where we then headed off towards Seaton Carew. The course is a simple out and back going all the way to Seaton Carew, where the turn was, with clear mile markers.
Out and backs aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but I like them as I like to see what’s going on at the sharp end of the race. I got closer to the turn than I thought I would before I saw Dom Shaw go streaking past with a good lead over Greg J and then I set about spotting those NYMAC runners in front of me.
Phil Jarvis went through first looking comfortable but working hard, not far behind was Dave Watkins who I think is carrying a bit of an injury but was still going well. Then there was Jonathan “I’m not running very well at the moment” Skidmore, if that’s “not running very well” then I want to be “not running very well”.
I missed Richard go by but think the turn was probably in sight now so I was focusing on that. Barry, Gavin and Paul all went past quite close together and in quick succession just before I got to the turn. Then came Rob and Maria not long after I’d turned, followed by Kerry.
Half way now and all good. I’d been running with Sharon Stephenson from Hartlepool Burn Road for the last ½ mile or so before the turn and we stayed together and kept working hard, well with me sitting on her shoulder getting dragged along, until about the 4 mile mark when I edged ahead. I’d had my eye on Craig Lightfoot for a while and slowly started to claw him back in, passing him as the exit from the promenade came into sight.
As I dropped down on to the road I was having to work hard to keep the pace but I knew the end was close and there were a few people right behind me pushing me on. Then a left hander and the finish was in sight. There were plenty of people on the finish straight offering encouragement and I even got a shout out from Dave Aspin as I crossed the line.
As it was a nice day the finish area was very busy with people sticking round for a chat, we still didn’t manage a team photo though! Finishers got a bottle of water and a nice bright t-shirt for their efforts.
All in all it was a good race, nice flat course and very well organised. One I’ll try to do again.