Feb 252015

On a horrible night for running with a strong wind blowing down the Tyne Valley, 32 foolhardy souls braved the elements to compete in this year’s winter handicap.  They had to endure the first 2 miles into the wind and then, when the wind was at their backs, it started to rain.

Sarah Bowen, showing that she has made a good recovery from her injury problems, made a mockery of the conditions and her handicap to storm home fully 2 minutes ahead of the field.   (Note: the novice handicapper will learn from this!).  The fastly improving Leanne Salem led the rest of the field ahead of guest Chris Wann.

Fastest on the night was Luke Jones in 24:02, followed by Jonathan Gilroy in 24:28 and Paul Robinson with 25:30.  Fastest lady was Heather Steel in 28:12 followed by the two Sarahs – Sarah Bowen in 28:57 and Sarah Kerr in 29:59.

The aggregate points shield has been replaced by a knockout cup competition.  The first ever Winter Cup Final was contested between Janet Palmer, Jonathan Gilroy, Sarah Kerr and Dave Kear based on performances in the previous 3 handicaps.  It produced a close finish with Jonathan overtaking Sarah in the final stretch by the Copthorne to claim the trophy.

The full results and the qualifiers for the next rounds of the cup competitions cabn be found here.

 February 25, 2015  Posted by at 11:12 am Club Handicap, Race Reports, Results, Uncategorized No Responses »
Feb 222015

Newcastle parkrun:

18:32   Luke Jones
19:47   Roberto Marzo
21:06   Jamie Harding   PB
22:51   Mungai Wairia
23:14   Sumanth Nayak
24:38   John Grimshaw
27:02   Leanne Salem

Gateshead parkrun:

20:15   Paul Hughes

Riverside parkrun:

20:26   Catherine Young
24:42   Luke Woodend

Gibside parkrun:

21:37   Tom Tinsley

http://www.parkrun.org.uk – Free, timed, 5k runs every Saturday 9am

 February 22, 2015  Posted by at 10:22 am Results No Responses »
Feb 162015

The Club Winter Handicap on February 23rd will feature a new Knockout Cup that replaces the Aggregate Points Shield competition. The Individual Winner’s Cup will still be handed out as usual. Click here for an explanation on how it all works and here for a list of the 2015 contenders.

Don’t worry if it’s too much to take in. Most of us are still trying to get to grips with how the old competition worked! Rest assured, results gurus Terry and Tom will have it all worked out on the night. All you need to do is show up and run hard.

 February 16, 2015  Posted by at 4:55 am Club Handicap, Club News No Responses »
Feb 152015


46      64:39     Heidi Swaffield 16:30 Nina Jensen 16:36 Julie Cross 16:04 Sarah Bowen 15:29

Incomplete   Julie Dumpleton 17:58 Elaine Henderson 19:43 Mary Martin 17:42



Jonathan Gilroy 12:51 Alasdair Wilson 14:22 Tom Tinsley 13:18 Duncan Scott 14:07 Roberto Marzo 14:30

 February 15, 2015  Posted by at 5:08 am Results No Responses »
Feb 152015

Newcastle parkrun:

18:05   Luke Jones   PB
19:54   Roberto Marzo
20:11   Heather Steel
23:27   Mungai Wairia
23:35   John Grimshaw
25:25   Dave Kear

Gateshead parkrun:

24:27   Michelle Nesbitt-Burrell
30:17   Dave Manners

Riverside parkrun:

20:16   Catherine Young   PB

http://www.parkrun.org.uk – Free, timed, 5k runs every Saturday 9am

 February 15, 2015  Posted by at 4:58 am Results No Responses »
Feb 142015

A friend in work had asked me if I wanted to do this 6K run, but I declined as I am capable of tripping myself up going around Gibside in daylight!  Nina Jensen did take on the challenge and has sent this report:

“Having initially signed up to do the Night Run with 3 colleagues who then dropped out for various reasons, it was with trepidation that I drove to Gibside on Friday night.

Having parked the car I walked up the bank to the registration where I was greeted by Terry who was one of the Marshall for the event.
Once I got my number and glow sticks I hung around chatting to some of the 150 fellow runners who had also turned up on this misty evening for the inaugural event.

At 6pm it was getting dark as we were ushered to the start.  Head torches on and after an introduction about the event we were off.
I’ve run the Gibside fruit bowl event before so know that there’s a few hills around these parts, however you can’t see them in the dark but my legs soon remembered them.  Undulating at first and with some nice sweeping downhill bits, the gradient suddenly ramped up at about 2 miles causing a few of the runners ahead to stop and walk.

Further on a downhill stretch through some woods there was a steep drop off to one side.  Luckily I spotted it just in time.  As the route meandered back towards the finish I could see some of the faster runners ahead and commented to a fellow runner that they could be bikes not runners given the pace.
The lights of the finish twinkled in the distance but never seemed to get any closer.  Finally I was on a flat stretch and as I turned right I recognised Terry’s voice so gave him a shout and got a shout in return which spurred me on the last turn into the walled garden and the finish.

Overall a nice little run with the added challenge of not being able to see where you’re going!”
 February 14, 2015  Posted by at 9:21 am Race Reports No Responses »
Feb 132015

What paraskevidekatriaphobia?

Despite the climate being unsuitable for endurance sport for a good portion of the year, there’s no shortage of fantastic races in the region. This one in the northern most emirate of Ras Al Khaimah claims to be the world’s fastest half marathon. You’re probably sick of hearing about the world’s tallest, biggest, longest, etc. They’re certainly not the world’s most modest in this country but in this case, it’s probably justified. Both men’s and women’s world records have been broken here and the pan flat course attracts a world class field every year.

The route is an anti-clockwise loop around the coast with a couple of long out and back stretches, giving a good opportunity to see both the leaders and everyone behind you. Although, by the time pitiful mortals like me are on the second out and back, the leaders have long since finished!

The race has only been going since 2007 but it has grown to around 3000 entrants and is the second biggest event in the Gulf after the Dubai Marathon. The announcer at the start claimed that there were ninety nationalities competing which, for a relatively small field, is impressive but not surprising considering how multicultural the Emirates is. However, I’d say over 75% are British, Australian and American expats.

Marathon world record holder and 2012 winner Dennis Kimetto started us off and I set off at a 90 minute pace. I haven’t run that fast for anything longer than 10k in a long time and I was certainly feeling sluggish after my previous marathon shenanigans. Still, the course is ultra-flat and with many long, straight stretches, I settled into it after a few kilometers. When the leaders passed on the first out and back, I saw a drone following overhead, no doubt being piloted by someone in the lead car. Quite timely, as the government hosted a “Drones for Good” summit a week ago, rewarding entrepreneurs who could come up with the most innovative uses for them. I suppose cameramen who film the lead pack from the lead bike/car will soon be out of jobs!

The winner finished in 60:05. Compare that to last year when eight men finished under the hour; conditions must have been quite warm this time around. My priority was a sub 90 so I stuck to the 4:15/km pace but feeling good after 15km, kicked on and finished in 93rd place with a time of 1:28:48, just 16 seconds outside my PB.

The finish

The finish

 February 13, 2015  Posted by at 9:45 am Race Reports No Responses »
Feb 122015

It was a lovely evening on the coast, with no wind and temperatures just about staying above freezing, but it was a disappointing turnout from Claremont with only 7 of the 17 registered entrants running.  This was my first time on the “proper” course with the section down onto the promenade and back up the hill again, which I think adds a bit of interest.

The Claremont results are:

Name Time Position
TOM TINSLEY 23:29 19
DAVE KEAR 30:49 87


As neither of the Claremont teams had a full complement, they are both struggling in the table – Kenny’s “Also Rans” are 20th and Bill’s “Will’s Wonders” are 22nd out of 25 teams.  A couple of our individuals did much better though with Heather being 3rd fastest female and Jonathan 7th fastest man.

 February 12, 2015  Posted by at 8:39 pm Results No Responses »
Feb 082015

Newcastle parkrun:

18:20   Luke Jones
19:04   Paul Robinson
19:24   Jeremy Smith
20:08   Roberto Marzo
20:16   Tom Tinsley
20:34   Heather Steel
25:10   Mary Martin
26:32   Dave Kear
46:07   Mungai Wairia

Riverside parkrun:

20:17   Catherine Young   PB

http://www.parkrun.org.uk – Free, timed, 5k runs every Saturday 9am

 February 8, 2015  Posted by at 4:19 am Results No Responses »