By Graham Leslie
This was a tough one. With temperatures of around 20 degrees by the finish and a few challenging hills along the 10-mile route, my legs felt like, well, jelly by the end. Run on quiet country roads and lanes between Hexham and Ovingham the race goes through Corbridge after three miles before beginning a long steady climb out of the village. The half-way point comes as a relief at the highest part of the course and you can then relax and enjoy, if that’s the word, some downhill and level running until a short, very steep hill about a mile from the finish.
My step-daughter called this “The Cliff” after struggling up it when she ran the race a couple of years ago and she’s not far wrong. Even some quicker runners walk this bit. The end’s almost in sight at the top though and it’s gradually downhill all the way, with plenty of people cheering you on at the finish.
Four of us were there from Claremont this year and Alasdair deserves a special mention for finishing first in his age group. There were good runs too from Jeremy and Ben. Although over two minutes slower than last year I managed to beat my target of 75 minutes by the comfortable margin of a second before collapsing in a soggy heap on the school field.
This is a race which always attracts a number of very good older runners. A North Shields Poly M50 finished in sixth place in under 57 minutes and, possibly even more impressively, an unattached F55 beat 70 minutes. If you haven’t run this race before, why not give it a try? There aren’t too many 10-milers around and this is always a well-supported and organised local race.