The Town Moor Memorial 10k is a very popular local race brilliantly organised by Heaton Harriers. However, coming at the end of the road racing season when I’ve been running on tired legs after having done a few marathons has meant I haven’t been able to run a fast time the past couple of years. I still like doing it mainly because it was my first race in Newcastle and it’s nice a measure of how much I’ve improved.
The race was chip timed this year so runners wouldn’t have to scramble for a place at the front. A good starting position is still crucial because the first km is on narrow paths around Exhibition Park and you can lose precious seconds weaving through the crowd. Unfortunately, about 800 metres into it, the race leaders took a wrong turn and it had to be restarted. It turns out that a cyclist wearing a high-vis vest rode past them and they mistook him for the lead bike.
The long trip to Bushy Park the previous day had left me with extremely stiff legs and an 800m warm-up at race pace was not what I needed. To compound problems, after two miles, a stone got into my shoe on the gravel paths and I had to stop to get it out. The minimalist shoes I wear fit like gloves and are quite hard to take on/off so I lost a good minute dealing with it. Once I got going again, I was feeling very sluggish and lost all motivation so it was mostly a case of just trying to enjoy the atmosphere and sunshine. I managed to catch up to Chris and a few other familiar faces who had passed me when I stopped and finished more than a minute quicker than last year.
I should also say, the organisers did a great job and shouldn’t be blamed for the race restart, it’s just one of those freak things.