By Terry Welsh
Last week I drove 55 miles to get to the Snape 10k.
It was the 25th anniversary celebration for the Snape 10k and I reckon that none of you have ever run in it before and that I now hold the club record for the race. I also reckon that none of you have ever heard of the Snape 10k or even know where Snape is. If you stick Snape into Google you will get lots of references to a character in Harry Potter and a different village in Suffolk.
The reason I went to Snape was that it was my 400th official race and I wanted to go and do it somewhere exotic and different. Especially different to the Great North Run . I’d posted a time 7 minutes below target there and had some post Great North Run blues over how me and it are not as good as it used to be.
I have been doing the Great North Run for 33 years and at times I feel as how I would imagine I would feel if I’d been married to Katie Price/Jordan for 33 years. The love that began in 1981 when the world was young and sweet would still be there. But it would have waned over the years as Katie took her love to town, demanded more and more money from me and became garish with bling and make up, fluttered her eyes only for the camera and allowed calculating brashness to swamp youthful charm. But in spite of all, I’d still be by her side.
If running the Great North Run for the 33rd time felt like being married to Katie Price, then running the Snape 10k was like a day in the country with somebody off the Archers on Radio Four.
The Snape 10k is supported by the local running club who have been going 19 years less than the race. They seem a good club. They have their acronym, BAR on their vests, with a sponsors logo from a local brewery. They advertise club nights as training and social gatherings and they also have a walking section.
All the proceeds from this race go to Snape Primary School and to Snape Village Hall.
I parked in a field just off the long avenue going through Snape. Registration took place in the village hall, eight pounds, safety pins provided. The village itself has a long green, a stream running alongside, a church, a castle and a pub. It feels quaint, peaceful and completely untouched by commercialism. The 10k attracted just 88 runners who soon got spread out all over the place. Through the village, down a back lane and into a farmers field. Run across it and there is another farmers field. That’s what its like, paths across fields, some long grass, farm lanes with fun cattle grids, a little bit of road, the sounds of combined harvesters, a little bit of a housing estate, no elevation to speak of, no hazards, a runner some way up front, a runner some way behind. A finish at the end of a lane and a drink of water and a medal on a ribbon . First runner did 36.33, 44th runner 51.06, last runner 74.34. Afterwards, for those that wanted it, there was home cooking on sale in the Village Hall.
Not much happened to write about. It was so low key as to be under the doormat. It was modest in the best possible way but not very thrilling. Like the Archers. There is no urge to go back and I find that I’m now looking forward to the glamour and the excitement of the Great North Run on September 7th next year.
For anybody wanting to compare records here is a breakdown of my first 400 official races all recorded in 3 red memo books
10ks 80, 10 miles 59, other half marathons 35, great north runs 33,
Park Runs 33 , other 5ks 19, Blaydons 13, 5 Miles 13, North Shields Grand Prix 12,
Marathons 11, 6 miles 11, Fell Races 10, Woodlawn Xmas Pudding 9,Morpeth Newcastle 8 Cross Country 7, Alpine 7, Jesmond Dene Handicap 5,Track 5,Beadnell Alnmouth 4,
Pier to Pier 5, Allendale 4, 4 miles 3, 15 miles 3, one mile 3, 8 miles 2, Relays 2, 11k 2, 7k 1, 8k 1