Here’s another report on the Blyth Sands race. It really must be that good!
By Jeremy Smith
I have run the Blyth Sands 5 mile race for the last four years and each time the race has been very different even though the course is the same each year.
The first year I ran the race, the beach was significantly lower than the groynes (the three rows of fences that run at right angles to the sea) and we had to climb up step ladders to clamber over them! The following year there was snow on the beach and last year was a beautiful winter’s day. The only common factor is that each year the sea is freezing cold.
This year was no different. However, the sand was considerably softer, and we spent substantially more time wading through the sea than we had in previous years. This was particularly the case on the return from Seaton Sluice (as you may remember the route takes runners – who start off at one minute intervals with women aged 55 years and older starting 13 minutes ahead of men under 35 – north from the coloured bathing huts to Blyth pier then south to Seaton Sluice). We had run south along what appeared to be the shore line but then we returned back further out to sea along a sandbank – that was fine until we reached a 200 metre stretch of water which we had to wade through before returning to the main beach. I was relatively lucky because the sea reached the tops of my shins, but for others, the sea reached the tops of their legs and it would have been easier (but no doubt colder) to have swum instead!
I was delighted to see that Richard and Marie Slack had read my previous reports on the race and decided to give it a go – I hope they enjoyed it (my wife was so cold that we didn’t stay for the prize giving even though, I think, we both won age-category prizes).
I say this every year and I really mean it – it is great fun, fantastically organised by Blyth RC (what nice people they are) and it deserves to be a success. It is also a great race for women – seven out of the first eight were women!