By Jeremy Smith
New Year’s Day 2015 had been highlighted on my calendar for over six months – ever since the Premier League’s fixtures had been published and the one fixture – Newcastle United against Burnley – that I had been looking forward to taking place since we moved up from London in 1999.
I’ll resist the temptation to write about the magnificent performance of the mighty Clarets as they came back from having to make three substitutes in the first 30 minutes and one goal behind on three occasions to salvage a 3 – 3 draw.
So to the resolution run. The run follows a similar route to the recent NE cross-country championship except that it consists of two laps – that’s good news for the men who run a shorter distance, but bad news for the women who have to run two longer laps. The race starts near the start of the Newcastle parkrun and then immediately goes off to the right and along the edge of Exhibition Park before following (anti-clockwise) the parkrun route towards Grandstand Road.
There was some wind, but it was only when we turned left up along a (very muddy) path running parallel to Grandstand Road that its full force was felt as we struggled upwards towards the first of the two hills that we run (in the reverse direction) in the summer handicap. The hills were so much harder than the NE cross-country championship – then the hills provided a measure of protection from the wind, but this time the wind flowed down the hills at great speed. I had managed to run up the hills during the NE cross-country championship (maybe that was due to the support from Mungai!) but this time I walked them (albeit with long strides that meant I didn’t lose any places). We then ran down the hill towards Exhibition Park before setting off on a second lap.
I managed to finish (exhausted) in a reasonable time to be followed by Alasdair Wilson Craw (first male over 60 – well done) and David Devennie, who celebrated his first year at Claremont by knocking a remarkable eight minutes off last year’s time.