After the weather forecasts of snow and gales overnight, I was dreading looking out of the window when I got up on Saturday morning. However the streets were clear and it was developing into a bright, cold morning without a great deal of wind by North East standards. It didn’t warm up much though and the afternoon was bitterly cold for the spectators if not too bad once you were running.
The ladies were joined on the start line by Olympic finalist and Commonwealth Games silver medalist, Laura Weightman who was running for her club, Morpeth Harriers. I think it is one of the fantastic things about local athletics that us old, slow folk can still line-up against top British athletes. It is also great that the likes of Laura are not too mighty to plough through 4 miles of clarts with the rest of the girls. And although it might not have been 4 miles of clarts, there were certainly long stretches of very deep, thick mud that did its best to stop you in your tracks and pull your shoes off! One of the worst stretches was on a downhill section, preventing you from letting yourself go and making up time, but the most difficult was on an uphill (see photos!) that was fairly soul-destroying. A strong run by Sarah Bowen led the Claremont ladies home, and she was well supported by Heidi, Julie D, Rose and Mary.
The men just had the requisite number of 6 to make up a team, so the important thing was to ensure that we all got around in one piece. Although we may not have been the fastest team ever to wear the sky-blue vests, as Bill said “6 slow-uns are better than 5 fast-uns any time”. And all get slowly around, we did!