by Jamie Harding
The world’s second greatest running club (the North East Marathon Club) have organised two of these excellent winter wonderland events in quick succession – one on 31st December and one on 17th January. Having spent some time discussing with Sumanth the strangeness of a New Year’s Eve event, I eventually realised that this was the best date for me to enter on – no problem with tapering over the festive period and no plans for wild partying in the evening. It proved to be a decision with historic consequences.
The rules of the event were that runners could run as many 3.77 mile maps of the Town Moor as they wanted between 9.30 and 3.30: seven laps constituted a marathon and eight or more an ultra-marathon. The ultra-marathon option was taken up by one runner, Isobel Cains, who ran a highly impressive 5.29.18 for 10 laps. However, most of the small number of us who gathered in the boathouse at the start of the event were there to run a marathon; in all modesty I must reproduce the results in full:
It was emphasised at the start that this was a non-competitive event but I just want to say:
‘Yeeesss! After 23 years of running, I have finally come first in something! Yeeeesss!’
Winning the London Marathon now seems a realistic next target.
And, even better, Catherine Young was first home among those who ran four laps:
So this will always be remembered as the day when our club achieved elite status, striking fear into other clubs across the North East and beyond. From now on it will be Claremont against the world. And the world doesn’t stand a chance.