by Richard Slack
First up – this is a fantastic route and a great run, simple as that. A few Claremonters, Nina, John G and myself were joined by a few hundreds of other (mainly club) runners on the beach just to the south of South Shields pier. At 10am on a glorious May morning off we set to run the 7 miles of so to Roker pier – it is like a mini coastal run for those lucky enough to have done that.
The first mile is along South Shields beach to roughly beyond the Sandancer pub and then head up the soft sand to the leas and the coastal path. As it is a point to point run there is no definitive route so one on the leas I was faced the choice of running along the well trodden coastal path or across the fields – I opted for the latter as it was less congested and also pretty flat, although not well trodden. Those going across the fields soon joined the crowds on the coastal path to head towards Souter lighthouse (drinks here if needed). The route then followed the coastal path behind Latimers fish shop (Whitburn) and onwards to Seaburn. Glorious sunshine at the coast with a gentle northerly breeze – how could running be better – with distant memories of snow, blizzards, wind rain and muddy fields etched on my memory from December day in Sedgefield!
The route continued southwards along the promenade by the Marriot hotel and on into Roker. Here we descended again onto Roker beach for the final km to the finish at Roker pier. Marie was there to cheer on the Claremonters, after which goodie bag time – not the usual t-shirt but far more inventive with caps, a glass work and a draw-bag on offer. Then the really best bit of any run – into the sea! So for anyone next year – get entered to this. It is a truly lovely run.