Thank you to Rob Emson for the write up. Enjoy the read.
Elswick Harriers 10 mile handicap race. Sunday 19th August 2018.
There are many moments that epitomise the kindred spirit of Elswick and there was another one this Sunday gone. This event was all down to those organising it giving up their time for the sake of other club members. Staged as a pre Great North Run training run with the added fun of being handicapped, it was perfect timing and distance to help those with places gain that vital bit of confidence ahead of the biggest half marathon in the world. Tom set it up as a 5 mile out from the Centre towards Prudhoe and back again with runners setting off at 5 minute intervals according to pace……….
At the start we lined up: Jackie A, Andrea E, Donna S, Phil B, Keith A, Jill R, Jonny R, Robert E (me!), Richard H and Steve R. Tom with clipboard and stopwatch, sent off the first runners as others waited to get their call. Expectation levels were only surpassed by the humidity count and swarm of flies! Everyone set off with at least one other which made it more enjoyable and prevented getting lost – still possible for me even though it was a straight out and back!
Once I got going with the great company of Jonny R, the first welcome sight came just after Stephenson’s cottage – Derek marshalling with encouraging words to press on towards Prudhoe. Next up, there was Les at Hagg Bank to chivvy us up and through the undulating section of the course. Words of encouragement were passed between all running as we came across each other enroute. As my Garmin clicked up 5 miles ( and just after being overtaken by Steve and then Richard both running like Gazelles), Ian was there to beckon the turning point as well as pass a cup of much need h2o.
All the way back to the finish at Blayney Row then. Passing Les, he took a few photos which would no doubt look fabulous afterwards. Onto Derek who had water as well making me think this is the type of well organised event I usually pay a handsome fee for! Tom was there at the finish to give us all our times plus produce a bottle of water and cookie for the prize of making it through the trees and back to civilisation.
I think I can say we all feel better about the GNR after Tom’s handicapper and big thanks again to : TOM, LES, IAN & DEREK. Thanks, Rob Emson.