This is the 35th year for the Loftus Christmas poultry race and seems to get more popular each time. It’s a very classy field at the sharp end, but also plenty of runners that just want to have an enjoyable run and soak up the atmosphere.
The race is a very tough and hilly 8 miles of multi terrain, the first half mainly up, then muddy tracks and farmers fields for a bit, then mainly down hill.
Probably the majority of competitors were dressed up in Christmas outfits of various guises, the reason being the mayor hands everyone that does this a bottle of wine as they cross the line. There is a brass band playing Christmas music to get us all in the mood for the race, then again as we finish. There are loads of lovely cakes and goodies laid on for a small donation, all very welcome.
The race is sponsored each year by the local butcher. The prizes are therefor mainly fresh meat. Gooses, turkeys, chickens of various sizes. Also food hampers for the winners and winning team. Three team prizes for men and women and 1st 2nd and 3rd in each ten year age category.
I would highly recommend this race purely for the race atmosphere alone, there’s nothing else like it and hopefully there will be a bigger Elswick contingent next year.
Well done to Harry Matthews and Andrew Ball, both prize winners. Also running was Amy Fuller and myself, Kim Matthews.