Voted in the top ten runs a few years back, I knew why as I had walked those beaches standing cheering my dad on as it was one of his favourite races so one I always wanted to do.
Standing on the start line with my fellow Elswick team mates feeling all fine and not knowing what pain would be inflicted on me. The race started and advice from my dad ringing in my head ‘son don’t go off to hard its not a road race, just take it easy on the beach then pick it up on the road’. Well dad I obviously went off too hard as was thinking after 3 miles where is the water station? Am I nearly there yet? I hope that cooler bag is keeping my beer cold!
Off the first beach I felt I steadied the ship even though any cooling breeze disappeared, as we turned slightly inland and through NewtonVillage then ran down towards Embleton beach, past the Ship Inn (one of the best pubs around). I once had a spring in my step after the much needed water stop. Onto the beach again you see Dunstanburgh Castle in the distance, me thinking that’s a canny hoof and wishing I was in the Ship Inn or on that golf course, decisions to be made around the rocks or over them, I followed Dave’s decision and went over and up to my waist in water on the other side…bugger! Around the castle and into Craster cheerleaders, Jonny and Sarah who were a welcome sight to give a bit of a boost, through Craster we went seeing Captain Ironman himself with more encouragement and bellows of steady as you go… I was feeling the pain and really struggling at about 7 mile thinking what on earth am I doing but carried and got some welcomed encouragement from Sarah again and her sign… onto the final beach I thought not long now (I have missed a chunk out but my brain was fried and seem to have blocked it out) with runners encouraging one another as we see the finish then closer and closer we see the crowds cheering us in was just awesome.
I struggled on this one and disappointed with my time but loved it all the same. The route and conditions are tough but well worth the effort and know why this is my dads favourite race… Us in the North are truly blessed with a wonderful coastline and couldn’t think of a better way to enjoy it than, to run 14 miles of it in the baking July heat with my fellow Team Elswick runners and our band of merry cheerleaders, followed by a BBQ… what more could you ask for!
Note to self: get some longer runs in before doing this again next year…
Well done to all that ran, what a great effort and excellent times by all. Many thanks for all the support along the way, it was greatly appreciated and much needed!………………. Ben.