There’s a bit of a trend on Fetch Everyone (the running site I frequent) to hold local mile races. Sometimes they are small, sometimes large, but generally they are just an excuse for a bit of a meet up with fellow runners, a race and cake.
And that’s why a small, select band of North East Fetchies and parkrunners met up at the track at Churchill playing fields, Whitley Bay on Sunday.
We had a range of speeds from the super fast to the pretty impressive, and ages from 17 to 80. We even had timing kit as Nigel from Newcastle parkrun turned up with the kit he devised with local school kids.
We ran three races in all. First off were the speedy boys, with 17-year-old Adam up from Durham to chase a sub 5 min PB. Despite having a Saturday parkrun and winning cross country race in his legs, he stormed off around the track looking very relaxed and in form. It’s a measure of his talent and focus that he took strides out of our speedy parkrunner Craig who arrived after an 8 mile warm up.
Race two was me, Jeff and Nadhim. In such speedy company, I set off way too fast and struggled to catch my breath, choking and wheezing in the chilly air. I knew I would be a good way behind the guys, but just tried to focus on my running form and keeping up my leg turnover.
I fought for breath all the way round, only really gaining control on the back straight of the last lap, at which point my only aim was to avoid being lapped. With Adam yelling encouragement from the final bend, I kicked in to a last sprint and powered home in 7:44. Not my fastest mile ever, but the only one starting with a 7 that I’ve run this year. So I’m happy with that.
The last race saw fab Fetchies Penny and Karen, with parkrun legend 80-year-old Eric, all bidding to get round four laps in under 10 minutes. The dynamic girls in red and yellow kept pace with each other all the way round, until the last lap, when Karen broke free in the final straight to record a time that astonished her, with Pennyclose on her heels. Eric recorded his fastest mile of the year and all managed sub 10.
After the races, there was cake in abundance and smiles and chat in the winter sunshine. The meet closed with an optional 400m and 100m sprint and some photos emulating the Olympic superstars, Bolt and Farah.
The running was impressive, the sun shone and there were smiles all round and requests to do it again soon. I reckon we can count that as a win.