George Ogle 6M 2015
[Mon 1st Jun]
The evening of the last Wednesday in May saw 21 of our runners (and exactly half of this year's 36 Grand Prix entrants) decide to brave the elements for the George Ogle 6 Mile race, on trails near Swallwell Cricket Club, just south of the river Tyne. I say 'brave' because it was decidedly cool and had poured with rain for about 2.5 hours until we got to the car park and the forecast was for more of the same. However, right on cue, the rain stopped and it was actually sunny during the race. By the time we got home it was pouring again, so the weather gods were really smiling on us after all.
This race has been going for a few years now (it is in honour of a noted but now departed runner and volunteer from those parts and is organised by the PB Fitness Running Club, who many of us have seen at races) but it was making its debut in the club Grand Prix and this had encouraged more than 10% of the places in the race (which had sold out in advance) to be taken up by Blyth runners. It was great to see such a lot of green-and-white there and some other local clubs were also very well represented - I saw a lot of Blackhill Bounders and Sunderland Strollers, and there were others besides.
Unsurprisingly, given not only the part of the world that it was in but also that this was advertised as a Trail Race, the course was hardly flat, however despite all of that rain the underfoot conditions were easy enough and most people were able to get round in road shoes without even the slightest slip. A lot of the course was actually not very hilly at all but the few bits that were could reasonably be described as fairly short but very sharp! However, all of the way round we had excellent support from a hugely enthusiastic marshalling team provided by PB Fitness Running Club, and the race turned out also to be a bit shorter than the advertised 6 miles - maybe about five and three quarters, according to most of the Garmins.
Most Grand Prix Divisions had at least 50% representation and first back for Blyth was Sam Dodd, with another impressive run to finish sixth, followed not too far behind by Robbie Barkley. Winners for the other divisions were Ian Baxter, Dave Roberts (both repeating earlier successes), Ralph Dickinson and Leanne Davies (both making their first appearances of the year).
A great addition to the Grand Prix and I am sure that this will not be the last time that this race is selected for inclusion.
The full results can be found on the Run Britain web site HERE.