Tynedale 10K 2015
[Mon 6th Jul]
A local 10K, renowned for being a fast course, the middle of summer, well over five hundred entries ..... what more could we ask for?
Well, for a start, most of us would have appreciated temperatures lower than the 23.5°C that it was when we parked up south of the river (Ovingham bridge remains closed to traffic), less than an hour before the start. Worse than that, I think, was the humidity, which was very high. Fortunately, the thunderstorms that made headlines that day stayed clear of the route both before and during the race but the high humidity can really sap your strength. Some are made of stronger stuff, of course, but fortunately everyone else in my division seemed to have the same difficulty as me, and I think that there were less than a handful of our runners who coped really well with these conditions.
Amongst the hundreds at the start near the top of the hill at Ovington were 24 in green and white. As always with this race, it was a bit of a cavalry charge down the first steep slope before we could then settle in to some sort of rhythm. The conditions really did take their toll - I have never seen so many runners in the first half of the field of a 10K stop and walk, give up or (in at least a couple of worrying cases) become physically unable to keep going. My mile splits for the first four miles showed a clear and disconcerting trend - 7:00, 7:15, 7:30, 7:45 - but I was passing plenty of people and hardly anyone was coming past me (apart from Paul Whalley, that is!).
Talking of Paul, it was great to see one of our past multiple overall Grand Prix champions back racing, even if he was clearly having to hold back after the weekend's jaunt in the Borders. Great credit to all of those who managed to do this race just three days after the extended (and overnight) run in the Borders, even if it possibly showed in the finishing times.
Sam was again first back for Blyth and Leanne (despite being one of those who had been running in the Borders at the weekend) narrowly won the race for first Blyth lady. Ian, Dave, Ralph and Andrea won in Divisions 2-5. 20 of the 36 Grand Prix entries were amongst our 24 runners, with Divisions 2 & 3 best represented, as the 2015 Grand Prix reached its half way point.
All in all, the Tynedale 10K was a tough race this year. Anyone who got near their previous bests or their target time should be very pleased with their efforts.