Tynedale Harriers hosted the ever popular 10 mile Jelly Race on Sunday. 503 athletes were blessed with sunshine and a light tailwind to help them on their way from Hexham to Ovingham, via Corbridge and Bywell.
Finishing times were slightly slower than usual as it would appear that after the North East’s cool wet summer, the runners were not used to the higher temperatures and some found it too warm! The water stations (manned by members of the host club and their very enthusiastic children) were a particularly welcome sight to the thirsty masses.
The race, which is sponsored by Wylam Garage, incorporated the North East Counties’ Athletics Association (NECAA) 10 mile championships, as well as the Veterans’ Athletics Association North East 10 mile championships. Ian Harding of Morpeth Harriers won the race comfortably in a time of 52:24. He pulled away from the chasing runners as he came out of Corbridge, and then increased his lead gradually until the last two miles when Michael Crawley closed down the gap slightly. Crawley, of Durham City Harriers, finished just over half a minute after Harding, with Phil Coulson of Low Fell Running Club in third, almost two minutes later.
Helen Waugh was first woman home in 1:04:14. She was being chased by Vicky Hindson of Wallsend Harriers, who finished 46 seconds later. Third place in the women’s race went to Alison Dargie of Elswick Harriers. Elswick had a very successful day in the team competition, with both men’s and women’s teams claiming first place. The first three male and female athletes were all medalists in the NECAA championships as they all came from within the area.
Steph Scott was first runner home for the host club in 1:13:34. The last runner finished the race in just under two hours.
Tynedale Harriers provided lunch for all the runners at Ovingham Middle School. Large sandwiches and endless cups of tea and squash were gratefully received, but there was real delight at seeing the multi-coloured jellies! It seems that the simple things in life are often the most popular!