Rain did not stop play for the 515 runners who completed the popular Tynedale 10k road race last week. Tynedale Harriers, who organise the event, successfully found last-minute alternative parking for the competitors after the playing fields at Ovingham Middle School became too wet, but thankfully none of the course itself was under water!
The 6.2 mile race which is sponsored by Wylam Garage, starts in Ovington, passes through Ovingham and on to the turn-around point in Wylam, before heading back to finish in Low Prudhoe. The runners can then claim their reward of a traditional pie-and-peas supper!
Once again the race incorporated the George Ogle Mile award which was introduced last year in memory of George Ogle, a tireless supporter of North-East athletics and long-time member of Tynedale Harriers. It is presented to the first man and woman to reach the one-mile point, who must then go on to complete the race if they are to claim their prize. The first mile is mainly downhill so times are expected to be fast and this year they did not disappoint. Morpeth Harriers’ Neil Wilkinson won the men’s prize, in a time of 4minutes and 54 seconds and from the same club, Jane Hodgson took the women’s prize in 5:24.
In the humid conditions, Jane Hodgson managed to hold onto her lead to the end of the race, finishing over a minute ahead of her nearest rival in 37:25. Elswick Harriers took the second and third places for the women, with Alison Dargie (first female veteran) finishing in 38:27 and Yamuna Thiru in 39:35.
The men’s race was won by Steve Cairns of Tyne Bridge Harriers in 33:09. He was also the first veteran home. Cairns was followed by Harry Coates of Wallsend Harriers in 33:37, and Brendan McMillan of Claremont Road Runners in 33:46. Mile winner Neil Wilkinson finished the race in 4th place overall, in a time of 34:08.
First member of Tynedale Harriers to finish was Adam Pratt in 38:54, followed by Joanne Lee in 39:41.
The team prizes were won by Tyne Bridge Harriers for the men, and Morpeth Harriers for the women.
With the last finisher crossing the line in 1 hour 15 minutes, and several athletes in the over 65 category, the Tynedale 10k was once again enjoyed by a wide variety of runners, not just the club elite!
The next road race organised by the local club is the Tynedale 10 mile race on September 2nd. This will incorporate the NECAA and VAANE 10 mile championships, so is expected to attract the best athletes from across the region.