The Tynedale Harriers 10 mile Jelly Tea Race, yet again generously sponsored by Wylam Garage, took place on the 26th August 2018. After a dip in numbers over the last few years, the event has picked up again and 274 runners took part this year. The race started from outside Ovingham Middle School, and followed the minor roads through Bywell to Styford High Barns, where runners rounded a turning point and returned to the school car park. The weather was reasonably kind, with gentle rain and a lowish temperature making for perfect running – if not spectating! – conditions, and road closures made it a safe and enjoyable event. It was a close race, with Jordan Bell and Conrad Franks neck and neck at the half way point and James Meader of Heaton Harriers not far behind. In the end Bell, of Blackhill Bounders, won in a time of 55 minutes 11, with Gateshead’s Franks close behind in 55:20. Meader came in third in 56:32. The women’s race was won by Cheryl Parkin from Low Fell in 69 minutes and 9 seconds, followed by Molly Smith of Vegan Runners in 69:46 and Gateshead Harrier Kim Simpson, who had been leading at the half way point, finishing third in 69:50. The majority of Tynedale’s members were involved in organising and marshalling the race, but the club’s Adam Pratt had a good run, finishing in 6th place in a time of 57:43. The winning men’s team was Heaton Harriers, with Tyne Bridge Harriers taking the women’s prize.
Extra entertainment for runners and spectators alike was available as they passed through Bywell, where there was a Carriage Driving event in the show field – many thanks to the carriage drivers for their consideration and courtesy in letting the runners have right of way on the closed road (or carriageway as it should more properly be called!). There were no problems or accidents reported and several runners commented on how much they appreciated the distraction!
Following the race the runners retired to the Old School in Ovingham to enjoy the jelly tea which gives the race its name, and no doubt discuss their times.
Tynedale Harriers and Athletics Club would like to thank all those who turned up and made the event such a success, including all the volunteers who give so much time before and during the race, and in particular we would like to thank our loyal and generous sponsor Wylam Garage, who are celebrating 50 years in business this month.