Blaydon Race 9th June 2013
It was a very successful weekend for Tynedale Harrier Jonny Currie. With two Northumberland Schools’ County Champion medals secured on Saturday at Gateshead Stadium for 800m and pole vault, the talented young athlete was the first member of the local club to finish the Blaydon Race on Sunday in 44th place overall and second in his age group (16-18). He stormed across the line in 31:46, just 11 seconds behind the age group winner, having completed the 5.7mile course in uncomfortably high temperatures.
Twenty members of Tynedale Harriers competed in the popular annual race that starts in Newcastle and finishes on the playing fields at Shibdon Pond in Blaydon. For the first time this year the organisers provided chip timing, to give each runner an accurate finish time. This was a welcome introduction as with almost 3500 runners lining up in the narrow city centre streets, it can take several minutes to actually cross the start line, once the starting bell has been rung.
There was a marked contrast to last year’s event when the Scotswood Road effectively became a river and the drenched runners tried to avoid the waves caused by cars on the other side of the central barrier. This year’s run saw hundreds of runners hunting shade from trees and buildings along the edge of the Scotswood Road in an attempt to cool down!
Notable performances from other Tynedale Harriers include Ian Brown, who was 2nd Tynedale home and 4th in the 55-59 age group, in a time of 36:46; Joanne Lee who was the 22nd woman overall (in a field of almost 1300) in 37:19; Kim Bluck (7th in age group 40-44 in 39:58); Peter Graham and Dave Charlton (both 9th in their respective age groups of 60-64 and 65-69 in 41:22 and 43:00); and Eileen Armstrong who was 8th in the womens’ 65+ age category in a time of 57:47.
The race was won by Boniface Kiprop in 26:22 and first woman was Perendis Lekepana in 29:51.