What could be more enjoyable than running through leafy Jesmond Dene on a Summer’s evening? Well, trying to race through the dene with an ever tightening calf muscle-a week’s R & R had clearly not been enough! In the 1990s this race was not well supported by the Poly women. Often mine was the only red hooped vest around. Was it the strange distance of 3.1 miles? Was it the terrain of up and down narrow paths an occasional unexpected steps? Or maybe the women just liked to run with men. All that seems to have changed however, with a good NSP turnout, particularly by the Senior women with over 20 competing this year in the testosterone free (I think anyway!) zone.
And it wasn’t just quantity but quality. Christine (I’m only jogging it!) Burns cruised in in 3rd place closely followed by Michelle Thompson. Kate Dyson was third counter so enabled the Poly to lift the 2nd team prize. Other prizewinners in age categories were Alison Hudson, Karen Loughney and Noreen Rees
If any Poly women haven’t done the Anita Nott race I’d say give it a go. The race was renamed several years ago after Heaton Harrier Anita Nott sadly lost her life in 2006 while out running. So the race begins with a minute’s silence. But it’s very low key-all the competitors can be fitted comfortably on the western end of the Armstrong Bridge at the start. There are lots of prizes, evenly spread for both club and unattached runners, and there’s an great atmosphere of sisterly support-a sort of speeded up Race for Life. You can even smell the flowers as you hurtle along, though you’d probably be going too fast to glimpse the otters in the Ouseburn. So, let’s see if we can field an even bigger field next year. Go Poly women!