Blaydon Race 2014

9 June, 2014 1 Comment Results

Blaydon Race 2014 2Results can be viewed via

And now …a race report courtesy of Simon Jamison

As someone who missed the ‘Braveheart’ scrum by a last minute toilet visit, I do agree with Simon, maybe warpaint for next year, or better still parachutes!


Ah me lads, ye shud a seen us gannin’ !

By Simon Jamison

It’s the 9th of June, what else is there we should be doing? For us runners it rarely gets much better than the Blaydon Race. Who can resist the scrum to leap the barriers at the start (my personal highlight), the desperate hunt for a toilet that isn’t a port-a-loo (useful tip- Subway lets you use theirs, and its even been known to have both toilet paper and a flushing toilet), the 15 minutes spent squeezed into the starting pen with Garmins held aloft all hunting out the same signal, and the stench of deep heat so strong your eyes are bleeding.

Blaydon truly is a classic race, a real landmark event for all North Eastern runners and my personal favourite.  I’m a real lover of industrial estates and this has some beauties to take your mind off the pain.  Always a big crowd puller, this year saw an impressive 96 poly athletes on the start line ready to tackle the 5.9 miles (there’s some dispute about this-according to Race Timing Systems it’s 5.7 miles-Ed) to Blaydon and claim the greatest prize of them all, a squashed ham and pease pudding stottie and a canny bag o’ Tudor crisps.

Early painting of Blaydon race 1903, Gregg Penn in the familiar Poly red on the right.

So much tradition and history all tied up into a well organised and super slick event. Club runners everywhere the eye could see, all gathering in their preferred sections ready to leap the barriers, the Poly traditionally camped on the ‘wrong’ side of the road with Wallsend and Tyne Bridge across the way and Low Fell loitering menacingly in the corner, all aiming to be first into the pen.  Honours this year went to the Poly with a scene reminiscent of ‘Braveheart’ as we charged forward (maybe we should get some Poly war paint for next year?).


Some of the Poly’s finest showed up to represent the club on the night and don the red vest.  First home for the club was the always impressive Graeme Cook (30:08), 19th place overall,

He was followed by Michael Dawson (30:58) who recently re-joined the club from Morpeth-the lure of a cup of tea from Bruce just too great!

One of the most impressive runs of the night surely has to go to John Baty (31:21) coming home 3rd in v45 category, a real classy performance from a great runner.

It was also a great night for the poly ladies who have been having an amazing year thus far. Stephanie Dan McLean (33:23) 6th female home, was followed swiftly by Clare McManus (33:52).  Another runner having a great year and making some amazing improvements was Alison Dixon (37:41).  I put it down to the short legs and high cadence which sadly I can’t match and that’s why she now regularly beats me, not that I’m bitter or anything. I am however taller than her and always will be.  Beat that Dixon!

Masters women also ran well with Alison Cummings being 2nd in the Over 55 category, and  Heather Lambert 3rd.  Noreen Rees was 1st in the over 60 category.

Some other standout runs from the night included the always improving Roger Mosedale (38:12) who is still on an amazing streak of PBs, Jason Stirland in 33:11 still trying to chase down the elusive Gregg Penn (33:10) and special mention has to go to young William Robson who came home 4th place in the 16-18 age category in an outstanding time of 34:23. Already a real talent and a future star for the Poly for many years to come.

William-Robson-34-23Ah me lads, ye shud a seen us gannin’,

We pass’d the foaks upon the road just as they wor stannin';

Thor wes lots o’ lads an’ lasses there, all wi’ smiling faces,

Gawn alang the Scotswood Road, to see the Blaydon Races.

About the Author

Noreen Rees

Grants and Publicity Noreen has been a member of North Shields Poly since 1994, and has represented the club in road running, cross country and on the track. Occasionally she has won medals! She previously edited the Poly magazine in the 1990s (yes in those far off days before websites!) and has contributed to articles in the local press, as well as reviewing the occasional play. Noreen is hoping that Poly members will send her stories of their heroic efforts of running against the odds, training tips, opinions on the latest running technological advances, and race reports.

1 Comment

  1. Steve Dodds

    Great report Simon. I can almost transport myself back thanks to your vivid description.

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