Despite it being St Valentine’s Day a large number of Poly runners chose to spend it separated from their better halves in order to compete at Hetton le Hole for the Royal Signals relays. Certainly after their exertions a three course romantic dinner would have gone down well!
Vaughan and Lucy had quite a task in sorting out the various teams of Senior women, Vet women and men, and in the second series of races, Senior men. The first race (all women and men over 50) was a 2 lap course of 2.2 miles in which teams of 4 took part. The Senior men’s event was the same 2.2 mile course but this time there were teams of 6.
What I like about the Royal Signals is that it’s quite short and that the women run first. This ensures I can run then have my lunch (and probably cake) while watching the Senior men. It’s as much a social event as a running one and a great opportunity to see other Poly runners in the daylight! Single women might discover that that guy they’ve run alongside all Winter in the dark is really not bad looking. It’s a day where the various running groups get chopped and changed so a chance to put names to faces.
In the Vet Men over 50 Race there was some pressure on Dave Gilmore as he found himself in a team with Guy Bracken, Neil Dick and Bruce Robinson. However, although he may have had qualms, the event is all centred round the team, and how athletes work together. And this definitely worked, as North Shields Poly were first in the over 50s team event with a team time of 52.06.
A quote from Dave sums it up, ‘I just didn’t want to let anyone down. It was such an amazing day for me and hopefully for everyone involved in the whole event. Now I’m a north east champion and I run for the best club ever.’
The Vet Women also did well with Stephanie Dann, Clare Twaddle, Louise Hayes and Claire McManus claiming 2nd prize with a team time of 55.55. The Poly Vet women’s team of Alison Cummings Karen Gunn, Lourdes Bradley and Helen Johnson narrowly missed a medal, coming 4th in a team time of 60.04.
There was definitely a class field of male athletes in the Senior Men’s race. Well done to Morpeth, Gateshead and Tyne Bridge for providing this-sadly we couldn’t keep up. Our best team of Paul West, Ross Butcher, Graeme Cook, Michael Dawson Patrick Houghton and William Robson managed a creditable 8th with a team time of 71.39.
You can view the full results by clicking the link below
(Photos from Peter Gallagher)