Marathon of the North 6th May 2012.
Podium finish for Andy
A brand new marathon, organised by running legend Steve Cram took place last Sunday. Over 1500 runners completed the inaugural event which saw the competitors hit the bleaker streets of Sunderland before moving on to the more picturesque parks and costal vistas. The route was certainly varied, roads, coastal paths, parks, car parks and college fields all formed part of the challenge. Described by the organisers as flat but don’t be fooled it was definitely rolling.
The race was well organised utilising the good facilities at The Stadium of Light meaning there was not the usual queues for the loos. Support was sparse to begin with but got more encouraging as the race progressed and if the event becomes established then the support can only grow. The marshals were enthusiastic and supportive and there was a real spirit of camaraderie amongst the competitors and no shortage of smiles.
Onto the race itself which was won by Hartlepool’s Paul Wilson in 2:43:31 pushed close by Andrew Pearson in 2nd who is clearly benefitting from the improved training offered by New Marske Harriers 2:46:29 (New PB). Andrew Sugden was the next NMH home in an impressive 8th place with another new PB finishing in 2:55:47 smashing the sub 3 hour target he’d set for himself.
Other NMH finishers were Paul Cleasby 3:09:09 completing his second marathon in two weeks. Andrew Phinn 3:30:06, Melanie Carlton 3:31:43, Carole Phinn 3:32:09, Sarah Rogers 3:42:30 and Christopher Kelly who timed his sub 4 hour run to perfection with a time of 3:59:29.
All in all I hope this race becomes a regular fixture on the north east racing calendar, the route may need tweaking, the support will grow but it was certainly a brilliant day out.