Terry O'Gara Memorial 5K (Inc North East Masters' Champs)
(photo courtesy Mick Stringfellow)
Report by Clive Thornton
The North East road running community was split in half on Sunday (30th March 2014) with the clash of the Hartlepool Marina 5 mile race and the Terry O'Gara 5km in Wallsend.
I opted for the Terry O'Gara Memorial 5km, lots of us run 5km each weekend at our local parkrun, but there are parkrun pb's and 5km pb's. I've also recently joined NEMAA - North East Masters Athletics Association (formerly VAANEE) with the Terry O'Gara the 5km championships.
The race is run in memory of local running hero and former Wallsend Harriers Chairman Terry O'Gara. Signing on was at the Segedunum Roman Fort visitor centre in the heart of the Tyne's industrial heritage and the shadow of the Swan Hunter's shipyard.
Races are too often won and lost in the first km/mile, in the 5km you have hit your race pace quick. From the off today the running was swift with a net downhill in the first km, the next two km on the first longer lap were spent regaining height back to the start and claiming a few places. The second shorter 2km lap taking in the the same descent and climb, felt like damage limitation but i was still able to claim a few places.
In the tail of the tape I placed 40th from a field of 200 or so, I was really pleased with a chip timed 17:26 pb, a lifetime best running performance of an age related 83.9%, 2nd v45 in the race (just missing out by a few seconds) and a silver medal in the V45 NEMAA Championships. I think i was a lone New Marske Harrier in the race and one of only a few from south of the Wear.
In a high quality field Nick Swinburn claimed victory in sub 15 minutes just missing out on the course record prize by a couple of seconds. Overall a well organised and supported event.