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by Val Baxter

November 17, 2013

Sweet Sunday for Birtley athletes *Now with race report on Abbey Dash*

There were two big road races this weekend, and Birtley athletes scored prominently in both of them.

The Leeds Abbey Dash is a popular 10k race, with over 9,500 runners taking part in this year’s event. Adrian Bailes claimed first Birtley place with a cracking time of 33.02 and 129th place overall, followed by Tracy Millmore with 37.17. Not too far behind was Michael Keenan with a time of 39.12, and in fourth place was Brian Bailes with 43.38. Full results can be seen on our results page.

The Brampton to Carlisle 10 mile road race is apparently the oldest one in England, and both of the participating Birtley athletes did well – Neil Allan finishing in a smashing 30th place with a time of 58.16, and Peter Farnie not much further behind in 78th place, with a time of 1.02.11. Great running everyone! Full results here.

Race Report on Abbey Dash 17/11/2013 by Brian Bailes

All set for an early start on Sunday morning, I have been a good lad on Saturday night cos I am up early and racing at Leeds tomorrow……Leeds Abbey Dash.

Four runners from Birtley, Michael Keenan, who travelled down on Saturday and stayed over, and Tracy, Adrian and myself who travelled down in the team car! Racing was the best option on the day, the alternative was a family meal out for Linda’s mam’s birthday, and although this was going to be hard work, it was by far the cheapest option! Linda and Mark did say they had enjoyed lunch without us.

Tracy arrived at 6:30am, and we were almost ready, delayed slightly by Adrian having slept through his alarm, so we gathered our gear and prepared for the journey.(I don’t think Tracy believed me when she saw me putting last night’s empty wine bottle in the “recyclable”, but I did try to say I hadn’t drunk any of it…)

The journey was ok, I must admit I was fed up following a car with only one rear light on, it was so irritating. Travelled down in one go, it was only an hour and a half so we didn’t bother with comfort breaks. At first things went well, in as much as we parked free, that doesn’t often happen in city centres, even on Sundays. Then when we went to the start area, we could see quite a significant arrangement, as the preparations showed time arranged pens. The whole thing seemed to be running very smoothly and there were loads of marshals around. It was different from last year, the start location and area, and Tracy liked the old start better. It meant nothing to Adrian or me, it was our first time.

Today’s weather was great for racing (I will regret saying that if anyone sees my time!!) It was chilly, but not too bad, and not a whisper of wind. Normally when I race the wind is in my face on the way out, and turns round and is in my face on the way back as well. Now, I was told this course was flat and fast, but I beg to differ!! It may have been flat, but my race wasn’t very fast. I left Adrian and Tracy to go and line up at the front, and as I wandered back, I met up with Michael Keenan. We had a bit chat and then “got in our racing zone” ready to take on all-comers.

The course was quite good for me, I actually like the idea of the mile markers being metric (Kilometre markers) and the idea of out and back seemed to work ok for me as well. I have to say though, the Memorial run was a flatter course last week. I was about 2 minutes quicker than last week, so felt a lot better about that. I won the race on the A1 later as well, against that Jag XK!! (Best not tell Linda about that bit)

We were back home shortly after 12 noon, again delayed. First delay was while they had to wait for me to finish running, second delay we couldn’t find our way back to the car, and then we got stuck in a one-way system with roads closed so couldn’t get out of Leeds.

Meanwhile, in another part of the country Birtley were represented in a 10 miler, Neil Allen and Peter Farnie carrying the flag for Team Birtley. I haven’t spoken to them, but have seen the results, and they have to be pleased with their performances…I would have been!

I would say, The Abbey Dash is a great run, and would definitely do it again, but hope I would be quicker. There were a couple of “undulates” not much, but Heaton for me is a quicker course.

Well done to all of us who raced today.

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