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by Val Baxter

February 6, 2017

If Carlsberg did weekends…

Big day for us , erm, mature athletes. A trip to Wallsend for the Vets cross country championships. The event for some, was the first of two races as there was an adventure in the evening planned for the survivors.

My first challenge for the day was actually getting there. I thought I knew roughly where the venue was, but, nope I was wrong. I had the added disadvantage of a female navigator travelling shotgun, and we hadn’t opted for the sat nav app on the phones. I rang a fellow runner from the area to get directions and post code, and Stephanie jumped out the car at traffic lights to retrieve her phone from the boot, and entered the post code. The app sent us on a 3 mile loop rather than telling us to turn round and go back 100 metres, then when we “arrived at destination” we were in a short residential cul de sac !!!

Eventually we found our way to the course, and met up with Dave and Lee and went to register and collect our numbers. Time was moving on as Maria arrived, but Stephanie had her number ready for her so they pinned their numbers on and we lads carried their bags to the course and they went round the course doing a quick recce/warm up.

Meanwhile we erected the tent and went to see the lasses off, just Maria and Stephanie, as the other mums were watching the schools that were also being run today. The course was quite a testing route round the Rising Sun country park, plenty of undulate, and a bit mud here and there. The ladies ran well, Maria glad she had worn spikes, and Stephanie regretting her choice of trail shoes, which helped me make my mind up.

A bit of a better turn out from the men, 8runners in total across the individual veteran categories. I think generally speaking we were all happy with our runs.

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After the race, 2 laps for the women, and 3 laps for the men, we had a quick 5 minutes round the tent, followed by a lesson in dismantling and storing the tent, hope they paid attention, cos I am not going to the Nationals this year!!!

We went to the presentations, but the tent had held us up, and we missed the presentation… Later learned that Stephanie achieved silver in her category, and the younger category team, of Nick, Rob, and Iain together getting the team bronze medal.

Then home, and four of us out again at 6:00pm. A no ego event running by torchlight round the Lambton estates. This although a chip timed race, for me it wasn’t competitive, this was just a recovery run, a bit of a warm down, but more than anything, it was fun, and good craic! It was quite an experience really, running through the woods in the dark, with just a head torch to light your way.

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Then following the theme of the day, it was straight home, showered and back out again for a lads night out, in Chester le Street. Beer and curry, if Carlsberg did weekends, this would have been it.

It was a non stop day, and Sunday started the same way. At the crack of 9:00 as I lay in my cot, Ruth set off to run to my place, and at 9:30 Rob and I met her on the street, and together we ran 8 miles. That made it 12 For Ruth.

The rest of the day I sat in front of telly with my feet up…… But I had earned this rest!!

YB

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