Northumberland Coastal Run

Some club members will have heard me drone on about this particular run for a while now. It's a great run, it's always sunny, there are plenty of cafes after to get a nice cup of tea and a spot of lunch you might have heard me say. Well this year I entered my sixth and Mandy, Janet, Graham and Neill their first. My club mates seemed excited by the prospect of a nice sunny run on the beautiful beaches and coastal paths of Northumberland. Starting in Beadnell you basically make your way to Almouth of a series of beaches, paths and a few road sections - an undulating, challenging and very scenic course. What could be better? Well this year the weather......

She who makes a lovely cup of tea doesn't come to that many races anymore, but for this one she always does. The Northumberland coastline is stunning and normally a nice walk on the beach is followed by a visit to the Ship Inn at Seahouses for some essential carboloading. As we live in Fife the Cedar Cafe, which used to be an essential stop for the Borders Cross Country series, is just about half way so before making our way to the beaches and pub we stopped off there for lunch first. If you doing the Borders series later in the year and you haven't been try it! Anyway as we got to the cafe the heavens opened and it didn't really stop raining until early evening. Then the sun appeared and I was expecting the run to be pleasant and possibly a bit too hot. I needn't have worried. When I got up the next day a lovely sea mist and drizzle had set in. Perfect running conditions, but not quite what I had promised my fellow CAACers........

We all managed to meet in the car park by Beadnell Beach before the start. The CAAC elite were ready and raring to go. Graham had prepared well with many a long run put in in advance. Neill is training for the Berlin marathon and this 14 miler just about fitted his schedule. Janet had decided to ditch the CAAC vest as it makes her too competitive and she's carrying a bit of a hip injury at the moment. Mandy had her hydration pack filled and I suspect sandwiches stashed at the ready in case the weather improved and fancied a picnic....... I had made a vague attempt at warming up, noticed that the rocks at the start we're more exposed this year and had decided on my running line. Coach Dave would have been proud of me. The start of the race is an informal affair with runners lining up across the beach. Neill insisted that we should get amongst the runners, I think for warmth rather then a good starting place to get ahead early. Then the hooter sounded and we were off!

The start of the run is always busy, think Black Rock 5 and you'll get the idea. Still we have about 1.5 miles of beach to sort ourselves out so by the time we head for the soft sand and one of the short road sections you are kind of sorted. The next 12 or so miles are punctuated by beaches, paths - which were pretty slippy this year as it had been rather wet... and some road sections. It's tricky to get a rhythm going at points as you are chopping and changing from one surface to another. However the scenery is stunning and this year the drizzle cooling. I managed to just stay ahead  of Graham who was running a stormer, he was followed by Neill and Janet in quick succession. Mandy and her uneaten sandwiches also had a great run. Really strong runs by all involved! If you haven't done this race. DO IT, it is one of the best. If you have then give it another shot it be great to see a big CAAC contingent at my 7th outing next year.

Results can be found here: http://www.alnwickharriers.co.uk/

NeillP's picture

Great write up and

Great write up and outstanding running by you Coach, Graeme, Janet & Mandy, fantastic route, well organised and a superb training top at the end. Highly recommend this one. ;)

Victor's picture

Clashed with eldest son's

Clashed with eldest son's birthday otherwise I would have loved to have joined you. Hopefully next year!