Road Running

Castles Half Marathon 21st October 2018pic5 I’ve never understood the point of road races. Sweaty, gurning testosterone fuelled blokes running expensive races around a course designed by highways engineers. There is no fun or interest I have found in this type of running.I’ve tried the scenic (Haweswater) the hilly (Raby Castle), the flat (Blyth) and been seduced into entering by “pb potential” (Prudhoe) but I’ve always regretted it. After four and a half years since I decided the roads were not for me I risked entering a road race for purely selfish reasons. A decent half marathon time would put me above Dave Reay and help secure the club vet 40 prize. With John Donneky and Mark Charlton turning 40 next year it could be my last chance.Castles Half Marathon is described as undulating by Run Nation who organise the race. It starts and finishes at Bamburgh Castle. The race was recommended by Graham who ran it a couple of years ago. An early start was needed, and darkness lifted to leave a beautiful Autumn morning near the coast. The car park was already filling up when I arrived, and the signs of a race were evident. Runners warming up, brightly coloured club t-shirts and flags flying made it easy to find the race HQ where numbers were to be collected.


After a slow warm up and a jog up to the castle (can’t resist a hill) the marathon runners set of down the hill and into the village. While waiting for the start I was envious of the lone jogger on the beautiful sandy beach below but reminded myself why I was taking part in the race.


The half marathon started on time and we turned into the village and straight up a hill, things were looking up. I felt I started strongly and quickly realised most of the field had already fallen away. At the 10k point I was in 3rd place and dreaming of an unlikely podium place. The second half of the race was more of a struggle as I willed myself to reach and pass each mile marker and keep up with the leaders. The 13 mile marker and a finish into the village and down to the castle was a huge relief for tired legs and an exhausted brain. A 5th place finish and a nine-minute pb were unexpected and a bonus on a day which couldn’t have gone much better.

After the race I expected to go back to cross country and fell running over the next few weeks and put road running to the back of my mind until at least 2023. Fate dealt me a blow when I won the vet 40 prize which is a £20 non-transferable voucher redeemable against another road race. Last laugh to the road running gods!

Mark Davinson

Senior Men’s and Ladies Road Race Grand Prix SeriesThe Senior Grand Prix series is based around local road races that take place in our area. Each athlete has their own handicap for each distance (10Km, 10 Mile and 1/2 Marathon) or race if the race is not an exact distance such as the Blaydon race. The more time they knock off their time the more points they receive and the further away from their time the less points they receive. If you are doing a distance or event for the first time you will receive 40pts automatically.The handicap time is based on the the athletes performances from the previous two years ie for 2018 handicap times it is the times from 2016 and 2017 that count.

For both the the men and ladies it is the best 8 events to count. The winners being the athletes with the most points at the end of the year.

Races on the Grand Prix Series dates for 2018

No. Race Date
1 Blyth 10Km 7th April
2 Sunderland 10Km 12th May
3 Sunderland Half Marathon 12th May
4 Pier to Pier 19th May
5 Blaydon Race 9th June
6 Bridges of the Tyne 2nd July (Tuesday)
7 Durham 10km 25th July (Thursday)
8 Gateshead Trail 10th August (Saturday)
9 Dublin Half Marathon 11th August
10 Great North Run 8th September

Report on 2018 Road Race competitions

Great North Run

Well done to all the Derwentside athletes who took part in the Great North run this

year we hope you all enjoyed the occasion.

The Road race competitions have already been won long before this event congratulations to both Dave Reay and Fiona Gilchrist on your excellent seasons on the Road.

In the Great North Run Steve Dickson was first to finish for the club having a steady run around the race due to a foot injury Steve finished in just over 1 hour 37 minutes well done Steve. The next three Derwentsiders to finish were Dave Pearson our clubs President, followed by Paul Eilles and then Wayne Thompson well done to all three, especially good to see Dave back running.

There were lots of ladies running this year well done to you all some excellent performances. The first lady to finish was Jackie McClaren in 2 hours 7 minutes followed by her training partner Sharon Barton, then Claire Pither and Emma Parker.

Others taking part were, Jason Williamson, Miranda Newton, Heather Armstrong, Carol Greenwood, Colin Pither, Paul Wiltshire, Claire Elliott, John Piggins, Anne Crowe, Neil Smith, Terry Deary, Den Thompson and Helen Pearce. Well done to all of you. My apologies to anyone who has been missed off the list.

Durham 10Km

What a great night for running warm sunny conditions. There were 19 Derwentside athletes running. Well done to all who took part on what was a fairly tough course especially the last half kilometre up the hill to the finish.

Well done to John Donneky who had an excellent run finishing in just under 39 minutes. Both Dave Reay and Claire Wilkie recorded good times well done to both of them. Sam Redgate was first to finish from the Derwentside ladies closely followed by Fiona Gilchrist.

Gateshead Trail 10Km

Another good morning for running warm and sunny. We had 16 members competing. A huge well done to all who took part. There were some good performances on a special well done to David Stephenson who broke 60 minutes good to see him getting back to some good form. Dave Reay had a good run finishing only 8 seconds outside the time he did for the Durham 10km. Brian was second home for the club. Fiona finished first for the ladies closely followed by Emma, Sam and Claire all having had good runs.

Overall Road Race Competitions

In the Road Race Grand Prix Series Dave Reay has now in effect won the Grand Prix Series with Claire Wilkie and Clare Williamson not running the Great North Run this year. Congratulation to Dave a well-deserved win.

In the ladies Road Race championship Fiona has now secured the Ladies Road Running Championship with a huge 36 point lead from Claire Wilkie with Andrea a further 4 points behind in 3rd place. Congratulation to Fiona on an excellent Road Running season.

The men’s competition it is a similar situation with Dave Reay now having a 36 point lead over Wayne Thompson. Congratulation to Dave Reay another excellent season on the Roads and on winning the Men’s Road Race Championship.

The last fixture of the year on the Road race competitions will be the Great North Run, good luck to all who are taking part enjoy the crowds and the atmosphere.

Results 2018

Mens Road Running Championship

Ladies Road Running Championship

Road Race Grand Prix Series

Results 2017

Mens Road Running Championships 2017

Ladies Road Running Championships 2017

Road Race Grand Prix 2017