Gateshead Trail 10k Race Report

traill10kAs someone who never ventures off road (with the exception of cross country that I’ve only done as my kid brother said “it’ll make you a better runner”) when the comment popped up on Facebook back in February I never thought I’d sign up for it. My only other experience of running a trail race was in Hamsterley Forest in 2013 and I’m still mentally scarred. Still, the thought of joining the team on a Saturday morning was too tempting and boom I’d signed up.


The event then faded to the back of my mind with so many other races ran this year and bigger ones to follow, I found myself the week before thinking “oh sugar I’ve got a 10km on Saturday – how do I make this fit my current plan”. So with a bit of shuffling around things I decided to run the race then run a 12 mile route home.


I was dropped off super early by the ever obliging husband only to be met by Mr & Mrs Knox, who were surprisingly bright for 8:30am on a Saturday morning. The rest of the team soon followed and by 9:15am we had a full complement of hoops. It was a well organised event, with plenty of portaloos, catering stands, metro radio dj and even a free bottle of Lucozade at the start. When the dj was shouting out the names of running clubs in his pre-race warm up but missing us out, Ria K then said “I’m sorry…we’re here” so off she went to tell him and we obliged with the war cry every time he then mentioned Saltwell.


After a standard warm up and a quick round of the bean game, we made our way to the start pen. This was split into 10 minutes time zoned relying on athletes honestly to place themselves in the appropriate slot. More on this later. I started in the 50 – 60 minute slot with Sam Robertson. Everyone else was lined up in front of us but I knew I had another long journey ahead of me.


10:00am and boom we were off. It took a few minutes to get over the start but we soon settled into our stride. We made our way from the start, through the car park then onto the trail paths which were more like a gravel path than what I had envisaged. The route was really beautiful with a few exposed sections and one major incline but nothing to get upset about. After about a mile I spotted Phil Askew and thought “aye, I’ll catch you and see if you want a hand”. I caught up with Phil after overtaking runners that were walking already! Seriously people, why line up for a 10km if you can’t run a mile. Phil was running well and said he wanted his own head space so then went onto further “hoop hunting” (as it’s been known by other running clubs). I caught up with a few, cheered on many aka gan on there Uncle Ian Billy’s on your tail, but found that running from the back and encouraging others was far more enjoyable than pushing out for a pb. I knew this wasn’t my race for that.

The marshals’ were brilliant and really encouraging for the whole race not to mention a wonderful course. The course itself was through tree lined paths, across a field, under bridges and a two lap course. There is one incline and by the time I arrived there not a single runner was running up it. A quick puff of “helium” and that did the trick. I may have been overtaken by some runners in the next 50 metres but I soon caught them. To be fair I normally navigate by pubs so trying to describe every kilometre of the course is a bit tough. By 8km I’d had enough and just wanted it over so went a little faster than I should but finished very comfortably in 55 minutes. Bang on plan!


The dj who heard us shout “hoops” then shouted this every time he spotted a Saltwell runner.


The goody bag was canny, a bag of crisps, bottle of water, medal, money off voucher and a banana with the option to buy a t-shirt. If this keeps race entry costs down I’m all for this.


All in all a thoroughly enjoyable morning and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone wanting an intro into trail racing. It’s set me up nicely for the cross country mud that’s to follow.


Saltwell Results:

Ian Charlton                       40:06

Dean Calvert                      42:23

Ian Swanston                     44:07

Ria Chaston                        44:21

Steve Knox                         46:52

Fred Webb                         48:27

Frank Wilkinson                                49:33

Davey Candlish                 49:49

Ria Knox                               50:21

Jacqui Candlish                  50:28

Dave Smith                         51:11

Chris Watson                     51:11

Phil Robertson                  51:12

Trevor Sirmond                 52:50

Lois Lincoln                         53:07

Catherine Vicarage          53:08

Margaret Aksamit            54:40

Tony Murphy                     55:51

Nicola Shaverin                 55:54

Gillian Donaldson             56:47

Phil Askew                          59:21

Sam Robertson                 59:50

Deborah Tait                      1:00:36


Nicola Shaverin