Grand Prix Race Report

trackAt the last Grand Prix meeting I felt that I didn’t run as fast as I can, so prior to this meet I was nervous about how I was going to do. One minute I was looking forward to it the next I was XXXing my pants about it.
As I arrived at Gateshead Stadium I was glad to see Scott Garrett sitting in reception and all ready registered for the race. So off I went to put my name down for the graded 100m. When I told them what club im in you could see the funny looks as the hoops are not well known for track running (hoping this will change in the near future).
I also noticed there was only three of us signed up for the race at this point and their times were far faster than mine, so I started to pray for some slower runners to turn up. We had to wait for a long time in reception as we were not allowed onto the track as CBBC were filming on it and would not be finished until the first event of the night was supposed to start. Its great to see that Gateshead council think more of ‘Mr Tumble’ than of North east athletes including our very own North East vet 40 100m champ Scott Garrett and me Twinkle toes!
When we were eventualy aloud on the track we started doing our warm ups. Then one by one more sprinters turned up for the graded 100m race. When I seen who we were up against all I could think was ” they are all just young bairns”. So I thought to myself ignore them its my race just me against the clock. So Scott and I practiced our starts as we find this is our weekness in a race. As we were doing this I noticed the Saltwell cheerleaders had turned up who included Sam, Phil and their kids. Nic and her hubby and little Kelly ( who i’m trying to get to come to the next meeting). So I went over to see them and I got the usual hoop good lucks and that. Then the time come to find out what race and what lane we are in.
Scott got put in the second race and I got put in the third race and also put in lane eight. The first race with all the fast lads took their marks, then they were off but no it was a false start, that got me think hope that doesn’t happen to me in my race. So for the second time the fast lads took their marks and off they went and all I thought was ” good grief how fast are they” (Sorry I can’t put on here what I realy thought but you can imagine what it was).
Then it was the turn of the vet 40 champ and because of the times Scott has been doing recently a few of the other sprinters knew what he can do and a few comments of “watch out for him” were heard. Then Scott replied with “I’m doing this after marathon training” which shocked a few of the runners. I love seeing other clubs being worried about us hoops.
So it was time for Scott to get on his marks (the only one with no starting blocks). Bang he was off and you could see he done a great time but you could also see he had hurt himself. Then it was my turn, I was the only male in the race and I was atleast 10 years older than them. So last time I was racing runners with missing limbs and this week im racing young girls.
You would think the running gods just like to make me look stupid. I was feeling ok until one of the young girls asked my age and thought I was older. Nothing like giving a man a kick while he’s down. So I took my marks (Same as Scott no starting blocks) then I heard “set”, then it was bang and we are off. found myself in last position again but this time chasing a load of young girls and I had to realy go for it and I could hear the Saltwell cheerleaders cheering me on which gave me a boost in speed and and caught the last two loung lasses.
In my head I was not happy with the race until later I found out that I had beat my last time by one second and one second in a 100m sprint is a massive achievement. So I was over the moon with myself for keeping up with the youngins and for getting a PB.It also made me laugh when a young lass said to me “you can not half move for a old bloke” It didn’t go so well for Scott, he did a good time but ended up with a injury.
I loved how our team mates came to cheer us on and if it wasn’t for them I don’t think I would still be doing sprinting. You have to love the support you get from everyone at Saltwell harriers. I would love to see a few more at the next meeting at Monkton stadium in Jarrow on the 22nd of July with a few hoops doing the 100m, 200m or the 1500m. I’m sure we have a few runners who would do great at the 1500m.
Twinkle toes
(Phil Askew)