The Royal Signals Relays at Hetton Lyons Park was my first event wearing a Saltwell vest and I couldn’t have been more proud!
For the few weeks preceding this event I was super nervous, the girls especially will be able to tell you this! So race day came and I donned my vest, some warm clothes and headed to Hetton.
When we arrived there was a buzz around the place. All the other teams all standing huddled together like penguins to keep warm. Some even had lovely hats with their club name on…something to think about Davey?! We all got sorted with our numbers and decided on the order in which each team member would run.
Soon 12pm came around and it was time for Lois and Gemma to head to the start for the first leg. It was absolutely freezing, but many of the girls seemed to think crop tops and hot pants were suitable attire. I just wanted to go and wrap them up in a blanket!
The start gun goes and off the first leg goes. And my goodness don’t they go. Those girls are quick! Our girls came round the bend towards the end of the first lap and the Saltwell Cheerleaders could be heard above everyone else. This signalled that it was time for Nicola and me to make our way to the holding pen for the 2nd leg. It was at this point I thought I was going to wet myself I was so nervous! Gemma got back first for Saltwell with a superb time of 14.02. My heart was almost jumping out of my chest as I waited for Lois to come round the top bend.
Lois appeared and it was my turn to get to the start line. I waited and in a time of 17.34 Lois crossed the line and I was away! As I set off on my 2.2mile leg I heard a supportive shout from Lois. This really spurred me on and I pushed myself to what I thought was a fairly respectable pace for the distance.
Not knowing where I was going made the first lap difficult to pace and I didn’t know what to expect with regards to any hills that might pop up! As it turns out, they weren’t too terrible. On my way round I had some support from the men’s team who were walking the route in reverse. This made the fact I was being overtaken by some very speedy women a bit more bearable! As I came up the 2nd hill in my first lap I heard “Well done Saltwell” from a few spectators and then some very loud cheers from my fellow hoops. This spurred me on to keep pushing through that second lap. Nicola finished ahead of me for the vets team in a smashing time of 17.30 and I crossed the line in 18.21.
I quickly joined the rest of the team ready to cheer on the third leg runners, Claire for the seniors and Susan for the vets. Both ran amazingly well and finished in 18.25 and 17.28 respectively.
The ladies had 4 legs to run, and last up were Ria C finished in 15.29 for the seniors and Karen finished in 16.11 for the vets.
Final positions were Vets 52/79 and Seniors 67/79. AMAZING EFFORT GIRLS!
The men’s race started at 1.15pm, and lucky for them they had 6 legs! Which meant a lot more standing in the cold for the rest of us. Luckily there was a supply of yummy gingerbread biscuits and choc chip cookies!
Graham zipped round first for the seniors in 12.52 with Bill hot on his tails for the vets in 14.21. Both looked strong and like they meant business! We even had a smile (or was it a grimace?) from Graham. Nat for the seniors, got round quickly and got a time of 12.46 with Matt coming in at 14.25. Third leg runners were Jim and wor Phyllis in times of 13.14 and 16.16.
Before we knew it the fourth leg runners were already crossing the finish line for their legs! Dave got round in a super speedy time of 12.48 and Chris coming in at 15.20.
The fifth leg runners Dave Horsfall and Darren got round in 14.02 and 15.25.
And up for the last leg were Kev (in a time of 13.19) and Andrew (15.06).
The Vets finished 51/59 and Seniors 28.59.
As a first race for Saltwell, I don’t think I could have asked for anything better. I had an amazing afternoon, even though it was so cold! Maybe some Saltwell gloves would have been usefull…