News - January 2013
Race entry.Race entries for 2013 opened on 4th February and with be closed at our limit of 4000 entries.
The Course will be the same as last year, with the Finish on the playing fields at Shibdon Road. The Derwenthaugh Marina section will be reduced in distance so that the total race distance will still be around 5.7 miles.
This year we've chosen Heel and Toe Children’s Charity as our official race charity.
They are a local children’s charity who offer free conductive education therapy to children with cerebral palsy, dyspraxia and other motor disorders across the North East. They are the only charity in the region to provide this free and are not part of a larger national charity or one that receives any government funding.
Currently 85 children attend each week and the small dedicated team need to raise £360,000 per year to continue offering this much needed service. They rely heavily on support from the local community, businesses and groups.
We are delighted to announce that every Finisher will receive a special bottle of proper beer, brewed by Wylam Brewery in Heddon-on-the-Wall, the home village of the Blaydon Race founder, Jim Dewar.
The race this year will involve new technology known as ‘chip timing’. This will enable runners to obtain an accurate time for their run within a few minutes of finishing. This will be provided by Race Timing Systems Limited.
To enable this to work, you need to follow the instructions for wearing the chip. Read the instructions here.
Description of the Race
The 1862 Blaydon Races Song is the National Anthem of Tyneside. The words of the song are used as a basis for everything in the race where possible. For example the event takes place every "Ninth of June" in accord with the song's first line:- "Aa went to Blaydon Races t'was on the Ninth of June"
The Road Race has been organised annually by Blaydon H & AC since 9th June 1981 and seeks to incorporate much local tradition in an annual run for all, to include top-rank athletes and humble joggers all "Gannin Alang the Scotswood Road". From just 212 competitors in the inaugural Race the field has grown to 4000 runners who tackle the 5.9 mile course between Newcastle and Blaydon.
The list of winners (Lads and Lasses) is a Who's Who of Regional Athletics with some of the country's finest athletes keen to compete for the impressive prizes. The Lads' old 5.7 miles course record was set in 2006 with the Lasses' best in 2003. The 'new' 5.9 miles course was only used three times so we can hardly call it a record yet - in 2013 we'll be using the same course of 5.9 miles as last year, to take the finish to Shibdon Road Playing Fields in order to avoid the redevelopment works around the Blaydon Shopping precint. Good competition for local top-liners from around the UK and abroad means that "Blaydon" record times are always under threat.
The ’King’ and ‘Queen’ of Scotswood Road
Olympic silver medallist Mike McLeod is undoubtedly the greatest with seven wins including an unrepeatable three consecutive victories as a Gadgie (Veteran) in 1992-94. The four wins by Blaydon's own Olympian Jill Hunter in 1985-88 outstrip her rivals.
Kenyan Patrick Makau set the ‘old’ Lads’ course record in 2006 at 26 mins 13 secs with Russian Yelena Burykina bringing the Lasses’ mark down to 29 min 18 sec in 2003.
Winning times over the ‘new’, slightly longer, course in 2008 were ; Lads’ – Ethiopian Ayele Mergesse 28 mins 34 secs: Lasses’ – Roman Gessese, also from Ethiopia, 31 mins 59 secs.
Cumbrian Lass Laura Park clocked an outstanding 33:06 to finish 3rd at the tender age of 16.
Music and Dance
The ritual singing of the song takes place at the start every year and the Hazel Rayson Dance Troupe perform the Can-Can at the start as well as travelling to the Finish! There's much local music at the start and finish as well as along the course. The unique atmosphere at the start continues during the course of the race and is frequently mentioned by the runners.