The motto “nil desperandum” does seem a bit unnecessarily alarmist for a running club so I always approach any Saltwell Harriers race with some degree of trepidation. Our first Harrier quest was to find the race headquarters, which (from the description of marshals) seemed to be some tall-towered edifice of fable, hidden deep in an enchanted wood. I made up the enchanted bit, but Saltwell Park is a great bit of quirky Victoriana, full of interest and well worth a visit with the kids/grandkids/nieces and nephews/dog.
The best bit about Saltwell 10K is that you get to see it 3 and a half times during the race. The course itself, with its varied gradients (most of them seemingly up) and many twists and turns, is never going to be a PB opportunity, but it is an enjoyable event in the run-up to Christmas and a very different kind of 10K. The marshals are indefatigably cheerful and encouraging; particular mention should go to the dancing elf halfway up the big hill. Although everyone tells you about the “big hill”, it isn’t actually that bad: it’s all the other smaller ones added together elsewhere on the course that are the problem.
Well done to all the Heaton Harriers who did the race: Stephen (14th place – well done), Phil, Dave Dale, Jason, Jenny and George. Great running by all.
I managed to do my slowest time ever by several minutes, in spite of some great support and encouragement around the course. I felt like calling it a day several times during the race. In fact it was only my determined thoughts of “I will not be denied my miniature of whiskey and attractively engraved shot glass” which powered me through the ordeal. Well, as they say at Saltwell, nil desperandum, and who am I to argue