Northern League Athletics @ Shildon

Northern League Division 2E – Match 1, Shildon for Skyrac AC

800m – 1st, 2.15.9

1500m – 1st, 4.41.0

High Jump – 2nd, 1.45m

4×400 – Leg 4, 59.18 secs (2nd Team)

On Saturday, Zack dropped me off in Shildon on his way to a crit race in Sunderland, to compete for Skyrac AC in the Northern League match 1. Tim Agar had kindly agreed to let me guest for Skyrac, entering me for the 800, 1500, high jump and 4x400m. Hopefully the meet would give me some experience for the 800m (which I haven’t competed in since school) and the 1500m (which I have never competed in!), distances which I hope to do more of this season.

My first race was the 800m, this was my ‘target race’, but after a short warm up – next time I need to do more strides! – my legs were feeling a bit dull, so despite trying my best for a good time I finished in 2.15.9… 5 seconds short of what I had hoped. Still it was a win for Skyrac, and good experience for me to race my first 800m for a long time. Next up was the high jump at 3.25pm, again a discipline I haven’t practiced since I was 15, after covering the practice height of 1.10m it was time for the 1500m at 3.40pm. I tried to run it steady, but again found I was on my own in front of the field, finishing in 4.41.0 with enough energy left to go back to the high jump. I returned to find the bar at 1.30m and only two other competitors left. Crossing my fingers, I managed to flop over clearing 1.30/35/40/45 on my first attempt… although I must admit the bar wobbled quite a bit on some of my jumps! My technique is pretty suspect, tending to run diagonally at the bar (rather than in a horseshoe) and high/long jumping over it, quite often this results in landing at the very edge of the matt… or worst case scenario off it! I failed 1.48 in all three attempts with my opponent clearing it on her third attempt, and claiming the high jump crown. My last event was the last leg of the 4 x 400m. As with all the events, the Skyrac support was brilliant, with the whole team shouting us on. Coming into my changeover, the leading team were uncatchable with almost 200m lead; however Scarborough AC were just a stride behind Skyrac. A smooth baton change from Rebecca Harrison and I was in the lead into the first corner, however I could hear the Scarborough girl just behind me, coming into the final 100m she was still there and I felt her come up alongside me. This was the most I had been tested (in running events) all day, and I had to dig really deep to retain Skyrac’s lead sprinting across the finish line just ahead of my worthy Scarborough competitor. My split for the 400m was a pretty tasty 59.18, showing how motivating bit of healthy competition can be!

Skyrac – having been promoted to this division – showed they thoroughly deserved to be there coming second team in the overall standings

Gateshead  442 / SKYRAC 291 / C.O.YORK 277 / Middlesborough 256 / Scarborough 256 / Durham 187

Despite the slightly lousy weather, I had a really fun day, racing on the track and field for the first time since school. Thanks to Tim Agar and all the Skyrac volunteers and athletes for making me feel so welcome :-)

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