Blyth Running Club, Knitting Club, Blackpool Marathon Tour 2014




On the 5th of April 2014 five members of Blyth’s Running Club, Knitting Club set off  at 12.20pm, after donning our new Blackpool Marathon, Knitting Club Tour T-shirts, for the bright lights of Blackpool.  Stopping only for a quick tea and wee at Tebay we eventually arrived in Blackpool at 3.30pm.



Once in Blackpool we headed straight for the registration to collect our numbers and to buy a few last minute essentials in the form of running belts, block shots and gels and also the most important items, bright stripy woollen gloves!!!  After that it was on to the hotel just a few hundred metres from the start/finish line, however the hotel wasn’t chosen for its proximity to the start/finish line, no it was chosen as it had Strong Bow on tap!!

We made it to the hotel just in time for the Grand National starting and thought it rude not to watch it with a drink in hand.

Once we’d settled into our rooms Hayley, Phillippa and I had a short walk into town to collect some provisions for breakfast and the essential Kiss Me Quick hat.  The evening before consisted of a gorgeous Italian meal washed down with complimentary Strawberry Sambucas.  It was in the Italian where we bumped into some fellow runners from Blackhill Bounders, I say bumped into, they actually asked us to keep the noise down!!  After the meal it was back to the hotel for some sleep before the big day.





On the morning of the marathon we rose early and ate our snack pots of porridge, dressed in the green and white of Blyth, but with the added extras of the Kiss Me Quick hats and bright stripy gloves, had umpteen visits to the loo and after checking and double checking we had everything we headed to the start, where we obviously decided to join the huge loo queue.  After waiting what seemed like forever we left the queue as it wasn’t going down, and headed to the start line.  We lined up on the start line and gave a thought to Brian Singleton who should have been there with us but had to defer through injury and also to our would be support team in the form Karen and Archie.  It was here where we bumped into the Blackhill Bounders and a lone figure from Tynebridge.

The race is described as a flat and fast course.  The route takes you along the seafront past many sights, including the Blackpool Tower, Pleasure Beach, and the Golden Mile.  We set out south bound towards Lytham St Annes into a fairly strong head wind but were sheltered by all the runners around us.  Once at the top point of the course we turned round a cone and headed back the way we came, having clocked McDonalds on the way out and with it in our sights at 4 miles, Phillippa and I could no longer resist the urge and had to concede defeat in the loo stakes and we popped in for a quick pit stop.  We then eventually caught the others up and carried on North to Cleveleys passing the Norbreck Castle Hotel, before dipping down onto the Promenade and turning Southbound again, it was at this point that the wind was in full force and there was no shelter. Just before half way the Half Marathon runners peeled off and remained on the prom whilst we moved back up to the main road and did another loop the same as the first. 

As the route consisted of out and back laps at various points you could see the runners in front and behind you, so when they spotted us and we spotted them we let out great roars of encouragement to the other North East clubs.

By 15 miles were beginning to spread out slightly with Phillippa (still sporting the Kiss Me Quick hat) taking the lead followed by Davina and Adele then myself and Hayley at 18 miles my legs were burning and a quick stop at the mobile medical unit (that was Davina) for a couple of ibuprofen and I was back on my way.  On heading back to the Norbreck Castle Hotel for a second time we had the added pleasure of an extra loop just to keep us on our toes, by this time the lead had changed again and it was Phillippa, Hayley and I, followed closely by Davina and Adele. 

Once we’d completed the extra loop it was back into the fierce headwind on the prom for another 3.5 miles.  At this point Hayley put in a rather gutsy performance and took the lead and I hung on to her tail till about 24 miles when the wind was just too much.  Davina, Adele and Phillippa followed close behind.

With half a mile to go runners turned again and headed up a steep, cobbled road, here with the wind eventually on her back Hayley shouted words of encouragement as she passed above me and I did the same for Phillippa (who was STILL wearing the Kiss Me Quick hat), Davina and Adele. Once up over the cobbled road you could see the finish line, with one last push from us all we eventually finished.  The race throughout was well marshaled and had plenty of water stations.  Other than the horrid headwind and a patch of rain (which was lovely and cooling and fairly brief), it was a great marathon to do.



Once through the finish we were given our medals and goody bags, which included a water bottle, socks, soreen and tea, we headed straight back to the hotel to rest, wash and change, before heading down to the bar for a well earned pint, and then it was off out Blackpool for more food and rehydration.  We managed to squeeze in some karaoke, dancing (including Irish) and more drinking.  Before bumping in to the Blackhill Bounders again!


Hayley Raithby 4:07, Julie Lemin 4:11, Phillippa Baxter 4:16, Davina Lonsdale 4:16, Adele Lonsdale 4:16