Race Rundown: Penshaw 10k, 6th October 2019

Trail Outlaws organises an Urban Trail series of 5 trail races across the summer with Penshaw 10K the last in the series. All of the Trail Outlaw events are really well organised, friendly and you always get a medal and some goodies at the end. They are also well known to be challenging and have a sting in the tail, the 2 Penshaw races being the toughest of the series.

My race day didn’t start well when i saw the forecast for torrential rain and looked out at 6am to see it pouring down. The thought of not turning up crossed my mind many times but I had run all the others in the series so wanted to finish it. My support team (Paul and the boys) refused to come because of the weather so I set off on my own.


The weather was grim. After collecting my number, like most of the other runners I sat in the car with the heaters on trying to find some motivation to get out. Although I had my waterproof on, I was so cold by the time the race started my legs refused to function and it took a couple of miles before I warmed up. The course was challenging but totally off road which I loved.

After starting at the bottom of the hill and running around the Penshaw Monument we flew down over the fields to the the old railway line. Two people running alongside me had already fallen by this time and I hoped I would finish with my ankles intact. The route then headed towards Washington, along the river and then back across the fields. The organisers had to change the finish due to the weather and instead of climbing all the way back to the monument we cut back down to the start, although it wasn’t any easier running down the steps. I bet the course would be quite lovely in the middle of summer, but I could barely see past the rain and at some points the water was up to my knees.

By the time we finished I was just glad it was over, but also quite pleased I had actually turned up. I quickly popped into the visitor centre to get my medal, some cherryade and sweets and then was in the car in dry clothes driving away within two minutes. Quick Costa drive-through stop on the way back to warm up and hot bath when I got home.

You know its been a tough race when you are eating piping hot tomato soup in the bath, with your woolly hat still on.

by Rosie Warnett.

Results: https://urbantrails.co.uk/penshaw-10k-results-2019.php

Editor’s note: Rosie finished 6th female overall, out of 156, a very good effort.

Race Rundown: Stuart Pailor Memorial (Old Monks) 5.5 Mile Trail

6th January 2019. I shouldn’t have looked back at my race notebook (doesn’t every running geek have one?!). It has been 8 years since I last ran the Old Monks (now called the Stuart Pailor memorial run) and I was having one of those ‘why did you enter this’ moments.  If I wasn’t getting picked up I might have feigned illness. I’ve been in the Sedgefield Harriers since the beginning but MIA for most of the last 7 years since 3 small people have arrived and caused havoc with my running schedule. I’ve only completed a handful of races over the last few years and I’m a bit race ‘rusty’.

I remember Old Monks to be freezing (well it is the beginning of Jan and yes it was, but not as bad as some previous years), brutally hilly through the dene (yes and need to remember you go through the dene twice and save some energy for the second hill) and fast on the roads on the way back (or as fast as tired legs can go). There were 294 runners which is 5 times as many as the last time I ran it but it still has the friendly feel of a local trail race. The village hall is lovely and warm, serving coffee and cake. It’s well organised and relaxed and once we had set off all nerves disappeared and it was great to blow the Christmas and New Year cobwebs away (powered by child free euphoria and caffeine).  

29 Sedgefield Harriers took part which is a fantastic turn out with some amazing results. David Bentley was 4th Male overall, Justin Cox was 1st male Vet45, Ciaran Lines was 1st U20 and I was an unexpected 1st female Vet 35 (which I think was more down to luck that there were not many V35 runners rather than speed). The prize money will be just about enough to pay for my next Costa coffee and I’ll be back next year, as like a true running geek, I loved every second! 

By Rosie Warnett

Results: http://www.hartlepoolburnroad.co.uk/results/Old_Monks_Jan_2019_results.pdf