Race Rundown: Hartlepool Marina 5 mile, 14th April 2019

Out to Seaton Carew & back –(Paved & Flat)


This race report starts in June of last year when I had the bright idea of removing an unsightly raised flowerbed from the garden.

After I’d loaded two and a half tons of rubble into the trailer I discovered I had a bad back.

Despite seeing the physio on several occasions my back had ‘gone out’ more time than I had. I’m sure most of you could testify to this, due to my frequent wailing and gnashing of teeth on Saturday mornings.

The positive bit.

That is, until I started to attend a back class a month or so ago. After ‘engaging my core’ & punishing muscles I never knew I had on several occasions, I was feeling a lot better & decided to start entering races longer than the usual parkrun distance.

The morning of the race.

Still suffering with a cold & lack of sleep from staying up too late, the morning did not start well, but after some porridge & copious amounts of coffee I set off for the coast.

On arrival to say it was cold would be somewhat of an understatement. To be honest it was that bitter, not to mention a well known phrase, the round projectiles on the nearby Trincomalee had detached from their stands & were rolling around on the decks!


As with previous years registration was very friendly, quick & efficient. Tee shirt pickup was prior to the event, prompting many comments about not having to run now, I must admit, the thought had crossed my mind.

The obligatory visit to the thunder box.

The queue was quite long but I was soon in conversation with some other runners although I was wishing I had gone back to the car for my nice warm coat. Although I cannot say this was a particularly uplifting experience, the convenience was clean with a good supply of hand sanitiser. Furthermore unlike my experience of the great north run, it had not been delivered to site already pre-filled.

The warmup

I set out around the back of the marina at 10-minute mile pace but my legs were having none of it. Feeling absolute rubbish I persevered for half a mile thinking this is not going well. On stopping my Garmin to record even this brief event, it reported I needed seven hours recovery time- I’d only got 20 minutes before the race start!

I did a few strides and very reluctantly parted with my hoody as I proceeded to the start.

It was there I met Mark C, Lisa M and the family F complete with their turbocharged racing buggies. I couldn’t help wondering why they never made a bigger version so I could get in. It was then I started to contemplate my race strategy & concluded for some unknown reason I was going to start at nine-minute mile pace & see how it went.

The race (bet you thought this bit would never come).

After some brief race instructions we were off. Lisa, Andy & Emma soon disappeared into the distance but I could see Mark up in front from about 50 metres back.

I was soon up on the promenade and the wind hit, diagonally into my face coming in from the North Sea. I couldn’t find anyone tall to run behind, everyone moving at my speed just did not cut it as a windbreak, so I had to grin and bear it. My thoughts went to the buggies up front, it could not have been easy pushing in these conditions.

I hadn’t got to the two-mile marker when the lead runners flew past on their way back. ‘How is this humanly possible to gain over a mile on me already?’ I asked. I could still see Mark up front & thought this can’t be right, so I looked at my Garmin to see 8.5 minute pace and I was actually still feeling reasonable. I decided to stick with it, hoping things would get easier at the turn, telling myself ‘I feel good‘ in the hope it would help. I then saw Andy & Emma on their return journey now literally with the wind in their sails.

Boosted by this I dug in, & was soon at the turn & had actually started to close the gap on Mark. Now that the wind was slightly from behind things became less of a battle. I was actually feeling warm with no more thoughts of differential expansion between brass frames & iron spheres on the deck of the aforementioned warship.

After another half a mile I caught Mark up & concluded he was now paying for the 10 miles before 10 & Parkrun he did on the previous two days.

The Finish

I pushed on towards the finish now believing my own propaganda about feeling good & was overtaking a few fellow competitors along the way. Into the final straight my legs started to complain when I pushed a bit harder. Telling them to ‘shut up’ didn’t help, but I was soon crossing the finish line collapsing into a heap, but not before stopping my Garmin & gratefully grabbing a bottle of water.

As ever it took an age for my breathing to come under control before I looked at my time..


Official result 41.13 that’s 8:15 minutes a mile!


Well pleased with my first race coming back from injury & a negative split too.

And my back… well lets not tempt fate.



For full race results see & anything else you might want to know appendix below


By Davewiththeknees (David Round)


HMS Trincomalee

It is often stated that the phrase originated from the use of a brass tray, called a “monkey“, to hold cannonballs on warships in the 16th to 18th centuries. Supposedly, in very cold temperatures the “monkey” would contract, causing the balls to fall off.

Race results:





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