Sue Dobson writes:
Track and field debut, 23rd April 2019
Following the Club track and field afternoon on Easter Sunday I was persuaded to give track and field a go. So on Tuesday evening I found myself back at the amazing track facility in Middlesbrough. Joined by Fay (Uphill), also on her track debut, we donned our numbers and made our way to the throws area. Our first event – the discus. As a coach I always used to stress to the young athletes to get a legal throw or jump, and so that was my main aim – to actually record a legal discus throw. I was the first lady to throw so took my place in the cage. My hands were freezing and the discus seemed very large in my somewhat small hand, but lets give it a go. Remembering Jane’s coaching tips from Sunday I went from high to low, slow to quick, and off it flew! It went straight and even reached the grass – a legal throw. I was so excited I didn’t hear the distance but I think it may have made double figures. My second throw was measured at 10.83m I think, so a PB. After Fay had thrown her second discus we decided to go to our next event – the 100m.
We arrived at the start area just as the official was asking for the competitors for the graded races. An eclectic gathering of athletes – all ages, heights, shapes and abilities. The official asked for anyone under 10. I was confused – there was no one that young in the group. 10 1, 10 2, 10 3…… Oh he was talking expected finishing times. Blimey, I’d better do a quick calculation. World record 9 point something….should I double it or triple it? I’ll guess at 25 seconds. As it turned out I didn’t need to worry as I was one of the last 10 athletes and we were asked to get into two groups for the last two races – the official said we could base it on age, height, hair colour – whatever we liked. So Fay and I lined up with two men with whom we didn’t appear to have any similar characteristics. I didn’t risk a proper crouched start (what is that called?) in case I couldn’t get up , so instead stood ready to give it my best. Thoughts of ‘go on the B of the Bang’ went through my mind – was that Linford Christie? Focus. And off we go. Run, breathe, stay in the lane, look for the finish line – blimey it’s over. I was not aware of anyone else but I was told I came third. I don’t know what my time was, but it is a PB that I am very proud of. What a buzz.
I made my way back to the stand. The verdict from Helen – “your hair was ‘very bouffant’!” Headband next time.
Fay went on to run a great 800m and we both agreed we would be back at the track to try some more events. There was a great atmosphere and support from the spectators and I would recommend that everyone gives it a go.
My discus result was 12th out of 14 and first (only) V50F
My 100m time was 17.85 so better than expected.
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Mark Raine writes:
Summer must be upon as the North Yorkshire South Durham Track & Field season has started – NYSD.org.uk for all the fixture information and results.
Having not attempted any track and field since my school days (other than the Harriers track day last year), I thought I’d venture down to Middlesbrough and have a go. The event I intended to try was the 1500m. We’re all graded according to the time you give. It’s all very informal as they call out times and you go into that group for a race. I had absolutely no idea of my time but thought it might be wise to avoid racing against some of the very keen twenty somethings (at least I could bore them with having run at the old track at Clairville if needs be). Fortunately Justin Cox was there so we hatched a plan to go in race 2 as it seemed a good idea. The gun went off and the pace was furious to start with. After a few hundred metres of very tight racing things seemed to settle down and a great race ensued. The final 200m was very tough and I was glad the finish wasn’t any further away but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Justin and I were both gasping for air at the end but smiling from ear to ear.
First track race over and having such a good time I entered the 200m race. It’s a little daunting when others are carrying blocks to the start but there was great banter amongst us Seniors to settle the nerves. The officials are very good and will answer any questions you may have. The groups are sorted again, with lanes drawn before each race, then before I know it I’ve run a bend and am now swaying towards the finish. Although a short distance I’m absolutely exhausted but I’ve had such a great evening and was lovely being able to cheer on the rest of the Harriers.
Well the previous week didn’t put me off and I’m back for more of the action (23/04/19). This week it’s the 800m and 100m events. Got to be easier this week I tell myself as I arrive, the sun is out, it’s a lovely warm evening and the distances are shorter! It was another good turnout from the Harriers and some great performances were put in by the Juniors who ran first.
The 800m is a short and tough distance but again I finish smiling having had some good battles throughout. The 100m seems to be a specialist event with many turning up just to run that race. After a nervy start and some starting advice from the officials – must mention again how friendly and encouraging they are – I was ‘hurtling’ towards the finish. It was at this point I’m thinking to myself how does Usain Bolt manage to smile and have time raise his arms in victory, as I was struggling to breathe and keep my style – if you can call windmilling arms, a tongue hanging out similar to a dog on a hot day and lunge to the line like a toddler learning to walk, style!
Only 900metres run in one evening but I was exhausted.
Will I be back on the 14th May? Most definitely a YES and I’m even going to try some field events. It’s very welcoming, the atmosphere is great and it really caters for everyone.