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Gannin' alang the Scotswood Road

09/06/2013

On Sunday 9th June John Jarvie and Gemma Leadbetter headed to Newcastle to take part in the Blaydon Race…

This iconic event in the north-east racing calender is based on the 1862 Blaydon Races song, the National Anthem of Tyneside and has taken place on 9th June every year since 1981. It has become a hugely popular event, with all 4,000 places being snapped up within hours of their release back in February.

 

Each year runners assemble outside the Balmbra’s pub for the start of the race, just as the travellers did in 1862 to see the Blaydon Horse Races. The 5.9 mile race then proceeds to Blaydon via Collingwood Street and the Scotswood Road, over the Scotswood Bridge and ending in Blaydon where the runners are greeted with food and locally brewed beer.

 

On a hot summer’s day, John and Gemma found the conditions to be tough. Initially starting the race together, John broke away from Gemma within the first couple of miles, while Gemma negotiated a change in pace to cope with the heat. Nevertheless both ran a strong race and a last minute sprint by Gemma meant that they finished comfortably within a minute of each other, with John crossing the line with 49:34 minutes on the clock and Gemma 50:10 minutes. Both were pleased with their times, given the heat, and very much look forward to next year’s event.

 

Oh! me lads, ye shud a' seen us gannin,
Passin' the folks upon the road just as they were stannin'.
Thor wis lots o' lads and lasses there, all wi' smiling faces,
Gannin' alang the Scotswood Road to see the Blaydon Races.

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