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Saltwell 10Km

21/12/2013

Jo Zakrzewski took advantage of an early Christmas weekend with the family in NE England to take part in Britain's oldest road race. She joined a bumper field of 503 runners in the wet and wild conditions for the 103rd Saltwell 10k race....

According to Jo, "undulating" doesn't really come close to describing the course as there were two tough hills to climb and descend in each of the 3.5 lap race, but she used this to her advantage, making up places on every ascent and relaxing down the slopes, though it was difficult to avoid slipping in the wet conditions. Fortunately the rain suddenly eased just before the start and the sun came out, which meant that there was good support en route, with several people cheering for "Dumfries". An unprecedented number of runners had entered the event with the result that the organisers ran out of timing 'chips'. Knowing that she would not record a chip time at the finish or on any of the intermediary mats, meant that Jo was severely tempted to skip a lap, but she persevered and felt stronger as the race progressed.

Alyson Dixon recorded her 3rd consecutive ladies victory and led from the start. A group of ladies from Jarrow all started off fast (and came home as the first team) but Jo eased her way past them in turn and moved into second place early in the second lap. From there she didn't look back and finished comfortably in 37:21. Luckily no sprint finish was called for, as the final straight led off the tarmac into the mud and the marshalls actually had to catch Jo to stop her from skidding over.

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