Wallsend Harriers Terry O’Gara 5k – 23rd April 2023

by Brad Wight

Billed as a fast and flat 5K, this race around the Cobalt Business Park attracted a few entries from Crook, unfortunately Lee and Alex were unable to make it but myself, Ian, Kate and Stan were all raring to go. Stan was up at the front whereas the rest of us had decided to run together with the aim of hitting six minute miles for sub 19 minute PBs all round.

My big problem has always been going off like a rocket so my main aim was to get the pacing right at the start. What better way to do that than by running with my usual training partners from the track? The starting corral was well organised with clear signposts for predicted finishing times. We lined up midway between the sub 19 and sub 17 flags…

Kate led us out at a steady pace and I was over the moon to hit the one mile mark in exactly 06:00. At this point I think I knew we were going to have a good race. I took over in the second mile and for the rest of the race kept catching glimpses of Ian and Kate over my shoulder so I knew we were still together. We reeled in and passed lots of runners throughout the second mile and hit the two mile point in 12:00 – dead on target to the second!

As you’d expect the going got tougher in the final mile. Once we turned off the road on to a short stretch of slightly muddy trail we realised the limitations of our road shoes. I felt like Scooby Doo running on the spot for a few seconds as I couldn’t get any forward traction. Once back on to the hard surface you could see the finish line about half a mile away. My watch beeped for three miles in 18:00, absolutely bang on target! My legs were flooded with lactic acid at this point but I knuckled down and forced myself to the line in 18:37. My first thoughts were, “Where’s the other two?” but almost immediately I heard Kate shout, “Get in lads!” All three of us finished within ten seconds, a job well done!

Running is usually a solo sport but if running as a group works for Kenyans there’s no reason why three runners from Crook can’t do it.

We caught up with Stan who’d ran close to his PB with 16:53 and came in first in his age cat! A quick trip to Greggs to refuel on pasties then a very happy drive back through the Tyne Tunnel (thankfully writing this has reminded me to pay the toll!)

Kate’s finishing time of 18:41 is a new all-time club record and with youth on her side she has a promising future!

This is definitely a race I’ll be doing again next year and would recommend to anyone chasing a PB.


33rd (1st V55) Wayne Pearson 16:53:00
78th Brad Wight 18:37:00
81st Kate Storey 18:41:00
84th Ian Thompson 18:44:00