Tartan Games – 27th August 2023

by Alex Hird

It was the final North East Track & Field meeting of the season on Sunday 27th, this time at the Gateshead International Stadium.

Sam Etherington and myself were our only entrants, both in the mile.

The weather was absolutely shocking. The track was covered in puddles. Not what you want to see when you’re sat waiting for your race to be called.

It’s a shame because it was a day jam packed with events. Of the 17 seniors in the mile, over half were from outside the North East; Livingston, London, Birmingham to name a few.

We were completely soaked from our warm up swim, thinking it could get called off it was that bad, but it wasn’t, and there we were stood on the start line cold and wet.

Sam’s aim was to break the 5 minute barrier. He clocked a brilliant time of 5:01.73, which was a PB of around 8 seconds. He will absolutely get that sub 5 next time around, on a drier track I have no doubt he would’ve done that at this event.

My aim was the club record, which is held by Kevin Archer in 4:38.90, from 1996. I’ve been within a second twice this year and watching the rain come down, I thought my chances this year were over. In the end, I managed to break the record, in a time of 4:38.40, which I’m delighted with. Even though I was a little bit gutted about the conditions, hopefully I can improve on this.