Ali Brownlee Riverside 5k race report

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What a great Striders turn out for the Ali Brownlee Riverside 5k, despite some Striders somehow not knowing who Ali was. 😮 A bit of Boro education needed before next year’s race me thinks. 😂

There was a sea of green and blue, and the odd bit of just blue from Cat, for the club photo shoot. Although some of us may have mistimed the road closures and had an extra warm up to sprint to the Ayresome Park games just as the photo was taken. We must have been looking our usual fabulous selves as even the Evening Gazette wanted photos of us… famous at last! 🙂

Ali Brownlee Riverside 5k

On to the serious business of running. There were tough conditions for league race number 13, with warm temperatures and a strong wind. Ben’s attempt at dancing to the warm up music kept us entertained while lined up waiting to start. Safe to say he can run better than he can dance. 🏃🏃

The race was started by another Boro legend Higgy. Anyone who just said who go look up some Boro history 😂- He scored the first over goal at the Riverside in a 2-0 victory against Chelsea. Yes I know beating Chelsea wouldn’t happen now. 🙁

Anyway back to running… We started behind the Riverside Stadium South Stand and headed off down Windward Way (an appropriate name) heading under the bridge we had to look forward to running over later. It’s a very flat, straight and fast start. Weeeeee… a great way to set the pace for the rest of the race. We turned towards the Transporter Bridge then along the back of the collage. As we turned in front of the collage the strong wind kicked in giving a really hard section. Time to dig in and push hard through it hoping the wind would be behind us soon. After what seemed like a very long few hundred meters we turned back onto Windward Way heading toward the stadium. Would this road ever end? It seemed to go on forever, but every step took us closer to the bridge and those hills. Why would anyone put two long drags like that in the end of a 5k? What seems practically flat when walking was like scaling Mount Everest at the end of a 5k. After running over it once we went round the roundabout only to run over it again. Still once that was behind us we knew it was almost the end with the best bit yet to come. No not the finish line… running round the stadium. The noise as you enter is awesome with music and the sound of Ali commentaries mixed in with the sound of the crowd cheering everyone on. We ran three quarters of the way round the pitch finishing in front of the East Stand. The end phew!

There were some brilliant results and targets achieved, however special mention must go to Paul B who smashed his target in his first race as a Strider and guided by Tara – great running guys! 👏👏

It’s taken a while to write this one as apparently ‘It hurt but we ran in the Riverside’ doesn’t make a good race report. Conclusion from the day is that lots of Striders don’t like 5k’s because we have to run fast. You wouldn’t have known that given the number of us that run parkrun every week. Still I’d like to bet we are all back at the Riverside next year ready to do it all over again.

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