Monday (June 9) will see one of the north east’s most celebrated events, the Blaydon Race, celebrate its 34th year. Steeped in tradition, the 5.9 mile run has been organised by Blaydon Harriers since 1981 and is once again expected to attract a sell-out field of 4,000 competitors.
As is customary, runners will begin the event with a recital of the1862 Blaydon Races Song, which opens with 'Aa went to Blaydon Races t'was on the Ninth of June'. The ritual singing of the song takes place at the start every year and the Hazel Rayson Dance Troupe perform the can-can at the start as well as travelling to the finish.
The race starts from Balmbras in Newcastle heads down Collingwood Street and along the Scotswood Road past Armstrong’s factory, ending at Shibdon Road playing fields in Blaydon. Last year’s event saw Ugandan athlete Boniface Kiprop take top billing in a speedy 26:22, with Tewedros Shiferaw second in 26:34 and Wallsend Harriers’ Yared Hagos in third position.
All of the top five finishers averaged less than 3 min/km. The women’s field also witnessed an African runner take victory, with Perendis Lekepana first in a time of 29:51. Her Run-Fast team-mate, Emmily Biwott, came home less than a minute behind in 30:46, with Rebecca Robinson rounding off the top female runners (30:59).