The Saltwell 10km race in Gateshead was held for the first time on a Saturday, with organisers hoping to attract a large field of runners. The Saltwell 10K road race is the oldest road race in Britain and attracts athletes of all abilities including the leading runners of the day. The race was won 17 years in succession by Mike McLeod, Olympic 10,000m silver medalist a record unlikely to be broken.
2009 saw for the first time Aged Groups events as well as the senior race, with a 1.5 mile race for the U13 and U15 boys and girls and a 3 mile route for the U17 boys and girls. If you are looking for a 10km PB then the Saltwell park is definitely NOT the race for you! The route consists of 3 laps of a very hilly course and with poor weather conditions to contend with aswell, the times this year where slower than previous years.
The warning from the organisers at the start of the race 'to take it easy' due to the conditions could have been very tempting for some of the 254 runners! Big credit must go to the organisers and marshals of the event to even make the race possible with the snow fall and icy conditions that there around the park in the days leading up to the race. The senior men's racewas won by Matthew Armstrong (Coventry) in 32.01 minutes and was run away winner ahead of local North East runner Ross Floyd in a time of 33.06 minutes. Kim Simpson of local club Gateshead Harriers won the women's race in 39.41 minutes followed closely by Angela Hunter of Chester le Street in 39.59 minutes. The first veteran home was P Besford (unattached) in a very impressive 9th position in a time of 35.30 minutes. Full race results of the senior and age group races can be seen on the Saltwell Harriers Website.