“It couldn’t get more iconic and emotional”

    “Well where do I start describing this amazing event? At the beginning I suppose, bag packing on the Friday. I always love this job and it’s a great way to catch up with all the friendly faces of the regular EOTN crew and volunteers. The first thing my run buddies asked was , “What’s the medal and T shirt like” but they were kept hidden away for the great reveal at the end of the race. So goodie bags packed and off home to eat, hydrate and relax before the big day.

    It was a 5am rise (a bit of a long lie in for me on competition day) then a rallying of the Blyth Running Club troops and off we set. 6 total newbies to the Multi sport stage and two of us who had done a few before. The excitement and nerves were electric, with doubts of, ‘What if I’m last?’. ‘Will I fall of my bike?,’ ‘Will I know where to go?’. We walked along the Quayside to registration at 8am and there was already a great atmosphere. Music playing, big screen at the finish line and everything ready for the off. Registration went very smoothly and then into transition. Helped the girls get sorted and showed them how transition worked and where to go.

    We had intended to sit and have a quiet coffee but before we had hardly dropped our bags off it was time for me to go over to the Baltic for the Ambassador Photos.

    The Baltic Start line was already packed with all the eager fast runners in place. 10am and onto the start, we had been listening to the Duathlon Race briefing and just went to the back of the line, which was a huge schoolgirl error as we were then at the back of 800 runners! We were all experienced runners so should have known better. But it wasn’t all about chasing a PB but soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the whole experience. It’s not every day you can run and ride around the Quayside on closed roads with 800 other athletes. The route was amazing. Run past the Sage and down over the Swing Bridge (always my favourite bridge) and then along the River Tyne and back, finishing on a hill up to transition. It couldn’t get more iconic and emotional.

    The bike route for the sprint was 3 laps, for Lesley and Tony doing the standard 6 laps, it was fast with a decent hill or two thrown in for good measure. We all kept passing each other going out and back, so we were able to encouraging each other with shouts and whoops. Run 2 was difficult, it always is! I had got cramp several times on the bike and when I started to run I not only had ‘jelly legs’ but it felt that the jelly legs were knee deep in treacle. The Millenium bridge felt like climbing a mountain! However the cheers from the crowds and the support from the marshals got me around and finished in a decent time bagging a 1st for my Age Group 60-70 years. Well chuffed to say the least.

    So did I enjoy it, YES I loved every single minute of it. From the iconic location that the magnificent Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside offer, to the brilliant organisation, volunteers and EOTN Team. To the crowds that cheer you along and to the weather Gods that were kind to us and kept the rain at bay. Also seeing the beaming faces of my run buddies who had overcome the challenge and excelled in their new sport. Tony finished 10 in the Standard and Lesley was 2nd for her Age group so brilliant results all round. As a child on a Sunday at the Quayside market I would never have thought at the age of 66 I would be doing a Duathlon with amazing run buddies in a place I’ve always loved. We spent the rest of the afternoon cheering on the Standard Duathlon, proudly wearing our beautiful T shirts and medals eating all the goodies I had help pack the day before. We had certainly earned them”

    -Lynn x

    A few reviews from Lynn’s running buddies:

    Sonia Miller 1st Multisport Event Sprint Duathlon

    For me, the route and the atmosphere made it. I loved starting outside the Baltic and running round the quayside. The three laps on the bike were great, I loved that we saw each other as we went round and could support each other. There was also great support along the course. The last run over the millennium bridge and finishing on the quayside was pretty special. Really well organised, easy to follow even for a rookie. Excellent medal and t shirt too!

    Claire Mason 1st Multi sport event Sprint Duathlon

    I wasn’t sure what to expect as I haven’t competed in a duathlon before. I’m really pleased I entered as it was a great introduction to this discipline with a fairly straightforward course and lots of support from Marshalls and event staff. I’d definitely consider doing another duathlon despite experiencing ‘jelly legs’ going into the second run!

    Cheryl Foster, These Girls Can Run, 1st duathlon

    I did the Standard Try on The Tyne, was an absolutely fantastic event. It was so well organised and friendly, with amazing marshalls who made everyone feel so welcome and kept them on the right route! The variety of options made it suitable for all abilities, and the iconic setting just added to the amazing experience. Would recommend this to everyone and can’t wait to do it again!

    Alison Warnes 1st Sprint Duathon

    I very much enjoyed yesterday sprint duathlon, I thought it was well organised. I loved the off road route especially the bike although me being me I did keep looking for traffic. I managed to take over 5 mins off my previous 20k bike time. And as Arnie say “I will back next year”. I only have one tiny little thing that I would say and that was there could have been a few more Marshalls on 2.5k route…I almost went wrong way. But in general the Marshalls were fabulous. Loved it.

    Tony Horsley Standard Duathlon 1st Multisports event

    “Try on the Tyne” right up my street! Born and bred in Newcastle I love the Quayside! Registration was smooth very well organised. Putting my bike into transition I felt safe to leave it, the attendants where very thorough. I then proceeded to the start across the iconic Millennium Bridge. The count down began! Bands playing a guy on the mic making jokes, it was electric!!! The gun went off the race began! I was running along the banks of the Tyne ” my home town ” the hairs on the back of my neck stood up!

    We headed out on our 10k run in ” Geordie land heaven ” Then it was the 40k bike “6 laps around the toon” The place I love! There were lots of bike to overtake which inspired me to go faster. The transition from the bike to the last 5k run was difficult for me! My legs had gone! I felt like stopping! But that’s not in my nature, I switched to auto pilot and kept going. Back up the Tyne and over the millennium bridge, I was loving it again! People cheering, bands playing, I up’d my pace. I was running on my own, where was everyone? I counted 6 runners coming towards me, I couldn’t believe it! Could I get a top 10 finish in my first Duathlon. Woohoo!!! A guy came past me on the swing bridge “flying” I cheered him on! He helped me stay focused. I followed him under the famous Tyne bridge and up the Quayside to the finish. I heard my name over the speakers, I felt like a professional. I finish 10 in a time of 2.29.08 I was well chuffed. A big thank you Lynn, it was amazing!!! Brilliant medal, brilliant t-shirt and loved the text message with the results.

    Sue Browning Sprint 1st Multisports event

    Well organised, with helpful marshals felt confident after started. 5k run was good had to run on the outside of the cones due to amount of runners but that wasn’t really a problem, cycle ride I enjoyed it being three laps as enabled me to feel confident/comfortable knowing where I was going. Really enjoyed the cycling. The last run was brutal but that was due to me not being prepared for it nothing to do with the event. On the whole thoroughly enjoyed my first duathlon, great to be able to do it on the quayside, everybody was very friendly (competitors as well as marshals/organisers) thrilled to have completed it in 1h 28, 48 seconds and 100 percent want to participate in more duathlons… by the way I loved the t-shirt and medal !

    Suzanne Beall 10k

    10 k was a fantastic route. Amazing running along both sides of the river and over the bridges. Marshals were efficient, helpful and exceptionally encouraging, providing a smooth running operation. 10k was well signposted for directions and distance markers and loved the final straight. The mass start and finish provided a great atmosphere and allowed friends competing in different disciplines the opportunity to start together. All in all a great event which I would definitely recommend and compete in again. Plus amazing goody bag and T-shirt were a bonus.