Among the thousands of runners in the 2014 Blaydon Race, this pair of twins must have felt very much at home taking part in the North East tradition.
Derek and Paul Bennett took on the Blaydon Race together for the 30th time on a summer’s evening which saw thousands take part in the traditional event. The 57-year-old twins, who are both mechanics and whose father, Richard, ran the Bisley hotel in Blaydon, said the race is special to Tyneside people.
“We have all of our certificates,” said Derek. “We have done the Great North Run 18 times, too, but the Blaydon Race is the local race whereas the Great North Run is global.”
Paul added: “We both go at our own pace but Derek is faster than me.”
The 34th event saw 4,250 people don their trainers for the 5.9-mile run, inspired by Geordie Ridley’s classic song the Blaydon Races, and always held on June 9.
The route took the runners from Balmbras in Newcastle city centre, down Collingwood Street and along the Scotswood Road past Armstrong’s factory, ending at Shibdon Road playing fields in Blaydon, Gateshead.
And at the finish line, runners collected a traditional Geordie supper of ham and pease pudding sandwiches and, if they had the stomach for it, a bottle of beer.
Also among the runners was veteran runner Tony ‘the Fridge Phoenix-Morrison. He said: “This isn’t a challenge for me, it is a laugh and it is my home town race.
“They all laugh at the start but they don’t laugh when I’m passing them at Blaydon Bridge.”
Deputy Lord Mayor George Pattison was on hand to start the race.
He said: “This race is steeped in history, its roots go back years and years. It is part of our heritage as Geordies.”
John MacPhail, from the Blaydon Harriers, said: “The Blaydon Race is a special event because it is mostly for people in the North East.
“It is a Geordie race for Geordie people. We have 4,250 people take part every year and every year we have to turn away about 1,000 people.
“People come to help every year especially and we only ever see them on June 7, 8 and 9.”
To purchase copies of photographs from the Blaydon Race go to www.chroniclelive.co.uk/buyaphoto or telephone 0191 201 6000. Alternatively visit our Front Reception, The Chronicle, Groat Market, Newcastle Upon Tyne. NE1 1ED.