LIKE the majority of clubs in the region, Tynedale Harriers come across numerous obstacles when the time comes around to promote their annual 10-mile Jelly Tea Road Race.
Each year the complications to hold the popular Hexham to Ovingham event seem to increase.
But the go-ahead Tynedale organising committee manage to pull out all the stops to overcome them, in as much that this year’s race on September 9 looks like being rewarded with a record entry.
Nearly 500 entries have already been received for what is now the only 10-mile event left in the region, and race organiser Hugh Bingham is confident that number will soar even higher as athletes enter on the day.
“This year we seem to have come up with a formula that very much meets with the council and police approval,” said Bingham.
“It’s extremely costly, but we have managed to make more of the course traffic-free at no extra cost to athletes this year.
“Even with so much of the course closed to traffic, we still have around 35 to 40 marshalls out on the course to make sure everything goes smoothly.
“It’s not surprising that the race is becoming extremely popular.
“I may be biased, but it’s an extremely scenic run, which I believe is a really enjoyable race to line-up in.
“Also, it’s the ideal warm-up race for the Great North Run, which follows on three weeks later.”
Because the Tynedale event is so close to the GNR, more than half the entries already received are from athletes with no allegiance to any club.
However, that doesn’t mean the race won’t attract a smattering of leading club runners, who will be chasing the North Eastern Counties Championship title, and also a course-record bonus if they lower Paul Cuskin’s 48min 49sec or Lynn Harding’s 56:39 figures, both of which were set 15 years ago.
Anyone wanting to take part is reminded that this year’s race gets under way at 11am, which is a change from its usual afternoon starting time.
Entries will be taken on the morning of the race at Wentworth Leisure Centre, Hexham.