Sunday saw the third North East Marathon Club’s (NEMC) Northumberland Coast Marathon.
The 26-mile-plus race is from Alnmouth to Long Nanny Bridge south of Beadnell and back again.
It was also the third event in the NEMC’s 2012 Tour of Northumbria, which consists of four scenic marathons in four separate scenic locations, all organised by Warkworth runner and NEMC founder, Jim Manford.
The Coast Marathon attracted 100 entrants – which was the race limit – but as is customary with marathon races, there were a number of no shows, so 72 started on the day.
Tim Bateson of NEMC was the overall winner in 3hours 20mins.
He finished seven minutes ahead of his nearest challenger.
The women’s race proved a much more interesting affair with Alnmouth girl and Alnwick Harrier, Jo Gascoigne-Owens (pictured), eventually romping home as first female, and finishing sixth overall.
She crossed the line in 3hours 38mins.
This was more than 30 minutes faster than the female course record and a truly outstanding run by Jo given the heat and humidity.
Another Alnwick Harrier, Cris Atwell, came second male 50, finishing in 4hours 7mins.
There were high hopes that Alnwick Harrier, Mike Telfer, might go one place better than his second-placed finishes of the past two years, but lack of training due to injury meant he finished 23rd in 3hours 58mins.
Runners came from all parts of the UK to participate and for the third year in a row the race was blessed with gorgeous weather allowing everyone to appreciate the beauty of the Northumberland coastline.
Most of the runners managed to get back to Alnmouth before heavy rain arrived to dampen spirits in the later stages of the race. Surprisingly, given the difficult nature of the course, only one athlete failed to finish.
The final race in the Tour of Northumbria is the Newcastle Town Moor Marathon on Sunday, Octoberr 28.
Entries are still open for this. Contact Jim by visiting www.northeastmarathonclub.co.uk