1066 runners took part in the annual Boxing Day Pudding Run, and it was literally a bit of a battle to get everyone processed in time for the race start.  Organised jointly by North Shields Poly and Woodlawn School Parents & Friends Association this year’s turnout was a record, and the run had to be delayed slightly in order to accommodate everyone.

As always this was not a race, but a fun run.  However there were a group of serious athletes at the front who were able to pick up the pace along the new promenade.  First man home (for the second year running) was Callum Johnson of Gateshead Harriers in 15 minutes 24 seconds.  He was followed by Scott Beattie of Morpeth and Whitley Bay resident, Ross Floyd of Morpeth Harriers.  The first lady was Danielle Hodgkinson of Birchfield in 17 minutes 25 seconds.

Behind them were a variety of Santas, elves, at least one Buzz Lightyear and a Christmas lobster!  The Pudding run is often a good excuse to do some light training (it is Christmas after all!) and run with the family.  There were several family groups out and some competitive buggy-pushing!  And of course the run raises much- needed funds for Woodlawn Special School as well as for our young Poly athletes.

Start Fitness lent support to the run, as well as Potts Printers who provided the certificates and posters and Sainsbury’s Whitley Bay who donated 810 individual puddings.  Thanks are due to the Comrades Club for the use of their (warm and dry!) premises as run HQ, to Alan Campbell MP who has always started the run, North of Tyne Mountain Rescue who provided first aid cover, the Events officers from North Tyneside Council and Phil Hunter and his team from Roadsafe.  Last but not least, Brenda Boyd from Woodlawn Parents and friends with her team, and our own John Brettell, run organiser and his team, including Angela Gibson who organised the entries on the day, Karen Crozier, Bruce Robertson and John Brown. There was a whole army of marshals and helpers from the Poly and Woodlawn and if you follow the facebook link these are listed.  So, thanks to everyone who took part, without whom there would be no run.  Will next year be another record breaker?


Noreen Rees