Sessay Swift 6k – Wednesday 21st August 2019

Race report by John Gray

Well running slightly odd distances seems to be one of my few opportunities to obtain a PB and not having run a 6k race before, what better opportunity could there be.

Having been on the Mental Health Act rota the day of the race, I wasn’t certain that I would make the start line, but thankfully after a few near misses nothing came in.

I also nearly wasn’t allowed to enter the race, as when I asked where the entries on the night where being taken, one of the run directors said there were no entries on the night! I mentioned that the running website confirmed that there were entries on the night, and I had just driven from Darlington to be there, which thankfully changed her perceptions on things, and I was allowed to enter. Otherwise, I would have been jogging round as a training run at the back.

This is the eighth running of the Sessay Swift 6k, which has had increasing numbers of entrants each year, including over 60 from Ripon Runners. Maybe they are all on the same PB hunt as me! However, I was the only Billingham Marsh House Harrier out on the night.

The race itself was stationed from Sessay Cricket Club and was a very scenic rural trot, with only a few mild undulations. But the rural nature didn’t deter some very fast runners, with the race winner clocking 18.22 for the 6K, faster than I can run 5k these days.

The race took us past many farms along country lanes, that were not closed to traffic, but with very few cars on the roads anyway and a good snapshot of an area which I would unlikely see or visit without this race.

Sessay itself is around 4 miles south of Thirsk and is a lovely village that really made the effort to put on an excellent midweek evening event. Following the race, there was post-race food and drinks, and a barbecue similar to the Serpentine run at Sedgefield. This is where many of the runners gathered, including myself, and where I met several friends for a post-run chat. This also allowed me the platform to provide an analysis of my run as if I was being interviewed on Sky Sports, so business as usual for me!

For those that haven’t run this race before, I would highly recommend it. The post-race atmosphere was very enjoyable, or you could go for a meal at one of the lovely country pubs afterwards.

On a personal level, beating my new PB of 23.37 for 6K is, I think, achievable even for an old codger like me. So, I will be returning to run this one again in future.

Race Results – https://www.ukresults.net/2019/sessay.html

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