Terry’s memory honoured in sixth annual race

Terry certainly made sure the sun shined down on us on a glorious April morning, when 234 runners turned out to race in his memory.

The former Wallsend chairman has been remembered in this way every year since 2012. A Green and Gold legend, motivational coach, inspirational athlete and a wonderful friend. He used to say “people need people” and there was nowhere that summed this up more than at West Allotment Country Park in North Tyneside on Sunday April 23rd. It was the Terry O’Gara Memorial 5k.

Settled now into its new home there was a real air of determination and ambition, a fast pack raring to lead the field and grab hold of a few PBs.

Terry’s son Steve swelled our hearts at the start of the race with fond memories of his dad. Who couldn’t be spurred on by talk of the great man himself.

The juniors set the standard, with a cracking turn out and a wonderful group of enthusiastic runners of all ages. First three girls to complete the one mile course were Gracie Davies (aged 12 from St. Thomas More School) in 7.23, Molly Craig (14, St. Thomas More) in 7.33 and Chole Fairclough (13, Birtley) in 7.51.

It was the Wallsend boys who took first and second – Cameron Motion (by name and by nature!) aged 13 in 7.41,  Luke Pichler (9) in 7.45 and Benjamin Maley (10, North Shields Poly) in 7.55. Terry’s own grandchildren took part with 6 year old Shay finishing 20th overall, ahead of many older youngsters.

Full results here.

The seniors followed and it was a super fast race. Morpeth men hogged the victory haul with Scott Beattie (15.00) and Ross Floyd (15.35) first and third. James Dunce from Tyne Bridge Harriers (15.09) took second. Wallsend’s finest Danielle Hodgkinson faced fierce competition from GB athlete Stacey Smith, who went onto take top spot in an incredible 16.15, a truly world class performance and a privilege to behold. Danielle was a very respectable second (17.11) and Charlotte Penfold from North Shields Poly took third (17.18).

Prizes on the day were:

V40 David Wright, Tyne Bridge Harriers, 16.57

V50 Steve Everett, Durham City, 17.15

V60 John Watson, Low Fell RC, 20.11

V70 Mark McNally, Elswick,  19.51

V35 Carla Maley, North Shields Poly, 19.03

V45 Katherine Davis, North Shields Poly, 19.13

V55 Heather Robinson, Jarrow and Hebburn AC, 20.41

Full results here.

Check out the Gallery page to see more photos from the day (and thank-you to everyone who put their photos on Flickr for us).

A warm thank-you to all those who took part and supported and especially all the organisers, marshals, volunteers on the day and sponsors who made it all possible. Everyone does this in their own time and for free and it is very much appreciated.

It was an incredible day and I’m sure Terry was looking down on us with such pride.