In November 2017....... the globetrotting runners of Middleton Harriers set out on adventures new – well a return to an old
stomping (and running) ground – Benidorm! We were there to race, we were there to party and we were there to put Middleton Harriers back on the running map!
So, sit back and I hope you enjoy this souvenir of our trip – wonderful friends, fantastic times! Nineteen of us arrived on Friday 24th November after an early morning flight – the sun was
shining and we were looking forward to a great weekend. However, because of problems with group bookings in Benidorm, 13 of us were staying in a hotel just outside of the town,
The Deloix Aqua Park Hotel.
Being separated from our friends was just too traumatic for most of us. We had no choice; we just had to drown our sorrows and soak up the sun!
Later that evening, we all jumped into several taxis – Café Benidorm was our meeting place. There we were re-united with Kyrinda and Colin, Steve and Gill, Charlie and Debbie – and later joined by Tommy and Pat Temple. We certainly enjoyed our evening there – hangovers guaranteed for some!
SATURDAY 25th NOVEMBER - The runners had to collect their numbers from Race HQ – situated in the Town Hall. Most of us walked into the town, but as registrations weren’t open until later in the day, we decided to walk along the promenade and visit the beautiful old town of Benidorm.
Mike and Steve (with Gill close behind), proving that no hill is too steep for this lot when there is beer and wine to be drunk at the top!
We walked up to Placa Del Castell – a lovely part of the old town, where there is a beautiful church, terrace with walkway down to the sea and of course, cafés bars and shops! We’d built up quite an appetite so this seemed the perfect place to rest our weary bones and sample some local ‘liquid refreshment’ - Spanish wine, San Miguel, coffee and soft drinks to help re-hydrate!
Once we had satisfied our bellies with food and drink, it was time to meet up with our next pair of travelling companions – Shelagh and Ken Ackers. Since retiring, they had been on a tour of Europe by car and finally stopped off at their holiday home in Spain. As their trip was now coming to a close, they decided to join us on our visit to Benidorm, so drove over to stay in a rented apartment and take part in the race. It was lovely to see them again after so many months away – needless to say, we just had to celebrate our reunion with a few more drinks!
The time had come for us to collect our numbers, so we headed off to Race HQ., at the Town Hall. There were plenty of other runners too from all over the world. Numbers collected, race t-shirts picked up we headed back to our respective hotels and apartment. Earlier that day Julie, Mike and myself came across a little shop – the sign outside read, “Oferta – Vino = 1 Euro”. Well, we just had to go and investigate a little further! We finally left the shop with 2 bottles of red, 2 bottles of white and 1 bottle of rose (thanks to Julie who paid for them). We thought it would be a good idea to have a wine tasting session on our last evening, before going down for our meal. But more on that later!
We each stayed in our respective hotels as it was the 10k race the following day – although Shelagh and Ken joined us for the evening’s entertainment. Apart from what was happening on the stage, a large group of hotel guests decided to take over the lounge area and hog all the seats. Unbeknown to Rose, she took one of the ‘empty’ seats and was then given short shrift by its occupant when he returned from the bar! His wife then came steaming in, and not being able to speak English, gestured to Rose that she would slap her face! Needless to say, an angry glare from Rose soon saw the belligerent woman sit back down! I was just about to get my fisticuffs out when all the fun stopped. Nothing like a holiday punch up!
SUNDAY MORNING – RACE DAY! After breakfast, taxis were ordered for the runners and our fabulous group of supporters made their way into town on foot – this was it….what we were here to do…..RUN in the SUN!
Well, that’s the runners – now for our wonderful supporters photo gallery – unfortunately, Chris Brooks couldn’t run due to injury. But she made up for it and more with her support – so here’s your time to shine, best supporters in the world
And so the race began – a nice route along the main roads and down the promenade – there were little cut through areas, which meant our supporters got to see us several times and more importantly, they gave us the encouragement and support to get through the race! You are all stars!
The run along the main road had a u - turn section, so that gave me a great opportunity to take photographs of the runners coming towards me – they looked as fresh as a daisy, whilst I wilted!
Unfortunately, I missed a couple of our runners with my camera, so I am sorry if you are not on this batch of photos. Stopping to take pictures gave me an excuse to get my breath, but with the help and encouragement from Shelagh, I managed to get around the course and finally over the finish line! Thanks She, you are amazing xx
And at last we reached the finish line….what a brilliant day! Great race, great support & new pals! Chris & John met up with their friends, Anne & Alan, who cheered us on too – thank you, it all helps!
So it was time for us to collect our goodie bags (containing dried pasta, soup in a carton and a few other bits and pieces), pick up our medals and for some back to the hotel for a shower. And for the remainder, it was “let’s find a bar and have a well-earned drink” – both runners and supporters!
We found a nice bar along the promenade and all settled down for a few drinks to celebrate – and also to re-hydrate! Still proudly wearing our (sweaty) Middy vests, medals around our necks. The sun was shining our spirits were high – what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon?
Well, the afternoon flew by and before we knew it we were heading back to our hotels and apartment to get showered and ready for another night of fun. But before going down to dinner, there were 5 bottles of El Cheapo vino to be tasted. In Liz and Janice’s room, the bottles were lined up, guests invited (bring your own glass) and a few snacks provided. Here is part of the line-up of drinks available – and by the way – the wine was surprisingly very good!
We know how to live the high life! Cheap wine and good company! What more could anyone ask for?
For the Deloix crowd plus Shelagh and Ken, this was our last night in Benidorm – Kyrinda and Colin stayed an extra night, whilst Charlie, Debbie, Steve and Gill were there for a full week (lucky devils!). So we made sure we had a great time. Celebrating our final night and again meeting Tommy, Pat & our lovely friend, Ro Bowness in Café Benidorm for one last fling together.
Roll of Honour: (aka partners in crime!) Ge Kirk, John and Chris Brooks, Jackie Littlewood, Liz Harris, Margaret Edwards, Julie Jones, Mike Hall, Rose Rowson, Teresa Hollins, Nick Allen, Mick Bull, Kyrinda and Colin Carter, Charlie Bowcock, Debbie Shaw, Gill and Steve Bassam, Shelagh and Ken Ackers…..oh yeah, and me! Janice Pugh xxxx
Thank you, one and all for a fabulous time in Benidorm – looking forward to the next Middleton Harriers on Tour trip!