Having had a fantastic (late) club Christmas meal and party last night, I was in
two minds about running in this event as I had over indulged a little although
fortunately it wasn't alcohol, just too much main course and pudding! (I should
have just stuck with the starter as that was a meal in itself).
After some generous helpings of rain this week, the organiser said that I should
look forward to a bit more mud today, was he really trying to put me off this
A lot of runners turned up for today's event, plenty more than published on the
'current entry list'. There were quite a few entries for all distances, mixed
abilities (including a few 'newbies') and a number of friendly runners (one who
madly waved at me on the course, he knew my name but I could not quite see who
it was as he ran past like lightening but I still waved back).
As always it was a mass start which is fine except it can be quite difficult to
get passed the slower runners at the beginning due to the mud slide in the
middle of the first downward hill. Everyone tends to 'hug' the shrubs although
not quite literally as that would be just a little too weird even for myself!
After quite a bit of wheezing, the breathing settled (slap on the wrist for not
taking my inhaler prior to the race) and I got into the correct gear for the
long run up the muddy hill. I did not encounter the mud fest that I was so
looking forward to but I was quite tempted to grab hold of the back of Rich's
t-shirt a couple of times so that he could pull me up! The photographer was
waiting at the top of the hill (again) but I felt good at this point so I am
hoping that I do not look half dead in the photographs, unlike in the last race
at Wellingbrough. A few runners slowed down considerably after the hill and it
was a little awkward for Rich and I to overtake due to the width of the path so
we had to squeeze through any gap possible.
Half way into the race I was still unable to get warm (despite the thermals) and
the old legs were beginning to seize up so my pace dropped considerably. Rather
than ask Rich for a piggy back I thought that it would be best for me to hang
back and allow him to carry on.... and he shot off!
The hardest part of the course is when reaching the grass area and seeing the
finish line but there is still half a kilometre to do around the corner up, up
and around another field and down the muddy hill to the finish area.
There were some great times today and several Harriers participated in the 5K,
10k and 15K. Tim was the second Male Senior Veteran in for the 10K (well done!).
We were fortunate with the weather as it only began raining as we were coming
home and I was fortunate when I got home to have a very hot shower!
Another great race in the series....roll on Race 3.
Race Results :