The penultimate race in the 2015 Harriers Hill Racing Grand Prix. Die-hards in attendance: Stuart, Mike, Moi, Chris, Gillian and Andrea.
At 11 kms with 400 m of climb, this is a modest mid-distance race and, to use my favourite term, “annoyingly runnable”.
Overall there were about 120 runners although the field was split between the full 11km race and a shorter 6.5 km route. There was a distinct lack of elite runners – maybe because most of them had been running the Two Inns the previous day. A good possible day therefore for improving our stats.
This was a very successful day for the Harriers all round, but the story of the day, as far as I was concerned, was an epic battle between me and Mike.
I started off, as usual, pretty much at the front trying to keep up with Charlotte Morgan to see how long I could stay with her. She soon started pulling away and soon ‘old’ Stuart cruised past me for his dream of 1st V50. After about 1.5 kms, Mike also passed me and, determined to keep him in sight, there then started the closest race we have ever had. Mike and I were really never more than about 1-200 metres from each other throughout the whole race. I have honestly forgotten how many times we passed each other, but I have placed about 6 locations on the map (MoR: Mike overtakes Rob; RoM: Rob overtakes Mike) but to be honest it could have been more. We were breathing down each other’s necks the whole way and we both constantly killed ourselves to stay ahead.
On the ascent up to the Three Brethren, Mike was ahead of me most of the way and I only passed him on one of the few short steep sections towards the summit where he walked, but then I had to walk (only section on whole race) as my legs briefly turned to jelly. I managed to stay ahead of Mike for the descent down and ascent up to Foulshields, but I knew he would have me on the long descent off this hill. Basically, I was passing him going up and he passed me on the down. Damn those knees! This swapping of places occurred throughout the woody sections around Harehead Hill. Mike finally passed me on the downhill from Harehead and I thought I had no chance now and screamed at him as he cruised by shouting that if only there was another hill I’d have him! Well – Mother Earth listened and as the final marshal shouted 200 meters to go I realised there was a slight incline and this was my time to sprint. With a final burst of energy, I managed to pass Mike and crossed the line only seconds ahead of him. Sweat revenge my friend for Feel the Burns and Maddy Moss!!
Overall results from 60 runners (Winner 48:13):
Stuart: 6th: 52:09 – 2nd V50
Rob: 7th: 54:06 – 2nd M40
Mike: 8th: 54:11 – 3rd V50
Gillian: 14th: 1:00:36 – 2nd lady and 1st F40 – GREAT RACE and best action picture!!!
Chris: 31st: 1:06:34
Andrea: 35th: 1:07:37 – 3rd F40
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