Top 10 at Bent and Bongs
The Spring sunshine returned for the inaugural running of the Bent and Bongs 10K trail race. The host club, Astley & Tyldesley, took the brave decision to replace the early season “classic” Gin Pit 5 with a new 10K trail race, and were rewarded with a good turnout despite other attractions in the weekend race calendar.
Andy Eccles and Dave Collins made the short trip to the Miners Welfare at Gin Pit Village to renew the rivalry which had seen some titanic battles over the fields of the Mid Lancs Cross Country competition throughout the Winter. In a pleasantly uncharacteristic start to a race, the competitors seemed reluctant to move to the front of the start line. A flat first few hundred metres saw the eventual winner Tony Battersby of Leigh move straight to the front. A short climb, then spread the field, and the eventual finishing order was largely settled at this point.
Dave established a small lead over Andy in the first mile and both runners would probably have backed off, but the incentive of beating your training partner just won’t let you relax! The course was dry, largely trail, totally traffic free and excellently marshalled. Conditions were ideal for a fast run, which was only inconvenienced by the odd incline. The worst of these came on approaching the 6 mile mark, but at the crest of the hill, it was a straight sprint down to the finish.
Dave ran a respectable 38.48 to finish 7th overall and 1st Vet 50. Andy split a clutch of Astley & Tyldesley runners to finish in 39.05 and 10th position overall. A tremendous run from Andy who would have settled for a sub 40 prior to the run.
After a coffee and scone at Astley tea rooms, Andy set off for some well deserved refreshments at the Brockett, while Dave yet again regretted signing up for a Spring marathon, as he pulled on his trainers for a few more miles!
A great run also from Phil Barton who is organising the Amberswood trail race. Running his first 10K for 5 months following knee problems, Phil ran in the Atherton Running Club vest, and managed a very satisfactory 50 minute run.
A superb race which will no doubt grow in popularity.