I don’t know if this counts as my Wigan Harriers debut, because I entered the race ages ago and so was classed as unattached. It was however my 1st race since joining the club so I duly wore red and black even though a plain red t-shirt and black shorts was the best I could do.
The St.Helens Dream Trail Race was organised by St.Helens Sutton AC together with the Steve Prescott Foundation. This was the 2nd running of the race and it takes place on the former Sutton Manor Colliery site over 8.5km.
As usual in trail races there was a bit of a sprint at the start to get a good position before the path gets too narrow and I ended up just behind the fast starters, but quite near to the front. After a short boggy bit the path dropped down steeply towards the M62 and onto one of the few tarmac footpaths. This was short lived though as we soon turned sharply to run up one of the steepest parts of the course which was off road and the legs were burning by the time I got to the top.
The course was a mixture of dirt tracks, tarmac footpaths and open meadow, but as the forecast rain stayed away, the conditions underfoot were generally very good. The front runners were well out of sight by the time I got up to The Dream statue, but looking back I couldn’t see anyone close behind me either. As I came passed the start area for the second lap I was pleasantly surprised as the marshals diverted us down a much easier route that not only avoided the worst hill but made the 2nd lap quite a bit shorter than the 1st. That’s not to say it was easy as there was still quite a bit of running to do and there were plenty of uphill sections to deal with. The Statue on the 2nd lap was the beginning of the end and the marshals (who were excellent throughout) told me that it was downhill all the way to the finish.
I was really pleased with 5th place overall and 1st Vet 40, which won me a box of beer. It doesn’t really get better than that.