Nina Fisher, Gary Fitzpatrick and Mike Harris took on the twisty but very flat 10k road race at Woolston near Warrington. It’s a popular mid-week with entrants limited to 400 and by race night only 18 places were available.
Our three amigos all had pre-entries (thanks to Darren Jackson for his number) so after a brief queue to collect numbers they were soon off for a warm up. The great thing about company at races means the pre-race chatter allows you to relax and prepare yourself for the challenge.
It appeared there was to be no debate this week between Gary and Mike about the size of the hills as inspection showed the course to be totally flat. All three Harriers harboured PB aspirations but the close humid evening and the masses at the start meant this was far from certain.
A few moments before the start Gary and Mike realised that judging by the people around them they were a little too far back from the start, a quick shuffle forward yielded a small gain but they were still surrounding by a motley collection of earphone wearing shufflers. (Pet hate – why don’t people think more about their starting position? – rant over)
After a short wait they were off! The course follows twisting cycle routes through parkland, small section of grass, short trail and a stretch through a housing estate so there was plenty of variation. It’s a 2 1/2 lap route so plenty of chance to take in the view!
Gary shot off and picked his way carefully through the field. After a few km the field started to thin out making the twists, turns and bollards easier to negotiate.
Slightly further back Mike had a race where he did not have a single person pass him – it seemed like a moving conveyor of people to pass. The flatness of the course meant pacing was easy and he managed to run a very even paced race.
Taking in the applause from her fans was Nina who after milking it for a lap then got down to the hard stuff realising that a PB was on and there for the taking! That also meant leaving behind Uncle Nobhead, we discovered Nina likes to give her fellow competitors a name!
Whilst all this waving was going on Gary was head back and blasting out an excellent pace.
Mike had a few people who attempted to speed up as he passed them so eventually he had to switch to stealth mode, popping on his invisibility clock to whizz pass them at toute vitesse!
First home for Harriers in a new PB was Gary in 38.11, 18th place. Second for Harriers was Mike in a new PB of 39.48, 35th place and yes another PB, this time Nina in 46.52 in 143rd place.
PB tastic!! Excellent running from all.
The flag was well and truly flown for Wigan Harriers.