Firstly, let me just tell you that if you ever ask Mike Harris about a course and he says “Yeh, it’s undulating” run in the other direction, he is known to understate somewhat! This was swiftly realised after a team warm up which led us to the start line, facing what I can only describe as an “Everestish” incline that was to be summited not once but three times. The information that was whispered to me at the start by Dave Collins was “Go off steady, the third time you come up the hill go hell for leather”. At this point I was thinking why did I not take Julie up on her offer of a steady run tonight.
Lining up for the 3rd in this Trail Race series for the men was Gary Fitzpatrick, Chris Smullen, Mike (I love Hills) Harris, David Collins, Mohammed Irshad and for the ladies Jayne Taylor and Nina Fisher.
Now, coming in last does not make for good race report writing so I will do my best!
First Harrier home was Gary Fitzpatrick in 25:04 followed very shortly by Chris Smullen in 25:28 earning them 9th and 10th position overall. Next home was Mike (I love hills) Harris in 27:00 followed immediately by Dave Collins in 27:04, in what I can only imagine must have been a competitive finish for both runners, I just wonder if Mike crossed the finish line ‘William Wallace’ style like he did at the Lancaster cross country? Jayne Taylor was the next Harrier to cross the line and also the 1st lady earning her a course record time of 27:44, congratulations Jayne. Mohammed Irshad finished in what was described to me as a commando roll after the funnel, having clearly giving his all and then some in 28:18. And finally, but at least consistently, bringing up the rear for the Harriers was Nina Fisher in 32:38. I also got a telling off again from Dave (but not for smiling and waving) this time for trying to find out the tennis result during the race, the Marshall shouted 7-5, Murray’s fifth set result on my first lap, next time I passed him he called out “she’s here again 7 -5”, rather spookily that was my finishing position 75th?
With the team all home we completed a cool down, one lap of the course and yes up that bloody hill again! Four times in total now! But at least it was followed by a well-earned pint, (we had to have one while we waited for Jayne to receive her prize, well it would have been rude not to).
Just as we thought all of the nights action was over we came across a couple in the car park in what looked like a compromising position. The man was pumping away at the side of his car, while his female friend was knelt down in front of him. We all approached cautiously, but giggling, only to find that he was pumping up the back tyre up manually while she was holding the valve of course. Like children we all carried on past laughing at our misunderstanding of what was clearly a completely innocent act.
Well done to all the Harriers racing at Astley Park, including the juniors who ran in the earlier race.