Horwich Jubilee races are one of the Race Series that take place in vicinity of Wigan, (writes Mike Harris). I had partaken in the pleasures of the whole Chorley and Harrock Hill series but until now had not managed to squeeze Horwich in.
It’s a two lap course on the quiet roads and tracks around Rivington and manages to take in some of the local ups and downs. Nothing mountainous but enough to burn the legs and make it a challenging 5 miler.
Running a race series becomes very addictive, the monthly challenge of trying to improve (hopefully) times and take on familiar faces again. Kev Edwards had managed to string together a tremendous run of performances on this course, so much so that it put him in the frame for the series results. This was enough of an incentive to drag Kev to the start line even though he was carrying an injury. He promised to jog round but I still expected to see him fly pass me at some point.
It had been a warm day although evening cloud dragged the temperatures down to a reasonable level and no wind meant decent running conditions. On the start line with Kev and myself were Gary Wane, Andy Kaufman and Paul Derbyshire, so a healthy number of Harriers were ready to battle the rolling hills.
Andy shot off in the leading group although a couple of runners started to open up a gap. I followed some distance apart but realised afterwards that I knew I was going too fast on the first loop because I could still see Andy!
The field started to spread out and the mainly traffic free roads made it a pleasant road race (that’s if running full blast up and down hills for 5 miles can be put in that category!), with all the runners working hard.
I paid for my indiscretion of running too fast initially by having a small group of runners pass me at the start of the second loop, I tried to dig in and stay with some of them.
Team Kaufman were out cheering the Harriers on which was certainly were well appreciated and encouraged Andy on as he was engaged in a battle for third place.
Andy confessed afterwards that the reason for wearing his Inov8’s was he thought it was going to be a trail race round Rivington, thankfully it didn’t slow him down too much as he put the other runners in his group to the sword and raced to a marvellous 3rd place, his first ever podium position. Well done Andy! 28.13
On the hill down Horrobin Lane I managed to pick off another runner. the turn into the finishing straight was the point for another runner to attack which was my cue to really drive hard for the line, managing to fend off the Astley & T athlete and pass a guy from Horwich taking 24th place in 31.14 in my first attempt at the race.
Gary had another excellent run, managing to shave a few more seconds off his previous best to do 34.17.
Kev was good to his word and jogged round, still in a decent time of 36.37. It turned out that they counted the best three results for the series so Kev could have put his feet up and watched but that isn’t his style. Unfortunately after a cracking series of racing Kevin missed out on a prize by a whisker! Race 1 was so well attended that it didn’t help his total score and if fit a good race 4 would have surely seen a prize go Kev’s way. His performances were right up with the best in the Vets class throughout the series.
Completing a fine evening for the the Harriers team was Paul Derbyshire in 44.33.
A final mention and congratulations to the other Harriers who have taken part in Horwich this year. I’m known for my stats so here we go these are everyone’s 2013 best course times.
Andy Kaufman 28.13 Race 4
Steve Nicholls 30.04 Race 3
Kevin Edwards 30.34 Race 2
Chris Burgess 30.48 Race 3
Dave Collins 30.56 Race 1
Mike Harris 31.14 Race 4
Dave Waddington 31.27 Race 1
Gary Wane 34.17 Race 4
Paul Derbyshire 41.51 Race 3
Well done everyone!