As the rest of the club were recovering from their heroics at Astley Park, 4 more Harriers donned the vest to put out a full mens team for the first of this years Sale Sizzlers. This super fast 5k course attracts some of the best runners in the north West with former Manchester Marathon winner Dave Norman spied warming up around the leafy pathways of Wythenshawe park before the race.
Representing Harriers were Chris Burgess, Kevin Edwards, Mike Harris and Graham Millington. For Chris, Ken and Graham this event is easier to get to than Thursday night training being a few minutes drive from respective workplaces. Crazy Horse and Kevin lived up to their reputations by dragging Graham on a quite excessive 3 mile warm up provoking a good deal of whinging from our supposed Ultra runner!
Mike Harris made a greater effort to be there battling the M60 to arrive just in time to list his pre-race excuses which ranged from a stinking cold, to hay fever to something about traffic chaos on the ring road. Mr Millington countered with “I’m fat, un-fit and haven’t run properly for a month” which didn’t provoke any disagreement.
the race started with the 400 strong field set off on their opening lap of the Athletics track.There is a little bit of congestion in the first 500 metres of the race which serves to rein in a bit of the over exuberance typical of a 5k race. Once out of the athletics track and into the park itself the race opens up a little as runners settle into their target pace. It then completes 2 loops around the park before re-tracing its steps for the final kilometre back to the finish on the athletics track.
Chris Burgess led the team home with a seasons Best 18:31 for a very respectable 81st place on the night. Defying his gloomy predictions of a 20 minute effort was Kevin Edwards storming home in 102nd in 19:04. Kev was feeling the hot breath of Mike Harris down his neck in the last 200 metres as the latter put in a barnstorming sprint to close the gap to just 8 seconds. Both agreed another 200 metres would have swapped the result!
Rounding off the scoring for Harriers was Graham Millington in his first competitive outing in recent memory, huffing and puffing and denouncing his pedestrian performance yet still recording a 5K PB in 21:24.
The boys cooled down with another epic magical mystery tour of Wythenshawe led by Chris Burgess finishing off with an impromptu smackdown sprint as Mr Millington and Mr Harris got into a quite childish, injury risking race to the car park! , (Mike edged it!).
There are 3 more races to go in the Sizzlers series with one a fortnight. Its definitely worth a go for anyone look for a flat fast test of their fitness.