It was a pleasantly warm evening, the group shifted uneasily from side to side, it would not be long now. The sun was starting to hang low in the sky, the wind was gentle, it was good running conditions. The group waited, it was not time yet, not time to go charging off but they were impatient, wait, wait. Then all of a sudden it was time to go, they ran at full speed, a lolloping gait but still effective but alas those runners escaped the thundering stomp of the Harrock cows and lived to tell the tale of Harrock Hill Race number 4!
And yes there was another indeed another tale to tell…..of fantastic performances, excellent prizes and brilliant camaraderie.
The course followed the same routing as before, steering a cautious path away from the cattle. The cows sensing their last chance of the summer, launched a charge but thankfully everyone escaped in one piece.
Another excellent Harriers mid week turnout meant there were 9 runners representing the club. Still running well after a winter of intensive high altitude training was coach Dave Waddington, who was threatening to reintroduce his gate vaulting to ensure he swept past all before him. Don’t listen to his stories of a relaxing holiday!
Mark Rogers had promised to bust a gut to beat a season long adversary. The chap must have heard as he skipped the race rather than take on the roaring Rogers beast, just remember him for next year.
After shaking off his holiday ‘rustiness’ Mike Harris was looking forward to having a good run at Harrock. Although one of his favourites, tough half marathons and spectacularly long training runs (navigation Howard style) had meant he still felt he was due a better one and another opportunity to chase his running twin – Dave “Barnacle” Collins – he’s hard to shake off!
Chris Burgess fancied another go at this challenging course and Howard Avery was looking to continue some excellent improvement, obviously helped by knowing which way to go on the course.
Completing the line up was regular prize winning superstar Jayne Taylor and the young talent Daniel Atkinson. Oh I nearly forgot Race 1 winner “The Kaveman” was back!
Andy, Mark and Howard took off at the start to run the race us mortals can only dream of. Some of the interesting stuff took place further back.
Dave Collins abandoned his take it steady approach to fling himself up the hill like a little lamb skipping away from his colleagues. Mike had an excellent view of the start of an interesting battle between Dave and Sean from Horwich. Dave stormed past a couple of runners including Sean, in a scene more resembling something approaching a finish line dash, Sean then went blasting off to try and retake his position. These bursts of speed moved them away from our correspondent but satellite images confirm this battle continued for the next 5 miles until both were nearly broken men.
Mike tried in vain to keep up with the “Dave & Sean” show and was stalked by Waddy, keeping a watching brief on proceedings was Chris. By halfway things were getting stretched out. By the High Moor Restaurant Chris made his move and went past Mike, who in turn tried desperately to stay in touch with the group ahead of him. In the final climb up to Harrock Hill a bunch of runners became grouped which gave Mike chance to regain contact. Knowing that downhill was coming soon he summoned all available energy to storm the whole group pulling Chris along with him. This left open ground for Chris and Mike to run for home. In the last field perhaps exhausted by his ding dong battle with Sean, our two “youngsters” stormed past the Barnacle. Anyone at the finish would then have seen a procession of red and black vests storming over the line, fantastic stuff!
3 Andrew Kaufman 35.11
4 Mark Rogers M45 35.21
7 Howard Avery 36.36
15 Chris Burgess 38.27
16 Mike Harris M40 38.36
17 David Collins M50 38.41
23 Dave Waddington M50 39.04
36 Jayne Taylor L50 40.35
96 Daniel Atkinson 45.58
Congratulations to all competitors as it was a brilliant conclusion to the mid-week races resulting in season’s bests for Howard, Chris, Mike, Dave Waddington, Jayne and Dan.
After the usual lengthy wait the results were ready and with it would be the series prizes!
Race prizes were a mix of wine, fruit & veg…
3rd place Andy Kaufman
1st V45 Mark Rogers
2nd V50 Dave Collins
1st L50 Jayne Taylor
Series Prizes were vouchers from Endurance Store
1st V40 Mike Harris
1st V45 Mark Rogers
1st V50 Dave Collins
1st L50 Jayne Taylor
All washed down by a celebratory pint, a great show of camaraderie & strength to end the series.