It was so great to be running as a club again after the lastest lockdown!
A huge thanks to Guy – so much hard work put into this but it was so appreciated by all the runners who came along.
It really did feel like business back to normal to have Mike on the Start and finish line, setting the runners off at minute intervals and time keeping at the finish line – Great to have you back Mike!
Not an easy route by anyones standards – the start line at the bottom of a meadow with a fairly steep gradient set the standard for the run. There were only two short stretches of tarmac – thank you to marshalls Heather and Trevor, Bronwyn and Roland for stopping traffic and making sure we didn’t get run over – but the majority of the run was over grass of the field and Hanway Common or along the forest tracks and paths of Mortimer Forest.
Guy had done a fantastic job of marking the route, but had to make a small diversion just before the run as a couple of trees were down. This led to Theresa and Bryan missing one of the markers, and being a bit perplexed at the end about how they were behind runners they thought they had got past – turns out they had run an extra 0.4miles – still great times anyway guys!
The steepest stretch of the run was off the road and back onto Hanway common – I’m not sure how many managed to run up the steep bank but a very enthusiastic Tory was at the top encouraging us on and taking photos – that is her picture of the deer that she spotted before all of the heavy feet and panting of the runners scared them off!
Finally we were at the highest point and Liz was there to marshal us back onto the common – another face we are all happy to see returning to the club.
The downhill stretch across the common should have been the easy part but the uneven ground that tractors had made when the going was a bit wetter stopped it being the comfortable run it should have been which left it to the final descent down the meadow to the finish line to put our sprint finishes to the test.
Thanks to Mike H for helping Mike B at the finish line with the timing and his wife Jayne for helping with the carpark at the church.
There were some great perfomances – first mention to Jasper – fantastically speedy running – he passed me just before the sharp right at one of the fallen trees and was so fast I wasn’t sure he was going to make the corner!
A bit further along Eric sprinted past me and I thought he would catch Jasper, but he was having none of it and stayed ahead to become the first runner past the finish post. Eric, having set off a minute behind was the fastest runner with a time of 34.04, Jaspers finishing time was 34.47.
First lady home was Kelly – looking very strong up the very steep hill when all around her were walking, finishing time 39.23.
There were a couple of close finishes at the line – Lucy forced me on a bit faster than I would have liked and Gemma and Louise had a very close sprint finish with Gemma just pipping Lou at the line.
Well done to everyone who took part and all of you who are obviously putting the work in and seeing some improving times.
Looking forward to more club events to come!