Sunday, 29 June 2008
9th AND 1st TEAM AT HARROCK HILL
STAMPEDE AT HARROCK HILL
Its always a nervous affair waiting at the bottom of the quarry road to be given the 3,2,1, GO!
No matter how good my warm up, my legs always protest for the first couple of minutes of this uphill start, and it was no different today! Rob Berry, Steve Wilkinson and about 20 other runners shot off in front of me, it wasn't until we hit the steepest section half way up that i could floor the gas pedal to the metal and start passing runners who had set off far to fast.
I crest the top feeling far better than last month and now start the rapid descent to Parbold. Up ahead of me is Amanda crook, who took a flyer up the hill, I pull along side her as we reach the cow field at which point the cows decide to stampede in front of us. It looks like a scene from a wild west film! I have to slow right down as they thunder past at high speed blocking my way to the next stile, the last cow in line hesitates, turns and crashes head first into a steel gate just feet away from me. sending a tremor through the ground! It's amazing what race adrenaline can do for you as the thought of that cow crashing into me never entered my head!
I leave the cow looking dazed and confused with stars in its eyes like a cartoon character behind and focus in on catching the next runner in front of me, I catch him as we ascend the steepest section of parbold hill , over another stile and i take a sideways glance to see maurice green of Liverpool RC hot on my heels. I head on up the section we call the escalator, a narrow never ending path that seems to head high into the heavens above! after ten minutes of very hard climbing we reach a short road section before the final climb over Harrock hill, I push it to the limit now, any faster and I will blow for sure! Out onto the fields and on past the ruins of the old wind mill, the next section is the most dangerous, a narrow rocky path with a barbed wire fence to rip you to shreds should you fall! Rob Berry has a 20 sec lead at this point but loses it all here to eventual winner Charlie Pass [ you can not blame Rob for being a little cautious as he is getting over a ham string pull] . Over the last stile i go,i then plunge downwards over a grassy bank to the road,accelerating away from my adversaries, round a corner and there it is THE FINISH, one final all out effort and i cross the line glancing at my watch to see 35.58 [ 9th and 1st v45] my fastest time in four years, to say i was made up would be a underestimation to say the very least! AWESOME!
Every one had there own story to tell by the end of this epic race, not least Rob Berry who missed winning by just one split second in the final sprint. Steve Wilkinson was once again hot on legend Paul muller's heels with 4th place .Amanda crook complaining of sore muscles after her fantastic penny lane 10k p.b. finished close to the course record with 37.36 23rd [ 1st lady] helping the club win the team award! Mike cunningham was 34th 39.27, just behind was Brian Gow 36th 39.34 lapsed SWAC member Brian was coaxed to the race by Andy Hudson promising him a pint if he finished [ Brian is well known for never turning a free pint down1] Andy finished 49th 41.11.
Angela Delaney looking very lean and fit was a first timer here, not quite knowing what to expect I think she ran a very impressive race to finish in 44.59 72nd, Vicky Harvey getting back to top fitness ran over a minute faster than last month 45.33, Carole James was 10 secs faster than last time 48.19 but Cristine Cutner finished 1 minute slower than in may [knowing christine, maybe she ran a marathon the day before?].
There was so much drama in this race you could write a book about it, hell you could make a full length feature film, make sure your one of the stars in the sequel out in july!
Thanks go out to Danny Dreyer of ChiRunning for showing me there is a better way to run!