Simon Tobin gave me and 3 of his friends Jen Unwin, David Unwin and Phil Shorrock a lift to the start of a truly Classical Parbold hill race.
I warmed up with Simon, running part way up Hunters hill, legs feeling good, expectations high!
We got to the start line in the playing fields with 5 mins to go, only to be told the start would be delayed by 10 minutes due to the large number of runners still queuing to get a number!
Thankfully conditions were not to cold and at last we were off, almost 500 stampeding wilder beast charged forward, we banged and barged are way round a lap before exploding out through a narrow gap out into the road. I effortlessly made my way through the mass of runners up ahead. I could see the flashing lights of the lead police car and the front of the race unfolding in front of my eyes. After 1/2 mile we turned left and headed straight up the quarry road, a sea of bobbing heads took on the challenge of gravity, the 1st mile passed in 6.15,. I was going well, slowly taking out runner after runner on my upward flight, after a very steep section we emerged out on to the tops with spectacular views of the local countryside all around. I pressed the accelerator button and propelled myself forward ready for the downhill assault!
Posture tall, leaning forward from the ankles I locked into gravities pull, They pay good money for this don't ya know, an awesome roller coaster ride to die for! I flick my heels up behind me and drive my knee's forward, faster and faster I plunge. I can see Chris Pedder just ahead, this is amazing, he is such a good X/C runner it's rare for me to get this close to him, my new training programme and healthy eating diet must be working! All to soon we reach the bottom fields and head out along the road, a left turn 400m further on and the climbing starts in earnest again, knees pumping high, I gear down, shortening my stride and increasing my leg turnover, I focus in on the runner in front imagining I'm being pulled forward by a big rubber band. Through the trees and out onto the notorious Parbold hill main road, as we go past the church the grade increases and the runner in front starts to pull away, negative thoughts flash through my mind, but i replace them with positive feelings of power and drive. Onto the last section I fight back increasing my tempo I pass the guy ahead, then another as I go over the top [in 19th place] like a King of the mountains sprinter in the Tour De France. We are greeted by a large enthusiastic crowd cheering us on our merry way, two brutal hill conquered one to go!
Soon we turn left and follow a old farmers cart lane that's been here since the mists of time, I start to slip and slide on the mud as my trail shoes fail to bite into the slime, one by one a group of runners pull past me, I desperately fight to hold last in line. at last after a long slog up through the fields we reach tarmac and I use my road racing skills to move up to the front of our fast moving group just in time for the final off road uphill assault, I slip back again and by the end of the climb I'm grimly clinging onto the back of the bunch again. The old ruined windmill comes next, one of the highest points of the course, a sharp right soon after takes me down a narrow rocky, muddy path, I trip and smash my knee on a jutting rock, no time for damage inspection, I clamber up and climb over a wall before charging down the final descent.
Across a road and onto the last field, we are taken further out than normal due to part of the field being re seeded for the spring, over a stream, a last final all out effort as I try to catch the guy in front of me who is starting to stagger as his energy drains away.
I cross the finish line muddy and bloody but elated and ecstatic in 23rd, my highest ever finish in 15 years of trying here.Cool!
15 southport waterloo runners raced here, a great turn out, Brian Davey had an epic battle with Neil Adshead and a very fast improving simon Tobin to finish second of the SWAC runners in, Gary Kenny and Phil bailey also had very good runs.
Vicky Harvey just out paced a very fit looking Liz Stanfield, followed by Carole Handley and a smiling Rachel Thomas.
Simon's friends D Unwin finished in 1.2.16 with Jen Unwin and Phil Shorrock both first timers here finishing in excellent times of 1.22.50 and 1.21.08.
|433||195||082||C. Acklam||F35||(015/023)||Preston Harriers||01:19:38|
|434||82||346||C. Jones||M45||(069/070)||Sunlight Runners||01:19:39|
|435||292||347||B. Pycroft||M70||(006/006)||Fell Runners Association||01:20:08|
|439||293||084||D. Rowley||F35||(016/023)||Mersey Tri||01:21:43|
|444||299||353||M. Walsh||M75||(001/001)||Wesham Road Runners||01:22:26|
|445||23||086||J. Unwin||F45||(015/019)||Parbold Pink Panthers||01:22:30|
|447||58||088||J. Chee||F60||(003/004)||Pensby Runners||01:23:07|
|448||388||354||T. Bolland||M40||(049/049)||Formby Runners||01:23:13|
|449||142||089||A. Hewitt||F60||(004/004)||Rossendale Harriers||01:23:48|
|453||222||092||T. Parry||F||(019/020)||Astley & Tyldesley RC||01:26:11|
|456||69||356||D. Barton||M60||(008/010)||Ford Halewood Club||01:26:51|
|459||15||097||C. Horrocks||F45||(017/019)||Greater Manchester Police||01:27:41|
|460||366||098||J. Hilton||F40||(025/027)||Wigan Phoenix||01:29:10|
|465||46||101||R. Bright||F40||(027/027)||Saddleworth Runners Club||01:41:28|
|466||383||359||R. Armstrong||M65||(010/010)||Penny Lane Striders||01:46:01|
|471||322||106||L. Aldridge||F50||(010/010)||Liverpool Running Club||02:15:00|
|472||288||107||K. Rockliffe||F45||(018/019)||Liverpool Running Club||02:15:00|
|473||296||108||J. Butler||F45||(019/019)||Liverpool Running Club||02:15:00|