Spectacular scenery, remarkable people, one amazing journey!
Warm humid air pressed down on the runners, sweat dripped down foreheads stinging eyes with sweat, calf muscles twitched, quads bulged with adrenaline filled anticipation!
Down here in the cauldron at the bottom of the quarry road hopes and dreams could be made or shattered in 5.3 miles of challenging climbs and descending, yes it was Harrock Hill Race time again!
There ain't nothing more nerve racking than starting a race from the bottom of a very steep track that winds it's way up into the horizon, it's going to hurt for sure!
3, 2, 1- for a brief moment the world seems to STOP, like in one of those Matrix style films the camera zooms out and takes in the 'bigger picture' before zooming back into the starter who says -GO!!!
The runners around me surge forward, sending up a trail of dust into the atmosphere, I'm looking for Tracey 'queen mad dog' who I plan to pace round, as this is my first race back after a torn calf muscle last month.
Trace passes me and for a dreadful moment I feel like I might get dropped but thankfully I get my second wind and cruise up to her shoulder.
Up ahead Rob Ashworth is making good progress and moves into 3rd place over the top of the first climb.
Onto the descent and I pull over to wait for Trace. Stevie Lewis, Simon Tobin, Andy Hudson and Paul Talbot pull on passed like a blue and yellow train!
Come on Trace lets get moving!
Next Gary Kenny, Paul Cain and a new slim line Neil Silcock [ seems the seaweed and green pea diet is working a treat] overtake us.
Next the climb up Narrow Lane and up to Parbold Hill, Tracey is suffering complaining of only 5 hours sleep in 4 days, so I shout at her more, move those legs, push it, MOVE!
After 10 mins of climbing we reach the top road and head for Harrock Hill and the windmill, Tracey gets a stitch and screams in pain, as the nice person that I am a tell her to ignore it and buckle down and push harder!
A final downhill, a turn and the sprint for the line.
I let Trace take it on the line as the gentleman that I am!
And it's all over until next month.
There were lots of good performances with Rob finishing 3rd overal, Stevie Lewis, Paul Talbot, Neil Silcock, Sue Stewart, Carol Wright, Jane Blacklin, and Elaine Sutton all setting new P.B.s and the girls cleaned up in the prizes too!
Oh and Tracey finished 4th lady and I finish without any problems :0]
If I missed anyone or anything of importance I apologize for my normal incompetence!
Results Harrock Hill Race (3/4), Bispham, nr. Parbold, Lancashire
Thanks to Keith Lunt for photos