Last year due to a blister the size of my foot I stood at the start line to wave off Mary and the rest Massey Runners; as they ran I ate Bacon Butties. After I cheered them all home and saw them standing in technical T-Shirts I had to listens to tales of how hilly the course was. Infact I even wrote the Race Report.
This year no blister and a race calendar mistake – booking the NTRiX rather than running in the winter handicap race; meant I was stood in the MFU carpark just outside Stratford with the rest of the Massey Runners for the traditional prerace picture. I was not the only person who makes race booking mistakes as Andy had managed to enter NTRiX twice and enter Emma twice as well.
Starting at 11 o’clock meant no early morning porridge and rushing it was far more leisurely, more of a gentle lie in and pootle to the race. It also meant the overnight ice left on my car and surrounding roads had really started to melt away in the crisp winter’s sun – this was nice running weather.
The race is a well organised and well marshalled affair the only moans being the crush as 800 runners collected their numbers on race morning. (guess it saves the cost of posting them out.)
Gathering up a crowd of eager runners for a picture is always a challenge – and some always get missed off – queueing for toilets? It also meant we were slightly behind the masses leaving for the start a short 1km walk up the road – a nice warm up and at least it means less hill running. No loud hailer, No hooter or gun sounded to signify the start just the slow ripple of the 700 runners ahead of us starting to move.
Supporters along the course were minimal as the route took you out onto the rural roads of Warwickshire; the initial half of the race seemed to be a constant gentle uphill and quickly the masses spread out to stand one or two abreast as we ran along the open roads dodge by cars. After a water stop at 5km the real hill on the route hit. Even with the encouragement of Lee and Clare, I dropped to a walk. At least I got to enjoy the terrific views of the countryside over the hedges. From the top, restarting running was much easier as the downhill stretched on to be enjoyed. The village of Loxely had a good turnout of supporters although had I had my emergency money on me I might have stopped at the Fox for a drink. (Next year)
After a short last hill the final 2km ran down gently back into Tiddington, as always seem to be the case, any finished Massey Runners lingered around to encourage and cheer their club mates home, after hearing those calls I put a final spurt on for the last few hundred metres to pass underneath the arch to collect my t-shirt and cheer the rest home.
One minor moan… the results – lovely list but no Clubs names being shown so after trawling through all the names if I missed you I am very sorry. And Steve Damms you are down as a no time!!! Yet I saw you race past me after 1km so I am not sure what happen there.
221 Robert Eyley 00:54:55
249 Richard Sale 00:55:54
237 Dominic Lenehan 00:56:48
301 Dave Fawkner 00:58:01
322 Stuart Liggins 00:59:01
380 Andy Cutting 01:02:11
450 Ruth Mahon 01:05:07
583 Lee Hill 01:11:25
584 Clare Weston 01:11:25
602 Daniel Connolly 01:13:38
659 Tiffannnie Slatford 01:21:11
666 DAVID PHILLIPS 01:22:30
676 Michaela Eyley 01:32:51
681 Jane Damms 01:39:01
682 Emma Cutting 01:39:03
Race report by Daniel Connolly