Stratford Summer 6 – 22.7.17

Race Report by Michael Hammond

This was my first six-mile event, and my second evening race; a good opportunity to see how I would get on after completing parkrun Coventry on the same day.

I gave myself plenty of time to get there, and was one of the first in the car park.  Masseys’ were well represented, Helen and Cal parking up next to me. Unfortunately, it was raining, but not too heavily. I decided to wear my long-sleeved running top under my Masseys vest, and a baseball cap (which helps me forget the rain). Making my way to get my race number, there was still plenty of time before the start so I made use one of the porta-loos (which later would delay the start due to the queues!) and then went back to the car to pin on my number.

The best thing about the course was the start which was a steep decline. It was a great way to prepare you psychologically for the fact that you would be running up the same hill very close to the finish. I started at the back and kept the main group in site for about the first mile I think. I spent the next two miles running with an Ilkley strider whose daughter had persuaded her to enter on the day. It was a great help to run alongside someone, until I couldn’t keep up with her pace.

For the rest of the race I was on my own, resisting the temptation to look behind. I walked at the water stations and walked up the hill near the finish. After the hill, the road was lovely and straight with great views all the way round the course.

Because of the rain there wasn’t much of a crowd, but those who did brave the wet were very enthusiastic. The stewards were very supportive and vocal. Finishing in 1:04:30 I was just in time to claim an Extra-Large T shirt; with so many entrants on the night they ran out very soon after!

Apart from returning to a car with a flat battery; phoning the RAC then cancelling as a very nice bloke in the pub came to my rescue with a brilliant tiny battery charger it was a very successful evening .