Sutton Park Relays – 23.9.17

Race Report by Michael Hammond

The email from Ross Cooper came through and I thought; another ‘experience’ to put under my belt.

Sutton Park is impressively large and pleasant. I have heard of it, but have never visited before. I asked Alan at training on Monday for a lift and we got there in plenty of time… there was still parking issues though. We parked in the nearby sports centre car park.

The Massey’s gazebo and flag were easy to spot, and Ross was on hand to give us our numbers.

I have a reputation from when I started RaceFit for wearing many layers, a hat and gloves, and I thought as it is the end of September, that I should wear my lycra leggings and my full sleeve running shirt under my vest.  I was wrong!

The atmosphere was quite intense with more running clubs than I have ever seen before in one place, and a massive range of ages of runners.

I was running the third leg after Alan in the C Team. I usually get nervous at the beginning of a race; waiting for it to start, but this was at another level! The responsibility of wearing the Masseys’ vest and the thought of the next runner waiting for you was immense! The nerves made me start off too quick, and the fact that the start was downhill didn’t help.

My Garmin watch clocked a time of 35:08:38 for 3.53 miles. The course was tough and I had to walk for quite a bit of it. I started to see D runners coming past me which meant I was being lapped!

The adage ‘it’s the taking part that counts’ is one that needs to be remembered… I am not a fast runner, (and never will be) but taking part was a great experience and the Massey crew were there at the run up to the finish line to cheer me on as; I didn’t smile, couldn’t attempt a sprint finish…and just managed to get there!

Many of the experienced runners seemed to think the organisation was a bit lacking this year and it did seem a bit chaotic at times but it was a great day out. And I met a few more Massey crew. Same time next year ? Maybe ……