Overshadowed by Seagrave but a day with far better weather our small but happy band of Stilton’s headed to race 2 of the Derby XC league at Markfield.
So having done near 17 miles of Seagrave challenge the day before the quads weren’t great, luckily for me I was joined by a great team of XC newbie Matt Gayton, the Stilton debut of Mark Ashmore (and his Junior runners!), in form Natalie Teece and Striders legend Nick Brown. Matt asked a pretty good question before hand “These are the same people who run the league runs?” yes totally, same people from the same clubs no Dathan Rietznhein clones, same people as you beat in the league runs!
Today is one of the races where they split Male and female runners by 10 min staggered start, I’ll be honest the worst bit in these races are the starts when 400+ plus blokes go all out sprint for the first corner. I`m pretty much taking my time and enjoying it, not far in I’m forced to anyway as my laces somehow come undone three separate times! Once the pack starts to thin out they do get a lot more friendlier and enjoyable. Because this series is now so popular or even oversubscribed, very much like a fell race your stuck often in lines and have to take your passing chances when you can get them, let’s be honest they are all a good bit of fun so don’t no use getting upset over your garmin time. This is my first race in spikes and very happy given its now getting quite muddy underfoot, the others grumbled about the uphill’s but today I felt I did some of my best work on the ups and downs. So with the lace problems of earlier most of the race for me was a negative split and playing catch up which actually made it very enjoyable.
Matt and Mark had a pretty good race, Nick did far better than he`ll let on! Natalie had a stormer (told her she would!) being 2nd lady most of the way and eventually 4th, pretty sure she can go on from this and score even higher. Naturally no PB`s or sterling efforts from myself but enjoyed massively see you at Bagworth Heath! [Rob]