This must be my 5th or 6th May day challenge and it’s an event I always sing highly of as it despite its `tough` profile is one for everyone.
As usual a very large crowd of runners is on hand in the serene village of Woodhouse Eaves for this year’s challenge, as 9:30 strikes the runners start in pursuit of the walkers who have set off an hour earlier. Good turnout today from Stilton Striders and Melton Running club, many doing this event for the first time and although it’s not quite as nice weather as years past it’s still quite pleasant.
Not wearing a watch today my plan is to stick near Barrow Runners Russ Lewin and Chris Trinder and aim for 1:40 or even more hopefully under. The usually painful slog up Deans Lane isn’t too bad this time, someone else said it that it’s not Deans Lane so much but the pull up to the Beacon straight after. A nice long descent down Beacon Hill country park and back into Woodhouse Eaves before the slog which I dread most Woodhouse golf course!
Feel a little bit better on entering Bradgate Park this year than last (stitch from not breathing properly) and enjoy the descent down to Newton Linford gates. The flat through Bradgate Park isn’t too bad although it’s here I lose my pacers in Russ and local legend Tim Hartley at 9 miles in, not often I’ll be able to say about running alongside Tim! I`m running alongside Stuart Shaw doing this event for the first time who despite saying he`s really feeling it is actually looking very fresh. Just over 10 and a half miles and I can feel it, not sure whether to blame the 19 mile XC route from Saturday or not doing enough long tempo work but I’m tiring and it can be the hardest few miles for many doing this race. I urge Stuart on “If you’ve anything left its two miles” , He definitely looks more fleet footed than I do and I seem to drop pace slowly until I hit the tarmac again at Old Woodhouse. Another `forgotten killer` is Old Woodhouse with the mean incline at its rear before the slow pull back into Woodhouse Eaves playing field, followed by the `loop of shame` around the field (Anyone who has run this knows what I mean!).
Bit off the time I wanted but as usual really enjoyed, very proud how everyone did, Kaye calling me every name under the sun but loving it really, Brian Walking coming over the line like he’d scored a hat trick in a cup final and pretty much a great day out for all. [Rob]
Stuart Shaw (24th, 1:40:59), Rob Beers (26th, 1:41:27), Katie Hateley (74th, 1:53:29), Brian Walking (160th, 2:06:31), Simon Proctor (175th, 2:09:58), John Hudson (230th, 2:17:51), Susan Pettingill (260th, 2:29:12), Kaye Mead (261st, 2:29:13), Helen Metcalfe (309th, 2:46:41), Elizabeth Gray (310th, 2:46:52) and Stuart Gregory (314th, 2:49:45)