Summer time means trail running and I remember enjoying this race so much last year so was keen to do it again. At 6 miles, it is a decent distance to be a mid-week challenge but short enough to not leave you completely knackered. The cloud that descends over Durham as soon as summertime begins was happily in place, leaving for cool racing conditions. After a quick bag dump, number collection and last minute banana to perk up the blood sugar we headed to the start. Having come 4th last year, I had my sights set on a high finish and probably went off a little too quickly, I prefer to think of this as “embracing my inner child” instead of poor pacing! The beautiful thing about this race is that there is a fast, flat start for around 2 miles and then just as you are getting bored, you are subjected to a rather hilly, section in woodland, with lots of steps upwards followed by flying descents. I find this bit breaks up the middle miles nicely and gives the race variety, as well as making it easier on the legs. The finish is again flat and fast, and if your pacing is like mine, feels like it goes on forever as you draw on whatever is left in your race-weary legs.
Despite a slower finish than I would have liked (probably a typical thought of all runners), I was rewarded with first lady. Alister followed shortly behind me, then Bill, Danny, Richard, Paul, Peter, Louise, Becky and Sue. Once everyone had finished, goody bags were obtained and the collective decision was made that they were of a high standard (Great T-Shirt, Packet of crisps plus all-you-can-eat banana fest- beautiful stuff). We headed into the clubhouse for a beer and thankfully to satisfy my post-race grease cravings in the form of Saltwell cricket club’s finest cheese and ham toastie (I recommend these as much as the race). I was delighted to be the recipient of a large bottle of Belgian beer, £30 worth of Start fitness vouchers and a rather lovely trophy (modelled rather dashingly by Louise on the FB page). All in all, a good evening’s racing. Finally I want to say thanks to Alister for getting me there in my car-less state, he took a lot of convincing to do another race as you can all imagine :-).
|1||Brendan McMillan||Claremont Road Runners||M||1||32.01|
|26||Katherine O’Mahony||Durham City Harriers||F||1||38.39|