Phil Owen …
Thanks everyone, my inbox is full to the brim this morning with the highest praise for Elvet Striders and the Clamber race from all the clubs this morning. As usual events like this can only happen with a great team effort and Team Elvet Striders did us proud.
Its been a lot of hard work, but our simple mission to provide a our local clubs with beautiful & challenging race that showed off the best of Durham trails, followed by a grand evening out seems to have been a great success.
I’ll be penning a fuller report when my head clears from drinking Stephens Jackson’s prize that he couldn’t pick up last night. Sorry Stephen, we promise a replacement 🙂
… Elinor Butler
The Clamber!! I have heard much discussion about it over the two years that I’ve been a Striders member, but due to last year’s hiatus, I’ve not experienced it myself. Until Wednesday 20th July that is. In my typically well-organised style, I arrived with about a minute to spare to pick up my number. I was kind of chilled about this race – as it took place at the usual Striders time, I’d got it into my head that it was a normal Wednesday run. Until I put my number on and saw all the different club colours: then my determination kicked in, and I realised that I was going to push with everything I had.
The race was a real challenge to pace: I didn’t know the route, and my race-day-zone only started 10 minutes before the race started. To be honest, I was concentrating so hard that I can’t give an accurate course route, but here’s my best effort: we went up some hills in the woods, down some hills in a field, steadily up some hills in the wilderness (what do you call it if it’s not a field?) [Wilderness is fine! Ed.], steadily down some hills in a field, up some hills in the woods, down them again, and then there’s the finish. Can you picture it? 😉
However, I do know that we passed both the Wicker people, and that it went through Houghall Woods before climbing up and out near the sewage plant (thanks Dave Robson for enlightening me just before the start!).
One of the absolute pleasures of this race were the marshals – they did such a great job of cheering everyone on, and it was so ace to run in a race where people knew your name and supported you. As I passed them, they told me what position female I was – if I didn’t have my game face on before, I certainly did then! I found my strength was running up the hills: I could power up them, and that where I did most of my over-taking (although my over-taking was pretty modest). On the flats less brutal hills, I really felt the effort of keeping my pace, and needed to really suck it up mentally. As I felt more tired, my footing wasn’t as confident which in turn required more concentration. It was a tough race.
For the last three miles I had another girl in my sights, and I made it my goal to overtake her to take my mind off my legs, which were shocked at working this intensely. She was always about 300 metres ahead: I’d see her just up ahead, and then we’d turn a corner and she’d taken off. I’d see her walking up a hill, but by the time I ran to the top, she’d taken off (I’m terrified of running downhill, so I reckon I lost some time there). The last mile of the race is downhill and then on the flat, which made for a great finish as I found the energy to really sprint. I felt like my legs were pinwheeling, like the roadrunner, and I finished in 42:24. Did I catch the girl in front? No. But I did finish 4th female overall, so I’m mighty pleased with that. 🙂 At the end everyone gathered around with water to cheer the other runners on, and then most people de-camped to the pub for much celebrations. Unless your car was full of Tesco shopping like mine was.
Overall it was the friendliest race I’ve run, was very simply and cleanly organized, and it was fun to see all the different local running groups. I felt like I was part of a North-East posse! It was a real pleasure to participate.
|1||Jonathan Evans||Jarrow and Hebburn AC||M||32:34|
|13||Elaine Leslie||Jarrow and Hebburn AC||F||37:31|