Monday, 7 November 2011

For Fawkes Sake!

An unlikely name for a hill but along with the 'Birstwith Brute' and the 'Swinford Swine', 'For Fawkes Sake' was just that! Just where do we get the ability to block out such atrocities as how steep hills are in races we have previously taken part in? I can't think of any other reason why one would enter such a race where the naming of hills actually gives the game away other than that I've 'forgotten' just what it was like!

We awoke to frost covered cars yesterday morning but as we prepared to travel over to Ripley for the Guy Fawkes 10 mile race the sun was shining so we knew the frost would bid a hasty retreat quite soon. Chilly as it was it was most pleasant but that didn't stop my teeth chattering as we gathered at Morrisons, Five Lane Ends to travel over with fellow Eccleshill runners. I began to wonder whether I had made a mistake turning up in only a vest but there wasn't much that could be done now so off we set.

Arriving in the beautiful village of Ripley we made our way to the village hall to collect our numbers. We were greeted by impeccable organisation and joined the relevant queue marked alphabetically with the first letter of our surname. In no time at all we had our numbers and off we went to find a patch of sunshine in which to stand in a bid to keep warm. It was a little too early to consider warming up for the race. Thankfully it didn't seem too long before we were herded to the start line to begin our attack of the challenging course. A water station at Birstwith, mile 4, heralded the first hill - most runners around me were walking but I some how managed to summon the will power to keep plodding up the steep incline, it seemed never ending but I felt a great sense of relief when I got to the top and we turned left to continue along a much flatter section. Carr Lane eat your heart out!

Two more hills ensued but I really couldn't help smiling when I saw the sign at the bottom of the final hill, it read 'For Fawkes Sake'. The marshals all around the course were very encouraging, especially on the hills, their words of encouragement were a great boost.

When I finally got to the finish I felt a great sense of pride that I had completed it without having to walk at all and was rewarded with yet another personal best time. I had resigned myself to the fact that I would not better my previous 10 mile best since I had set it at the Eccup 10 which although not totally flat is no where near as challenging as Guy Fawkes so imagine my surprise when I did just that, finishing in 1:32:59!

In past years the goody bag has been second to none as the race is sponsored by Nestle and although it didn't live up to it's usual high standards it was way better than most others, containing a bounty of chocolate products, with a technical tee shirt and a bottle of water thrown in who could complain?

Tonight's club session is the monthly time trial at which I am resident timer so I won't get to run the 3 mile route as a recovery run so I'll just have to rest until Wednesday, sounds good to me - I may even indulge a little chocolate, I think I've earned it!

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