Category: Results 2021 | Date: Jul 5, 2021 | Author: Dave Mullaney
This event has been on the Harriers calendar for a few years now and it was missed by us all last year when it was cancelled due to the COVID restrictions.
Thankfully the event went ahead this year and it was the nearest we have been to a return to normality for a while!
Okay there were some restrictions, but nothing that affected the enjoyment of the event and the camaraderie that we have as a running club.
This year we only had the one team of eight, but the club was well represented with solo runners.
The weather forecast for the weekend was not fantastic for camping, but better for running than the previous two events when it was too hot!
For the first few laps it was raining but warm and little if any wind. Conditions on the course were good. Later in the afternoon it was dry and sunny. The atmosphere around the camp and the main area was fantastic, especially when the crowds gathered in their England shirts and painted faces for the match which was shown on the main screen.
Conditions took a turn just as the final whistle was blown at the England game. The heavens opened and we were hit with one of the worst thunderstorms I have ever been in the middle of. The race was abandoned and contestants told to make their way to their cars as it would be safer than being in a tent or in the open. Anyone still on the course had to be ‘rescued’ and the emergency services on the course had to be used to return some who were suffering from hyperthermia.
Those of us in our event shelter had not heard the ‘go sit in your car instruction’ and, to be honest, would not have been able to get there safely, so we stayed where we were, watching tents nearby get blown away and hoping the lightning would not hit our own conductor that is the club flagpole! Thinking the race would not restart until 6 am we decided to get some sleep. Rob Harrand’s tent had let a lot of the rainwater in so he had to move into Paul Dykes luxurious abode. Just as we were about to head to our tents Sarah Collier emerged from her tent, ready for her next lap and wondered why we were all huddled in the event shelter. She had slept though the storm and not realised the event was postponed until further notice (okay there may be some artistic licence there, but it is one of those stories that will become legend over the years and be exaggerated year on year, as will AJ Marchant’s urgent texts of ‘Meet me at the handover point and bring lube!’ on a few occasions over the weekend).
Shirley Steele let us know at 00:40 that the race would restart at 00:45 and as she was next up for the team, headed off for her lap. We were back up and running (literally!). This was hard for the solo runners as an enforced break of three hours meant that their bodies would start to stiffen up but more importantly their ‘mental strength’ would have taken a hit as a lot of them had targets in mind to achieve certain goals. The race dropping from 24 hours to 21 (or thereabouts) would seriously affect this.
The weather for the next eleven hours was okay and it was good to hear that no one had been badly affected by the storm. Everyone who represented the club did fantastic and there were some excellent performances in the team and the solo event! Congratulations to Dave Baxter who finished in 3rd place in the male solo event and to the team who took 13th position in the large mixed team event.
The full results for the event can be seen here
The Harriers results and positions were:
3rd place Dave Baxter 22 laps (average 1:10:58 per lap)
45th place Andy Mason 16 laps (average 1:13:08 per lap) abandoned after 19 hours 30 minutes
114th place AJ Marchant 12 laps (average 0:53:49 per lap) abandoned after 10 hours 45 minutes
121st place Steve Ford 12 laps (average pace 1:49:37) abandoned after 21 hours 55 minutes.
186th place Ian Saynor 10 laps (average pace 2:02:05) abandoned after 20 hours 20 minutes.
231st place Jon Steele 8 laps (average pace 1:20:30 per laps) abandoned after 10 hours 43 minutes.
245th place Richard Penny 7 laps (average pace 1:01:18 per lap) abandoned (due to injury) after 7 hours and 9 minutes
Winner: Chin Yong 24 laps (average pace 1:03:07 per lap) 308 entrants
Large Mixed Team (6-8 runners)
13th place ‘Better at Running Up a Tab’ (Jo Millican, Sarah Collier, Shirley Steele, Richard Gatrell, Rob Harrand, Paul Dykes, Mark Swinden, Dave Mullaney) 29 laps (average pace 0:51:04 per lap).
Winning team ‘Wesham Whippets’ 38 laps (average pace per lap 0:39:23) Total entrants 59 teams
The date for next years event is set for the first weekend in July. We already have a few teams and solo runners who deferred their places to next year, but watch out for any future communications about this on the Harriers FB page or e-mails / newsletter about this. It is a fantastic weekend!