Thursday, 28 May 2009
Harrock Hill - Written by Peter Mulleady
It was champions league night but who wants to be a couch potato when you could be slogging up Harrock hill! Seven hardy A&T runners found their way there with the aid of my trusty Satnav. At least this time it didn’t try and send us down a footpath near Haigh hall. After registration we were leisurely getting changed when a marshal told us we’d better get to the start which was just down the road. As we jogged down there were no other runners in sight and we had already run nearly a mile. Fortunately we made it with 3 minutes to spare, yes Steve C I know that’s early! We set off and the first mile was pretty much all steep uphill and I was starting to think maybe I shouldn’t have described this race as easyish. At the top of the hill Craig Brad went past me. He’s really getting used to these fells now and running into great form. Luckily he still needs to work on his downhill (have to do some Rivi sessions!) so I caught him back up on the downhill section. Then we were on another uphill and I had decided that this race definitely wasn’t easy. My breathing was like a steam train and I could barely speak but there was someone behind me who sounded even worse. I was Malc the mountain goat Collins. I know from experience in training that Malc, like a wounded animal, is at his most dangerous when he sounds completely knackered and sure enough he went shooting past me. I tried to tag on behind him but I was well gone by now and at 2.5 miles I had to stop and walk. I looked ahead and thought sh** I’ve got over 2.5 miles to walk. Then Craig and Paul Jackson went past me with words of encouragement and after about half a mile of walking I managed to get myself going again. Meanwhile up at the front Malc and Craig were battling it out and Malc eventually came out on top finishing in an excellent 17th out of 113 runners. Craig came in 19th , I just managed to catch Paul coming in 34th, Paul 36th and Alan Webb close behind in 39th. Paul Basnett and Jayne on their fell debuts were the next 2 in and did brilliantly for their first fell races. I think they both need to work a bit on navigation though. Paul’s tactics were to follow the only blind man in the race and Jayne’s tactics, as she couldn’t see where she was going, were to slow down and let someone overtake so she could follow them. At the finish Paul J and Alan kept their fingers in their ears so they didn’t hear the latest score from the match as they were going to watch it later (I’m glad I heard it in the radio on the way home as it saved me bothering watching it). I think I will remember this as the race of the 3 wise monkeys. See no evil (Paul and Jayne), hear no evil (Alan & Paul) and speak no evil (Malc & me). The race is the first of a series of 4 on the last Wednesday of the month. A lot of the course is the same as the Parbold hill race. I’m coming back for some more over the summer as it’s a really good run.