On a hot sun baked Saturday afternoon 6 A&T members made their way to the Hollins Green 5k.
This race is the second in the 9th North Cheshire 5km Grand Prix series.
Soon after I parked up I spotted Scott Christey and Colin Kay getting ready for the race and walked upto HQ together to spot Bev Tickle, Barry Allman (running for Spectrum Striders) and what must be a rare sight at a 5k race in the shape of John Foulds!
Outside the HQ I wondered why I was not sat in the pub beer garden opposite drinking rather than preparing to run. Perhaps a sign of the times as I write this drinking a Corona!
Barry said that this was a fast course and that he had done it in 18.59! Now I knew Barry was old but not quite that old. I almost feel sorry for beating him now, well almost!
We all made the customary good luck handshakes and made our way upto the start where we met up with Gary Cassidy.
It was not long after that the starter called the off and the first corner past the obelisk was a sharp turn where you hoped not to get tripped up in the tangle of legs.
The first half kilometre was a slight downhill and a Swinton runner I think I usually beat, came flying past me which at the time I thought was not a good sign.
At about 1.5k I caught and past him which at least eased my conscience, not that I have one anyway!
Then it was round a bend and up a country lane where a car was also trying to get down. At one point it pulled up alongside me and was pumping hot air all over me which didn't help my cause and I muttered some expletives. I thought it could be worse it could have been Barry who had pulled up alongside me, though I'm not saying he blows hot air!
At 3k I was really starting to not enjoy this race and was thinking about crazy things like walking but this is new Paul and dug in.
With about 300m to go Scott jogged alongside me giving me encouragement on the run in only to be told to £*^& off by a fellow competitor, nice fellow!
Anyway Scott cheers for the encouragement as I didn't have much left for my customary sprint finish but still kicked his ass in the final stages.
The race itself had 202 runners and the winner Paul Martelletti of Victoria Park Harriers ran it in a course record time of 14.54.
Garry Cassidy was first back for A&T coming 28th in 17.41 followed closely on his heels in 33rd was Scott Christey doing 18.00.
Next came Colin Kay in 58th with a time of 19.05 with John Foulds who can't be used to these sprints doing 21.02 and finishing 86th.
I myself finished 130th with a time of 23.13, which I was pleased with considering I hate running in the heat of the sun.
Barry Allman (2nd claim) came 157th in a time of 25.03 and then promptly did a 5k cool down doing the course the opposite way round!
Our first lady back for A&T was Bev Tickle but I won't say her time or place as she might kill me at Bowdon on Thursday based on our pre-race banter!
All in all a good course and a race I would definitely do again but would be better without the sun and the tempting beer garden across from HQ.
Next race in the series is at Bowdon on Thursday 9th June which I'm informed from numerous sources that's it's a very fast course.