The race started at 10:30 am outside the Dressers Arms pub. The temperature was cool, but the sun was out so it was a good day for a race.
The race was 8.45 miles, which I thought was a bit of an odd distance, but good to build back up for 10 miler later in the month. What I didn’t realise till after I had registered for it was that it was a very hilly, tough course.
The start was at the bottom of the first of several hills which was about a mile long. By the time I got to the top one of my knees was already complaining, not really what I needed but I carried on, taking care for the rest of the course not to make it worse.
I struggled for the first 4 miles and was fighting off either stitches or aches and pains of one description or another. Once I got to around 4.5 miles the stitches etc seemed to clear up a little as I got into it. Also I got support from another runner around the 4 mile point which helped me enormously to get back into gear.
The course itself was a nice change from all the mud that I have been through in the last few races as it was a road race through (as the title suggests) the villages around Wheelton. Some nice scenery if you get chance to look while going up or down the hills.
The last half to one mile of the race was down the hill that we had gone up at the beginning of the race. My legs by this stage were aching and I didn’t dare go full pelt down it as I didn’t think I would be able to stop at the bottom if I managed to get there without falling or tripping. So I speeded up as much as I dared and my tired legs would let me.
The first to finish the race was Paul Simons from Salford Harriers with a time of 48.55. How he did that I have no idea. I came in at 1 hr 26 mins 32 secs which, considering the course and that I haven’t done any hills in a long time, I am pleased with. There was another A&Ter there, Kevin Edwards, who completed the race in 56.31. Well done Kevin, great time for such a tough course.
After the race there was hot pot and drinks back at the registration point.
Will I do the race again? Not sure. Would I recommend it? Well, if you love running up hills or want a challenge and a course that will push you then yes, if you don’t then definitely give it a miss!