Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Gin Pit half - Race Report by Barb

27 Blue vests graced the start line of this year’s Gin Pit Half race, our 3rd club race of 2015. The race was officially started by Mark Riches who made sure everyone got away safely and then sprinted through the pack to make his way back up to the lead group (thank you Mark).

The course was a mix of trails and tarmac and the dry weather had made it much easier underfoot than previous years so most, if not all, runners opted for road shoes. Whilst planning the Marathons  Malc had suggested the continuing road works may force the need for a route diversion, he had been working tirelessly behind the scenes, checking and rechecking and speaking with the council and 2 days before the 1st Marathon the road was opened  again meaning we could stick with plan A! Thanks Malc!

Sadly a couple of our team, Ant and Helen, had to retire before the 8 mile water station due to injury and we also missed Shaun, Suzanne and Neil who were due to race but injury meant it wasn’t safe for them to attempt the distance.  We hope to see you all at the next race, fingers crossed.

It was great to see team Revill at the Monton water station along with Ian Newcombe and a few  friendly faces from Team Deane along the way.   I was also joined by Jane Eccleston who added the route to her marathon training for the day whilst giving morale support to me and others along with the other half of the Wiggins duo, Lady Emma, on her trusty MTB giving her injured knee some respite but still clocking up the miles and giving out her usual cheeky charm.  

The route continued through Worsley Woods, cheered on by an injured Mikey G and later on near the Moorings he was also there to offer encouragement. There was also lots of impromptu support from the general public with clapping, shouts and general loveliness from everyone enjoying a lovely sunny Sunday.  The encouragement between all runners, half or full marathon runners is also special to be part of and one of the many reasons that makes this race and so memorable for us.

The canal path was mostly dry for the last few miles and certainly a welcome change from the previous years of wading through thick clay and mud whilst trying to avoid ending up in the canal, and the dirt bike race in the last mile was a new feature – who knew?!

The welcome sight of the finish at Marsland Bridge was amazing with lots of encouragement and cheers bringing us all over the finish line to collect our wonderful medals and much needed water.  A big thank you to Louise Hampton, Cath Hodgetts and all the ladies there who all did a fine job! 

First back for A&T and in 2nd place overall, was Tim Campbell in a time of 1.18.29 followed by Simon Ford 1.26.02 and then Mark Riches 1.27.00. First three ladies back were Josie Maley 1.33.51, Jackie Price 1.39.57 and Susan Fletcher 1.42.56.  Well done to all our top 3’s and in fact well done to every single person who raced on the day. A&T amassed no less than 9 PBs (that I’m aware of but there were probably many more) including: 

Me, Clare, Stuart (Three-ten) Jones, Tim Campbell, Scott Priestley, Chris Bennett, Louise Simpson, Rachel Haslam, Nicola Scott and, oh dear, Ian Joslin fuming that he equalled his PB lol.

This year we made this race part of our club champs and as such we also have some category winners in addition to Top 3 men and ladies.  Apologies that I didn’t organise the presentation very well , most runners did need to get back to family so I will endeavour to get prizes out to those of you who have won and failing that will catch up with you at  the next club meeting or race.  Big thank you to Chris and Louise who have already distributed some prizes for me:

Prize money of £50, £30 & £25 respectively to Top 3 Men and Ladies plus a bottle of wine (or beer) and a trophy for 1st Male and Female

1) Tom Carson, Horwich RMI + £50 new course record
2) Tim Campbell
3) Simon Ford
1) Josie Maley
2) Jackie Price
3) Susan Fletcher

A&T category winners of a bottle of wine or beer:      
 L35 – Josie                  M35 – Gary Stevens

V40M – Tim Campbell                    V50M – Mark Riches                        V60M – Ian Hamilton

I have also made an executive decision that whilst there were many worthy A&T’ers for the runner of the day prize I think it’s time we had a lady winner so the Gin Pit Half run of the day goes to Claire Matchwick who is quietly training like a trojan for the Marathon and improved on her last year’s Gin Pit half time by 15:20!!!! OMG!!! Well done Claire.

The full results have been published on the blog and facebook thread.
Lastly a final thank you to Malc and his army of helpers who enabled us to make this a club race on home turf without having the majority of the club marshalling as is the case for GP5. 

Next race is Radcliffe 10k the weekend after Easter - 12.04.15, it’s a CLGP race so you can pay on the day or in advance if you prefer. More info nearer the time.  

Looking forward to another great turnout! #TeamA&T  <3

Love Barbs x

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