If the prospect of running 10 miles wasnt bad enough, 9 of us still had Astley Park cross country in our legs from the day before (Mark, James, Jon, Jackie, Louise, Sue, Clare, Bev and me) and later I learned that Tracey had ran 13 miles with Joan the day before - double hardcore points for us all!! #gohardorgohome
The race got off to a prompt start with a total of 209 runners taking to the roads on a course that takes runners through Monton, Eccles and Swinton with wonderful views of various pubs and people enjoying cold beverages in the sunshine as we looked on longingly. ..As hard as I tried I found that trying to maintain the look of a 'real' athlete whilst running past bewildered looking people at bus stops became increasingly difficult, nay impossible, especially by the second loop as I gasped for breath going up Eccles New Road with the prospect of the mile long uphill drag of Lancaster road ahead.
The marshalls and supporters along the route were wonderful, and it was especially lovely to see Ian Newcome and Mikey G on the course (both currently injured) giving support and encouragement to everyone.
Results showed some great performances with Tim coming in first over the line for A&T in a sub 60 performance of 59:55 compared with 1:02:05 in 2014, this performance also won Turbo Tim 1st V40 prize - well done Tim!
2nd was Mark Riches in 1:06:14 and 3rd was Chris Bennett in 1:09:07 making up our top 3 men - well done boys!!
1st A&T lady was Josie in 1:09:04 who finished 2nd lady overall. Next over the line for A&T ladies was Jackie in 1.12.46 and Sue in 1.15.03 (with post XC legs) also earning them 1st and 2nd L35 prizes and making up our top 3 ladies who were also 3rd placed team next to very strong teams pitched by Royton Road Runners and Burnden Road Runners. Well done ladies - awesome performances from the three of you all season.
Other notable performances during the race include Louise who took a tumble and cut her hand and arm at mile 4. After composing herself she continued like a trooper and finished in 1:23:00
James also running really well this year and with XC still in his legs only narrowly missed improving on his 2014 time.. I also really liked the number pattern so I have to mention that he ran 1.16.16 compared to 1.15.15 last year... so next year I'm looking for 1.14.14 please James :)
Baconmon was a bit billious from what I read on facebook after a Saturday night session but romped home in 1.24.20 compared to 1.41.58 last year - a whopping 17 minutes off last year so either he had a great race this time or a shocking one last year?
Another PB recorded by The Baron.... Zzzzzzzzzzzz oh you're becoming so predictable Paul! Only joking, fantastic yet again!! And great running too from Scott, Stu,Brendan, Jon, Rachel and Nic.
Vanessa was nervous at the beginning of the race after a couple of weeks holidaying in the sun not thinking too much about running. We were both struggling towards the end of the race but Vanessa finished in a very respectable 1.32.34 only narrowly outside last year's time of 1.32.23 - well done Nessa, not as bad as you thought!
Tracey, as mentioned earlier steadily made her way around the course finishing in 1.35.52 following a 13 mile run the day before - I salute you Mrs Loughrey :D :D
And last but never least our Clare came in at 1.38.38 a massive 8 minutes and 36 seconds faster than her 2014 run - fantastic performance and again with heavy XC legs.
Amidst all the wonderful performances I have struggled to find my runner of the day and so I've decided I am going to split the award between two runners who didnt win any official prizes on the day but I feel deserve some recognition - sharing the love A&T style.
Firstly Louise Simpson... reason being that in 2014 she was poorly (possibly self induced but we wont go there) and although tried, never managed to start the race and this year fell and injured herself but continued. So in a bid to override any negative memories of Swinton 10 with a positive one, will a bottle of wine help?
Secondly, a newcomer to this race Brendan Loughrey ran a blinder of a race finishing in 1.11.23, 4th A&T man over the line, surpassing even his own personal time goal he had set himself - well done Brendan, great performance - you're running really well!
I'm sure this race will feature again on next year's club champs (hopefully not straight after XC), well done to everyone who raced, a great turn out for the last race and congratulations to every one of the 209 runners, from the sub60 heroes to the post 2 hour troopers... every one is a winner... here's to 2016!
With thanks to everyone who supported club races in 2015 this is your captain, signing off...
Barb xx #TeamA&T<3