Cheshire Grand Prix
Club Race Series – race 4
Sunday April 15th.
Whitley often coincides with the London Marathon, this year it fell the week after Manchester and the week before London.
It has been a cold start to the year, with both the Trafford 10k (rearranged for September 2nd.) and Wilmslow Half (June 24th.) postponed by heavy snow and a month of record rainfall, which has meant Tuesday training has had to remain on the road despite the advance of the clocks. Spring, however, had arrived, it was mainly dry and, helped by an 11am start, although cloudy, a not unpleasant 13deg., time to rehearse moaning about it being too hot.
I was surprised at people’s recall, about a dozen had mentioned the buzzard. I had run Whitley two years ago unaware I had blood on my head and in my hair from the attack. I was more circumspect today in where I did my warm-up, last year Tim had sent me a photo of the warning-sign they had posted, it was there again. The subject became topical, when another runner appeared from his warm-up badly injured; I had been able to fight off the two attacks on my face with my fists and forearms and only got hurt when I could not defend myself from being dive-bombed from the rear – it appeared he, however, had sustained a facial attack.
Whitley is not a course for those seeking a PB and numbers would also be affected by the two marathons, but it is a pleasant country run organised by the local community and, being a Grand Prix, Group 1 turned-out in good numbers to enhance the club’s county standing.
Richard’s second Grand Prix/Race Series outing brought his second race win and again by a comfortable margin, a minute.
Behind him Rob Downs was 8th., Andrew 19th. , Jim 21st., Rob Jackson 25th., Graham 35th., Matt 36th. and Tim 40th. We will have to wait for the Cheshire placings but it looks good.
Sharon led our Ladies finishing 4th., Janine was 7th., Diane 12th., Louisa 13th., Sally 14th., and Amanda 17th. Again we will have to wait for the Cheshire placings.
Rob was 1st. M50, Sharon 1st. F45 and Janine 3rd. F45.
League One reads Richard, Rob, Andrew, Jim, Rob, Graham, Matt, Tim, Sharon, Paul and Louisa.
Paul Garnett was the League Two winner from Richard, Janine, Diane, Sally, Amanda and Ian.
Colin and Patrick were surprise starters in League Three and did surprisingly well taking first and second. Colin runs at London next week, Patrick did the Manchester Marathon last week. Nicola was third then John, Jan and Alan. Alan was blaming a bad back but John let slip that he’s back on the cheese. Chris was hobbling back at the 3km. mark, his hamstring again troubling him, he says it is not as bad as it looked, mainly a precautionary withdrawal.
Catherine, again, was comfortably ahead in League 4 and Sue is starting to make runner-up her position, we saw nothing of either. Simon and I have rotated superiority over the years, but rarely been the same standard at the same time. I beat him at Poynton, he me at Crewe. Today we were together from start to finish with Alan pacing us 30m ahead. Alan pulled-away from 7k and Simon broke away from me. I still thought I could get him on the grass but needed to close in the final stretch on the road, he had read things identically and accelerated with half a km. to go to establish a lead that was beyond me. Let’s hope the proximity continues, it gets the best out of both of us. I saw a great TV programme on aging rockers still strutting their stuff on the stage in their 70s, maybe we’re the Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of running. Julie is a bit down on training but preparing for her 35-mile ultra will build her stamina, if not sharpen her speed.
Some interesting contests: Richard was 2 secs. behind Paul Garnett, Paul Norris 11 secs. behind Richard with Janine a further 5 secs. back. Louisa was 8 secs. behind Diane with Sally a further 2 secs. back. Catherine 10 secs. behind Jan.
Good to see Angela spectating but it may be a little while before she can compete.