Tuesday July 9th.
Summer Series, race 10
Rob Downs has often said that the best route to winning a race is the invent your own. So it proved for Wilmslow R.C. who dominated the Wizard 5. Whilst the first lady was an outsider, if Rob’s daughter, Ellen, can be classed as such, Wilmslow had a 1-2-3 in the Men’s. Damian has had a couple of years when other things have rightly taken priority in his life but it would seem he is back, getting home ahead of Richard. And looking to the future, Dan was third.
Claire was second in the Ladies race and combined with Diane and Stacey (only two seconds apart) to double-up with the Men and carry-off the team prize.
Wizard is an excellent course combining up, down, flat, road and trail, it always fills-up long before race day. Wilmslow not only provided the quality but also the quantity. As might have been expected on the day that Manchester was hosting the Cricket World Cup semi-final, the forecast drizzle turned-out to be longer and heavier than anticipated. However falling on bone-dry earth it made little impact on underfoot conditions. Once the rain stopped it became very humid but, in a short race, this was not a problem.
As well as the first three in the Men’s and Claire in the Ladies we picked-up category-winner prizes Malcolm (M55), Jim (M45), Stacey (F35), Janine (F50), Tracy (F55) and Ian (M70).
In League 1 after the first three plus Malcolm and Jim came James, Gareth, Claire, Mike, Richard and two seconds behind, Jarrod, Trevor, Graham, Matt (getting a bit better each week), Stacey, Jon, Paul Garnett, Paul Norris and Louisa.
Diane again won League 2 from Julian, Laura, Colin, Janine, Tracy and Ian.
Mark won in League 3. Second was Kate McCulloch followed by Kate Sutton, Nicola, league-leader, Angela, then Huma, Jan, John, Catherine and Chris.
I spent the early part of the race behind Sue, she’s better than me but every so often I manage to beat her. I then followed John, given he is still recovering from his collapsed lung, I was confident of beating him, if only on the final flat, and I even had ambitions on Jan, who, whilst starring at triathlon, is not consistently running well. However both turned-out to be too strong. Catherine is running well below her level of last year but is working hard to get back, even employing a pacer for this race. Carolyn is tip-toeing back to racing and, as at Tittesworth, she and Julie ran together, Julie has her Bakewell ultra this weekend.
Roy is brave to continue running despite his decrepit hip. He, like me, has only one of two choices; to run badly or not at all. He was, in his younger days, a class runner but nowadays we both just have to wince at our times and bury our pride. The psychology is look not who is in front of you but who is behind you, often hundreds, sometimes thousands and the vast majority are younger.
Indulge me for a moment, Wizard gave in 7 races in this year’s Series. Completing 20 in total shows perseverance, or lack of imagination, but what will stand the test of time is having completed 16 in succession going back to 2004.
Excellent organisation thanks to Rob and all those who volunteered.