St George’s 10
The 11am start of the St George’s 10 Mile Road Race lent itself well to allowing plenty of time for commiserating over the ‘unseasonal’ and ‘unsportsmanlike’ (is that a word??) heat of the day. An impressive turnout nonetheless, of anxious runners battling with the conflict of desperately needing to race it versus just staying upright (and alive!) on an already challenging and undulating course.
Congregating in the hall at St George’s School, the Harriers took over one corner with IWRR in another and various other clubs and individuals marking an indistinct territory line in between. With no Jake Brougham or Adam Tuck (this was no race for lightweights! We let Ken Beak off for having a cold!) the rest of the team thought they were actually in with the chance of a prize so the pressure was on!!
An uphill start was met with much disdain (and quite a few expletives!) as the runners soon spread out and tried not to look at the Paparazzi-esque photographers at every half a mile trying to capture the mix of determination crossed with “I could be sat with a beer watching the Tour de France” looks that everyone had adopted.
Despite the heat though, the atmosphere was upbeat as pacing settled and focus shifted. The rise and fall of the roads soon became routine and the surrounding countryside was an absolute gift! Running with the effervescent Carolyn Ward made the 10 miler even more enjoyable as we sang, swore, and played cat and mouse with Simon Levrier (We even had time for a couple of French lessons as we ran! Yes Steve Lee, we still worked incredibly hard!). The harsh climb up to Chillerton was rewarded around mile 6 with a beautifully long downhill stretch where we made up time and raced like Mo Farah (well, almost!), and I never knew what joy a non-descript sponge could bring shortly after the next incline where we were met by 2 ethereal marshals (or were they angels??) with buckets of them soaking in water!!
At the finish, the scatter of Mighty Harriers cheering was timed to perfection as we dug deep for that last sprint to receive our long awaited dragon medal and congratulatory hugs from fellow team mates (not forgetting the real reason we all signed up – cake!).
Utterly amazing performances from all the Harriers (especially the phenomenal Charlie Metcalfe for breaking the course record!!) and everyone else who took part in an extremely demanding race. Huge thanks to IWRR for another fantastic event and to all those totally selfless and eternally supportive marshals and volunteers (particularly those who stood out in the heat for hours) who gave up their time so that we could all take part. That’s another one ticked for 2018!
Joe Murray – 1:04:10 (4th overall)
Charlie Metcalfe – 1:08:16 (1st W new W35 record)
Paul Muffett – 1:11:28 (1st M60, new record) Last race as a Harrier.
Richard Melville – 1:15:26.
Trevor McAlister – 1:17:40
Graham Gardner – 1:18:22.
Julie King – 1:21:46 (2nd W45)
Rew Hedgecox – 1:24:42
Elaine Parry – 1:25:02
Roger Merry – 1:27:48
Samantha Fancourt – 1:27:54
Mike Dignan – 1:29:21
Nat Jane Rose – 1:34:15 (10 mins faster than last year!)
Lisa Robertson – 1:36:46
Andrew Leal – 1:36:53
Steve Lee – 1:37:21
Claire Angell – 1:39:10
Catherine Young – 1:39:33
Sarah Probert – 1:50.17
Carolyn Ward – 1:50:28
Simon Levrier – 1:51:40
Hayley Tutton – 2:04:06