Victory 5, Christmas Trees, XC & Fells!

December 2018 arrived in style with an inflatable reindeer called Brian and a fair bit of rain for the Harriers last weekend (1st, 2nd) as we were spread far and wide across the country.

Saturday saw club cross country runners Nat Rose and Ken Beak compete in the HXCL Popham Airfield Race, while Sunday brought a myriad of activity with 19 members once again braving the early morning cold of Ryde Pier Head to race in the HRRL Victory 5 Miles in Portsmouth. Travelling alongside them were the 7 ladies who took part in The Christmas Tree Challenge at Porchester Castle and finally, promoting the red vests in Shropshire were Rosie and Nige Eldridge and Andrew Keehn who took on the 9 miles and 2,600 feet of pain in the Cardington Cracker Fell Race.

It would appear that ‘winding down gently’ for the end of the year is not something us runners are particularly well known for as this weekend clearly demonstrated! (I can also confirm that ‘see how many more races we can get in before the year ends’ is replaced by ‘see how many more drinks we can get in before the night ends’ on the various nights out we’ve all begrudgingly partaken in at this time of year! See?! Dedication at its finest!)

The Christmas Tree Challenge was a unique event (most definitely NOT a ‘fun run Mr Lee!) and clocking up the miles was only half the struggle as Jo Beak fills us in…

‘After overcoming the challenge of exactly what to wear, this run did actually prove to be quite a challenge indeed! Consisting of 1.5 mile laps of multi terrain (supposed to be 2 miles but changed due to blustery conditions) we set off, planning to complete the whole darn thing. An interesting and varied course taking in the impressive Portchester Castle, and the chocolate box prettiness of Castle Street; we scampered round lap after lap, our collective festive leggings becoming muddier and muddier. After eight laps of this festive frolicking, we decided to adjourn to the local down the road to await our mini bus and discharge the static built up in our nylon leggings, care being taken not to ignite Elaine’s rather wonderful Sloe Gin! As luck would have it, we met up with the ‘serious runners’ from The Victory Five queuing for the Fastcat back home. Notes were swapped, no mention was made of the difference in distances run. Good times had by all! Thanks to Sally Roberts for her great organisation.’

Christmas Tree Challenge Team:
Laurie Woodford
Sam Fancourt
Tracey Dillon
Julie King
Elaine Parry
Sally Roberts
Jo Beak

The ‘serious runners’ in question also came away from the Victory 5 in Portsmouth with significant triumphs. Whilst the scenery looked more like a landscape from post Terminator 2 Judgement Day (2 laps of an uninspiring car park and dual carriageway), there were on occasions, small sections of greenery to take in. The trouble being, as soon as you took your eyes of the road ahead to look, you were ankle deep in a puddle! Having said that, all 19 of us who took part in this last HRRL race of the year finished smiling with soggy socks, mud-splattered legs (not quite sure how the mud reached all the way up Trev’s back too? I spent a while contemplating this as I got stuck in the rotating doors of Race HQ for the 3rd time that day!) and some impressive stats to top things off! Harriers ‘Secret Weapon’ Charlie Metcalfe took 1st Vet 40, whilst Andrew McEwen and Steve Lee came away with 3rd Vet 55 and 3rd Vet 75 respectively. Harry Furmidge also put in an impressive performance to take 5th U20. A great weekend of running from all!

Victory 5 Results:
Jake Brougham 00:29:23
Charlie Metcalf 00:30:08 (1st Vet 40)
Andrew McEwen 00:30:46 (3rd Vet 55)
Trevor McAlister 00:32:24
Harry Furmidge 00:32:47 (5th U20)
Graham Gardner 00:35:05
Mike Dignan 00:36:17
Mark Wright 00:40:18
Hannah Walker 00:40:39
Claire Angell 00:40:46
Lisa Robertson 00:41:44
Carolyn Ward 00:42:07
Natalie Rose 00:43:17
Stella Gamble 00:44:06
Stephen Lee 00:45:59 (3rd Vet 75)
Sarah Probert 00:46:20 (2.5m PB)
Michelle Martin 00:46:22
Louise Wilcock 00:52:14
Elizabeth Holloway 00:57:13