The day started out as a bit of a rush as we decided to pick Rob Martin up at the last minute. Rob got into Stacey’s car a bit flushed, brekkie in hand having tripped over his one of his kid’s toys and a struggle to find his keys. He then reflected on his old lazy Sunday mornings with dismay. We then picked Annie up who greeted us all as ‘ladies’; apparently Rob is used to being included in this category. This was Annie’s first STAC race and I leant her my spare vest – luckily we share the first few letters of our name – she did a sterling Blue Peter job and partially covered the final ‘a’ to spell ‘ANNI’ with a white label – this actually lasted until the end of the race! Finally, we picked Emma up.
The journey was enjoyable with the usual singing, dancing, selfies and pre-race banter in the car – mostly about the weather forecast and the hope that it would remain cloudy as the BBC had promised. I for one never trust the forecasters and remembered my cap and sun cream. As we arrived in Doncaster the Sun came out to play in full force!
The arrival and co-ordination at the Miners club venue was well organised and we were beckoned to park. Stacey noticed a man dressed as a bumblebee but on closer inspection he was just a very co-ordinated club runner with matching yellow compression socks – Emma of course could not resist telling him so. He was also very easy on the eye 😉
Then played out the usual mahoosive queue for the ladies as the men wandered straight in and out. We managed a group photo with only a couple of members missing (Geoff and Andrew) – no squatters in the background this time or the need for any STACies crouching on bended knee – it was a pretty small turn out for a Sunday – 16 in total.
Not a big trek to the start for this one and a quick chance for a small warm up before setting off. By this time the Sun was particularly hot as we stood waiting for the gun in a tarmac suntrap and those without sun cream, glasses, hats were feeling vulnerable. Richard Herrington informed of his baby’s imminent arrival and warned us he may have to run off the course – we now know that baby Annabel arrived safely the following day!
Eventually we were off, through the small village of Askern and out into the countryside. The course was undulating on pretty country roads with a steady incline for a few miles – it felt particularly hot running on the roads but drink stations were plentiful with one at 3, 5 and 7 miles. At mile 8, there was also a sprinkler to run through (well a woman with a hose pipe) – but all well received. At mile 4, there was a reasonable hill (despite Sarah Morley saying there were no hills! 😉 but after that it was a pretty smooth descent back to the finish.
Emma did her usual motivational duties by cheering people on and made a friend at ‘the hill’ with whom she encouraged not to give up and who made a bee-line for her at the end to thank her and to have a selfie taken (oh we do love a race selfie J).
The last couple of miles had the usual countdown in the head of miles, thirds, halves, quarters, minutes left to go and as we entered the ground there was that familiar realisation that we had to run around the field to get to the Finish with not much left in the tank. Rob Blemings cheered us all in as we came onto the field and there were two older country gentleman marking people off on clipboards as we crossed the line.
As we cheered the rest in over the line we were told off by the two gentlemen as we were spoiling the transmission of results between them – oops! They were very gracious.
Steve Head had been pacing Sarah Morley as he is coming back from injury to get 115 minutes but Sarah had a case of the dreaded ‘runner’s trots’ mid race and he had to avert his eyes as the said event unfolded. They still came in at a reasonable 79:49 and 79:51. We live and learn!
Jo-Jo and Lesley had very strong finishes and Lesley came through smiling saying that ‘she loved the race’ getting her 10 mile PB. Annie came in not long after – her 2nd race and 1st 10 mile race at a very respectable 92:31. Eventually, everyone passed the finish line with two more strong finishes from Karen and Geoff. Stacey went to give Geoff a high five but he left her hanging, which was mildly amusing J
We were greeted with jugs of dilute orange juice, which were very welcome after this hot run and a t-shirt. Mal said it was a ‘sh*t’ t-shirt and he is the guru on post-race goodies – so will take this as fact! It was quite handy actually for wiping the flying ant thingies off us that were swarming around the finish line.
All in all, a good club race that was well organised and marshalled, but that most people felt was too hot and affected their finishing times. I for one like running in the Sun – weirdo? Good enough excuse to emigrate?!
First STAC Male of course was Richard – 60:38; Second – Robert Blemings at a nice round 69:00 and third Ian Sheppard 77:37 who hadn’t ran a club race since Leeds half – was nice to see him.
First Lady was Sarah Morley 79:51; Second myself – 86:22 and third the machine that is Jo-Jo Holland – 89:33.