Resolution, it’s that time of year; we all feel a little guilty about our Christmas excesses and vow to train harder, eat cleaner and maybe drink a little less come January. So with this in mind we were hopeful for a good turnout for PECO 3 across at West Park, but on the 4th of January would the hangovers still be evident?
A Great Post Christmas Turnout! – Thanks Stuart Gall for Arriving Early with the Club Gazebo and Flag
The pre race build up was as fun as ever (apologies to those not on the Facebook group, but if you aren’t then do join in!), with the ongoing saga of Jude Jackson still failing to locate a pair of size 25 (or something like that) trail shoes coming to a head with him eventually making his own! Were they a success? You need to ask the man himself but he did seem to be running with a funny gait towards the end of the race.
DIY Trail Shoes – Don’t Try This at Home Kids!
Moving on to the race… For the first time this season we had some real frost on the course, this changed the terrain underfoot and made for much firmer but still tricky going.
On inspection of the course route it appeared to be a very simple out and back loop, but as Stuart Gall pointed out on the morning it actually called for some clever tactics; while the first mile and a half took in loops of a field with plenty of space for overtakes (nice also to see support at this point from Nicki, Karen, Kieran and Albert) entering the woods soon changed the game, with a narrow single track making overtakes difficult hugely energy sapping.
All good fun though, and emerging once again the finish line was clearly in sight… or was it? Yes, this course had a sting in the tail, in the form of another lap around an adjacent field just waiting to catch out runners who had just given their all thinking the finish line was in sight. Fortunately for most of the STAC team, Graham Shooter thoughtfully positioned himself to warn the rest of our runners not to start sprinting. Real teamwork there, thanks Graham!
So the home stretch, nice downhill charge on relatively smooth grass, no obstacles to negotiate; just race face on and home for glory… Well, so we thought. However, when Phil Coop engaged Malcolm Lavery in sprint to the finish no one quite expected (or understands to this day how) Phil to end up face down in the mud! To his credit, Phil was back on his feet and across the line with barely a pause; just quickly enough to ensure Joe Butler (who is having a great first PECO season) didn’t quite manage to catch him.
Apologies ladies who have had little mention this time around, but you all seemed to somehow manage this course without the calamity of the men!
Phil Coop (Closely Followed by Terry Simpson and Paul Dixon) – Pictured Here the Correct Way Up
Once again, Alison Varley led the STAC ladies home, in 14th position overall. Second lady for the third time was Judy Tao(40), first PECO of the season for Wanda MacDonald and she managed third lady(76), Rhianna Rose was fourth(94) with Julie James fifth(110).
The ladies this time finished in 3rd Position, leaving them overall in 5th on count back within the first division. The ladies are in the vets premier league and now sit in 4th position overall. (Judy Tao, Alison Varley & Lynne Fallon(194)).
As with the ladies, we have had the same STAC man first home three times now; Richard Herrington finishing in (funny enough) 14th position overall, Ray Love(33) was again second Terry Midgely(35) this time pipping John Robson(42) for third, with Paul Newsome(45) close in fifth. Graham Shooter(67) was on form taking sixth, with Glen Johnson(92) seventh in his first PECO of the season, Steve Head(107) in eight became a first time scorer.
After Race 3 the men’s team have moved up to 2nd in the Premier division. Despite finishing 2nd this time, the men’s vets team still sits at the top of the Premier division! (Ray Love, Terry Midgley, Paul Newsome, Wayne Pacevitch(117), Alan Schofield(155) & Chris Gill(164)).
In total, for PECO Race 3 we had 23 ladies and 42 men racing for STAC; almost matching our turnout of 67 for Race 1! As ever, whether you are racing or supporting it is very much appreciated.