Sunday, September 05, 2010

WINNER!

A win, in the inaugural White Horse Relay in the mixed category. Yeah. Whoop Whoop. Great day out with Chepstow and our two teams. As to who ran for the men's team and who ran for the women's was down to luck - I was lucky enough to run in the women's team. I'm a laaaaady. I should add that the team was changed to a mixed before the day as we couldn't raise a women's only. A shame for them but my gain as we took top spot. Our men's team also went well but lost out to Chippenham.

The event is a 14 stager, mostly off road but with some road sections. There were some short stages and some longer. Teams could consist of between 7 and 10 members - so, depending on the team size, four of more have to run double - hence the short and long legs. Right, description done, back to the detail.

The day started grey and by the time I arrived at the start of the first leg to meet up with the team it had started to rain. The rain continued until lunch. But it didn't dampen our spirits. Chepstow got off to a great start, winning and 2nd place on the first leg - no pressure for me, then, on leg 2 and it didn't start well. I slipped as the gun fired and almost fell over - nice. After surviving that scare I led the field out for half a mile before the Chippenham runner drew level and after a few surges I realised he was much the stronger. He went wrong twice but still caught back up quickly. We then ran together to the final road before he sped away. I was second home and Andy O for Chepstow was third. Leg 2 was only 2.6 miles and mostly flat.

From there I'm not sure of many more leg results. It becomes much of a rush ferry people and following the race.

My second leg (leg 12) was the longest of the day at 10 miles of mostly flat (300ft ascent) running - and it started off like a road race. I have to admit to struggling a bit. Matthew L and Jason from Chippenham pushed on hard in the first three miles of hard track and road. I just about kept in touch five metres back but even at that early stage I had resigned myself to fifth place. I knew I couldn't keep the initial pace going and thankfully things changed once we got off road. The rougher ground played to my strengths and by mid way we had dropped Jason and firmly had the RAF in our sights. Matthew and I worked well to reel him in and by about mile eight we went past moving into second and third respectively. After that I began to wilt. I knew I couldn't beat Matthew and let him go - that's to say, he pulled away - it's not like I could have stopped him. By the finish he was probably 10 seconds ahead so it remained close and another good Chepstow result.

Well it's been a busy day but fun and I'm knackered now. I'm pleased with my 2nd and 3rd places - and the team win. Leg 12, road like as it was, was a good warm up for next weekends Chippenham half marathon.

Leg 2

Leg 12