Monday, 14 September 2009


Again, it was a day of recovery followed by a full-on session. This time it was a race – Padfield Plum Fair Scamper. I did this last year and was reasonably confident of beating last year's time, but wasn't sure if my monster hill rep session would be still in my legs.

Mrs Noel was also keen to do better in this year's race after she got a stitch in last year's race and had to stop for about a minute at the summit. She also was keen to maintain her record, of about the past 7 races, of winning something in every race.

Although I should be sensible and run my own race. It's always nice to be higher in the field. Before every race, I look round to see who will beat me. My hope is that one day all the good runners will not turn up and I'll win. The law of averages tells me that this is unlikely, but I'm still hoping. Yesterday I didn't have to worry for long about what I would do when I crossed the line in first place - Andi Jones winner of the Snowdon race for the last three years turned up.

For about ten yards I was third. I joked with the guy who was second that he should catch up with 'that guy' ahead (Andi Jones), but he was having none of it. This race has a very clear course, that seems to get slightly steeper as you near the summit. The good thing about this is that you can see everyone in-front of you. It's rare that I'll do a race where I can say I could see Andi Jones at the summit. Mrs Noel was in the same boat and later commented to me "you looked like you were just jogging".

I was seventh at the summit but had designs on sixth. Unfortunately, Mark Ollerenshaw, of Glossopdale Harriers, had other ideas and left me for dead on the descent. I think, in hindsight, it might have been my hard Friday night session catching up with me. Either that or I'm rubbish at descending, which is also quite likely. I managed to keep seventh place, 25 seconds slower than last year (maybe my legs hadn't recovered). Mrs Noel was third lady and received a nice running top and an energy bar.

We didn't stay long enough to take part in the coal race. This entails carrying a 25kg bag of coal and running up a hill. I toyed with the idea of showing an interest, but I think I'll wait until I'm a big, strapping, 13 stone farmer-type before I try this one.

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