Monday, 29 August 2011

In the presence of greatness

Mrs Noel wanted to defend her second place at Grasmere, so we were back in the Lakes this weekend. I found a race to do on Saturday - Dufton Show - which meant I was happy to watch the kids for Grasmere on Sunday.

Dufton Show race was organised by elite fellrunner Morgan Donnelly. It was great to see what a nice bloke he is as he organised the kids' races (along with his equally nice wife). Mrs Noel was eyeing up the ladies' field, to see if she would have won anything if she weren't running the following day. We both spotted a lass who looked fairly athletic, but it's hard to tell until they start running. We all set off and this lass led the other runners out of the showground and was in the front three as they sped out of my sight.

We later found out this was Lizzie Adams, who is very talented, so it wasn't a total surprise. She finished 6th in the end. A long way ahead of me in 10th.

I was pleased that my descending seems to be improving. I lost one place from the summit, but managed to stick with the guy until he beat me in a sprint finish. I wasn't too bothered about this, as he'd helped me set a good time for the whole second half of the race - everyone needs a pacer.

Then on Sunday at Grasmere we got to watch Morgan Donnelly win the men's race by a fair way. Record holder Pippa Maddams was also there to destroy the ladies' field - again.

I was watching from the showground, so couldn't tell what was going on. The guy on the tannoy announced that Melanie Hyder was in second place at the summit. This was to be expected as Mrs Noel had only just beated Mel the previous year in a sprint finish. Perhaps this year, Mrs Noel would have to settle for 3rd place. However, as the runners slowly came close enough to recognise, there was Mrs Noel in 2nd place. No sprint finish needed this year, and 27 seconds faster than last year. She must be doing something right.