On Saturday 14th January, the TES Trail Team (or at least 2 members) attempted to race Ashurst Beacon Race at 12:30pm and then the Petzl Night Runner at 7:00pm. It was an experiment doomed for failure, but nevertheless, with medical cover in place, the project went ahead. Rich Bardon explains more:
Saturday lunchtime saw the start of the Ashurst Beacon race. It starts from the Prince William Pub at the top of Long Heys Lane and the first half mile is a steep down hill on tarmac. It always amazes me how fast some people go off at the start. As always Dan was one of these people. Once you go off road it settles down a bit but you are still descending. You cross Lees Lane, cross the canal and then it is the long drag up Parbold Hill. As we dropped towards Fairy Glen I could see Marc off in the distance (Editor: I'm amazed at your age you could see that far into the distance). The section from Fairy Glen back to the canal is very tough and there was plenty of mud to slow things down. You then retrace your steps and climb all the way back up to the Beacon. This is a climb of about 1.5 miles and is a good time to catch those who have set off too fast.
Overall it was a good day for the Endurance Store Trail Race team. In spite of 'a bit of a cough' Dan came in 2nd. Marc won the Vet40 prize with 7th overall. I made up the team of 3 with 10th. Although Mersey Tri were awarded the team prize technically it was won by TES. (Editor: Mersey Tri boys, if you are reading, take note. The results were added up wrong and only by the kindness of our hearts did we not confront you in the car park and demand your wrongly acquired beer. Enjoy them on us).
I am not sure what it says about the state of running and whether there is actually a need for vet categories, but the race was won by a Vet 50 athlete, and two Vet 45 runners beat the V40 winner. (Editor: Firstly, I'll tell you what it says about the state of running, it says that youngsters can't handle the training. They should be embarrassed being beaten by old men. Secondly, don't think I didn't notice the back handed slap, pointing out that despite winning V40 I was beaten by 3 older men. It was unnecessary).
Also, well done to all the Hubsters who ran. Special mention to Fiona for winning one of the Vet prizes. Anyway this is a brilliant race and is well organised by Brian and the Newburgh Nomads.
After a few hours rest Dan and I found ourselves in Rivington warming up for the Petzl Nightrunner. This is a tough 10k in daylight but the dark adds another level of difficulty. In spite of his cough and having tired legs Dan still managed to go off fast from the start. I was surprised that my legs felt pretty good on the first climb (Editor: You should have tried harder at Ashurst). It was only when we started to descend that I started to feel a touch tired.
Half way up the second climb I caught up with Dan who said he'd had enough and just wanted to enjoy the rest of the run (Editor: Please refer to earlier comments about youngsters). The views from the top of Winter Hill make the long drag up it worthwhile. The descent was good fun and there was plenty of mud to make it interesting. The final descent is tough on the feet as it is very rocky. By this point Dan had backed off completely and we were both agreed that it was a bit optimistic to race both races. In the end we finished 12th and 13th.
Well done to Friend of TES, Julian on a convincing win, and to all the Hubsters running, particularly Ste (winner of Vet 40), Becky (winner of vet 40) and Ena (winner of vet 50).
The next race for the TES team is Grizedale Forest Half/Marathon which is part of the Montane Trail 26 series. Hopefully by then Rich S's hurty ankle will be better! (Editor: Rich S and his hurty ankle has of course avoided any abuse up to this point. If Rich S had bothered to turn up to Ashurst, then Marc L wouldn't have needed to leave the subs bench to make up the counters. Let's hope Rich S is ok for Grizedale... although he is young, so I don't think we should expect too much. Wheel out the oldies if you need a job doing.
Until the next time #StayTrueToTheTrail