Sunday, 4 December 2011

Percy Pud 10k - 4th December 2011

Annually, this "roads through countryside" 10K race sells out early and was full by week one of October but unseasonally for 2011, the weather was dreadful. Perfect for an "off road" family, like ours, to enjoy a quick flog out and back from Loxley in North West Sheffield along the Damflask Reservoir turning at Low Bradfield.

Slate Grey clouds over the Loxley Valley portended rain ...

The first hailstones were flung at us from an angle of about 30 degrees just prior to the start which left us cowering in a tight group of over a thousand - just like the Penguins on TV who periodically shove a colleague onto the periphery to take the brunt.

Then thankfully we're off!

Packed into the small lane, we shuffled towards the chip mat which was emitting a constant beep as we headed down and away towards the reservoir and even at this early stage the fancy dress camel - assuming a strange sidewards gait - is pulling away at a good speed and its already overtaken Superman and a very large Christmas Pudding and that's before we got to Damflask ...

Where the rain started again - The reservoir is so low and the real threat of water shortage is upon us, though it wouldn't be believed after today.

At about 3.5K the front runners come back past and look in fine fettle - compared to these greyhounds I look and feel like a calf and a wet one at that. But, we've already seen off the Christmas Pud who was blowing hard and accounted for a couple of Fairies ... so, to business.

Today is the final outing of the year and M has a final target of a PB and under 55 mins even though a recent fall during a trail run has meant sore knees and no running for a week or so. This causes genuine concern but turning at Low Bradfield in about 28 minutes (my faithfull Garmin finally refused to start) and with a strong return we should be ok.

Under the shelter of the trees and then crossing back over Damflask we picked a few runners off and are on track, then it really rained.

The last uphill return section is where I expect us to make a fist of a finish: M pulls the trigger with about half a mile to go but there's a misfire - nowt left and a nagging knee and sore hip means we coast back. Now I'm concerned as a few play catch up but we cross the chip mat at 55.16 and that'll do for today.

Then the most important bit ... the Collection of the Pud! Join the queue ...

Got it!

Eagerly awaiting the chip timings, I hope we're under for M's sake. The long walk in the cold and rain from the car to the start then the pelting with ice didn't make for a comfortable start but I reckon we're in with a shout ... watch this space.

... STOP PRESS ... Chip timings are in! - 54.43 for M ends off a great year. Very well done from me, my year? well I'll be doing an end of year report shortly ... again, watch this space.

Incidentally, we got taken by Superman in the final kilometer but never managed to catch that bloody camel.

And, most importantly, both Puds made it safely back to M & M Towers

Enormous praise for all at Sheffield Striders for marshalling and cheering us along, logistically this must be a real test to get a packed field together, out and back and off home ... once again a great job. Thanks once again for a great event.

1 comment:

  1. Well done Mike. I think your weather may have been worse than ours on Gravy Pud. I'm impressed that you took pictures in all that wet. I chose to leave my camera warm and dry.