There was a post on Facebook by Andy Wicks on the Saturday evening before the race [01/12/12] asking if anyone was going to this run and wanted to meet at the club to travel there together. I’d seen this race advertised on the Abbey weekly emails and had been mulling over whether or not to enter some time ago, but hadn’t actually done so in the end. However, after seeing this post and after a brief exchange of comments with Andy, I agreed to enter on the day despite having run the Pain Barrier 10k race earlier that day. Why would I do such a thing, I don’t know, but others are free to speculate at their leisure.
The race was a new one and was described as multi-terrain, starting and finishing at the South Leeds stadium, and running through Middleton park; there would be 2 laps of the course. Four of us met at Adel War Memorial Association car park to travel to the race: Andy Wicks, Liz Willis, Andy May, and myself [Peter Persico in case you're not sure]. Upon registering, we were given t-shirts, but decided not to wear them for the run because they were made of cotton despite being encouraged to by those handing them out. No, I’m not anti-cotton in general, but as most runners are aware, they do not make good running tops. Whilst registering, we also encountered Stella who had turned up for the race.
After some warm up drills we lined up at the start and then we were off. The course didn’t appear to be really multi-terrain and could be run in regular footwear, but it did include some interesting and at times quite lengthy inclines, with one long decline [run twice]. Coming back in towards the stadium, I saw Andy and Liz heading back out on their second lap. I wasn’t running as fast as I would have liked mainly because I had done the pain barrier 10k run the previous day, but was still aiming for a decent time [and not getting beaten by anyone in a heavy costume]. During the 2nd lap, roughly at about the 7km mark, I began to feel a bit of a strain in my thighs, but carried on still determined to get as good a time as I could considering my previous day’s activity. I was so glad to see the stadium heading towards the finish that I managed a surge of speed for the final 400m or so, finishing just in front of Stella. I late found out that they had spelt my name wrong on the race results, despite me trying to write as neatly as possible on the race entry form].
After crossing the line, we, the Abbey runners in attendance had a bit of a chat along with Andy May who had managed to win the race. I’d managed to get a mince pie but I’m not sure the other Abbey runners got one. A short time later, we headed back to Andy’s car (Andy Wicks) to get changed before heading back to the stadium for the prize presentations. Andy Wicks managed to capture a few pictures that should be put on the website, including some of those that won prizes. Unfortunately Stella wasn’t about when the one featuring him, myself, and Liz was taken. Andy May received a rather nice trophy, and I think was initially was uncertain as to whether it needed to be returned next year. However, since it said 2012 on it, I think the conclusion drawn was that it was most likely for keeps. So, if anyone fancies a crack at this race next year and to try and win it, you may get to keep a nice trophy. In any case, I did think it was a nice course, and definitely one that should be considered by more people. All of us who went definitely appeared to enjoy the run, and having a few of us at this race made it all the more fun. Hopefully, there will be better technical t-shirts for next year, and I guess one of the reason we [or at least I] do these things is because of the t-shirts. There were also some interesting costumes worn by other runners, which added to the overall fun.
Finally, I’d like to thank Andy Wicks for providing transport to the race and for his little encouragement to get me to come along.