Fran Racing

Fox and Hounds Chase – Sunday 5th May. Sunny but windy, quite warm. Came 77/93 in 01:50:59. Three Harriers took part, me Lorraine and Hewyl. 

Well, what can I say? That was tough! Relatively speaking, the route is flat-ish. It’s just that it’s all on really narrow, stony tracks. Then the track vanishes and you have to follow the little bits of tape across open heather.
I’m sure it would make a lovely walk.
At ‘check point 2’ roughly half way, there is a steep drop immediately followed by a hands and knees scramble up the other side! Would have been a mud fest on a wet day!!
The route after this is on the rough heather again, until at last a green track materialises and at last one can stretch out and actually run!
This path undulates up and down to meet a metalled road, more moorland, then back onto a quiet country lane for a while and through a farmstead. Here we had to climb a gate, I’m sure I made it look a lot harder than it really was.
Last climb, on grass to rejoin the first bit of track at the moorland gate, a nice down hill through gorse (ouch ouch ouch) and onto road for the finish outside the pub.

I knew I got in under 2 hours, but for now I’d have to wait and see what my official time is…

All chased out!

All chased out!

It was a lovely day, although quite breezy, and for the first time this year I though I would have been fine in just a vest. I’m really pleased it was (mostly) dry underfoot, mud would have not helped at all.
Think I’ve caught a bit of sun.

Lorraine had brought homemade biscotti and they were fab! We got a drink from the bar and sat out on the grass to watch Dave give out the prizes.

Otley Race 1 in HDSRL – Wednesday 8th May. Mixed sun and cloud, breezy. Came 191/289 in 00:48:08. Lots and lots of Harriers there!!
The start of the Otley route isn’t the best. It’s narrow, potholed and has a sharp corner too close to the start line.
As usual, not really warmed up enough and started too close to the back of the pack.
Spent most of the first lap weaving through people. The course as a whole is narrow. It starts on pavement, then loops back on itself along a metalled lane before crossing a field of sheep, then along a bank, through a few trees before passing over the start line once more.
I’d got settled behind team mate Brian S. He’s a strong runner, but recently tweaked his leg. Eventually though, I overtook him. Another team mate David S caught up with me and we exchanged some friendly abuse! He pulled me along for a short while, but I couldn’t keep up the pace. The second lap saw me pass a few more people, only about 3 overtook me during this time. I did the annoying leap-frog thing with a couple of blokes before they really got on my nerves enough for me to put on a spurt and get past!
I’d been very gradually catching up with Helen, another T+S Harrier. Again, she’s a good runner normally I can’t keep up with her on training nights but we’ve never run or really raced together. I toyed with the idea that maybe I could catch her up.
On the grassy section of the second lap, I was only a couple of places behind her (just the leapfrog blokes between us).
After putting on the spurt, I was right behind Helen. I was a little concerned, as this meant I would have to take her on!
I was ok sat on her heels til Coach Rob spotted us and shouted to Helen ‘Look out behind you!’
There’s two sharp turns in succession from the road to the finish and I knew there was no point going too quick til we were through those and the little white fence onto the cricket pitch… Then, Oh My Goodness.
With a lot of effort, a lot of strange face pulling and a final victorious scream I piped her on the line! The time keepers have given us the same time, but I got the place.
Somehow we wobbled through the funnel and both had to lie down on the grass for a few moments to regain our composure! Apparently I’d gone white!
She took it in good sporting fashion, but I get the feeling I wont get away with doing that a second time…

The Otley team had put on a grand spread in the cricket pavilion of assorted sandwiches, homemade cakes and fruit.

Sprint for the line

Sprint for the line

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