Paul’s Blog – Part Fifteen

Running has taken a bit of a back seat in the last week but hopefully a number of chores will be out the way by Monday so that I can step it up again. That said I did manage to get to Bangor to help support our (Eryri Harriers) local Cross Country (XC) race.

First of all well done to Becki Law for great organisation & of course to the whole team of people who helped her.

The weather was cold & underfoot conditions wet & very muddy, is it just me or do the ladies like pre-ploughing the course in readiness for us guys, to be fair not all were smiling as they struggled up that hill, as I was thinking me next!

Eventually just after a cold shower had further dampened my spirits 2:45 arrived & we were off. I had at least had a similar experience in Wrexham a couple of years ago so knew I’d be up against a competitive field & that it would be surprisingly tough, Bangor proved to be no different.

To help enjoy it I went off slower than some & was pleased I did, with two short laps sandwiching 3 long laps there was plenty of justification to keep a little in reserve. On the first of the long laps people finally stopped passing me & the remainder of the race saw me not being passed & picking up the odd place or 8 (by my rough reckoning). Sadly a 9th place was just beyond me so I missed the top hundred by a frustrating one! On the last lap I’d finally got past Meirionnydd’s Arfon Hughes who commented well done & I reciprocated. Having thought I’d well & truly ditched him from there on my focus was pulling in Phil Hayes of Denbigh, by the last hill I thought this is my chance only to see him pull away on the home straight whilst Arfon’s slurping feet began ringing in my ears, thankfully he timed it just a little too late & my Goose wasn’t quite cooked.

Thoroughly enjoyed it with the hail storm on the 1st lap just adding to the atmosphere of a bunch of running nuts ‘enjoying’ themselves.

O.K. so I missed the top two thirds but only just, my time of 44:45 was only a little over 10% slower than the likes of SPJ & as ever I’ll ignore the fact that he’s giving more than a bloody decade! The winner, Callum Rowlinson, time of 32:02 is also not being strongly analysed as he had less mud than me to run through, now that’s positive logic for you!

Thanks again to everyone who helped us have a great afternoon of mud & guts in Bangor.

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