Well after months of me wittering on about this event, the day eventually arrived. If there was an award for having the most senior male entries we would have finished 4th behind Sale 34, Salford 30 and Leeds 29 Bingley 28 so thanks to all who entered even if you didn’t make it to the start line through illness or injury. 17 Harriers lined up in pen 35 of 140 and a long line of runners stretched for 150 meters 20 plus deep.
A sense of nervous excitement was evident in the last few moments before the off. Two laps around the grounds awaited us. 7.5 miles of scenic undulating park land. A stunning location for a afternoon run in the company of like minded companions, almost 800 of them. Suddenly the gun goes and it’s a charge up the hill. Those who have never run in the Northern or National XC championships or similar can’t know the incredible experience of the first few minutes of this race. The deafening noise, not only the noise of the crowd but thundering of the feet in the ground, the heavy breathing of the other runners as they fill their lungs with much need oxygen, it’s like you can hear the noise of their hearts pounding with excitement. What a fantastic experience. The underfoot conditions vary and parts of the course are very heavy. It takes all your strength to pull your foot out of the thick glutenous mud.
Well I did say in previous posts that those taking part in this race would have a day they would remember for a long time. I never said why, but be fare in other parts the ground was firm, the running fast and the scenery stunning. The conditions proved too much for many and I counted at least a dozen runners who succumbed to the dreaded D.N.F. Thankfully all our boys made it to the end.
We were led home by Tim Midgley who finished in 149th in a time of 47:06 Next was Martin Peace 272nd 50:27, Clive Smith 380th 53:12, Robbie Williams 397th 53:47, John Parkin 408th 54:00, Will Duggan 417th 54:08, Dave Stephenson 422nd 54:22, Paul Lemmon 454th 55:12, Dave Potter 491st 56:05, Carl Hitchens 499th 56:15, Greg Trusselle 500th 56:22, Stephen Fry 572nd 58:52, Bill Belcher 644th 63:09, Richard Falkingham 665 64:18, Emyr Rees 708th 67:54, Tony Kingham 720th 69:58, and Phil Hawkswell 738th 71:47. There were 761 finishers. 57 clubs finished a scoring team of 6 runners of which we were 32nd. The ladies too had a good turnout with 11 runners lining up. There were also some very good performances by our juniors, but I leave it to our Ladies captain and the junior team managers to submit a summary of their day. All in all it was a day when I was proud to be a member of Bingley Harriers. Thanks to all who contributed to make it so, either as competitor, supporter or official.
Results of all the races can be seen here