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A Grand Tour for Les

31/08/2014

Les Hill is well known amongst his DRC clubmates as a prolific race enthusiast and during August, armed with his copy of the 'UK Race Guide' and his running shoes, he set out to add a few more to his tally...

In a three week spell he travelled afar doing six very varied races, then after a three week period of not racing drove South to Burton, near Carnforth, Lancashire to tackle a hilly 10K. Les takes up the story with the following resume of his achievements...

"On 3rd August I headed to Lancaster and took part in the Wagon and Horses 10 miles. I was a little disappointed to miss my gold standard target by 27 seconds and recorded 68.27. The second half was faster than the first half but the presence of a strong head wind was the reason for not beating the target.

On 6th August I was accompanied by Sue Jeffrey to the Lakes to tackle the short, but very steep, “Steel Fell” race. I recorded 33.09 for the 2.4 miles while Sue’s time was 39.02. I was 6 minutes faster than Sue to the top, 21 and 27 minutes respectively, meaning that we had both descended in the same time of around twelve minutes.

The next outing was to the Peak District on Thursday 14th when I travelled to Wythenshawe Park, Manchester for the Sale Sizzler 5K race. A field of 494 runners lined up on the running track for this race. Pandemonium set in when the gun was fired as they have to do over a lap to thin out before heading out on the narrow paths in the park’s two loop circuit. I was happy with 191st place in the time of 19.55. Eighteen men and one lady ran faster than 16 minutes for the 5K – phenomenal running!, with the winner recording a time of 14.47.

On Sunday, 17th August, I ran the Belper Rugby Rover 30K (18.6 miles) in the Peak District. This is mainly off road and includes several thousand feet of climb. After a cautious start I worked my way through the field to finish 77th out of 270 runners with a time of exactly 2 hours 24 minutes.

Just two days later, on Tuesday 19th August and still in the Peak District, I did the Taddington Lanes 4 miles fell race. This was only four miles but climbed steeply for two miles using road and rough paths, it then descended using similar terrain. A time of 27.51 gave me 12th place out of 61 and the prize for the first V50.

Back on the Northern side of the border and my next challenge was to race my two brothers, Alan and Scot, in the Bute Highland Games 10K. Racing against older brother Alan is not difficult but younger brother Scot is a different story. We were still together at the turn after 5K but the rivalry pushed me to the gold standard at this one with 40.31, in the end finishing almost a full minute ahead of Scot.

Three weeks later and batteries recharged I headed for the lovely village of Burton, near Carnforth, and did the 10K. The time of 42.51 looks a little slower than I would expect but I felt I ran it well and the kilometre splits tell a story as they fluctuated massively due to the slopes of the lovely country lanes over which the race is held. My fastest kilometre was the 5th in 3.54 while the 3rd took a whopping 5.21. Strangely the results were identical to the Taddington Lanes fell race, 12th out of 61, and although not one for PBs I would recommend this 10K as one to try, being a tough challenge and held over quiet country lanes".

Les.

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