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Devil Take the Hindmost 2016

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Dalbeattie 10K Half Marathon 2016

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Netherhall 10

03/03/2017

This year's Netherhall road race incorporated the British Masters' 10 Mile championships.

After some recent hill running (assisting on winter Bob Graham and Paddy Buckley Rounds), Jo Zakrzewski felt she had developed some strength if not speed, and so decided to test herself on this "undulating" course. Anyone who has done the race knows that it is not for the faint-hearted as the 10 mile loop includes over 500feet of elevation gain, but the amazing buffet put on by Cumberland AC for all runners and supporters at the finish more than makes up for the effort put in.

The presence of Storm Ewan almost caused the race to be cancelled at the last minute, but luckily it went ahead with the runners being treated to gale-force gusts, horizontal rain and even hailstones, though this did ensure that everyone was competing for "championship places" rather than fast times.

Having run the race once before (about 7 years previously), Jo remembered the long hill shortly after the start and so watched others race off over the inital 400m, only to then pick them off one by one as they climbed about 300feet over the course of the next 2 miles. The route then wound up and down along country roads through a few small Cumbrian villages before hitting the A596 just before the 7 mile mark. Veterans of the race say that the last 3 miles are usually the fastest ones as they involve more descent than climbing, but unfortunately the direction of the wind took this benefit away on race day. Much credit most go to the marshals who were out on such a day (although some did marshal from the open boots of cars) to keep runners safe as the roads were not closed, and to those hardy souls who cheered the runners in across the finish line. 

Jo was happy to not only win her age group in the Masters' Champs but also the open race crossing the line 4.5minutes clear of the second lady in a time of 61:41 - 13th position overall. The comments in the showers afterwards were mainly about how the weather, mud and muck on the country roads made it look like everyone had been running a XC race, but obviously it was nothing like the conditions underfoot that those running at the National XC champs had to content with.

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