One of the great pleasures for me in leading the New Runners Initiative last Winter, has been seeing the great achievements that have been made by so many of the attendees. Some have taken massive chunks of time off their pb’s at various distances, while others have run distances that they would never have dreamed of doing a year ago.
One of those that I remember vividly was Kadi Huart, whose Mam Linda had conned into turning up that first night, by telling her she’d only be running about a mile. Fast forward 10 months and we are lining up to do the tough Gruesome Twosome half marathon.
The challenging course takes in some of Lincolnshire’s finest scenic countryside. It is very much an undulating multi-terrain event taking in grassland, quiet tarmac roads, public footpaths, trails, meadows and woods. There were many sections with difficult loose gravel underfoot and many that narrowed so that there was no chance of passing the runners in front. This was useful if you needed a breather, but frustrating if you were on an adrenalin rush. The stewarding is first class as is the general friendliness of all concerned in the event.
Despite the poor summer, we are at least getting some decent weather late into the Autumn, so it was a reasonably warm and sunny but windy October 17th, that saw me team up with Kadi to take on the hills of the Lincolnshire Wolds (I’m obviously the gruesome part of that particular pairing).
Other Harrier couples on the day were Linda Huart & Jan Suddaby, Iain & Keelee McGowan, Tony Cross & Darren Knowles, Adrian Kamis and Janet Kay , Nige Sissons & Chris Adams, Mike Vinegrad & Graham Wilkinson, Tim Simpson & Danny Wilson, Mandy Davison & Janice Wilcock, while Penny Darmody and Paul Teece made their twosome’s with none Harriers.
It’s worth pointing out at this moment that Kadi took great delight in telling Linda that she’d beaten her in a race, although she did admit that it’s likely to be a while before it happens again. In fact that delight was well earned, as we were the 1st Harrier mixed couple home and 41st overall in a field of 97 mixed teams and 251 teams in total, with a time of 125:25.
Considering this was the first time Kadi has ran more than 10 miles and she’d missed a couple of weeks of training at a vital time in the run up to the race due to shin splints, I think she has reason to feel proud.
Other notable achievements on the day were Nige and Chris who took fourth place, which can be made into a podium placing third for same club pairings. Keelee McGowan made light of her recent lack of running assisted by Iain, I’m sure listening to the constant stream of poor jokes from Iain will have been more challenging than the course and Janice Wilcock seems to have found an Ideal training partner in Mandy and is making great strides forward as she continues her come back.
Most romantic couple award goes to Adrian and Jan, as their finishing line embrace took nearly as long as the race itself.
The Gruesome Twosome race is centred around the Swallow pub and so the temptation to start on the beer is too much to resist, this continued in Jan Suddaby’s “party bus”, before Tony, Darren and myself finally persuaded Kadi and Linda to carry on anesthetising the aches and pains of the day, by extending the afternoon drinking well into the evening when we got back to Hull. All in all a great day and a race that I’m sure will be well attended by Harrriers for many years to come.