Harriers paint the Wolds RED! Dalton Dash 10km, Feb 28th 2016
The sprawling Dalton estate provided the setting for the small but perfectly formed Dalton Dash 10k this Sunday, a meticulously organised early season test that takes in some of East Yorkshire’s glorious rolling/gruelling (depending on how fast you were going) hills and landscape. A gaggle of erstwhile Harriers* gathered for the start outside of Lord Hotham’s impressive abode, complete with PA and warm-up provided by local personal trainer Ede Bone, each one ready to take on their own personal and usual inter-club challenges, and to see what progress they’d made since the turn of the new year.
Although relatively small (the finishers list was a few shy of 300), after spying local pocket rocket Kris Lecher warming up, and rising star (and equally pint-sized) Becky Briggs in attendance, the field was by no means weak. As the gun went at 9am, the early morning chill was soon at the back of our minds as we set off at pace towards South Dalton.
Kris Lecher stole a familiar march at the head of the field, leaving a small number in his slipstream, with a further, larger pack forming behind the leaders. Following an impressive start to the year, Mike Petersen led the Harriers charge, looking very strong from the start. Next up was myself, starting off with a handy pack that included Lee Alcock. Tony ‘Papa’ Alcock wasn’t far behind, together with Lewis Beecher, who is rapidly returning to pre-injury form. Dave Maskell and Vicky Stone also flew the red flag with pride in the main pack.
The course conditions were fantastic, with little wind, crisp temperatures and glorious sunshine bathing the route. However, picturesque as it was, I found it hard to get into a decent rhythm over the first half of the undulating route out on the wolds.
After stringing out the pack behind, and with a tasty downhill stretch to let fly, I (mistakenly) began going after the pack ahead, with a purple vest as my target. In what will remain a lesson in course management, as soon as I picked up my pace, I found myself staring a 600 metre slog up a hill, full in the face (Buggar. Knew I should’ve done some hill work). The good ground I’d made soon counted for nothing, as the hill rapidly unraveled the momentum I’d gathered. I was overtaken by one of the chasing pack, and it took a big effort to keep him in touching distance.
Thankfully, the top of the hill marked the start of the steady descent back home, and although I’d left myself too much to do in terms of catching the pack ahead, Gloria Estefan stepped in, the rhythm got me, and I managed to overtake the runner that had seemed unstoppable up the hill. I’d started the race with the intention of using it as training for the forthcoming Silverstone Half Marathon, but with 2 km to go, and no chance of making up places, I decided to go all out for the finish and a decent time.
Mike P was the first Harrier home, finishing as strong as he started, coming in a creditable 13th in 39:28. I’d left it too late for a sub-40, but was pleased with a 40:20 and 17th spot after a poor first half. Just behind was Lee A in 40:40, with Lewis Beecher, Tony A, Dave M and Vicky S following. Congratulations to Tony and Dave, both reporting PBs – fantastic achievement on a tricky course.
With such a professional approach by Humber Tri and a fantastic setting, not to mention a superb course, there’s little wonder that this event sold out as quickly as it did. It will soon find its rightful place as a ‘must-do’ early season race, and it will only get bigger based on what we all enjoyed this weekend. It was great to see the event supported by all the Hull clubs, with the mighty red vests giving their usual great account of themselves.
*apologies to any Harriers I may have missed off this list, the results didn’t list club names so I’ve had to go off photos and Facebook comments!
** images courtesy of Gerry Darling Photography