27th November 2015 AUTHOR: Mike Murray CATEGORIES: Event Report, News Tags:

Winter League 2015 Three Mile Staggered Start

After race photo! Worth noting that most of these people finished behind me………….

So, it seems I have to step into the breach and write the race report for the second Winter League event.  You were warned about my ramblings, hope you’ll not be offended!

So Saturday started, quite breezy, cold and with wintry showers that persisted intermittently till the start of the race.  Race preparation involved a gentle parkrun with Keith Gadie, a really gentle first lap then pick the pace up to make sure Keith had no chance of beating me later that day.

Several other regular Harrier parkrunners were evident that morning, even our skipper (and he went through the finish line in a ‘slow’ time!), I do believe some regretted their pace at parkrun that morning.

I arrived early at the clubhouse to find it already full with more arriving by the minute.  A great turn out!

Mary Carrick, in the lead.

The recent expansion in club membership is brilliant but I struggle to remember names at the best of times; this is now nearly impossible (so if you see me looking at you with a bemused expression of recognition; it’s probably because I do recognise you……I just don’t have clue what your name is! (Sorry in advance)).

So we gathered on the drain bank preparing for the staggered start.  A whole 16 minutes between the first off (Mary Carrick) and the last (Alec Gibson).

I was off at six minutes; this boded well!

FB_IMG_1448487751846I think I knew I could pass everyone in front of me……..but who would come past me?

I’ve been struggling with my running recently, the speed and hill work have been going quite well, but I found it very hard to put any distance in, parkrun times have been around 27 minutes.  So a couple of weeks ago I went back to midweek packruns, a wise move.

So, waiting for the start….Mary off first……a few others then its me with Dave Walmsley and Ann Frost.  First few hundred metres I don’t feel too sure of my footing, Dave goes in front of me.  Then we catch Penny Darmody and suddenly she’s down, a quick ‘are you ok’? and an affirmative answer so I run past. The others stop and help, not me this is race; a race where I could be near the front!  What’s not to like?

Kristina Gadie ladies winner, but not in her club colours?

I push on, I’m ahead of the rest of my group.  Kristina Gadie, flies past and momentarily, I think about staying with her; not a chance, she’s quickly more than 50 metres ahead.

Next up was our ubiquitous photographer, Dave Gowans (wearing some decidedly dodgy 1960’s ‘flasher’ gear); do I make a star jump or just look like a fat boy as usual?  Easy decision, this is a race!

We turn off the drain bank and head across Longhill playing fields and I can still see some of the earlier starters but Mary Carrick is nowhere in sight.  I still have a lot to do.

Coming off the bank I spy a couple of ex Fire Service colleagues, Norman Downs and Pete Wharf, not seen Pete for many a year, a quick high five and I’m past and picking my route through the stubble.

Conks, showing lack of taste and colour coordination

Push on and around the field we go, pick off  few more, at some point I pass Mary, just not sure where! About now,  I think I was in second place, just Kristina in front of me, but not for long.

I’m on the last part of the field, just before the embankment when Paul (The Bandit) Nippress breezed past me, on his way to be first finisher.

Ok, this is only a three mile race, but it starts to get tough, I have to dig in, focus!

I’m soon overtaken by Keith Conkerton and Dave Borrill, both are moving well. Can I stay with either of them? I decide to let them go, too early to put in finishing stint.

Paul Nippress, strolling in the park

I get back to the drain bank, the finish is in sight (metaphorically speaking) and I’m thinking, where are all the speedier runners?  I’m expecting to be “run down” by loads of people on the drain bank.

Next to catch me is Richard Alsop, he goes past, but its time to pick my pace up for the finish too, we’re neck and neck for a while before I pull ahead slightly.

Alec Gibson flies past next, a quick shout of encouragement and he’s round the last bend and the finish is in sight….time for a last effort, “sprint” finish!  I manage to stay in front of Richard and then I’m through, I hear “27:02”, that’ll do me, about half a minute faster than I expected. Sixth overall, fifth male to finish!

Richard Alsop, not beating me.


In hindsight, what a great race, sixth? Unbelievable! A fantastic feeling, I know it’s with the benefit of a staggered start handicap, but how else will a plodder like me ‘mix it’ with the likes of our skipper? It has to be the way forward, staggered starts, just wait till the Beverley 10k, I’ll be leaving the start line 25 minutes before the gun, now see if you can catch me Phill Taylor!


Tracey Ashton, clearly enjoying herself far too much!

Top standings:

Men, Paul Nippress, Alec Gibson & Keith Conkerton, Fastest time 16:53 by Alec.

Ladies, Kristina Gadie, Claire Haggar (guest), Shirley Oglesby, Sheila Maddison with the fastest time by Beverley Jackson in 21:54.

Handicap leaders are: Katie Seddon 46 points, Tina Wrigglesworth 45, Anthea Eskreet 43; men, Paul Nippress 50, Keith Conkerton 48, Dave Borrill 47.

Shirley Oglesby closely followed by her close protection squad
Shirley Oglesby closely followed by her close protection squad

Thaaaaaaat’s all folks! Mike

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