7/1/18 – Humberside XC Championships from a Supporters View!
After a great Saturday night out, Sunday morning dawned. A peep out of the curtains and it seemed to be a lovely sunny day. Ok up, have breakfast and let’s get to Costello. We got out of the car and it was sunny but freezing cold. I looked at Richard and said “You don’t want to do this do you?” “No I have got no enthusiasm for this at all” came the reply. Good start!
We found EHH base camp where soon the gazebo and flag were masterfully put in place. Slowly the red massive gathered, 58 runners in total a fantastic turnout! Matty dutifully dished out everyone’s numbers. By this time we found out that the start of the men’s race was delayed by approx. 25 minutes with the ladies supposedly going off after the men’s race had finished – arghh it was already perishing, the runners looked cold and the field was getting muddier by the minute. Linda and Mandy were still trying to shake off the winter bug but were there to participate. Eventually it was time to prepare for the race with warm ups taking place, Harriers running in all directions. A well respected silence took place to mark the recent passing of local running legends Dave MacDonald and Mike Nicholson.
Finally, 40 minutes late, the men were called. It was flipping freezing even wearing 4 layers + a hat, scarf and 2 pairs of gloves so how cold must the runners be wearing vests? So along with Tracy Ashton, Pete Allen, Nigel Sisson, Dave Borrill, Shaun Alcock, Pete Dearing to name but a few of the supporters and the EHH ladies off we went to cheer them on, the loudest starting gun in the world went off and it was great to see a sea of red in the field. The two Kingston lads were soon out in front followed by various EHH runners.
Tracy and myself were then off to find the Kingston portacabin and what an array of sweets, cakes and biscuits but they were also selling Leek and Potato soup at £1 a cup. ”Get some salt and pepper in that” came the dulcet tones of Nige! It certainly hit the spot and got us warmed up. We walked over to the turn at the top end of the track to shout support. It was very muddy with the runners slipping and sliding their way round. Myself and Tracy then walked over to the bank at the other end of the track where Phil McCoy and Dave Playforth were taking photos well supported by Sheila. This proved to be a good 4 lap course for us spectators because you could see red vests everywhere and it was easy to get from one part of the course to another. Now it was on one of these trips across the park that Tracy and I were joined by Ade Kamis dressed in his Sunday best, he came running over to us but somehow managed to trip over a twig and go over full length into the mud – oh how we laughed and how he blasphemed! A group of people walking in the other direction told us both to stop being so sympathetic towards him! If only we had had a camera we could be £250 better off now. It also transpired that Pete Allen had taken a tumble in the mud. It’s a dangerous pastime being a supporter! Great running from the Harriers and well done Darren White who lost the sole of one of his spikes on the first lap but continued and did the rest of the race without it – I believe the socks are now in the bin. Mike Hargreaves was the first EHH finisher followed by Rob Weeks, Dave Green, Matty Hayes, Stu Carmichael and Neil Seddon. EHH won the first team prize as well 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th teams (Wow!)
Good news – the ladies were going to start before the men’s race had finished. This was good because not only were our ladies freezing but also it would soon be getting dark. So to the start line and I understand the bus passing along Boothferry Road may have got a good view of one or two bare backsides!! So off we went to cheer on the EHH ladies and once again it was dominated by the colour red. With the course well churned up by the previous races the ladies were off. Encouragement was shouted from various places along the course. Helen Horrobin was the first of the EHH ladies to finish followed by Kirsty Wilson, Annaliese Tomlinson, Vicky Godfrey, Magda Zaremba and Katie Seddon. The ladies also picked up the first team prize.
At the end of what was a very chilly afternoon everyone seemed to have enjoyed it, even Richard with his quote “Maybe a curry and a few pints the night before is not the best preparation!” The general opinion was that despite what was expected the course proved to be a good one and very well marshalled thanks to Gregan and his team. Special thanks must go to Matty and Ali for entering all of the runners, for contacting Edwin to get in some late entries and amendments, the time and effort they put in to make events like this happen for the Harriers is very much appreciated by all. To Dave, Phil and Garry Avenell for posting some excellent pics. Finally to all the runners who took part a massive well done!