Barlaston Ups and Downs – 25 April 2013

Lesley Pymm reports on the third and final event in the 2013 Spring Treble:  After a lovely warm day, we all congregated at Oulton Cricket Club on a cold evening.  I say we congregated at the Cricket Club, it may be more accurate to say that runners were congregating in the lobby outside the toilets, where it seemed a little warmer.  I went off for a warm-up and found that once you got off the high point at the cricket club and onto the road outside, it was much better.

The name of this event is a bit of a clue!  It goes over the Downs – a lovely piece of land owned by the National Trust, but it is undulating.  It may be more accurate to call the event the ‘downs and ups’ as it starts on a long, road downhill.  To give some idea of the course – my first mile was 7.51.08 (I can still do sub-8 minute miles with a bit of gravity assistance!!) and the last one, up the same hill, was 10.40.  Between those two miles were two off-roadBarlaston 2013 4 laps of the Downs. 

We ran along a track for a while, then turned uphill on a very rutted path.  We then turned right and went downhill on a grass bank.  I remembered this as being quite slippery last year.  It wasn’t too bad this year, although a short shower during the run did make it a bit slippery by the second lap.  I was OK as I had studs on.

At the bottom of the bank we ran a bit further along a track and then back onto the road for a short while before repeating the loop.  On the second lap, when we got to the road we turned the other way and ran back up the hill.  It really is a hard slog – great training for the Hill Race in the Tour!

There was a woman who looked as if she was about my age (it really is difficult to tell) and she had beaten me in the previous two events.  On this one, I got past her on the second lap and there was no way I was letting her get back again.  I really pushed up that hill and when I finished I was panting like mad. 

They had not shown the categories on the results of the previous races, so I had no way of knowing.  I beat her and we ended on equal points, but she was still a V55!  She won the V55 category and won the V60 with the same points. I suppose that if we had been the same age group they would have had to do it based on cumulative  time over the three events – and I had just beaten her on that.  I was really pleased!

The presentations are in the bar of the Cricket Club, where they also put on a buffet.  This is a good end to a lovely, friendly series.

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One Reply to “Barlaston Ups and Downs – 25 April 2013”

  1. Congratulations Lesley on successfully completing the 2013 Spring Treble. Clearly the Barlaston Downs and Ups is somewhat undulating.
    What goes up must come down! You must be getting very fit Lesley.