Lesley Pymm reports: Another really warm morning. Rather than warming up, I was with the majority who were hiding away in the Jaguar Sports and Social Club trying to keep out of the sun. The general feeling was that this was a run to get round, not to race it.
Eventually we could put the moment off no longer and reluctantly runners started to assemble outside. It was a strange start. I understand that there was someone making some sort of announcement through some sort of PA system, but where I was (and I wasn’t that far back) I could hear absolutely nothing. Worse, there was a little bit of an incline and the start was actually over the other side, so I couldn’t see anything either. There were odd sounds from whistles, but it was not possible to tell when the race actually started. I started my watch as soon as I saw people nearer the front moving – but couldn’t say that it was the real start time.
It was a slow start. People were cutting in from the car parking area, so although I thought I had a pretty good position, I was surprised when I got out on the road to see how many there were ahead. I was amazed to see a man sitting on the ground at less than 1k, having found the heat too much. He was wearing a club vest, so it was not as if he wasn’t used to running. He walked back to the HQ and was OK, I am told by my trusty spy who was there drinking coffee!
I had run this event before but only once and a long time ago, so had forgotten it. It slowly started to come back to me. Most of the climbing was in the first half and the second half was predominantly downhill. The roads were closed, which is unusual and really good. The organisers had put out 2 drink stations, but local people had added a further 3! They were all very welcome. I think I took 4 drinks on the way round.
I kept it steady and was enjoying it when I landed awkwardly on a very large pothole. I went over my right ankle and when I brought my left foot down to stop me falling, I went over the right one too! OK, that was it then – just keep it going steady now and nothing fancy!
There is a long downhill finish, probably about 1k. Towards the end, I saw another man on the ground. The first aiders were saying that he would have to go to hospital as he was too dehydrated to be dealt with there. After I finished I saw the ambulance arrive for him with blue lights flashing. Not a great situation for them as they had to get past the spectators at the finish, the drink station/T-shirts etc., then the finish funnel and the runners who were finishing to get to their patient.
The T-shirt was technical and there was a massive flapjack and a bottle of water in the goody bag too. Showers were available and cakes and drinks. We stayed for the beginning of the presentations – the Warwickshire Champs bit – but had to leave before the race presentations as we were going to a BBQ.
A good event in very warm conditions. This was part of the Warwickshire Road Race League but I think I was the only BvH there. There were a lot of other events on the same day. I was pleased with my time of 55.44 considering the conditions.