Lesley Pymm reports: Mary Arden’s House in Wilmcote, near Stratford, is the race HQ for the Stratford Summer 6. This is another in the Warwickshire Road Race League and has usually been held in June but is later this year for some reason. I’m not sure that Mike was being at his most supportive when he bought himself an ice-cream while I was warming up – but he did check that the stall would be there for the duration. It was Henley ice-cream! Something to look forward to at the end.
The first half mile or so is uphill, then there is a lovely downhill. Lovely until you remember that we come back on this bit of road! There was a drink station at about 1 mile. I didn’t manage to get anything there as there were not really enough people handing out the water for the number of runners going past at that stage. Anyway, I wasn’t worried as I knew there were three stations on this 6 mile course.
Soon after that, I became aware of a young woman running next to me. She made no attempt to pass me and we ran along together for a while. The next drink station was coming up and I said something about having to make sure I got a drink there. I slowed down to get a drink and she went on. As I got back up to speed, I realised that she was not going very quickly and, as other runners were overtaking her, she was looking at them. I think she was waiting for me. When I drew level again, we ran along together, again not saying much.
We turned the corner at about 4 1/2 miles and I heard her groan. ‘Not far to go’, I said ‘just a bit of a climb’. Then we rounded a bend and the hill looked like a mountain ahead of us. ‘Don’t look at it’, I said. It wasn’t as bad as it looked when we got to it and we climbed up the hill. I wasn’t sure if she would kick at the top of the hill, but I think she was using me as a pacer as I was going at the right sort of speed.
I speeded up a bit and overtook a few more runners. My running partner did not come with me, she was a few places behind.
It was a good run. There were technical T-shirts at the end, but I was more interested in the ice-cream! There were also some very good cakes. The results are not up yet, so I don’t know how it has affected the places. At the beginning, BvH Women Masters were running 10th in the League, but as I was the only one there I don’t suppose we have kept that position.