Snow Joke for Hilly Adventurers!
The Avalanche Adventure Run – held in the inauspicious grounds of Wrongs Farm, Sibbertoft – advertises itself as offering ‘natural and manmade obstacles, with a few nasty surprises’ and a promise that ‘you will get wet and muddy’. What the intrepid Harborough AC trio of Steve Foxon, Nicola James and Paul Russell hadn’t bargained for was the three inches of snow covering the already-testing 10km course! With hills and barbed wire to deal with, and a tyre to carry uphill for over 1km, it was a race evidently set to try even the most dogmatic of racers! However, proving themselves to be suitably equipped, all three took to the run with gusto; Paul taking 12th spot overall, and Nicola finishing fourth lady over the line. And, despite cutting shins and knees, Steve also completed it in robust fashion, quipping “it was great fun!”
On the other side of the county, the Charnwood Hills Race is now into its 26th year, but never can it have offered such daunting conditions as those of this past weekend! The event itself is the only categorised fell race in Leicestershire, and attracts runners from across the UK as a result. In its inaugural hosting, the winner received an old chamber pot, the glaze cracked and browned with age, which the winner had to fill with best bitter and pass around! Sufficed to say that particular tradition has fallen by the wayside, but the route and challenge has otherwise remained largely intact. It was into this trial that Dean Barnett chose to throw himself, in his debut outing in the colours of Harborough AC. The 14.3 mile course – including over 1200ft of ascent – traverses such quintessential rural icons as Beacon Hill and Old John Tower, yet that did little to daunt with Barnett or Nick Turner-Henke, who both covered the terrain in just over two hours. The duo broke well inside the top-100; from some 300-plus finishers, and thoroughly enjoyed the event, despite the incredibly difficult and slippery conditions.
Away from the trials and tribulations of the ‘great outdoors’, and on far more steady surface, Roy Barber and Chris Holliday travelled to the Open Indoor Track & Field meeting at Loughborough University. Competing over two heats of 60m, Roy went gun-to-tape in times of 7.62s and 7.58s – the second setting a new Personal Best in his first racing day of 2012. Chris, meanwhile, ran his quickest marks of the season, recording 8.61s and 8.64s over his two runs.
Elsewhere, Matt Driver ran the Alsager 5, near Crewe. Reputed as one of the swiftest five mile courses in the UK, Matt proved to have wintered well, placing 85th in a field of 560, in a time of 30:15 – a fraction off his own Club Record, set last term.