This morning a small but select group of harriers made the trip to Bedgebury Forest for a 5 mile and 10 mile event, on an unseasonably warm Sunday morning.
There was some pre race trepidation about underfoot conditions, given another night of heavy rain but the course (5 miles and two laps for the 10 miler) was largely on the hard – but undulating – pathways through the trees and provided perfect trail conditions, with just one short (but uphill) muddy segment to contend with.
In the ten mile race, Louise Hazelton ran a well paced race to come home in 84:45 as first harrier, 13th woman and 2nd F50. Lou passed me about halfway through the second lap and held her lead to the finish, where I crossed in 84:56. Next in was Nick Pierce with 87:58 for 4th M60, followed by Maria Gandara (93:47), Nicky White (95:42), Susan Liu Jones (98:43) – wearing one of Nick Pierce’s socks, having found she had turned up with just one! – and Siobhan Browne (99:28).
Lou 2nd, Maria, 4th and Nicky 5th would have taken home the F50 team trophy if there had been one.
The ten mile race winners were Barry Buchanan (62:38) and Gemma Carter Collins from Ashford AC (72:48).
Jonathan Hanes ran 45:13 as the sole official harrier in the 5 mile race, although Mark Taylor made a numberless appearance to enjoy the scenery and smell of pine.
The five mile race winners were David Huckell of Brighton Tri Club (31:13) and Annaka Charters of Victoria Park Harriers (36:10).
A well organised event, with plenty of encouraging marshals and a nice medal.