As this was my last race as ladies’ road race captain, I volunteered to write the race report – for a race which was almost the exact opposite of what I had thought it would be when I signed up for it!
As the Grand Prix is supposed to be a road race series, I was somewhat surprised to learn that the Bromley 5 mile is what they were called “a proper cross country race” – and for those of you that do the cross country, you will be familiar with the route at Sparrow’s Den.
In the end it was a small but elite handful of harriers who took the clock change in our stride and headed up to Bromley in the pouring rain. In the time it took to walk from the car down the muddy ravine to race HQ we were not only soaked but our feet were wet and muddy before we even started. In fact the only thing that stopped us from heading straight back home again was the promise of free cakes after the race.
Having acquired a pair of Mud Claws earlier in the year, I was however pleased to be able to try them out – ignoring the old saying about never racing in a pair of shoes that you have never worn before – or in fact even tried on!
It was a fairly small field of runners who braved the weather but the rain had eased to a light drizzle by the time the race started – and had eased off even more as we finished the first lap of the field, just as Terry was crossing the start line – better late than never though! For those of you that know, we only had to do THAT hill twice with the route heading out into a further field rather than coming straight back down through the woods to make up the distance.
I have to say the marshalls were excellent – incredibly encouraging and helpful despite standing out in the cold and wet for several hours. We had our own support team of Bob and Ali who were brilliant cheering us loudly each time we went past. The Mud Claws were a revelation – absolutely fantastic on very very muddy slippery terrain – did I mention the mud? And the cake at the finish made it worth the effort 🙂 I’d almost go as far as to say that I enjoyed it (just don’t tell the XC captains!)
In those conditions, in my mind at least, the times were not important – but I was impressed that in the ladies race, first lady was in the F55 age category and the rest of the first 10 ladies were F45s. Big well done to Alex Holmes (running as Alison Holmes) who came second overall and first M40.
Bob has sent the results out so I wont copy them again but well done to Alex, Hadders, Geoff, Clifford, Terry and Lucille for braving the rain and mud.