Shortage at Mt Ephraim


On Sunday I found myself at Faversham adjudicating the Mt Ephraim 10k. It is a long time since I was last there and had forgotten what a lovely spot it is in the grounds of Mt Ephraim Gardens where the HQ was, a short walk from the car park. My daughter in law (Holly) had signed up for this so I thought I could have a relaxing run round with her. Whilst I was waiting for her to arrive I bumped in to Mike Russell and Sam Dranga on their way to collect their numbers and who in the end turned out to be the only other two Harriers there.

A short while later Mike appeared again still in his jeans and announced he could not run as he had forgotten his shorts. By chance I had two pairs so if they fitted he was welcome to a pair of mine. One pair was fine so once again there were three Harriers.

Holly was a touch late arriving but we made it to the start on time. I said I would run at her pace and she could lead me. This worked from the start round the cricket pitch and out of the gardens onto the road. There I ran with her for a bit then it was agreed I would lead and try and pull her along. This seemed to work until half way and I stopped at the water station and waited for her to catch up. We set off together from the water station but I then found myself creeping ahead then slowing and waiting for her to catch up. This again worked until we hit the hill at around 6.5k and I decided I would push on up the hill and wait at the top. Having progressed well up the hill overtaking a number of other runners I decided to go off and leave Holly to run her own race. I had forgotten how hard it is to run slower than ones normal pace. I my next thought was to run almost to the finish and then wait at the entrance to Mt Ephraim Gardens and then go with her up the hill to the finish line. However having had an easy start I had plenty in the tank so pushed on and kept passing runners so my next thought was I would finish then go back and run in with her instead. This is what I eventually did and really enjoyed a good push up to the finish line overtaking runners as I went. However a youngster loose in the finish straight caused the lady in front to swerve as I went past her causing us to clash. Being a gent!? I allowed her to go in front only for us to both be overtaken by another lady who said “ don’t be polite, it is a race you know”.

Mike was the first Harrier home in 55.07, I finished in 58:44, Holly finished in 1.03:41, Sam 1.20:45.

A good friendly race, lovely countryside but on an undulating course, verging on hilly. First race I have run though where I was beaten by my own shorts by some 3 and a half mins.

Mark Taylor