The second event of Summer League was organised by Metros in Headstone Manor Park. Because of roadworks on the primary 10 km route, the event took place on a shorter alternative route.
According to people who have run both, this new 3.5 lap course was better. Starting at Headstone Allotments, running a small loop in the middle of the park before heading to the 3 longer laps around the park on Parkside Way, Pinner View, Headstone Lane and Priory Way. These laps were about 2 km each, starting with 10m climb on 1.5 km then finishing with a fast 10m drop on the remaining 500 metres, having a water station half way through the lap. After completing the 3 laps, the route then goes back in the park, crossing the field and finishing on the far end of the park on the grass.
I arrived to Harrow with Paul Scullion, feeling very excited, as this was my first run as Hoops! I ran the first fixture of Summer League as a guest of QPH. By not being a member at the time, I basically lost 288 points there (finishing 13th female), so my goal was to finish 13th or better.
Despite the rain upon arrival, everyone seemed to have a good time and chatted away under the umbrellas. Luckily the rain stopped soon and we had a dry warm up and race with perfect temperature.
The race started at 9:30 on the narrow pavement of the park. I quickly realised that I would either get stuck in the crowd or have to run in the grass and jump some small bushes without hitting trees. I decided to go on the sides, which ended up being pretty good. Shortly after the first turn I looked at my watch to see if I wasn't starting too fast, just to realise that it didn't start tracking! A quick play with the watch and it was ready to go. I just wasn't quite sure of the distance from that point.
By the time we have arrived at the halfway point (water station) of the first lap, the places were pretty settled. I still had a lady from Eagles to deal with. I just overtook her before the water station, but as I had to drink, she left me behind. I caught her again quickly, but decided to stay behind her for a while and see how I feel. She seemed to be very strong and I knew that if I wanted that point, I needed to demonstrate power. I stayed just a step behind her until my time came just after the first lap. I felt good, so I decided to go for it. As expected, she didn't give up so easily but started to chase me. To be honest, I really enjoyed this game and it made me forget about the distance and time. I didn't even look at my watch for a long time. As I tried to keep her behind me, we slowly sneaked up on another woman of ESM. I saw a great chance for another point! I started to lose the Eagle, and I became the chaser of ESM. I think she had her low at the end of the second lap, as I found it much easier to go past her pretty much at the same place where I overtook the Eagle. The downhill section at the end of each lap recovered me well, so at the start of each lap I felt energised again. During these battles we have overtaken a handful of men as well, but it didn't matter to me at all. I was just focused on getting at least 288 points but hopefully more. I wasn't sure about my position, but after leaving the ESM lady behind, I knew that I had the additional 2 points and still energy left on lap 3. I saw another Eagle fairly far ahead. It didn't really seem realistic to get that place, but I decided to try to close the gap and see what happens. I made a good progress and managed to be only a few metres behind her when we turned the last corner in the park. Before the last turn I wasn't sure how far the finish line was (as my watch wasn't accurate with the late start), so my plan was to change a gear when I could see the finish line, hoping that I could sprint her at the end. She also changed a gear towards the finish line, so I couldn't catch her at the end, we both finished at 35:49, her being ahead of me. I was still thrilled, as it was almost a minute faster than my guest running on the first fixture 2 weeks earlier, and I have finished 11th female, completing the plan of getting more than 288 points!
At the end of the race we enjoyed the massage and obviously the CAKE!
Queen's Park Harriers is still the top of the league having 41 seniors, 6 tenderfoots, 3 relay wins and a second place on this event.
Congratulations to everyone who ran this weekend, especially to the TOP 5 runners as below.
2. Jen Armson 00:32:08
4. Fiona Eagle 00:33:38
4. Nathan Barnard 00:27:32
5. Nathan Pask 00:27:39
1. Charlotte Tatham 00:06:29
3. Eadi Solanki-Jackson 00:07:07
4. Henry Englishby 00:06:21
Full results can be found HERE
Click HERE for club results
Member photos of the day can be found HERE