The weather was just as cold and windy as for the Juniors in the Cross Country at the same venue on the day before – but without the sun. Several of us took advantage of the lovely running track to do our warm ups – it felt springier than Willesden! And so, after huddling from the wind, a dozen Hoopsters joined the start.
The course had to be altered to accommodate the builder’s fencing so we had a couple of tight hairpins as we ran around a carpark before tackling the infamous Football Hill. Andy McCarron was first to the bottom, but was overtaken by someone determined to get the King of the Hill prize; having won the crown, the king blew up and left Andy to stride on, in pursuit of the bigger prize of overall winner.
For my own part, I found a metronomic jogging pace was sufficient to get me up the hill with breath to spare, leaving a few behind who had tried to tackle it with too much aggression. And, despite the fact that the course started exactly where it finished and there were two awe-inspiring hills, it felt more downhill than up. We were cheered on by the ever supportive Jean Walerych and Sudbury Court veteran Bev Thomas. The lead-in to the finish was a somewhat twisty path thanks to the builder’s fences again, but with enough of a broad flat straight to allow a sprint past a couple of other runners – I think that means that I didn’t try hard enough on the hills!
I was welcomed by the victorious Andy after I crossed the line and once the results were out, Susan Kennedy discovered that she was second in her age category, so a big hand to her too. We cheered John Walerych over the line, who also had a turn of speed brought on by the Finish sign, before enjoying a fantastic spread of cakes and biscuits with a well-earned cup of tea at the pavilion.
This is a great event put on by the Metros. I am looking forward to having another go next year, although I will be happy to leave the sprint up that hill to younger legs!