STANBURY SPLASH – ALTERNATE STOOP ROUTE – 4.8 miles / 660 ft
Drawing from my previous Woodentops race experiences I knew this one would be great fun, hold a strong field of runners and of course have a great, and now infamous, prize giving in the pub where I expected to be shouted at and hit in the head by flying sweets.
Before the race I’d been told that this was a little tougher than Dave & Eileen’s other races, and longer, so I couldn’t help but feel a tad disappointed when I was told on arrival, and probably unsurprisingly, that the route had been changed to the Stoop due to the snow and ice. However, being the professional athlete I am I put this disappointment to the back of my mind and focused on the job at hand, bringing home as much delicious Soreen Malt Loaf as possible! (An even bigger incentive was that all the loafs on offer were banana flavour, MY FAV!)
After a typically short warm-up with my fellow P&Bers we trotted to the start line which as expected held some of the familiar ‘Big Guns’, Mr Tom Adams being a clear favourite for this one then.
After congratulating the winning juniors we were off and began as we meant to go, eyeballs out throughout for this one! I managed to remain in the front group but we all soon lost the coat tails of Mr Adams. Not long after hitting the fell it became a guessing game as to whether your foot would hit rock under the snow, sink into slop or crunch through the ice. This continued throughout the race but didn’t seem to slow the pace too much.
I managed to hold onto 3rd, despite not having a great tactical race by leaving it too long to pass on the single tracks near the start and managing to take mutiple bad lines on a not so technical route/descent (Nothing changes). Jack Wood came 2nd and as expected Tom Adam’s finished 1st with over 2 minutes to spare…… bloody show off!
From watching the rest of the field coming in, with strong runs from all of the P&B Gang, it was clear the ice had taken many victims (shins) today, including my own. All worth it for a bit of fun in the snow!
Back to the pub were EVERY P&B runner picked up a prize – Neal skipping in, being one of the only runners I saw without bloody shins, in commanding 6th, Dr Walker (Colin) not fair behind in 10th, Mac battling to the line to come home 3rd V40 and 20th overall and Mr Seddon having a solid run in 28th despite having a bout of lurgy and managing to tweak that mischievous ankle of his. Our now personal P&B prize table was then made even bigger by being rewarded with the men’s team prize as well, all about the strength in depth.
All in all despite the subsequent concerns as to when my two soreen a day diet will end, a great and prosperous P&B day was had…. If not a little bloody on the shins.
Joe Baxter 3rd 33.20. Neal Crampton 6th 34.43. Colin Walker 10th (3rd V40) 35.56. Charlie McIntosh 20th 37.25. Matthew Seddon 28th 38.26.
Mens Team Prize: Joe Baxter, Neal Crampton, Colin Walker