There should have been more of us, with the weather putting off two that I know of (you know who you are) and blocking the travel of another (we all know who you are), but 12 people pitching up was highly laudable. The rain lashed down during the race, and had done so before, leaving the park waterlogged and everyone running more slowly than the week before.
David Denton’s Surrey Classic is a series of three 10ks, with the first two on consecutive weeks and a long break before the third on 16th December. There are no prizes for individual races, only for the series, though the coverage of different age categories is generous. As a result, persistence can be rewarded – after this weekend, it’s persistance and sheer bloody-mindedness, I think. The weather was shocking and I, at least, was not up for the race at all. We started at the Mansion House within the park, and pretty much everyone there was sheltering from the weather until called forward for the start. Moustafa’s excellent picture on Facebook shows, at least if you look at our faces, how we all felt about it.
The Avenue within the park was waterlogged and seemed to get more so as the race progressed. Plenty of opportunity to try a different line through the water, too, as we started with a short loop, then had two bigger laps, both of which involved heading along the path in both directions (at different times, fortunately). I tried the middle of the path, reasoning that the camber ought to make that the shallowest spot, but the middle line wasn’t always available where people were coming from the other end, and didn’t seem to make much difference. We did, at least, have barely a dog walker to contend with, so the weather wasn’t entirely against us. Where last week I warmed up with a decent run and started sensibly, this time I had no warm up and tried to push myself near the front, for which I was to pay. I was beaten by several people I’d stayed ahead of last week, most notably Chairman Joe, who came up behind after the short loop, stuck with me for 100m or so – just time to wave at Daniel Hookey – before making his play, racing past and heading off into the distance. He didn’t stop there, passing another 5 people to take him into an impressive 3rd on the day, 2nd in the overall standings. My consolation was that though I was beaten on the day by the first v60, I stayed ahead of him overall and am 3rd senior male in the standings. Albeit behind first v40 and first v45 – a particularly good effort from the former, given that he started 4 minutes late! Most people were a minute or so down on last week – even Joe – so congratulations to Katherine and Richard, who were much closer to last week’s time than that. A great effort in rain and with a couple of stiff hills (or, if you like, the same stiff hill, twice).
Katherine Wilson came within an ace (which equates to 4 seconds, as that’s the time it takes to secrete one up a sleeve in a saloon game of poker) of repeating last week’s victory, and remains 1st lady overall, nearly 3 minutes ahead of second. Mike Bryant, who DD has given a nice Scottish burr in calling him “Brryant”, is third in an impressively competitive v70 category, while Steve Watkins is 5th SM, and Rich Goulder 4th M40. Some of these may change, as not everyone has their category listed – Mike and Neil are currently competing in the SM category, which is a little unfair. The indomitable Ann Bath is first W60, Neil 5th M60 and Derick Wilkie 2nd M65.
Good running everyone, we looked tough (if daft) out there, hope to see you all plus a few sheepish missing faces, at the last.
See David Denton’s site for overall standings.