Spring Sunshine in Sandy

By Adam Haylock


Sunday 30th March was Mother’s Day and also this season’s first Club Championship race, a 10 miler in Sandy hosted by Biggleswade Athletic Club.  Being a relative newbie to the club I was well up for this especially after a frustrating and inconsistent month of running during March.


Myself and Katie arrived at HQ, the Sandy Sports Centre, where we met up with the rest of the Buzzards getting ready in the sports hall. There was a good atmosphere with music playing and the feeling of a competitive race so with numbers pinned, chips laced we headed off to the start. The route to the start is a pretty long one giving you a chance to warm up and discuss tactics, I was thinking hard about how I could hold Gary off after his recent form?


477 runners were lined up and pumped ready to go, well 475 with Warren and Nick being the last to arrive after a 6 mile warm up in preparation for the London marathon, which included getting lost! Warm-up turned sprint they made it with time to spare and were ready to go. The last few seconds before the gun gave time to consider any final strategic decisions.  I decided to stick with what I know best, go out hard and see what happens.  10 miles is a strange distance for me, too long to be fast and too short to be considered a long run.  A good luck message from the local Mayor, chip timing system ready and we’re off.


fairly steady start through the industrial estate saw runners trying to settle into a rhythm, although any speed was quickly derailed by a steep hill at 1.5 miles.  I puffed my way up and tried to settle back down when Gary casually arrived next to me.  This was always going to happen with Gary’s recent fine form. “Don’t panic!” I thought as it was  early days in the race, “Just stick with him”. Seven seconds later he was gone and very impressively continued to work his way through the field.  Now was the time to relax and enjoy the race and pretty Bedfordshire countryside on a lovely spring day.


Eight miles in and I could sense another Buzzard behind me, was it James who has a habit of catching up with me and over taking on the longer runs?  I spotted our support crew of Andy and Erin and asked who was it and how close were they? My instructions were clear, “forget who is behind you and worry about those in front!”  It actually turned out to be Nick who was having a blinder, particularly after a six mile warm-up.  I managed to hold him off but had to step it up downhill to finish my second ever 10 miler in 1:03:36.


Gary really did have a stormer and he rightly seemed chuffed with his PB, finishing 19th in 1:01:32 – Great Run. Nick pushed me hard and finished two places behind me in 39th in 1:03:57 hitting form perfectly for the Marathon. James Bell who two weeks ago ran a strong leg in the Southern Relays was the next Buzzard home with a fine run off little training finishing in 1:05:18 and completing our men’s team.


There was great battle going on behind between Amy, Warren and Chris.  Amy yet again continued an amazing season and overtook the guys down the hill to finish a brilliant 8th Female home in 1:09:46 for a big PB. Warren 1:09:58 and Chris 1:11:18 also finished strongly with good runs. Fred Watt as always represented the V65 incredibly well placing 208th with a time of 1:19:59 to beat the 8mpm average. He was chased home by Katie in 1:20:06, which was not bad at all considering this is her longest run since 2009 and she had been ill for a week beforehand. Liz and a somewhat frustrated Fiona brought us all home with 1:38:16 and 1:41:05 retrospectively and ensured that we had a complete ladies team too. Liz’s run also meant that some more new club records have been set.


Post race we gathered and shared our race stories over hot tea and cake, another great event and looking forward to the next one.


The next club championships being the Blisworth Friday 5 on 23rd May.