Waddesdon Manor Crazy Hill 5K
By Lynn Boddy
Six of us Buzzard runners turned up to the Waddesdon Manor 5k on Wednesday. Driving up the hill to the car park and the start I began to suspect that this course wasn’t going to be strictly ’undulating’ as described on the website. As it turned out it was a 2.5k dash down the hill then a 2.5k crawl back up it. After a very quick start from the front of the house to the fountain, the downhill was a welcome relief. It was difficult to know how quickly to do the dash down the hill as I was aware that a few minutes later I would be running back up it. After a bit of holding back I decided to up the pace a bit and make the most of the downhill. Seeing the quicker runners passing in the opposite direction to start their way back up the hill was a bit of a relief as I knew I was almost halfway through and it gave us chance to slur a few ‘well dones’ to our team mates.
In the end going back up the hill wasn’t as bad as I thought and I was amazed when I looked at my watch and I was doing 7.35 min/m. I have the Cublington hills to thank for that. However the last hundred metres or so were particularly unpleasant and it would have been thoughtful of the organisers to put the finish line at the top of the hill! Instead we had to run towards the house, in view of the finishing line, run around the back of the house then run back towards the fountain, away from the finishing line, and finally up the very long (well it seemed like it anyway) drive to the finish line. You get my point; I really don’t want to see a finish line unless I am nearly ready to go through it. Overall it was a really unusual and enjoyable 5k and I would definitely do it again next year.
I am pleased with my time of 22.23 and for me it certainly wasn’t going to be a PB night. Chris Norman, however, had a great run and did come away with an amazing PB of 17.28, knocking over 20 seconds off his previous 5k time, and finishing in 11th place. Adam Haylock wasn’t too far behind in 16th place with a time of 18.05 but found out the hard way that, yes, there are ladies out there who can run faster than him! James Bell crossed the line with a time of 18.48 and, I believe, would like to be referred to as ‘Mr 18’ from now on. Katie Haylock also had a nice surprise looking at her watch on the way up the hill, realising she was keeping her pace under 8 min/m, and finished in 23.26. John Adam, who had checked last year’s times to make sure he wouldn’t be finishing last, didn’t need to worry as he was almost 10 minutes quicker than the final finisher with a time of 31.17. John also completed the men’s team of 4 putting them in a 6th place team finish and setting a new club record to boot. Well done everyone.