We’re bigger than Bertha
By Andrew Hallworth
“Are you running the Bearbrook 10k?” This was the cry I heard when dropping off Glen Turner from the Doug Anderson 5k. “It’s my Birthday and there will most likely be a BBQ afterwards in the afternoon” was the bait to which a well renowned carnivore like myself could not easily refuse! With this to look forward to I was signed up straight away by my ever willing race entry co-ordinator Kate Johnson.
Fast forward 11 days through a period of pretty much sunny and warm weather, the forecast was for the tail end of Hurricane Bertha to have an effect on race day. Imagine my relief when waking up to a dry morning and thinking we might have got away with this and get a dry race, think again Hallworth was the response I got from Kate and Glen when the torrential rain and wind started on the journey to the race.
We arrived nice and early and sat in the car for warmth as Bertha deposited about 3 inches of rain in 20 mins, before eventually making our way into the Aylesbury Rugby clubhouse to collect our race numbers and timing chips (not too sure why it was set up for a wedding reception but we won't go into that one). Glen, Andrew and Kate were the early arrivals and stayed in the warmth trying to spot the other LBAC entrants who were expected, next to arrive were Warren Rose and Fred Watt closely followed by Sam Dear with everyone having the look of ‘this isn’t going to be a pleasant experience’ on their faces.
As we waited for the start of the race the weather thankfully took a turn for the better with the rain easing off and spirits lifted as we geared up to start running. At 9:30am the race got underway with a very narrow start, the usual hustle and bustle for positions on the road was further complicated by trying to avoid the huge puddles all over the road. After a fairly uneventful 1st kilometre or 2 we turned to start the approach towards Wendover when the heavens opened again and the wind drove into our faces on the open road. Glen was well in front as the leading LBAC man going through the halfway point following the pace maker from Luton (who apparently got the pacing so wrong that everybody had to dramatically speed up after 5km) with Warren and Sam the next group up the road followed by Fred, myself & Kate.
As we approached half way I moved ahead of Fred slightly as the weather finally relented with the rain stopping and the rest of the race being run in the dry. The middle of the race moved through Wendover and then a few small uphill climbs towards RAF Halton at which point we hit the magical 6.6km mark which the weather weary race marshals confirmed was the top of the course and “its all downhill from here to the finish”. With this in mind the race really spread out which meant that those of us new to running thought this must be a great chance for another PB with no more hills to go!!
Up ahead Glen was continuing to storm round and finished a very respectable 8th Overall in a time of 35:24, next up for LBAC was Warren (41.08) who just managed to edge ahead of Sam (41:47) towards the end. I followed in next in a new PB of 47:03 (beating the previous best of 51:48 set at Luton last month) and not far behind was Fred who just broke the 50 min mark with a sprint finish to record a time of 49:57, Kate was the final LBAC finisher in a very respectable 56:13 which continues her preparations for the Great North Run in a few weeks time.
With everyone finished it was time to run round flyering cars for the Leighton 10 which we managed to do before the rain decided to return with a vengeance.
In the end a good race had by all who braved the elements and we all managed to get out of the car park without being stuck in the mud!!
p.s. I’m still waiting for that promised BBQ ……………………………………….