5 Streams, 4 Stiles & a Pint

By Adam Haylock

Day 2 already and the first evening race of the tour, set in the nice village of Potterspury, north of Milton Keynes.  I arrived in plenty of time at the Stratford Sports & Social Club which was very accommodating in providing use of their facilities.  I had time spare to sit down and listen to the music playing from the side of the entry van and catch up with fellow runners. I bumped into Jordan first who was relaxed as normal but slightly concerned about a sore ankle.

Fred, Fi, Sam and Elliot arrived in good spirits although there were murmurings of hills and streams. Andy then arrived in what seemed to be a pair of racing shorts, surely not after 17 miles on Sunday afternoon and 5 miles at lunchtime today, but yes he was running after Amy decided not to. Tim Inchley arrived with today being his anniversary…. The old romantic.

Time to trot over to the start line and complete any pre-race rituals, socks pulled up and shirts tucked in. Again a slightly underwhelming start but we were off and immediately this was a different race from yesterday. I was struggling to get any rhythm and breathing was all over the place – a stark reminder of what’s ahead for the Chiltern Cross Country League. 

Almost a mile in and I still wasn't settled, the first stream crossing was okay and I was still with the fast boys. We bunched up and hopped over a stile when I heard a scream ahead. It was okay though as it was only Gary Blaber from MMKAC having a little play in the big puddles! Seeing him waist deep in mud worried me slightly so I went for the mincing approach and took my time. I made it through but Andy went gliding past looking strong but at least he didn’t give me one of his usual motivational comments like “stop mucking about”. Next thing I knew, Tim overtook me bouncing over the logs in the woods and storming round the tight bends. I managed to stick with him up the next hill, recovering my breathing a bit and feeling a little bit less-leggy. I decided to push on at mile 2 going downhill to where Joe & Olly Inchley were marshalling, although paid the price later as my lungs were burning, another flashback from last years cross country. More zig-zagging, hills, mud, streams and a final push at mile 4 to finally get the opportunity to collapse over the finish line.

Andy showed his class by coming home in 3rd behind Mark Palser and Daniel Webber, Elliot had another impressive run and was sandwiched in between Jeremy Vick and Jordan. Jordan might just have to show off his speed tomorrow night on the track. Tom Inchley was taking a break from his Triathlon training providing support cheering Tim home who had good race and giving a boost to Sam who had to get his legs turning for a final sprint to finish in 24th.  Fred inspired as ever came home in a time of 41:44 and Fi running hard through the finish to completed the course in 44:41 – Well down all.

Post race routines now took place in the early evening dusk – I had pint, Tim had a warm down jog and Elliot took a bath in the stream (maybe that's his secret)

Onto Day 3 and never mind the saying “One more mile” tomorrow is only one mile, how hard can that be?

Yesterday’s results and current standings can be found here; http://mcs.open.ac.uk/mkac/14mktour2.htm