Tonight was a Killer!

By Adam Haylock

When I first looked at the race schedule for the tour I was most excited by the opportunity to run a mile on the track and least excited by tonight’s hill race.  I arrived a bit late as I wasn’t too sure where I was heading, but luckily I bumped into Tim who was also driving in the wrong direction. We turned around and soon found Brickhill Woods and parked up on the verge.  It is a nice woodland area and there was definitely a crisp although warm feeling to the evening.

The first compatriot I met was Sam who was sporting his favourite running attire – his Luton FC top, like myself I guess he also doesn’t know how to operate the washing machine and has run out of kit?  The other guys were getting organised with Fi, Fred and Jordan moaning slightly less about sore body parts. A gentle walk up to the start line and into the usual positions where its nice to see familiar faces from the tour so far, a few firm handshakes and good luck messages and we were about ready to go. A brief parting to let a bunch of mountain bikers through with one guy deciding to wheelie past which he got a congratulatory round of applause for.

It was time to focus again and get on with this, 10 seconds left, deep breath, 3.2.1. Go.  It was nice not to go out at sub 4.30 for 400 meters as we were all concentrating on footing, the start was okay but I knew what was coming. The first half a mile wasn’t too bad and I was still with (I could see them) Jordan, Elliot, Gary and Jeremy. I think it was the second hill when Tim overtook me and seemed to be in control of this run. I felt terrible and was burning up already, it might be short but there was no chance to settle and this was a real test of core physical fitness and mental strength.

Nobody told me Tim Inchley is now a hill specialist, every hill he overtook me meaning I had to work hard get back in front on the downhills taking some risks with the tricky terrain, at one point we both had to dive out of the way from a flying Chris Nicholson who Tim is in a battle with for V40 positioning, we overtook him again soon after. Richard was marshalling at the bottom of one hill and I think it was Wendy at one point although things were now a blur and she had other issues trying to organise a runaway dog.

By now things were so bad I switched my watch to the distance display as I was counting down every 10th of a mile.  Surely no more hills…… Yep I knew it, there it was, I trudge up maybe three quarters and in my shame had to walk the rest.  Tim over took me with what was either an encouraging keep going message or ha ha your finished, it was hard to tell.  Anyway I composed myself and somehow my legs were still turning and I managed to overtake Tim and finish just 3 seconds ahead.

I had only been running for 14 minutes and 16 seconds but it felt so good to sit down and take off my trail shoes.  I must have heard at least 3 “I’m never doing that again” comments as runners came over the line.

Fred and Fi are both running very well and added to a strong mile yesterday with great times of 19.34 and 19.52 respectively. Sam had an inspired run and finished in 15.12, maybe he just tries when there are hills, or when his shirt is giving him extra power?  Jordan showed that he is the complete runner and can also handle a few hills racing home at 13.17 just ahead of the in form Elliot at 13.18.

Before we headed home we grabbed the opportunity for our first team photo, I then had a welcome pint at the Wheatsheaf Pub with Tim and Richard, Jordan got back in time to watch the 'The Great British Bake Off' and Elliot went to IKEA.

2 more races to go and things are heating up in the overall positioning too with full results available here;