November 29th, a sunny cloudless sky and temperature of 11 to 12 deg C. Sounds like running weather? Well it was just perfect for the 50th running of the Wolverton 5.
Only thing though, it's not in Wolverton now, but around Willen Lake in Milton Keynes. A flat scenic course, inviting enough to get me interested. The race was first held in 1965 and has been run every year since on the last Saturday in November. The original course was two laps round the Wolverton Railway Works, but for reasons of traffic congestion it was moved to Willen Lakeside in 1991. The first and last times I ran it were in 1986 (29:27)and 1988 (30:04) so time to give it another go?
I was delighted to see seven other LBAC members there for company, despite the contingent astray in Club La Santa. The race was started by Rose Callow who has the distinction of officiating at every single race. There was a total of 284 runners, 198 men and 86 women. Two of the men had run in the original race in 1965.
It is a two lap course, the first lap is 1.5 miles around a small lake and the second includes this and another lake to make it 3.5 miles. And off we went on the well marshalled route.
The first man home was Ian Kimpton in 24:18. First Lady was Katrina Wotton in 27:38
The LBAC results were (overall pos., m/f pos., cat pos.)
Jordan Clay 26:57 17/17/16
Adam Haylock 29:12 41/40/34
Tim Inchley 29:56 55/51/40
James Bell 30:27 64/58/12
Gary Stratford 31:32 79/72/17
Gail Duckworth 33:07 98/11/1
Katie Haylock 36:28 153/56/17
Pat Neilan 40:54 207/169/13
All the finishers got a black mug with a picture of the Willen Lake Pagoda on it.
So a good time was had by all, I think. I enjoyed it anyway, being my second race of the year including the Ampthill Trophy. I thought my pilot light had gone out for good following my long stint off the road with knee problems. But it just takes a race to light it up again, and the knees are working now so who knows?
It should also be noted that Pat has set a new club record for the V70 age group – ed.