Venturing into Oxfordshire
Last year James Bell decided to head over to the tiny village of Cottisford on the Oxon/Bucks border for a Tuesday evening 5K. This is an event that used to be called the Charndon 5K and was part of a series called the Fox 4. However, the series has long since stopped and apart from the occasional visit by Gail we hadn’t done the race in any numbers for a long time.
However, with James returning from the event in 2014 with a well-earned PB, he nagged on facebook for a few people to join him this year. Six members answered the call, and although Chris Norman was struck down, there were still five others out to keep James company.
The details of the race request that people car share due to limited parking and it’s not really surprising as we literally parked up in a farmyard and attached field. It was a perfect evening for running though against the background of a setting sun and with a gentle breeze blowing down the finishing straight on what was basically a flat course we were all hopeful of good times.
The loop looks like a letter P with a 1K jog out to the start and a 2.5K finishing straight. The enforced warm-up meant that we were all keen to get going on the start line but arrived early and so chatted with friends from Aylesbury and former LBAC member Dafydd Warburton, who now runs for Eynsham. A quick look around and we piled into the first 2 or 3 rows on what was a very quiet country lane.
Simon immediately went off in a lead pack of three while Andy, Jordan and Pete were closely gathered in the chasing group. As the race developed over the first couple of Kms, Simon’s group was reduced to two and Jordan moved up into third place on his own in the race while Pete led the next group that Andy was hanging onto the back of. Adam was having his own battle with our Aylesbury friends while James’ was hoping his slightly conservative start was about to pay dividends.
As the race stretched down the final straight Simon started to push the pressure on his challenger and broke him with around a mile to go to come home in 15:40 as the relatively comfortable winner by 11 seconds, while Jordan maintained his concentration to keep hold of third and smash yet another PB in 16:25. Pete’s niggly knee didn’t do him too much harm and he came home fourth place and was also 2nd senior man in 16:48.
Andy had started a little too quickly and had a battle down the final straight to hang on, but the finish came just in time for him to duck under 17 minutes for the first time (he thinks) and take 8th place and complete the scoring team. Adam’s race had progressed onto chasing the two leading ladies who were having a ding dong battle. He couldn’t quite handle their pace but was also delighted to come home with a big PB of 17:38 and was incidentally four seconds ahead of Dafydd. Unfortunately James hadn’t quite managed to up his pace as he had hoped but still finished well in 18:17 to round off a high quality turn out for LBAC.
Simon, Jordan and Pete all came home with a few beers as reward for their efforts and there was immediate talk of going back next year for another bash. Both the photos above and many others were provided by Barry Cornelius at Oxon Races Photos, so thank you to him.