||Highly recommended race but generally not a good day for Headington Road Runners.
With Andrew Sulley failing to make the start after last weeks Banbury 15 with a reaccurrence of the injury he had suffered at the Cirencester Cross Country (a broken nail)! Sheila Doel, Ross and I travelled up "North" (most of them had funny accents anyway).
We had left the sun behind in Oxford and it was quite chilly as we waited in the "holding area" in the fog before being lead to the start line. However as soon as we got to the start the sun appeared and it became apparent that Ross and I were over dressed. Ross shot off out the traps, I caught him up around about the mile mark and then made a dash for it down the 1st hill around 3 miles. With split times of 1:35 for the 1st 10 miles and 1:43 for the 2nd 10 miles I faded badly and failed to beat last years time by about 4 and a half minutes. Ross managed to keep his 10 minute miles going till 9 miles but his heavy training programme took its toll in the 2nd half of the race. As for Sheila who had been in bed unwell most of the week and was possibly only going to do 1 lap anyway, she sadly sufferred an achilles injury and had to withdraw at 6 miles before limping to 10 and geting a lift back making London look a worry.
As for the race I did this last year amd it is a well organised event marshalled enthusiastically with Jelly Babies and Chocolate at the drink stations throughout. Leicestershire may sound miles away but is only and hour and a half from Oxford and easy to locate with execellant facilities at the local sports centre. It is Chip timed and a decent goody bag and sweat shirt / hoody. If you thought Banbury was Hillly and tough I think this is possibly tougher and even more Hilly. However the scenery is great although at one point I thought I had found my way into the Isle of Mann TT race when we were faced with dozens of bikers coming towards us on all different types of machines including one biker who was dressed as an Easter Chick this was just after meeting 2 horses and their riders!