Well we all looked keen and eager to go at the start -see above. Maybe it was the thought of beer and chips in the very cosy Turf bar at the end that spurred us on. It was a perfect day for a 10 miler though-clear skies with no wind. Nowhere is flat in Cumbria really so there was a steady drag out of Brampton. It’s the only race I’ve ever taken part in where none of the local population turn out to watch the athletes go past their front doors. However once you get up the first hill and along to Newby East, people seem less indifferent. The route takes you round fields and past farmhouses. At one point there was gunfire (hopefully rabbits being shot at and not extra slow runners to speed them up!). Then we turned back onto Brampton Road and the route took us through the village of Linstock where there was another challenging hill. However once you reach the petrol station on the outskirts of Carlisle the route takes you downhill all the way to the finish at the Sands Centre roughly a mile away.
Oh the joy of hot showers at the end, and hair driers, and full length mirrors (though perhaps best not to look in these!) Then there was the serious business of replenishing all those calories taken out by the race-2,500 according to Huw Parry’s Strava statistics. How many burgers, fries, lagers and beers to make up that amount?
Poly were distinctive not just by the number of athletes taking part-a whole bus load- but also by the number winning prizes. In the Ladies’ Vets results our team of Claire McManus, Angela Green and Alison Dixon were second. And in the Men’s Vets results Michael Parkinson, Jonathan Heaney and Chris Waite were third team in. Claire McManus also picked up an individual award as she was 2nd lady in her age group.
Toilet facilities on the bus were well used, despite the lack of light (that’s why a mobile phone is necessary sometimes!) the dodgy door and the shifting of liquids inside. Community singing was ably- perhaps a better word might be valiantly- led by Mel Carr. We all left the bus with the sound of an off key ‘Hey Jude’ ringing in our ears. Na na na nanna na, nanna na na, great day.