It’s taken a week for feeling to return to my fingers sufficiently just to type this up. Brrrrr … ’twas a chilly one!
I don’t remember 2014 being a particularly pleasant run – heavy rain and high winds along the tops being my main memory – but this year raised the bar with a minor blizzard along the way and a lot more mud thrown into the mix. Belle Vue Racers wouldn’t have it any other way however. A word of thanks should go to Radcliffe AC and their lovely marshals – running in questionable weather is one thing, standing and directing runners in it, and always with a smile, is something quite different!
Shining star of the day was Vicky Smith, who really underlined her return to form with a spectacular personal-best run in 1:16:53, being the first Belle Vue woman home and the third woman overall, closely followed by newcomer Phoebe Wallbank only 21 seconds behind. The irrepressible Kath Horwill secured the third Belle Vue spot with a personal best time of 1:21:53, also finishing third in her age category, further cementing her place at the summit of the Belle Vue Club Championship with only the 12 Minute Test and Boggart Hole Clough SELCC to go, and with it securing a second place team finish for the women. An outstanding team effort!
Among the men, Club Championship leader Jason Stott, having chased Vicky for the lead for most of the race and passing her with a touch over a mile to go, crossed the line as first Belle Vue man in an impressive 1:16:37, followed a minute (but also a country-mile) later by Andrew Taylor in 1:17:30. Andy Wood crossed the line as third Belle Vue man in 1:22:05, all three men securing PBs in the process. Congratulations also to Frank Rogers for securing an age-related PB!
As a warm-up for Cloud 9, runners took full advantage of the fabulous tea and cake stall to defeat the Radcliffe post-race chill and hunger. We are very much looking to this weekend’s Bosley Cloud cakestravaganza. Don’t let us down, bakers of Congleton! AT