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by Val Baxter

January 8, 2017

Making a habit of it? (Old Monk’s Race, Hartlepool 8th Jan)

So, as I am trying to get to a degree of fitness, following yesterday’s run, I abstained from the demon drink, and replaced my energy with a nice juicy steak, and a bottle of water…honest I did… No, really I did!!!

Today was my turn to drive, as I travelled to Hart Village , just off the A19 with Phil Atkinson, meeting up with Rob Wilson and family. This was going to be curious, cos you know how sports cars, well the red ones are the fastest? Well yesterday when Phil and I got our new trail shoes I got blue, and he got red. That has probably told you how the race went.

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The race was predominantly a trail route, although there was probably about a mile on roads. Also the race didn’t finish at the start point, but to be honest it didn’t matter. The start was on the road 400 metres up from the community centre, and the finish was 200 metres down from the community centre, so really not a problem at all.

I started near the back , and trotted along with Sally Riding until the groups thinned out, which disadvantaged me cos I was shattered in the first half mile when she was telling me about the 69 mile ultras she had run… See look I just had a power nap there I got so tired just thinking about a 69 mile run!! Anyway, I know I am never going to win a race like this, but when I start at the back, I try to pass as many as possible, but maintain the pace so they don’t catch and pass you later in the race. Phil does the same, and succeeded , I recall two people passing me so I am getting there.

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I loved the course, my new trail shoes maybe could have done with a bit more cushion in the sole when I was running on the roads, but they were very effective “on the dirt”. If anyone is thinking about getting any, although the blue ones do fit better, the red ones are definitely faster, in fact a minute faster over 5 and a bit miles. But the dart players would probably applaud and comment “good grouping” as the Birtley team all came home with just 1 minute between first and third. Here is Rob Wilson’s Strava of the route, showing the elevation as well as the route

I always like to stay for presentations after a race, but Phil and I both had commitments with family and so we jumped in the car and dashed back up the A19, I did catch the back end of the christening dooo and have just about enough time to wash the car following two days of dirty races before it gets dark.

Great way to spend a Sunday morning but we missed the tent, and so had to bring our dirty clothes home with us, where is Shannel when you need her??

YB

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