Today I raced the Silkstone Shuffle, a seasonal 4.5 mile multi terrain race organised by Barnsley Harriers. I wasn’t in the series this year, but I still ran in the summer race, which I won! Anyway, I wanted to do the Winter race too as another cross country race.
I finished in 3rd place out of 166 runners, with a new PB of 27:24.
I’m always really nervous before this race, as the start is brutal! It’s 3km up a stoney, grassy, muddy trail path. The last part is on a tarmac footpath, but the damage is done by then.
I started off and tucked in behind the guy in first place. I felt good at first, but after about 500m I realised he was probably going faster than I wanted to be going. Then, he must have heard me, as he looked over his shoulder and saw me right there... he then decided to drop me by picking up the pace. Nothing I could do about him, he ended up finishing first and broke the course record.
Hoping for second place, I soldiered on up the hill. However, I’d forgotten just how hard this hill is, it just keeps going, and going... Twists and turns and surface changes, it’s really tough. It does level off near the top before a short descent before kicking up again to the summit. However, the flat section is where it got super icy, and it was rather dangerous. I had a couple of little slips and decided to slow down a touch. This is when I got overtaken and into 3rd place. I don’t know how the guy managed to get over those bits so easily, but I basically paced him stride for stride the rest of the race, but on every icy section he pulled away from me slightly. He ended up finishing 7 seconds in front of me.
The descent is all off road and has a number of muddy fields and woods separated by stiles. It’s quite fun going over the stiles, there’s definitely technique to it.
It was also freezing! :snowflake: But half way up the hill, I had beads of sweat running down my face. :sweat_drops:
On the descent, I felt much better, I was pushing quite hard when it wasn’t too slippy. I did my best to run away from 4th place, but a few glances over the shoulder between stiles revealed he wouldn’t give up.
I got a Strava king of the mountains (KOM) on a segment towards the finish. One of the final fields is down hill, I jumped the stile and really gave it some hammer, trying to drop the guy behind me. I must have done some damage as I got the KOM but he was still behind me into the final field, another couple of nervous little looks over the shoulder on the corners. I knew I was motivating him by doing this, as it always helps me attack when I see someone looking behind. However, not worried at this point, I trusted my sprint finish, and he was no where near me. He finished about 20s behind. I asked him what his time was but he says he never wears a watch! Madness! How does he get kudos?! He thanked me for giving him someone to chase, and he won the series this year. Only, I finished just in front of him in both races I ran. Doh!
I love this race, but I have a real :heart_eyes: love-hate :rage: relationship with it. I dread waking up and realising what’s ahead of me, as I do like to race it hard. It’s a good bench mark race for my fitness. Standing on the start line is awful. The hill is dreadful, but the decent is fun despite tired legs. And I always feel really accomplished when I finish. Especially when I finish on the podium!
This is the 11th time I’ve ran the race, and I’ve worked by way from outside the top 20, to podium finishes now. :yum:
I was delighted to get a PB. I won a bottle of wine for 3rd place.
I missed the first race this year as I was focused on marathon plan, but I’m so sad to miss the series.
I will be back next year to enter the full series again. I can’t wait!
Hope that’s enough colour :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
That's GREAT running John, getting a PB under adverse conditions. This race is obviously very significant for you and provides a measure of your steady upwards progress. It must be very satisfying to know that your training is really paying off.
Cheers Brian, yes I do love this race. And kudos to the coaches. :hugging_face:
Incidentally, I’m from Barnsley - so it also gives me a great opportunity to visit home. The race start is a mile from my sisters house, so she always has bacon sandwiches waiting afterwards. :yum:
lots of colour, thanks John :wink:
What a great report John. Well done - it sounds brutal!
Well done, John.
Great racing and great report too!
Fab report John and well done on your PB:)
well done John, nice report