On Saturday morning I raced the Silkstone Shuffle in Barnsley.
I finished 2nd in a time of 28:30.
No official results yet, but I am about 95seconds down from first with 30seconds lead over 3rd.
The series is the same course, 4 times in the year and your combined time across all 4. You have to do all 4, so hoping for some drop outs. Particularly as I know some of the guys behind me are capable of running faster.
It was very wet and muddy all of the way round. The stile crossings were very tricky, wet and slippery! There was snow at the top of the hill. It was a proper cross country race.
We had a slightly different route this time with a bit of a diversion in the middle to avoid some maintenance work. It had been raining most of the morning and so the course was very wet and muddy!
I was disappointed with not making every race last year, but had great results in the two races I did turn out for, so this year I’m determined to get back in the series and see what I can do...
To my horror, stood on the start line there was a who’s who of people who’d beaten me in the past. There was a decent field at the front.
We set off quite conservatively, all in a group of 8, with me at the back and I was itching to get the pace going! So I rushed past and then everybody reacted.
This got everybody going and me into 4th at the bottom of the hill and I sat in next to 3rd. About half way up the hill the guy in 2nd dropped off, a young lad who’d gone off too fast, so I was 3rd, but then I got dropped off a bit and was more concerned with avoiding going back to 4th. However, I managed to close the distance a bit in the last push up the final hill and then went for it going down the hill. I wasn’t racing at this point, but was still trying to pull away from 4th. I was feeling quite strong here and probably had more to give on the hill. Consequently I got the Strava KOM for the segment going down the hill.
At the diversion point I was level with 2nd and I was a bit unsure of where we were and what was coming up. These fields were very tough too. I was suffering here, but thought if I am, then he is. I managed to get ahead and when we got back to the normal route, I managed to pull away a bit. I had a little look over the shoulder on one of the corners near the end, which let me know I wouldn’t need a sprint off for 2nd place, so I could afford a bit more effort in the last km without fear of blowing my final kick.
I got to the last kissing gate and there was a massive puddle! I ploughed straight through the middle of it and inadvertently splashed the marshals there. Sorry, I shouted back. There’s a short sharp hill just before the final field and this was also really muddy. I didn’t get a great runup and slipped over on it. It was quite hard to get going again, but got up and went for the finish line.
I won another bottle of wine, 2nd bottle in two weeks.
Good start, I’m looking forward to the rest of the series!
I then sat through Man Utd Liverpool game with a Liverpool fan and then attended the awards evening. Great day!
Sounds a tough race .I lived in the general area for a short while and I believe the mud has a special viscous quality, unknown to Southern runners. Well done.
Well done John - hope you make the whole series this year!
Excellent result John, bring on Race 2:)