Yesterday evening, Wednesday 27th May 2015, we took in great numbers the short trip east to Chingford, where Orion Harriers played host to the 2nd Scotts Travel Midweek Road Race League meeting of the summer. With the superb (maybe record?!) turnout of 11 ladies and 12 gents we fielded full teams in both gender categories.
The 6 mile race route took us on a tour of High Beech, an idyllic rural hamlet set in the heart of Epping Forest. The scenery was to provide a welcome distraction from the highly challenging topography of this course, which is shown below with a total ascent and descent of 489ft (in comparison, our Boxer’s Lake training run is a mile longer but has a mere 447ft of rise and fall!).
The first mile took us on a steady jaunt through the forest, after which we joined a tarmac road for the first of two big climbs. Once at the top it’s back down on a winding set of narrow country lanes, passing round a picturesque churchyard before descending into the aforementioned hamlet of High Beech, complete with a very enticing pub marking more or less the halfway point.
No time to stop for a drink though, as rounding the corner out of the settlement we hit the second, steeper hill climb, no doubt the biggest test of the course. On our way up we made our way past Beech Hill House – formerly an insane asylum where poets John Clare and Lord Tennyson were institutionalised. During his time there, Tennyson was reported by a journalist as being “…delighted with the mad people…the most agreeable and the most reasonable persons he has met with.”, so he no doubt would have approved of our efforts as we struggled by!
At the peak of the summit we found ourselves following the path back from where we originally came, so we knew the worst was over and a nice downhill last couple of miles would take us to the finish line and the very welcome spread of sandwiches, pasta, tea and cakes and more besides.
Our results as a team overall were fantastic with great individual runs all round giving us an overall mid-table finish of 5th place out of 9. A big well done everybody!
An elite duel took place between club pacesetters Morris and Ilia (or so I assume – I was still climbing the giant hill when they were on the finishing straight!), with Morris getting the edge by just 6 seconds with a time of 38:19. It was a similar story a few minutes down the road as Martin and Kevin finished a few seconds apart as well.
It was another excellent performance from Sylwia who finished 20th in the ladies placings overall, with strong performances from Victoria and Aggie as well.
Finish times were great all round with everyone else involved also deserving a mention for their efforts I think. So, here we go (deep breath)… thank you Hannah, Devkee, Catherine, Nina, Jane, Susie, Lisa, Tracey, Simon, Marc, Vas, Steve, Austen, Dave W, Naresh and me!
The next Midweek fixture is coming up soon if you’d like to join the team, have some fun and get a good run in. We’re at Harlow on Wednesday evening 17th June – look out for details of transport and the exact time and place to follow.
Also remember this coming Tuesday is Round 2 of the Gary Collins Town Park 5k Handicap, so join us at 7:30pm in Enfield Town Park (your best 3 scores from the five rounds are taken, so if you missed Round 1 you won’t have lost ground!).
Cheers and see you Tuesday!