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Alresford 10k / HRRL (plus final standings)

By Patricia Spodzieja

Being still a novice when it comes to racing and league tables it came up in conversation with race captain Andy Warren (possibly on the way to a race, maybe Alton 10Miles?) that you need to complete six races within a season to be on the table and most excitingly …..get a mug!!

After a quick check of my attempts so far it turned out I had only done 5 so far (Stubbington, Ryde, Salisbury, Alton & Netley) and the only option left was Alresford. As often happens leading up to the event you get feedback and advice from fellow Club Members and the common consent was:” it’s hilly, I hated it!” and with a lot of races under my belt by then and a gig heavy weekend I approached the date with some trepidation.

Car sharing always makes the way to an event a nicer experience (and ensures you end up hopefully in the right place at the right time) so 8.30am ish Dot, Dean, Rob jnr and I set off to Alresford.

After a heatwave Friday, wind & rain Saturday the weather conditions Sunday were actually rather nice, a bit of sun, a bit of breeze, well just right!

The number pick up was fairly easy and parking as well so there was time for a quick warm up and a loo stop for me (of course at the time when the team photo was taken …).

Dean was keen as he wanted to get a good time and feeling safety in colours I decided to set off somewhere surrounded by fellow blue and yellow runners, Rob B had described the course on the way up in the car as “downhill to start, then flat and then a few hills, roller coaster ride up and down”, Tony Lees also warned “save some strength for the 8km uphill, no walking Trisha” and another member from another club who had looked at the elevation said “hills 2k, 4,6 &8km” ….so I was psyched up for hills for sure !

The first 2km went by quite quickly, through the town centre, down a hill by some lovely scenic pond / river bit, up some hills, down some hills, you get the picture! By 4km I got a little tired and a nice downhill stretch was very welcome only to then discover the superfast runners coming back toward us and as we all know “what goes down must come up”.

The nice bit about and “out and back route” is you pass your fellow runners and you can shout some encouragement at them, a good turn out from Team Totton meant I saw Lucy and Tony looking very strong but also the sight of Lee looking rather green (apparently there was a 60th birthday party / a few pints to blame) so he decided to run (or shall we say annoy and get in the way of) with Sam, and I am sure I saw some more of you but can’t remember!

At 6km it got again a bit tough but Tony Lees’ “no walking” and Helen’s “DBS” (she’ll tell you) advice stuck and I did grit my teeth and carried on, helped by Rob B appearing by my side making me slightly nervous clock watching but also encouraging me to keep going. With 7km done the home stretch was in sight, still expecting a horrible bit at 8km it all kept going well and suddenly the 9km marker was there!

Having decided to run with my water belt as I felt dehydrated from “the weekend “I decided to throw caution to the wind” = “ my belt at a Marshall (not poor Emma ) to be able to use my arms properly for the last sprint which true gent Rob B then picked up for me so I didn’t have to go back!

And with that the final lap round the field appeared, usually I don’t like seeing the finish and still having a bit to go but on this occasion I felt strong and just had to remind myself not to sprint to early! As always Emma was poised and ready with her camera so arm swinging (some people wave ) trying to catch a female runner ahead of me I am proud to say I did a decent sprint finish and was only 30secs of my PB ? (I’m sure Dot will correct me).

As always Team Totton was superb cheering in their fellow runners and Emily was well chuffed to have “a bit of notice” being able to spot people early on in the field” and Dot put in a superb battle of the last few meters with a competitor getting a mention from the commentator and forfaiting a wave to swing the arms!

The price was a not too bad too, wooden medal, homemade cookie and most importantly : a bag a watercress (superfood!) which made for lovely post race pictures!

As races go when you do well you have good memories and with hilly races the weather can make or brake it but my personal conclusion is: enjoyable strong finish to a fantastic first season, thank you TRC!!!

Thanks Tricia for that great insightful write-up. Onto the final standings for the HRRL. Thanks to everyone that has competed in the races in the 2021/22 season. Special well done to Terry Greening & Virginia Collins for competing in all 10 races, epic achievement, look forward to you showing off your t-shirt. Also for those runners that have completed in 6 or more races as highlighted below: great effort, I can't wait to drink a cup of coffee from the cup of glory! Ladies: Helen Bonaer (12th), Patricia Spodzieja (25th), Jacquie Barlow (31st), Elizabeth White (36th), Virginia Collins (56th), Donna Pike (59th), Samantha Bowyer (61st), Teresa Dodkin (69th), Alison Kaines (75th), Dot Kennard (76th), Ann-Marie Vanderplank (77th) Men: Neil White (59th), Lee Trueman (73rd), Robbie Barlow (78th), Andrew Warren (81st), Tony Lees (84th), Dean Lucas (86th), Terry Greening (94th), Andrew Walker (113th) Ladies A & B team came 4th in their respective top leagues. Fantastic achievement given the amount of clubs in this league. Mens A & B team came 5th in their respective league (2) in HRRL, well done all that participated!

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