Saturday 19th September saw me head bleary eyed over to Rivington and Blackrod school for the inaugural Salomon Rivington Trail Half. A crap nights sleep saw me accompanied on my way by a large, strong coffee in an attempt to wake up.
Parking up and picking up timing chip was fairly painless and caffeine was thankfully well into my system when I realised that drinking so much digestive system accelerant so close to the start probably wasn't a good idea. I toddled up the hill to check out the start then back down to visit the ladies.
The cubicle door was really stiff and I gave it a big kick to shut it then thought perhaps that wasn't the most sensible idea. Sure enough I couldn't get the door back open again! After a minute or so of pulling on the little door catch I start to wonder about missing the start due to being stuck in a toilet. Luckily, being the ladies there was a queue outside and someone shoved it open from the other side.
I headed off to car got all my stuff on/off ,whatever, carefully keeping Garmin away from boot at all times. Head off up to the start, get up on the road to the start and realise I don't have my chip on, d'oh. Back to car, find it, put it on and get up to start a bit later than planned and find a few other harriers. It doesn't seem long til we're off.
The race starts with some easy running along the track I ran in the dark on the Monday where the gate never seemed to come. It still took ages in daylight, a right turn then up a way steeper than I was expecting track that joined up with the wide climb up to the pigeon tower. Its not too steep so running was ok on this. The climb doesn't go up too far before it heads down onto the "Commonwealth Down" (Polar Bear World) at the corner I fell out onto.
Its a fast descent but I have to say I think I ran it better in the dark (the threat of the Polar Bears no doubt). Once again past the start, out to the gate that never seems to appear then off towards Anglezarke reservoir via an empty field. I had never been on part of the track alongside the reservoir and made a note to come back on a night ride.
Up past the top end of the reservoir, up a steep flight of steps. I think it was about 7 miles ish as I took the opportunity to have a gel - wasn't sure if I needed it but decided to err on the side of caution. Soon running again on Heapey Fold Lane. About 9 miles or so my legs start to hurt a bit, mainly the quads which I put down to the extra biking lately. I wasn't that surprised to be honest, not run many long ones lately and none that haven't involved faffing about taking pictures or falling in bogs.
I seemed to be fine on the flat running, any climbs were beginning to hurt. Pass Trio and Ali on some steps that my legs were very unhappy about having to climb and back across the now not so empty field. Loads of cows (bullocks it turned out) had now moved up and across the track and they seemed a little frisky.
I and the woman running near me were a bit wary and were trying to decide which way to go when one of the little blighters charged at me, wah! I think I put my hand on its head in a vain attempt to stop it, stupid animal. I heard a bit of a yelp behind me and turned round to see one lad had been chased up onto a stile. Once through it was quite funny and the marshals were wading in to try to chase them off. Never expected to get charged by a cow on a race.
Legs were very unhappy on any climbs but still seemed up for it on the flat or downhill and they managed to run the last mile to the finish pretty well. I crossed the line in 2:08 eventually, not brilliant but not that bad either. Kate introduced herself to me at the line, then I was de-chipped and picked up the rather marvellous goody bag. I picked up a medium t-shirt after being advised that I was too fat for a small one! Hee hee, no unisex t-shirts here.
Met up with Trio and Ali and saw Jane and Vikki cross the line too. Plan were made to head for lunch, directions were given to me on how to get to the pub. After speaking to Jez I forgot the directions and set off on auto pilot back home, remembered where I was supposed to be going and somehow managed to find my way to the correct pub.
A fun race, enjoyable course and great to meet up with Trio, Ali, Kate, Vikki and Jane. Not forgetting Glyn and Flipper the dog!