As usual, the race sold out way in advance and attracted some top notch local runners. The course record, set last year by visiting Ethiopian Harrier and guest of Cathy Newman, Berihu Tesfay, in an unbelievable time of 39 minutes. That time would be very hard to beat, but the race was very much on for the top spots across all the categories and the Harriers were in the mix right across the board.
First Harrier home and adding to a recent set of outstanding performances was Adam Miller. Adam fought hard to remain in contention with the leaders throughout the race and he eventually finished a very creditable 7th overall and 5th senior male in a time of 46:34, beating some very fine local and visiting athletes in the process. Remember: this time is not to be compared against a road 6 mile time, in fact you can look to add a full 10 minutes onto your average 10k performance to get an idea of how tough this race is!
Adam storming to a very fast finish!
Hugh approaches the finish line to claim 2nd place in the MV50 category
Haring in down the final hill a couple of minutes behind Hugh was my good self, Ellie Sutcliffe. The night before this race I had raced at the Chudleigh 6 mile road race and had a few issues with my dodgy left achillies, so I wasn't sure if I would be running at Haytor. I went out for a test run on the Saturday morning and my ankle felt ok so I decided to run and I'm VERY glad I did! In the absence of some strong female contenders from last year - Jo Meek, Lucy Commander, Sharon Daw - I found myself leading the ladies race from the off and holding on to finish 5 minutes clear of the next female, Eleanor Wood of Axe Valley. I managed to improve my time from last year by almost 40 seconds to 50:53. Last year this time would have only been good enough for 3rd, but you've got to be in it to win it: they weren't in it, and so I won it!
Ellie on the steep ascent up to Hound Tor
Terry Oldham was the next Harrier home in 58:06 for 86th place overall and 7th MV55. Armed with his ultra-grippy Walshes, this sort of terrain is right up Terry's street and we were not surprised to see him tearing towards the finish line with a beaming smile on his face and loving every minute of this moorland run!
Terry on the first of many killer climbs!
Lorraine and Carly tackle the killer hill up to Haytor Rocks - only 200 meters in and you're already gasping for breath!
Lorraine Gilson was next across the line in a fine time of 1:-4:32 for 135th place overall and a superb win in her FV50 category! This is a tough race and attracts some top quality vet athletes from across the region, so for Lorraine to come out top is a fantastic achievement and testament to what a gutsy runner she is on these tough multi-terrain races.
Lorraine storming home to the finish and to claim the win in the FV50 category!
As if inspired by her team mate and friend's superb performance, Dawn Teed then went and did exactly the same in her category by storming home in a time of 1:06:45 to lead the FV45s home and beat a lot of fine competitors.
Still looking fresh and full of running after 6 gruelling miles across the moor
The icing on the cake of what was already an enjoyable and successful evening of running for the Harriers was when the ladies' team of myself, Carly, Lorraine and Dawn got announced as the winning female team! As the photo below shows, we were struggling between us to hold all our many prizes. Great job Harriers, same again next year!!?
We totally cleaned up on the prize front: 1st female, 1st FV45, 1st FV50, 2nd MV50 and 1st ladies' team: what a club!