On a grey and drizzly Thursday evening on 16th August a group of 6 Harriers went to that old familiar stomping ground that is the First Chance / Exeter 10k course at Haven Banks alongside the River Exe in Exeter. Although many of us know the course like the back of our hands and find it not to be the most inspiring of routes, it does however offer the chance of recording a fast time as it is pancake flat, so PB seekers just suck it up and run for their life! The only thing that can slow times is a headwind on this course, and the weather was not particularly kind to runners on this evening as there was a stiff headwind blowing up river on the outward stretches which will have added on precious seconds.
Talking of PB seekers, the first Harrier home, Mike Musgrove, did just that: he went out hard, hammered his way around the course and set a new PB! Not only was it a new PB it was also his first sub-36 minutes 10k, with him finishing in 35:53. This gave him 14th place overall and placed him 1st in the MV40 category. However, I am sure that Mike will be more excited by the fact that he has finally nailed that much covetted sub-36 minute time that he has been after for a couple of years now. Well done Mike!
Next in was myself, Ellie Sutcliffe. I set my PB of 38:04 in this race last year and earlier in the season my target was to get my first sub 38 minute 10k at the Exeter 10k. However, a hectic racing schedule, alongside marathon training and the old achillies injury meant that I have not been able to train much for the past month and so a PB looked less and less likely. I still gave it my all but the sharpness just wasn't there and so I crossed the line 45 seconds adrift of my PB in 38:49. This gave me 36th place overall and 3rd female.
Then came Richard Hawes, a fairly recent recruit to the Harriers, Rich's running is going from strength to strength at the moment, and this was his first outing on an accurately measured, fast 10k course, and so he wanted to test himself and see where he is at with his running. And the verdict? Well, he's doing darn well! He stormed around the course to a superb time of 41:35, giving him 57th spot overall. To say that Rich has not been running long and is only now starting to take it seriously and do some structured training, this is a remarkable result. Much more to come there, we're sure!
Andy Johnson is in fine form at the moment, having just recorded a fast 5k time the previous week. That must have sharpened his legs for this 10k challenge as he covered the distance in a swift 42:51 for 74th place overall.
Next to Roger Rowe, super-vet extraordinaire and long time running fanatic. Roger made light work of the course and cantered home in 43:49, easily good enough for top spot in the MV65 category and placing him very high up the field overall in 86th place. Age is no barrier if you are determined!
Last in but by no means least was our press man, Dave Eveleigh. Dave is in much better shape than this time last year and this is evidenced by the fact that he carved one and a half minutes off his 2011 time at this same event. Tonight he ran 45:51 which secured him 107th place overall and 5th MV55. Let's hope that 2013 will see him getting even stronger and faster and drawing closer to some of the amazing times he set in age categories gone by!!
The race was won in 31:13 by visiting Derby AC runner Jonny Gilby. Shaun Antell got the better of Harriers' 2nd claim athlete, Tom Merson, on this occasion, as they took 2nd and 3rd places respectively.
Alison McEwing of Erme Valley Harriers was the first female home in 37:47.
Sorry, no photos as the lens steamed up in the rain :-(