Despite the appallingly grey and rainy day 220 runners assembled at the Boar’s Head. This was the second largest field the race has ever had – 226
turned up in 1993 – and had the weather been better then I think that figure would easily have been surpassed. As we haven’t had a field like that
for over ten years we were taken a little by surprise and ran out of numbers, having to resort to hand-crafted felt-tip equivalents for the final
twenty at registration.
As it had rained for most of the day there was plenty of mud, the downhill grass was suicidally slippery and there was no chance of Lloyd Taggart’s
record being beaten but Simon Harding, fresh from a superb victory at Duddon, and Damien Nicholls both had excellent runs and a tight personal contest
to take the first two places within one second of each other, with last year’s winner, Andy Lamont, less than a minute behind.
Diane McVey ran very well to come home nearly two minutes clear of the next two ladies, Kristy Gill and Kerrie Wood Doyle, who had their own personal
tussle, being separated by only six seconds at the finish.
The evening was very much Macclesfield’s – the Club fielded twenty-nine runners (being outclassed in numbers by Wilmslow, who produced forty !!) and
went home having claimed seven individual prizes and BOTH team prizes; very well done.
For those readers who are statistically minded the sport continues to progress steadily into geriatricity, with no fewer than 67% of the competitors
being in the vets categories – with two of them being V70s it won’t be long before the sight of a V100 category appears on a results sheet somewhere !
One competitor tore her number up in a fit of self-loathing, which was fair enough – I sulked in the campervan for twenty-four hours after failing
miserably on Jura – but it would have been nice if she’d reported her retirement to the finish team. Buxton Man not only lost his number but couldn’t
remember what it had been, which led to a temporary confusion but otherwise everything went off efficiently enough despite the odd navigational and
route choice hiccups – one lady was found exploring a vast rhododendron plantation – and most of the field enjoyed the hospitality of the Boar’s Head,
which was delighted with the extra numbers.
I’ve managed to keep the entry fee at £3 for millenia and this year’s extra runners kept us in the black but as I can’t assume those numbers every
year and as the race costs have escalated over the last few years I’m afraid that I’ll have to raise the entry fee to £4 from next year to keep the
race finances in a healthy state – sorry.
Many thanks to the marshals and the support team, some of whom got very wet indeed, and thanks also to all the competitors – I hope you had a good
time and look forward to seeing you next year.