Thoresby Hall Races
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1 week 4 days ago #4284 by Jan Forrester
Paddy Wright reports on another actual race - A quintet of MACs travelled to the picturesque parkland on the Thoresby Hall estate on Sunday morning, all excited to be involved in a proper race for the first time in 2021! Such was the excitement 2 of those finely tuned athletes ready to take on the challenge of the 60k Longhorn Ultra. With kit placed in the designated baggage area, hands sanitised and temperatures checked, Carly Spear, competing in her first Ultra and Darren Spibey a veteran of these long distance races were ready to endure six, 10km laps of mixed, undulating terrain on what would turn out to be a beautiful spring day. Their race began at 8.30am and they made a comfortable start along with the rest of these long distance crazies!Meanwhile, having watched them set off and provided them with what can only be described as truly epic and selfless support during their first 2 laps of 6. Paddy Wright was preparing to get his own speedy legs moving again around just 1 of the 10k laps. With a freshly ironed MAC vest and sunglasses to protect his eyes from the bright sunshine it was time to find out if Lockdown 3’s training efforts had been successful. After a warm up lap around the local cricket pitch, those good old race nerves kicked in and the legs had a moment of protest as the competition arrived on the start line. After some early jostling for position there was soon a breakaway lead pair and the race started to get stretched, with Paddy sitting in behind the leader. Through 6km’s the gentleman from Redhill Road Runners had opened up a healthy lead, and the temperature had been turned up in more ways than one, but Paddy wasn’t done yet! A quick mouthful of water to quench his thirst and with some gentle encouragement from a very cheerful ultra runner who looked more suited to playing at No8 on the rugby pitch, and the race for victory was on! Into the last 1k and the lead was down to less than 50 metres. But there is a final unassuming hill to the finish and a final sprint would only cut the lead to about 40 metres and so a solid 2nd place O/A and 1st Senior male in a time of 38:45 would be settled for as a very successful first race back. With the Ultra race now moving into its second half and 4 laps completed by Carly and Daz, things were certainly starting to become harder for the Matlock pair. They never flinched though, battling through the warmer conditions and keeping the demons at bay, although Carly was almost taken out by a local Deer, they both completed the 60k in one piece and in very high spirits. Daz was first over the line finishing in 26th Place O/A in 6hrs 19mins, Carly came in a short time after, finishing 30th O/A and 2nd in her age category in 6hrs 31mins. Amelia and Ellen Corke two of the clubs most promising young athletes arrived at midday to take on the 5k, another challenging undulating route taking in 2 laps of Thoresby Halls parkland. Both excited to be back out racing and amongst many other young athletes they both performed extremely well. With Amelia finishing 2nd Female and 1st in the under18 category in a time of 21:23 and Ellen coming in 7th Female and 5th in the Under18 category with a time of 24:56. A fantastic effort from both on their return to racing!It was great to see so many runners of all abilities enjoying a race meeting, made so much more enjoyable by the race organisation. The protocols put in place to keep everyone safe were first class!
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