Monsal Trail Half Marathon

Hot on the heels of the Wilmslow Half Marathon in the Road Championships, the next event was the Monsal Trail Half Marathon on Sunday 7th April
(NB there was a Half Marathon and 10k on Saturday 6th April where Lisa Allison successfully completed the Half Marathon in a brilliant time of 02:21:33).

We had 9 Harriers out in force for the Sunday Half Marathon who formed part of the 302 entrants. The day started with a nice early alarm call (how I long for a nice weekend lie in) then a nice little journey across Huddersfield for a car share to Bakewell – we could all get worked up together that way! Jo Jones and myself were giving regular weather updates to our chauffeur (Helen Standing), but when we got to Bakewell we were surprised how calm and dry the weather seemed. There was ample parking in the centre of Bakewell and had a nice uphill walk / warm up to Bakewell Station where we’d be due to start. As there was no sign of an online entry list it was brilliant our Amber Vests letting us figure out Holmfirth. Warm ups, setting in the nerves and a little tumble (for Paddy) were all completed and we set off at 10am.

All Harriers had a good start, with Paddy taking the lead for us, there were occasional pockets of supporters and watering stations ahead of entering the tunnels. Going through tunnels made this a rather different experience which initially seemed fine, until we got to the 3rd Tunnel which was a Wind Tunnel. The route had some brilliant scenery and, being a former railway line, was relatively flat. At Miller’s Dale we had a nice turn around with another pocket of support. As Harrier’s passed each other around here we shouted / sung words of encouragement. I noticed that we all had good positions with Paddy up ahead, Jo Jones not far behind as the 2nd Lady, Si Platts was having a strong run as was Helen Standing, and indeed were Michael Hall, David Straw, Heidi King and Alison Smith. Unfortunately going through Tunnel 3 on the way back didn’t give us a tail wind.

We all fell foul to some groups of walkers towards the finish, but all secured brilliant times. I’d been told by the race director that when my team mate came in we’d win the 1st Male Team, then Jo Jones came in as 1st Lady, shortly after was Si Platts and Helen Standing picking up 3rd Lady. We then realised that we could get 1st Ladies Team as well, sure enough Heidi King secured this for us. Not only that, but we also got some impressive PBs too:
• Patrick Needham: 79:21, beating his previous PB by 10 minutes
• Jo Jones: 89:24, beating her previous PB by 6 minutes
• David Straw: 01:49:43 beating his previous PB by 3 minutes

It was great to see such a good result for the Harriers picking up a total of 4 prizes and a total of 6 bottles of wine (some yet to be opened). The next Road Championships event is Ripon 10k on Sunday 5th May. It’s the bank holiday weekend and there’s going to be some new soon about a social afterwards too……….what’s not to like. Get yourself entered!


Winning Ladies

Winning Lads

Paddy Power

1st and 3rd Ladies

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