Monday 27th December 2021
For the final fixture of the 2021 Road Championship the sun really did shine on the other side of the Pennines! In Huddersfield dawn broke damp and misty, turning into dense thick fog at the highest point of the M62. On reaching the race destination, close to Clitheroe, the mist cleared and patches of blue sky with a little sun could be seen. Seven brave, or slightly mad – you choose, Harriers shook off the tinsel and made a good splash of amber at the start line, sadly fewer than anticipated and feeling the effects of having enjoyed Christmas.
This fast 10k course is run on delightful, quiet rural roads, a single lap which undulates with 256ft of elevation and some fun downhill sections – a personal favorite of mine. Starting from the leisure centre, a downhill start provides a quick getaway before climbing steadily for two miles. From this point, apart from a couple of sneaky hills, it’s all downhill well into mile five, a great opportunity if you like downhill running to make some pace. There is a final climb, just before the finish, but the sound of the race compare and the supportive crowd cheering you on to the finish line give a needed boost.
Ribble Valley is often a PB course, but this close to Christmas and so many colds about, it was just great to be out, representing our club and doing our best, although I did manage a course PB! There was representation from the wider Harriers community from Tigers up to Wolves, great to see a range of runners of different standards from our club together at an inclusive accessible race, proudly wearing amber.
Our new club men’s captain, Damian McQueen, was the first Harrier home at 38.54, although Chris Law, not running as a Harrier, caused some excitement achieving 36th place with a time of 31.22. Respectively from Wolves to Tigers our times ranged from 38.54 to 1.09.29. Bob D clinched the Men’s Road Champs title at this race, with a great performance, second Harrier home with a time of 45.23 – well done Bob.
Well done to the ‘Magnificent Seven’ who made the effort to take part today, it was great to celebrate all our achievements as Harriers together and not the fastest alone. I hope for the 2022 Road Championships we can continue to support and encourage our wider membership and celebrate more than just the fastest time.
Happy New Year everyone.