Claremont @ Weetslade, 26th June 2024

The popularity of the event this year meant that only 2 of the 120 places were available for Claremont teams. So just 6 lucky Sky Blues got to run up that hill! 3 of the 6 were Weetslade debutants, 2 of whom were new members representing the club for the very first time. Here is what one of them, Harry Mawdsley, made of it:

“This was my first outing for the Sky Blues and my first time at Weetslade, and what a great evening it was. I came straight from work, so there was little time to soak in the pre-race atmosphere. I arrived just after the group A runners had set off. Thankfully I’d been put in the final leg, so I had a whole 30 minutes to spare.

I quickly changed into my gear and jogged to the starting pen. There were a lot more runners than I expected, and I was really impressed by the organisation. I said hello to my teammate, Russ, and watched with disbelief as the frontrunners finished their legs. There were some seriously quick runners here.

Soon it was my turn. With a surge of adrenaline, I set off around the playing fields. This is easy, I thought, and before I knew it, I’d already finished the first kilometre. Obviously, I’d gone off far too quickly, and was in for a reality check when we turned into Weetslade itself. The second K has a fairly steep climb, which I’d completely forgotten about until I saw the hill looming up in front of me. I refuse to believe it was that big when we recced the route a few weeks’ ago! I gritted my teeth and pushed on to the top, helped by some friendly cheers from Claremont marshals. I tried to kick on during the downhill but already I could feel myself wilting under the baking (okay, quite warm) sun.

The third kilometre was pretty painful. By the fourth, I was cursing myself for agreeing to run and thinking about how nice it would be to stop and lie down—so, you know, those standard thoughts you get during a race. After what seemed like a lifetime, I finally turned back into Lockey Park for the final straight. I managed to find a bit of pace but was still overtaken by three other runners, costing our team a top-20 finish. Sorry guys! Anyone who wants to see how not to run a race should check out my splits. I finished with a time of 16.01. I had hoped to duck below 16, but it wasn’t to be.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. A great, if challenging course (at least, for a naïve first timer such as myself) and magnificently organised and marshalled. Thanks to all those involved! I’ll be back next year.”

22Sarah Kerr
Russ Brown
Harry Mawdsley
Team Time
34Sonam Wangdi
Roberto Marzo
Sonja Fenske
Team Time

Full results and more photos can be found in this post.

Tom Tinsley -